Stolen Thunder

I love summer thunderstorms. What better feeling is there than to lie in bed and hear the sky rattle or shake and let raindrops loose on your roof. The flickering moments where the sky alights can be both dramatic and frightening for anyone caught in the tempest. But inside, it’s almost as soothing as the flickering light of a fireplace, only less predictable. It is the perfect setting for ghost stories, where you find refuge under your sheets, shutting the world out. Fear of the dark strikes anew, and you feel grateful for any light in the shadows, as though somehow it helps keep the storm beyond your window panes, smaller somehow. And after, the world smells fresh, washed clean, the summer heat pulled down from the air. Follows such serene silence, inviting sleep.

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

No Ordinary Love

We excel at listing wants and needs, and always aspire to the next dream, opportunity, situation or person we believe will make us better, fuller somehow. But our ability to identify the instances where we truly have it is limited. In that snapshot in time when someone makes you smile or when you reach your goal, how long does the pleasure we derive from that last? Perhaps happiness is less of a goal, and more so an ability.  A talent to see just how good we have it. Where practice eventually leads to contentment and a life, perhaps a little less ordinary.

Courtesy of weheartit.com

Courtesy of weheartit.com

Across The Universe

The sky felt bigger tonight, somehow. Lying on the grass in my garden, all at once, it felt as though we could drift off into the sea of clouds. How strange, how infinitely small we are compared to this sky we often take as a backdrop for our lives. Perhaps we are the scenery, the speck of dust that can be flicked away. Too small to matter. And yet, as small and irrelevant as we are, the people we love can make up our entire world.

found on weheartit.com

found on weheartit.com

Roommates and why we love ’em

Here’s why I already miss them:

Roadtrip Time found on weheartit.com

Roadtrip Time
found on weheartit.com

1) impromptu brunches

2) the kitchen always smells incredible

3) because binge-watching shows is more fun with them

4) you randomly get home delivered take-out food

5) they know how important warm blankets are on the couch

6) a walking tour of new york is suddenly filled with architectural fun facts

They are fun, spontaneous and I hope we stay in touch.

Have a great week!

M.

7) they come visit you in europe months later !

Growing up on the Move

A couple of things I loved about moving as a kid:

And She opened her eyes to the magic of the world' - found on weheartit.com

And She opened her eyes to the magic of the world’
– found on weheartit.com

1) having a growing number of friends from widely different backgrounds

2) getting the advantage of learning a new language in real time, making it your own, in a way you would never get to as an adult. Most of all, you speak and yeah, you make mistakes, but as a kid, you don’t care, you just go for it.

3) the sense of adventure you get when you find out, this is it, we really are moving to Australia or Canada, or wherever.

4) that when you know you’re only living somewhere for a year you make the most of it, whether that means taking your kids out of school for 3 weeks to road trip to Ayers Rock, camping style, or whether it’s living above your means for a couple of months. You tend to explore restaurants and national parks to a greater extent than someone who expects these incredible moments to be available to them for years to come.

5) having several places to call home, despite how torn you may feel between them at times.

Have a great week!

M.

Emotional Forecast

Lifeline 'found on weheartit.com'

Lifeline
‘found on weheartit.com’

I recently watched Dan Gilbert’s Ted Talk again on ‘Why we make bad decisions’, then read his paper forecasting emotion and found it revealing.

You can find his ted talk here:

In short, you may think a certain event will make you happy/unhappy, yet we are fairly bad at making such calls. Someone who wants a job and doesn’t end up getting it, will synthesize happiness by believing it was for the best. In his phenomenal talk, Dan Gilbert goes on to explain that certain situations are more conducive to creating synthetic happiness than others. For instance, having too many choices may leave you less happy than a done deal, as you always what could have been had I made a different decision.

All in all, I strongly recommend this talk, it is uplifting and gives us faith in our own psychological immune system. It makes you see that ‘everything is gonna be alright, no matter what happens’.

