2019: Mid-Year Mark

30 comments

Last year I wrote a post titled “2018: Mid-Year Mark” because I wanted my readers to know I was alive and well despite two months of inactivity. Life was busy and I just didn’t have any shareable experiences to publish so it was a personal sort of check-in post, made complete with the goals and plans I had for the remainder of the year. You can check that out here if you’re interested. This year my blog hasn’t been inactive at all– in fact it’s probably the most active it has ever been. I made time for writing and travelling rather frequently while completing my medical degree, but I quite enjoyed putting together that post and thought I’d do one for 2019 even if we’re 21 days past the midpoint of the year.

My Personal Life

black stethoscope beside gray disposable cup

My personal life has been going great this year. I completed medical school last month, swore the Hippocratic Oath, began working, I relocated to a new parish but the transition initially was a bit stressful. So much paperwork in a very little time, unexpected fees, a lot of travelling back and forth to get myself sorted for work and of course, getting used to the title now of Doctor. While my four classmates and I are the most junior members of the team, we are still looked up to as leaders by the nursing staff, patient care assistants, lab technicians and all the other allied health workers who we work alongside. Patients and their relatives don’t know and often don’t care about the hierarchy either. They’re ill, they have questions, they want answers and often we become their ally in communicating all the updates and even doing the difficult job of breaking bad news about negative test results, or worse contacting next of kin when a patient demises. It’s busy– meals and sleep get missed and sometimes you wonder why you ever chose this field (I’ve been asking myself this question since 2016 though, so nothing new).

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Excerpts from the Hippocratic Oath, modern version

Sometimes you go above and beyond for patients and their families and they’re ungrateful, impatient and curse you bitterly e.g. why their loved one isn’t recovering at the rate they’d like, why you weren’t around when they wanted to ask a question earlier or why a test or surgery got rescheduled when we’re strapped for resources and staff in the public health sector and doing the very best we can with what we have. I have to do everybody’s job sometimes– nurse, porter, you name it, because as intern, you can’t say oh! The patient didn’t get the X-ray because there was no one to carry him/her to the radiology department, or the results aren’t here because the porter didn’t take them to or pick up them up from the lab on time. The seniors expect you to get everything done to keep the ward(s) in order and you’re duty-bound to do so anyway. It can mean the difference between life and death. That being said, it’s fun in some sick morbid way. I like what I do despite the inefficiency and lack of resources. I like where I work and for the most part, I love my team. Internship is shaping up to be a hell of an experience! Otherwise my life is going well too. I keep in touch with my family and it helps that my partner is also in the field so he understands why I take hours to reply to his texts quite often (he’s no better sometimes too).

person rolling green gym mat

My eating and physical activity could use some work though. I’m thinking of perhaps getting my first gym membership soon, but to find the time and energy to use it too, gosh! That and I’d rather not run into my coworkers at the gym. Perhaps I should find the discipline to resume my own thing at home which clearly worked well. I’ve lost and kept off around 40lbs since my teenage years never once setting foot inside a gym. I believe they’re overrated but somehow I ought to find a way to stay active and healthy while trying to keep my nation (or at least my health region) healthy. I ran two 5Ks, got a medal for participation in one, and on an unrelated note, I got to see both Buju Banton and Chronixx live up in the VVIP section same night at the Long Walk to Freedom concert in March! My boyfriend is such a champ for winning tickets for us to a concert he really couldn’t care less about. 😂

I do struggle with depression on-and-off quite a bit too for those of you who don’t know, but thankfully it has kept its cold dark grip from my life ever since I completed M.B.,B.S. exams on June 4. Perhaps it was burnout, but whatever it was, some sea breeze, fresh mountain air and river water seem to have swept it away which brings me to the next heading of:

Travel

I’ve had a great year where this is concerned, exploring more of the St. Elizabeth and Portland parishes, and visiting Montego Bay (Jamaica’s second city) for the first time!

Favourite place for the year so far: Tie between Reach Falls and Boston Beach.

Number of new places visited/explored so far: 10.

Places I’m looking forward to visiting/ writing about by year end: 4.

  • See 2019’s bucket list, notably Pelican Bar and the Milk River Spa. I already visited Puerto Seco Beach from that list but I haven’t written about it yet.
  • Visiting the remaining two parishes of Jamaica I’ve yet to step foot in–Westmoreland and Hanover, yes, gasp! It’s a little embarrassing that a local travel blogger has never visited Negril but soon. 🙂 Negril and Mayfield Falls are the places in Westmoreland I plan to visit and if anyone has Hanover recommendations, I’ll take them!

Blog Growth

person s hand on laptop and holding coffee

This year has been great for my blog. Each year seems to outdo the previous one! For 2019, I’ve had over 6,000 more page views and 3,000 more visitors than the entire 2018 itself, so I’m excited to see what my stats will look like by year’s end. I’ve been promoting and sharing my blog more on Instagram and Facebook, and I guess it’s paying off nicely. I even ran two Facebook ads which increased my social media fan base quite a bit, and my readership is growing. I deleted Tumblr though for good (who really uses that platform?) so right now, the only ways to show your support for my blog are:

  • here in the comment section,
  • subscribing by email,
  • pinning posts on Pinterest,
  • liking and sharing on Facebook and
  • following me on Instagram.

Any of the above would be appreciated, costs nothing and takes little to none of your time! 🙂 Also, I finally purchased the blog, dropped the .wordpress from the domain name and customized the pages a bit to suit my tastes some more. Check out the most recent edit to my travel page where you can find ALL my adventures in one easy-to-use directory arranged by parish, but if you’d rather find posts by category (ex. waterfall, beach, museum etc.), you can select from the drop-down menu under the Explore Jamaica tab. There’s also now a Useful Stuff tab where you can find all sorts of helpful ways to enjoy Jamaica, and I have a few ideas for that too in the works so stay tuned!

Wrap Up

This is my HUNDREDTH post on here. What a milestone!

Last thing I’ll leave with you is a reminder to leave your comfort zone more. Travel lots even if it’s just to the neighbourhood park down the street. 👣 I hope your 2019 has been great and keeps on getting better. Leave a comment and take care! Have a wonderful week ahead.

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30 comments on “2019: Mid-Year Mark”

  1. How do you get 100 blog posts in while getting your medical degree. You are amazing !!!
    Congratulations on your degree !!! Saskatoon is the name of the city I live in. There are 300,000 people living here and we have 3 hospitals and this fall we will be opening a 4th hospital which will be a children’s hospital.
    Your talk of shortages of staff and everyone having to do more is a world wide issue. There may be differences of scale but when it comes down to the bottom line, everyone does more and makes less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 Those 100 posts (currently 102) are stretched out over the 2 1/2 years I’ve had this blog so I guess it’s not so remarkable, ha. I genuinely enjoy writing, it and travelling to new hidden Jamaican gems are my main hobbies so I make time for them.
      I’m glad you’re getting a new hospital! That must be a welcome addition to the city. Right now Jamaica is training more nurses than how many ever enter our local health sector. They tend to migrate immediately in search of higher wages and in fact we have quite a few doctors doing the same of late. A nurse in Canada and the States often makes more than most doctors locally so it’s hard convincing anyone to stay, that and financial constraints are a huge challenge more often than not. Understaffing and lack of resources can make the job miserable. Nonetheless, I guess passion for the field and serving others keep people in the health sector globally. Seeing someone get better and resume a normal life after being under your watch is priceless.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Bill! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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