So here I am… In the final hours of my maternity leave. The child, miraculously, is actually asleep (although as she’s currently waking up every half an hour that happy state of events is unlikely to last for long), so I am undistracted and able to work myself up into a frenzy in peace.
Amazingly, as I am going back part time, I have managed to get myself in the unhappy position where I have longer left of my training than there was when I started. My facebook feed is currently mobbed with ‘last hospital shift EVER’… ‘last nightshift ever!’…. ‘last SHO shift EVER’ status updates from my former peers. Meanwhile I’m staring down the barrel of 40 more months of training – 20 of those in (deep breath/jaws theme tune) hospital medicine.
It also turns out I didn’t listen in Brownies and totally forgot the ‘Be Prepared’ motto (which I never understood the importance of at the time, but now, sadly, and rather too lately, do). I’ve just had a scan through my wardrobe and realised there is absolutely nothing that is going to get over my formidable breastfeeding bosom, and what used to be my tummy. Also all my work shoes are in storage. So tomorrow I think I’ll be sporting a strapless bridesmaids dress and either flip flops, or wellies, depending on the weather. So I suspect I shall be rugby tackled by security at the door, and taken to see the mental health team before i even get to the department.
If I do get the department, and they decide on reflection (possibly wrongly) that I am not quite in the manic stage of a bipolar crisis, then that is where the real trouble starts. Principally because I’ve already had an email falling out with my boss over working hours. I haven’t even met her yet. YAY!
My other chief problems are my pelvic floor and the tendency for my boobs to leak if I witness anything happy, sad, see any pictures of children, animals, or think about the daughter. So it could be a very damp day. And I only have the one bridesmaid dress.
I’ve just written a 6 page letter to the nanny (which she won’t be able to read as the only aspect of my medical training that didn’t leave me over the last 11 months is my doctor’s handwriting) and had to apologise as I neglected to buy her any food to eat.
Not least because i can’t afford to. After tax, I’ll be earning just £100 a month more than she will. So it’s a good thing that I have 20 months of hospital medicine left as I need to find a willing black market purchaser of one of my kidneys, so that the daughter can get looked after.
However much I am pitying myself, I am pitying my patients still further. I regularly forget my daughter’s name (and sometimes gender), am constantly trying to open the house with my debit card, have lost my car keys at least 15 times a day for the last 9 months, and keep finding cold cups of coffee perched on top of the loo. The fact that I will be expected to remember and recognise diseases, prescribe drugs, and perform minor surgery, is utterly terrifying.
If I make it out the door with two shoes on, my car keys, and with both boobs inside the dress, I’ll consider the day a success. Wish me (and more pertinently, my patients) luck!