January 10, 2009 rooroo

The great thing about having had a brief flirtation with anxiety in the past is that going to medical school catapults you into really having to deal with it and ensure it doesn’t rear its ugly head again (especially in front of a patient – which hasn’t yet happened *sigh of relief*). Most people who are secure enough to admit it will state that the first clinical year is a steep learning curve; you’re in a hospital environment rather than the comfort of the lecture theatre, every few weeks you have to get used to new consultants and staff members on the ward. Years ago, I would have walked backwards through hot coals* in order to avoid using the telephone – so the first few times I had to walk up to a patient aka a perfect stranger in their hospital bed and ask if I could take their history and examine them, I was boiling a few eggs inside. 

Despite this, I’m doing ok. Year 3 came and went at lightning speed, and I’m already a third of the way through Year 4. Come the end of August, I start my final year. Again, I think I’m dealing with this, my subconscious on the other hand feels like a Lolcat on repeat: “WTF, WTF, WTF!”

For as long as I can remember having exams, I would always dream that my teeth were falling out. These dreams would become more frequent as exams or results came closer. The premise was pretty constant: I would be running my tongue over my teeth, and as soon as I got to an incisor on the left hand side, it would move akin to a child moving a loose tooth with their tongue. After that, it was a mixed bag. Sometimes I would lose all my teeth, sometimes I would force the tooth back into my gums and pretend it was fine, only to find it loose again on chewing food. On one occasion I went to a dentist, but refused to be examined by them due to their lack of anaesthetic (and clean instruments). Two months ago I had a dream that I pulled out an adult tooth, leaving a patch of gum. Three nights ago I flicked my tongue over that area and the tender gap remained.

A quick consultation with Dr Internet and there are about 20 explainations for the tooth-loss dream sequence. If I was to take it seriously and pick what seems to fit me best; my take on it is that I have worries about change and transition. And with the breakneck speed that my final 2 years seem to be going at, I suppose I have to get used to the sweet relief of waking up to find the pearly whites all intact.


* I think I do want to walk on hot coals, but my motivations are different.


Entry Filed under: body image

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