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Old Habits are Hard to Break

I found the perfect mask for me!  Too bad I can't wear it all the time (and that I didn't buy it, given it was over $200)
I found the perfect mask for me! Too bad I can’t wear it all the time (and that I didn’t buy it, given it was over $200)

On my second day back at work, I am beginning to realize how much has changed since this time last year.  I am back on service (finally) in the same hospital I started at last July.  It is such a great feeling to be back in the gynecology ORs and delivering babies in the case room.  People know who I am this time around, even though it’s been 10 months since I worked here.  I feel more confident and capable than I did last year. I am excited to get back into this specialty with everything I have.

However, this is the first time I have been on-service since the “falling out” with K.  My emotions around this issue were something that I did not anticipate.  Unfortunately, I still think about K more often than I would like.  Usually I am able to shrug it off and it is so much easier to let go of that fleeting wish that *maybe* she’ll get in touch with me and we’ll talk things through and we’ll be friends again.  Even though I’ve realized that will never happen, I can’t help but think about it.

But being back at this hospital, immersed in my own specialty, has brought with it a new set of mental and emotional challenges.  Despite what happened between us (what she did to me?) she is still one of the biggest reasons why I chose this specialty.  It is hard for me to forget about that.  There has never been a time in my medical career, until now, where I have been around obstetrics and gynecology and I haven’t thought about how instrumental and helpful K was in inspiring me and getting me to where I am today.

Last year, if I had just finished helping a woman deliver a non-viable fetus and I was waiting patiently at the foot of her bed for her bleeding to stop and her placenta to deliver, I would have thought about K being in a similar situation and I would imagine working with the same level of finesse and compassion that she would show.  When I was in that situation this morning, however, I had a similar thought but instead, it was tainted and i wondered if I would ever be able to deliver another baby or interact with another pregnant lady without having her memory pop into my head.

I don’t want to be like her.  I want to be like myself.  But that doesn’t change the fact that every memory I have of even working in this hospital, in this city, with different staff seems to be imprinted with the knowledge that she was still somewhere, just a few keystrokes away, waiting to cheer me on.  I want to completely dissociate everything about my life and my career from her and being back in this environment has made me realize that I have not made much progress on that task yet.  I don’t know if that will ever be possible; I just wish that there still wasn’t so much work for me to do.

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