Today was a CRAZY day on the ward. My fellow intern was post-call and my second year resident had clinic, leaving two people to cover the ward - the third year and MOI. We had two discharges, four admissions, a possible child-abuse case, an infant whose IV kept falling out... not to mention my pager went off every 5 minutes. In between admission orders, discharge summaries, talking to the pharmacy, calling Radiology, calling Child Protective Services, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Infectious Disease, and every other consultant you can think of... it's no wonder I almost lost my mind. I didn't have time to eat so my empty belly did not help my mood. We had rounds with our new attending, who is much less laid-back than our previous attending. There were multiple medical mishaps that happened last night WHEN I WAS NOT ON SHIFT, but for some reason I got the heat for it. ARRGHH!!!!
At some point during the day I looked up at my computer screen, which has the above pictures as the backdrop. I chose it because I wanted a picture of my "happy place". On one of my past rotations, when things got really crazy my third year would look at me and say, "Go to your happy place." And the first thing that popped into my mind was Kenya. Seems strange to say that now, with all the violence going on there. But my memories of Kenya are happy ones. Almost exactly one year ago, I boarded the plane for the most exciting, moving, life-changing adventures of my life. I met some amazing people, and I felt like I was really living. For two weeks, I didn't have to think about tests, papers, deadlines, graduation requirements, residency fears, heartbreaks, family drama, or ANYTHING! It was just two weeks dedicated to serving God and enjoying Kenya and all its beauty. The people, the place, the circumstances... meeting other sponsors, meeting my sponsor child! It was all so incredible. As it was happening, I remember thinking "I don't want this to end. I want to freeze this moment in time, right here." I think I knew I would need to store those memories in a place where I could retrieve them later.
So today, in the midst of all the craziness on the ward, I glanced up at my computer and for a split second... I was no longer a tired intern trying to write orders and remember milligrams per kilogram dosing. I didn't hear the horrible sound of the beeper going off. I wasn't sitting in a cold flourescent-lit hospital, worrying about how I was going to get all this work done.
For a split second I was sitting on a tour bus in Nairobi, windows down with a warm breeze flowing in. Excited chatter about which project we were going to visit. I felt rested, peaceful, calm, happy, connected. No thoughts about medicine. No worries about being evaluated, judged, or reprimanded. Just enjoying being with other believers. Singing songs on the way to the slums. Looking outside at a foreign world. Laughing with our good friend Fred. Chatting with my dear roomie Allie. Wondering what delicious meal we would eat at the hotel that night by the pool, the cool evening air perfect for lounging and having meaningful discussions. Feeling God's presence like I've never felt it before. For a split second, I was in my happy place.
And then, BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP!! The nurses paging. Back to reality. Thank God for the small blessings. I was allowed one moment today to be in Kenya. I hope to go back soon. :)