This post has nothing to do with toothbrushing, except for the casual mentioning of the profession of dentistry in a general sense. But I feel it portrays the overall broad feeling of the post, my life at times feeling very ordinary and regimented--like the need to brush twice per day, regardless of the daily circumstances.
I stayed after clinic today to tie up a few loose ends for case presentations on Monday and my OR cases for next week.
About 7 pm I tried my best to dust off the lab materials from my face and clothes, changed out of my scrubs, and headed to the after-hours cafe. I made the seemingly long walk down to the cafeteria to pick up some dinner to feed my husband and myself tonight. As I walked, I checked my facebook and instagram (Yes, I am one of THOSE people who walks and phones at the same time. There just isn't enough time in the day to check those things when I am not walking.).
And then I realized, everyone is on vacation right now. Everyone is having fun right now. Everyone is enjoying time with their family right now. Everyone has summer off. Everyone never has to work. Everyone gets to do what they want to do, like clean the bathroom sometime this month, see their husband, have friends. Everyone.
As I carried my glamorous cafeteria-made pizzas in my backpack, hopped on my $14 garage sale bike (for commuting), hoping to see my husband sometime soon and that we will be awake enough to enjoy each other's company, I was definitely feeling the sacrifice of residency.
I enjoy my job. And today was over all a pretty good day, and I'm not meaning to complain. But sometimes it feels like I am living a very artificial and sterile life. I wonder what it must be like to actually know what the weather is like outside without having to ask someone. To go to the grocery store or bank in the middle of the day. To have a chore chart or laundry schedule (and stick to it). To notice a difference between summer and winter besides the setting on my thermostat at home.
I try to remind myself, "This week I fixed three faces" (among other things). I changed the lives of these people forever. Hopefully they will have an easier time eating the foods they enjoy. Maybe they will have the increased confidence they need to be successful. Perhaps they will be free from physical or emotional pain associated with their facial deformity.
I guess maybe it is worth the sacrifice.
But sometimes I still think it would be nice to go for a mid-morning jog or take a spontaneous overnight trip.