Avoiding Headaches

Splitting Headaches found on weheartit.com

Splitting Headaches
found on weheartit.com

Although certain headaches could be heralding certain conditions (we’ll get to that in a bit), most headaches can be managed with a few guidelines.

My mentor always compares headaches with fires. There are many fuels that keep them going, so in order to keep them at bay, you may need to remove each trigger.

Here are a few that are simple enough to follow and make quite a difference for the majority of individuals:

1) Adequate Hydration

– it may seem obvious to you, but 8 glasses of water should be aimed at aka 2 litres. If you also experience dizziness when standing, you may consider switching one of those glasses of water for gatorade or another electrolyte-rich drink. Sodas do not count as electrolyte-rich drinks, avoid them for your own good.

2) Regular Sleeping Schedule

– this one is a tough one. Like most people, I enjoy sleeping in on weekends. Then BAM, headache. Aim to go to bed around the same time, and wake up around the same time during weekdays and try not to shift it too much on the weekend.

3) Regular Eating Schedule

– Breakfast is your new best friend. If you skip it, your body goes without food from whenever your dinner was (assuming there isn’t a midnight fridge date), till your lunch the next day. Brains don’t like that much. Eat regularly, and at regular times. Don’t skip meals.

4) Healthy Eating Schedule

– Try eating balanced meals that give you energy until the next one.

5) Stress Management

– If your headaches are likelier to happen with mood swings or when you are stressed, it is crucial that you learn how to manage that stress. Some individuals are more likely to translate those emotions into pain and certain relaxation techniques could really help. If this is your case, it may be helpful to ask your physician if they know a pain psychologist/ headache psychologist who may assist you in that.

– Regular exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to release some of that stress

6) The headache Journal

– make note of the frequency and timing of your headaches. You may start to see a pattern. Certain women may get them more frequently or exclusively during certain times of their cycle.

– See if your headaches occur more frequently in the morning or at the end of the day

– you may realize that your headaches could be related to certain wines you drink, or certain chocolates or cheeses. These may not be triggers to everyone. Find out what fuels yours.

RED FLAGS:

here are some instances where you may want to consult with your general physician sooner rather than later

–  worst headache or your life, described often as a thunderclap. People generally go to the ER rather rapidly with these symptoms.

– headaches that are accompanied by nausea and vomiting immediately upon awakening, or perhaps even awakening you in the middle of the night.

– headaches that have changed in either their intensity or location

–  always in the same location

– located in the back of your head

– headaches preceded/accompanied by neurological symptoms (numbness/tingling/weakness/speech difficulty/vertigo/dizziness/double vision/blurry vision/seeing stars/flashes of light, vision loss), this may be migraine with aura, or a sign of stroke. If you are known to have migraines with aura, you are still at a higher risk of stroke, and smoking is strongly discouraged.

– frequent/debilitating headaches resulting in absenteeism,  please see your physician. They may have preventive or abortive medication that could help.

– inew headaches or accompanied by weight loss, malaise, general weakness, low-grade fever or night sweats, new neurological symptoms (see above) please see a physician.

– If your child has headaches

– THIS IS NOT A MEDICAL CONSULT, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT REGARDING YOUR HEADACHES, PLEASE SEE YOUR PHYSICIAN.

Happy Weekend!

The Impostor Syndrome

When working with the leaders of your chosen field, it is easy to be intimidated by the vast experience of your collaborators and mentors. You may even ask yourself what you are doing there at all. You may worry about them realizing that you don’t belong there.

And yet, little by little things change. You gain confidence in your own abilities, you recognize the humanity in others, you may come to the conclusion that ‘if he can do this, so can you’.

Teddy Doctor 'found on weheartit.com'

Teddy Doctor
‘found on weheartit.com’

In Medicine, some transitions happen fast. Before you know it you go from sitting in lectures to taking patient histories, and you feel like a fraud. You wear a white coat and people think you’re the real deal. You feel like you need to break it to them – hey, I’m nothing but a medical student.

