Monday, October 22, 2007

Bad day

When you wake up in the morning you don't expect the next cycle of your life to go wrong. You might dread the chores or tasks you have to perform but the view is you don't think today will be a bad day. This is what happened to me - today was suppose to be an easy day but it turned out for the worse.

Today was the initial day for my Medicine rotation and started off with an orientation meeting. I was slightly disturbed to find my name off the list and had to inform the administrative staff of the department to correct the error. The matter sorted itself out without a fuss but I felt disappointed by the incident. My situation of repeating the year was known more than six months ago and the error left me with the impression my predicament was not appreciated by the department. It is not difficult to stick a name into a group and all I'm doing is attaching myself to this group - it won't disturb the earth's axis or something disastrous like that.

This little incident was nothing compared to the news I received in the afternoon, that I failed my psychiatry test and would have to repeat the examination in March. I guess it wasn't expected - I had an inkling the examiner wouldn't pass me for my interview technique (I adopted the approach of having a chat with the patient instead of directed questioning). My mother always wants to find reasons for these kind of situations - I was too casual in my studying during this rotation, I watched too many videos on my laptop, etc. I tried to explain to her sometimes these things happen, that life doesn't always have an explanation.

Naturally I felt saddened by the news. I know many people are concerned when my mood goes down. When I get depressed, it is not long before I start thinking about suicide and all those nasty thoughts. This time I know what is happening and I can stop myself thanks to the cognitive behavioural techniques I have been taught by my psychiatrist. So this time around I'm OK. I don't need people reading this blog stopping halfway and frantically contacting me just because they haven't this portion. Unusually (or this maybe usual, since I don't know if any other people have this phenomenon) I get very severe chest pain, difficulty in breathing and an indescribable sensation in my arms; an aching, tired sensation like I have been electrocuted.

What bothered me more was my group peers and the impertinent pursuit of who had failed. As you might expect, we are notified anonymously as only our examination numbers and not our names are produced. Yet there are people who try to find out who has not passed. There are two many reasons why I don't like this. They are only wanting to confirm that THEY have not failed, since they can't be bothered to remember their own examination number and are always scared it is theirs. The second reason is for their own curiosity. They are not going to be empathetic/sympathetic to the person who has failed. How do I know this? Because I pointed I was one of the three people who failed and only one person out of several had the decency to be nice.

All this was happening while the class was having their group and class photos being taken. Something which would have taken fifteen to thirty minutes was stretched to an hour, just because people cannot shut up and listen or turn up on time. Why is it Hong Kong people cannot think about these things and only think for themselves?

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