Monday, June 15, 2009
I dream of surgery. It's in my mind, if not always on it. The fact is, I miss it. A lot. The good parts, anyway. The doing.
Even though the dreams aren't always pleasant, it's frequently disappointing to awaken to the realization that I'm no longer a surgeon. Last night, I was showing some sort of student how to repair a hernia, showing the anatomy (not exactly accurately rendered), explaining why I was doing what I was doing. The fact that it turned complicated, and that the student seemed annoyed that I was asking him to participate didn't diminish the sense of pleasure. (I think it's possible to sort of meta-dream: when I'm a dream-surgeon I feel like I contemporaneously know it's just a dream but also take pleasure in the pleasure of it. Like watching a movie, I'm simultaneously enjoying the story, the unreality, and the art of the making of it.)
There are many possible directions from the above: a plea to my fellow surgeon-bloggers not to do what I did, to find ways to prevent early burnout, so you might keep your craft active longer than I did; a discourse on the difficulties of leaving behind such an all-consuming profession; the wonderment at having achieved a measure of competence in such a thing; the extent to which leaving it behind confirms something I always said -- that surgeons in particular, and doctors in general, aren't really special. We're just people who learned some stuff. And now I'm back to that unspecial tabula, heading toward rasa.
I does convince me of one thing. I do want to resume this blog, if only to retain or regain a connection to that former self. Consider this another step, after the previous post. A stretching before the ride, a calesthenic. I'll see if I don't pull a muscle, flabby from disuse.
By the way and for the record, it's hard as hell to remain silent about the insanity of the real world. Surgery blogging is a weak set of arms, paddling toward the surface, trying not to drown in the sea of stupid which laps ever more insistently at our shores. Pretend I didn't say that.