Day 270: Because life will always have a way #346daysofgratitude


If you've been an avid reader of this blog (if you are, thank you) or you've been following me for longer than a year now you would probably have already known that it has always been my goal dream to be a doctor. I wouldn't call it a goal since it has always been something I knew I could only dream of: like a faraway place I'll never reach. I'm not very academically-inclined, not born a genius, not very studious...and a very lazy person at that. Of course I know that it doesn't take a genius to be a doctor, and if you're really hardworking and passionate about it you'd most probably fulfil your dream. And so, I was determined to work hard for it.

Once, I dreamt of being a doctor. I still am, actually.

I was 14 when I first had that dream in mind, or probably earlier than that if it existed subliminally. It all happened when I saw how cancer stripped my father's health away and all that he had, and eventually his life. Me being his daughter at 14 and someone who knew nothing to alleviate his pain, I was completely helpless. All I could do was to stand by him and watch him suffer all by himself and watch that disease slowly kill him.
So, I was determined to become a doctor for two reasons: One, to avenge him and find a cure for cancer. And if I did, the second reason was to not let anyone feel the same way I did because no one deserves to feel that way. Ultimately it wasn't so much for revenge because hatred and revenge are silly and there is only that much scientific technology and advancement can do for us.

Being a patient's kin and those frequent trips to the hospital also made me realise something. And that was the fact that it's true that there are two kinds of doctors: the shitty ones and the good ones. I was fortunate enough to have met both I believe, for that opened my eyes to things I didn't know existed. Sure enough I knew corrupted and money-driven doctors existed already but that aside, I guess I didn't fully understood what a good doctor meant at that time.

My father had two doctors in charge of him: an oncologist (whom I shall name Dr. T) and a gastroenterologist (Dr. X). One fateful day my dad suddenly fell into a critical condition and was sent to the A&E, only to have his emergency operation few hours later. I remember it was Dr. X who ushered my family to the meeting room after the operation and told us "He won't make it through tonight.".
One day, two days and one week passed. My dad was still pulling through. At that time we were already mentally bracing ourselves for the worst and just by a single glance I could tell from the doctors' faces that it was best to not harbour any false hopes or wishful thinking on our part. Even though we knew that the worst was going to happen, it didn't let us lose hope entirely. Truth to be told, I was still clinging on to a glimmer of hope and waiting for a miracle to happen. Dr. T would come by to tell us to be strong for my dad and he promised to try every possible solution to save him, and he told us not to lose hope. Dr. X on the other hand, spoke with a nonchalant and arrogant tone. Every time he came by he would tell us to prepare for the worst and that my dad's situation...was hopeless.

But you know what?

Empathy heals. It heals broken souls and scarred wounds. It gives hope to the hopeless and light to darkness. If there's one thing I've learnt from the two doctors, it would be the value and paramountcy of empathy. And that was what Dr. X was clearly lacking.

While it can be said that he could have just wanted to portray a more realistic side of the story and his true intentions may be pure, to not bring our expectations up, I believe he could have been a little more empathetic at that point of time. He could have talked with a less egoistic tone and spur us on instead of telling us that it's a sign to throw in the towel.

I wanted to become a doctor because I was inspired by them. I told myself that if I ever become one, I'd strive my best to become someone like Dr. T, who gave us light in our darkest hours and hope when there was seemingly none. I was also inspired to not become a doctor like Dr. X - and so, to you, I thank you for inspiring me.

If you have read the first few paragraphs properly, you would have noticed something wasn't quite right when I said "my dad suddenly fell into a critical condition and was sent to the A&E for an emergency operation few hours later". Critical condition..A&E..emergency operation..FEW HOURS LATER - it's incoherent, isn't it?
What happened was that the doctors got mixed up with their schedules and one doctor thought the other doctor went in his stead and this other doctor thought the first doctor went. And so basically all the doctors in-charge didn't come until they realised no one came, and by the time they realised my dad's condition had already deteriorated considerably. It was obviously the hospital's fault and up to date I still blame them for causing my dad to suffer without any painkillers for two or three whole hours. That, I'll not forget.
I remember telling myself that night that I'll make sure this hospital pays for whatever they have done. I don't know how I'm going to, but I will.

I got into foundation studies this year in UTAS, thinking that I'd work hard and do whatever it takes to get into Medicine. I was that determined.

Now that FSP is almost all over, it saddens me to say that it's not Medicine that I'm pursuing for the next three years here. I've decided to embark on a totally different path this time round and giving myself a chance to perhaps, find something else I love. I'm not pursuing Medicine because of one single reason: I can't afford it. It's true that sometimes I wish I was financially more capable of studying that course but whatever it is, I've chose to let go of that dream now and that's that.
Still, I can't help but feel saddened at the thought of it sometimes. Even the smallest and simplest things remind me of the doctor I wanted to become: hospitals, nurses, gloves, medical terms, diseases, medical-based dramas...or when someone close to me falls sick and I try to google for the cause and treatment for it.

For the past two years I've been struggling to find another passion and interest in another career. And for that two years I've never felt more frustrated asking myself what I really want and to end up with only nothing. Sometimes I wish I had an interest in law. Or sometimes maybe music or arts if I was more naturally-inclined to them. To be honest, I think I'm too young to make such an important decision for myself. Why must I choose something that can change and determine the rest of my life at the mere age of 18?

I'll be spending the next three years here studying Architecture in environmental design. And by then, I hope I'd say that I've found interest and love for it.
For now, I'll just be heading to another direction, and I hope that whatever it is, I'll be where I am meant to be. Somewhere I believe, things will work out because life will have a way for me.
Being a surgeon will always be my dream. Perhaps the 14 year old me would have been disappointed if she knew that she'd end up not choosing it for her degree and perhaps, the future 30 year old me would be regretful for the choices I'm making for myself now. But I still secretly hope that someday, if I can, I'd still turn back and go for my dream. But for now, I'm going to leave the rest of my future in the hands of Fate. If it's meant to be, it will be.

Because life will have a way for me.

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