Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for work

Taking back

…I’m trying, I’m really trying to take back some of me.

After 3 days of no running – damn the rain (and no, I really couldn’t go to the gym and run there), I ran this morning, and then I am running an experiment on myself – I have given myself a vitamin infusion. So my Genius Nurse put up a drip and ran in the bag of vitamins. Im hoping I will feel energised and stronger for it. I’m feeling quite ‘hyped’ now – a mix between that post run endorphin feeling and too much coffee, but in a good way!

This afternoon after finishing my cases in theatre, I will head off or an anti ageing facial treatment thing – I’m not convinced its going to be divine and relaxing, but looking younger will make me happy, then I’m off to the chiro – I put my hip out again; and then its art class tonight.

So, you see, since an actual break is 5 weeks away, I am trying to do what I can.

Tears and fears

…I fear what I am becoming. I cannot end each day in a flood of tears, sobbing in the car on the way home, so that my daughter doesn’t see my tears.

(I know the solutions, I understand my predicament, but I cannot currently implement any of the solutions like taking a break.)

Holiday dreaming

…after a patient saw me yesterday and told me I’m looking 10 years older than the last time she saw me 6 weeks ago, I thought about things.

Yes, I am doing some hectic skin treatments at the moment which are making my skin a bit unhappy. And it may be time for some more botox. I was post weekend on call, so I was justifiably tired; and I am running up a storm currently. I have also lost a little bit of weight, so maybe the wrinkles are showing a bit more than normal.

But in truth, I know I need a break.

I haven’t had any significant time off work since we went to Scotland last year. Health wise I have had a rough year. The stress of becoming senior partner and all its accompanying responsibilities, as I mentioned yesterday, are weighing me down.

So, it’s time to dream and plan… any suggestions?

Working weekend

…and we sang Happy Birthday to 3 babies! I have to concede that I am tired!

I’ve had some tough times this last week – I have unhappy staff, and since I am now senior partner, this is weighing heavily on me. We, the doctors have made a decision overriding something they had always done, and now I have staff who feel like we have gone behind their backs, changed things that didn’t need changing; and upset their comfort zones. I am exhausted by it, stressed out, because I hate the unhappiness; but also resolute in knowing I have made a good decision. The defiant look in their eyes – I feel a bit like that hated teacher at school, who everyone was united in their dislike of – and there is a definite culture of blame. I am trying to put out fires, trying to restore happiness; and it feels like they do not want any restoration. The responsibility is a burden. Even though I have my new PA, who I adore, I am still stressed by all the things that need doing.

And all I really want is a break…


…this morning I was listening to a Ted talk, from the Sincerely, X series – about a doctor who feels she made a mistake when she was burnt out – not something huge like a drug error or operating on the wrong limb etc; but something small. And she has beaten herself up about it over many years. I know I feel the same often. One never judges oneself on the things that go well, the life that is saved; because that is what I, as a doctor is supposed to do; but we judge ourselves on the things that go wrong.

The interviewer, (this is a different kind of TED talk) commented that she is astounded to what standard this doctor holds herself; far higher than most other professional people she has met; and it made me wonder why? Because I am the same – my husband always moans that my standards are way to high; that the worst critic is myself, and that I really do expect way too much from myself. And I wonder – is it something in our training? Is it the nature of our work – if we do make mistakes we may cause suffering? Or is it the nature of the person who becomes a doctor?

Some thought provocation….


…to keep saying the same old things. I am busy, I am tired, I am stressed. But it is what it is. Last week exploded into a surgical week, with me rounding out my week with 14 surgeries completed; and some were fairly difficult and complicated. By Sunday morning, 02h00, I had developed a migraine and spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch feeling sorry for myself, that was when I wasn’t at the hospital, being on call and doing a delivery.

Anyway, I won’t bore you too much more today, let me get on with this day, and hopefully I have more interesting news tomorrow!


Making life a little easier

…so in the last few days I had a revelation – I needed to make my life easier. I am even busier than before, something I never thought possible; and my stress levels are climbing; so I made the decision to hire an assistant. It was a liberating decision, one I am so relieved I have made.

So yesterday, my Girl Wonder began. She has already made me an appointment for a sports massage, bought me lunch and tidied through the clutter that was my drawers. She is currently now working on my bookshelf, sorting through 100’s (and I mean 100’s literally) of medical journals. I cannot wait for my things to be streamlined and efficient again. Things have piled up around me, literally, until I was almost drowning in paperwork and rubbish! I did explain to Girl Wonder that I need a clone, a clone who can keep me under control, without having to do any OBGYN work. She smiled and said she was excited. I am so damn relieved! I am so happy. Long live GW!