What’s Going On?

damme_labyrinth.jpg__800x450_q85_crop_upscaleMother, mother…

It’s been a while since I posted, and I just wanted to catch up.

The middle of this month, I finished my first unit of CPE at California Pacific Medical Center and, overlapping with the finishing, I began my new unit–new hospital site, new teachers, new cohort of students I study with. First unit I worked at Pacific Medical Center, the biggest and busiest hospital of CPMC’s San Francisco four. Now I’m moved to Davies Medical for this unit–a smaller, more neighborhood hospital, and in fact in the neighborhood I lived when Rachel and I met. First day there, a meeting I was supposed to have didn’t work out and I had time to kill, I went over to Café Flore (or as we used to call it, Café Hairdo) for late breakfast, passing my old walk-up flat in Duboce Triangle on the way.

starting the new unit I had to do the orientation over again, but the material is dense and I’m the sort of person who likes reading books a second time, so it was of use. Davies was also the last hospital where I was a patient. In, I think 1993, I was in a bed there for three days for a burst hernia, and in ’98 I walked myself into the emergency room with pneumonia. Now working with patients, they seem to appreciate when I say I’ve been in the bed like them. I get how isolated it can feel as a patient, being surrounded, even swarmed, by busy people, but most of them aren’t really paying attention to how actually shitty you feel, how bored, scared and powerless. When you’re a patient, everybody walking in the door has more power and independence than you do. This is on top of whatever illness brought you in there.

And also family. Esmé is now doing TWO plays and Rach does the bulk of the driving. Shiloh, our dog, is 14 yo and has started taking craps in the living room when she’s not walked enough, and she doesn’t have the temperment to go out in the backyard on her own; this means every day she has to be accompanied 8-10 times.

Since early December, I’ve been smoking 2-3 cigarettes a day, really enjoying that. But I promised myself (and Rachel when she found out I was doing it) that when I finished the pack of rolling tobacco I’d stop, and that happened yesterday–no physical withdrawals, but I will miss the ritual. It shows me I need to find more places in my day that are mindful, meditative, slow.

All for now.