As rotations drag on, you realize that not only does stating your lowly medical student status get you nothing but doubt and under appreciation by colleagues and patients, you actually lose time and are less efficient. Yes, you may be the student, as stated on your badge, but you have a job to do. A precious one. Never again will you have this much time to indulge in long patient histories and physical exams the way you do as a student. Soon enough you become competent are the white coat feels like a comfortable armour rather than the strange unfamiliar gear that ‘a real doctor’ would wear (in Europe anyways).

Soon enough, you realize that you are the real deal, and that in a couple of months your signature on prescriptions will bear the full weight of ‘real’ responsibility.

And so the fraud becomes authentic and never questions it again. Most of the time anyways, until you slide on the robe of professor, of department chair, of anything really. It takes time to take on a new role and to believe that you truly belong. Until it fully sinks in that you have made your dreams a reality, little by little.

The Diving Board

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

The strange thing about the antonym of success is that it is something other than failure. It’s opposite is not trying. Failure, on the other hand means having the courage to step into the ring and fight what is rightfully yours – or not.

First Step - take off those shoes? "Courtesy of weheartit.com"

First Step – take off those shoes?
“Courtesy of weheartit.com”

It means having the gumption to take a step towards your dreams and either see them crash on the solid grown or lift you higher than you thought you could reach. Isn’t it easier though, to sit in the shade, with a cool glass of lemonade and watch from afar as someone takes the plunge from the high diving board? Isn’t it tempting to criticize every pirouette completed prior that moment when your body glides through the liquid interface, into another realm, where movement is slowed, serene.

Sure, the high board may seem tall from afar, but it’s nothing compared to the vertiginous sensation of standing up top, seeing the blue reflection far below, and knowing that one wrong spin will send you down, flat onto the surface that suddenly feels hard as concrete, knocking the wind right out of your lungs. You know it may happen, you see the avid onlookers, half hoping for a humiliating spectacle, which would only comfort them in their own inertia – too afraid to try themselves, yet quick and ready to judge your outcome.

According to wikihow, here are the steps necessary to a successful dive:

1. working up to diving – or anything else that slightly scares you yet you have insanely but stubbornly set out to do.

2. get used to diving in headfirst – with of course having taken precautions to ensure that the pool/lake is of the appropriate depth to dive in head-first. Some projects are brazen – others just foolish and life threatening. Be brave, not stupid.

3. Do a dry run on land prior to diving into water– umm not sure how wikihow pictured this, frankly I think water is a less painful medium to fall on than solid ground, but hey, they are the experts. They do have a point though. Practice makes perfect, whether it’s exams or that tango lesson you’ve set out to take.

4. Crouch close to the pool and glide into the water – some things you can prepare for slowly, inching closer to the pool’s edge, other projects require that final leap of faith. Practice tests are great, but soon enough you’ll find yourself taking the real one. Are you ready?

5. Dive from a standing position – stand tall, be brave. This is your moment.

And I guess wikihow didn’t mention one last ingredient, great friends to cheer you on.

My dive was about 6 weeks ago when I took my board exams to see if I could practice medicine in the country of my choice. I felt nervous, and foolish for trying something so soon when we aren’t quite ready yet. Really it seemed insane. Unlike landing on your belly in a pool, you have to wait till you know if it was a perfect flop or a smooth dive. Today, my hands shaking, I was able to see that not only did I pass, but this may have been one of my best dives yet.

Cheers, M.

Lifesavers "Courtesy of weheartit.com"

Lifesavers
“Courtesy of weheartit.com”

Rainy Monday

Congratulations to all the brave people out there running the Boston marathon in the cold rain. I’m even more impressed now that I know that you either need to qualify with time or with charity related fundraising.

Happy Monday, Boston!

Rainy Day 'weheartit.com'

Rainy Day
‘weheartit.com’