deranged and probably a l’il mad

I am not tooting my own horn, please.

I’ve experienced it before. Several times actually. Pre-morbidly, i did well enough in clinicals to have my lecturers going to the next ward that i was at, and have them telling my clinical instructors i am good. I did well enough to be labelled as ‘knowledgeable’ and having ‘good clinical reasoning skills’. I always left an impression- as the girl who was very fair, as the girl who was always presentable with supremely neat hair, as the girl who had good communication skills, and as the girl who was knowledgeable.

Of course i had reasons to doubt myself. I honest to goodness, didn’t think that i was as good as they make me out to be. I liked to say that i was essentially a person who ‘fakes it till she makes it’. The confidence they see isn’t real at all, and in fact a lot of the impressions i’ve left on people are built upon false pretence. Pathetic aye?

I made a mistake yesterday. It didn’t compromise patient’s safety, but it was a mistake nevertheless. A mistake which i could’ve avoided, but did not due to circumstances. I felt like i was going to be condemned for it. I felt like i was going to be black-listed as their future employee who committed such a silly mistake. I braced myself for a good lashing.

I had to meet 3 sisters- 1 vs 3- the nurse manager, the assistant nurse manager and the nurse clinician of the ward. I was intimidated no doubt. Was asked several questions, all of which i could answer. And the conversation ended with questions relating to bond with the hospital, and my interest in any particular discipline.

“I erred here. Why the hell would they ask me that?”

And then today, i learnt that very apparently, the sisters want me to join their ward. I was told by my mentor that one of the ward sisters had asked her to convince me to join this present ward, to put in a good word for the ward to me. That they would want me to work in the present ward in future.

“Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around- having the teacher put in a good word for the student to join a ward?”

My sentiments exactly. I probably do not know why they came to such a conclusion that they wanted me in their ward knowing that this is my last week, and that i’ll be moving on to another ward for my PRCP. I don’t know who has said what to them. But it looks like many people have put in a good word for me. Why that is so, i do not know. Because i only know that i have made quite few silly errors here and there, which i still cannot get over till today.

Well, i mused to myself for quite awhile after that. And then i asked myself. “Would they still want me to join their ward if they knew about my past? Would they still want to welcome me if they uncover all the emotional baggage that i’m carrying?” Certainly not, i feel. No one would want a nurse who’s a little mad up there in the head. No one would want a nurse with hundreds of scars. No one would want a nurse who is on so many medications with her hands trembling. No one would want a nurse who has illnesses.

If only they knew, then they would shun me away like how everyone else does. But then again, it is for the fact that they do not know, that i am able to learn tell myself that “Hey, you are not that useless afterall!” I am still unsure if i have returned to my pre-morbid status- perhaps very nearly there looking at the way i function in the ward. But i know that i am learning and growing every single day, and that there are always lessons to take home everyday.

I traced the bloodwork that i’ve done today for my appointment with my surgeon(yes, surgeon. don’t ask me why i am not under a gastroenterologist instead. i would like to know as well.) tomorrow. My lab values are still deranged, though it looks better than it did initially:

  • Haemoglobin 9.34 (no change, and still low)
  • Red Blood Cells 3.34 (increased by 0.12, but still low)
  • Haematocrit 28.4% (increased by 1.1%, but still low)
  • Platelets 394 (normalised after a decrease from 458)
  • Mean Platelet Volume 6.8 (normalised after an increase from 6.1)

I did an iron panel, as ordered by the surgical team.

  • Iron 3.2 (low; normal values range from 8.8-27.0)
  • Ferritin 12 (normal)
  • Transferrin 367 (high; normal values range from 200-300)
  • Total Iron Binding Capacity 95 (high; normal values range from 38-67)
  • Iron Saturation 3% (low; normal values range from 15-50%)

Quite deranged, and a little mad, i guess. It is a wonder that i am still functioning well at work with little/no restrictions.

The triamcinolone has ended its run in my body, and i am trying to manage the pain with ketoprofen plasters and the daily tramadol. Tramadol is useless for me, but i take it anyway with the hope that it’ll offer me some relief.

I convinced my doctor that i DO NOT want to take mirtazapine because it makes me BLOODY FAT. I refused to take no for an answer because i’ve had enough of weight gain has a side effect. (Why the hell do so many medications i take cause weight gain? It used to be prednisolone, and now mirtazapine. Can’t they all have weight loss as a side effect? I’d be very merry if that were the case.) So we compromised, and now i’ll be taking 50mg of amitriptyline instead of the 10mg my rheumy prescribed. And NO MORE MIRTAZAPINE.

Yes. I’m finally losing weight for good.

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