New Year Resolutions -The two months round up.
Ever since the resolution I took on new year’s eve- you know the one where I ranted about my irritation at the continuous jibes and snubs being directed at me every time there was a new piece of news about the obscene amount of money being offered to kids barely out of teens as IIT/IIM placement salaries – I have been religiously following my new year resolution to make more money. Unfortunately not being gifted with enough talent to get into a premium institute and get campus placed for an obscene amount- I have been reduced to doing what I know- trying to make more money from my original profession- the only one I am qualified in- by being more sincere at work and working 24/7. The one thing the wise heads say about a medical practice is if you sit there they will come which means that all-time availability is what builds a practice. But all time availability, the dedication required for it, has an unfortunate side –effect- it reduces your free time and personal time to almost nil.
For the last two months I have reduced my personal engagements to nil. I have given up all my hobbies- including my photo walk trips which I religiously went on every month for so many years. I have not been to a mall or a theater or watched a single movie for the past two months- movies in theatre I mean- not streamed over my tablet. I have avoided scrupulously any form of entertainment or hobbies or personal time at all. I have even skipped a couple of close friend’s weddings not wishing to take the time off from my clinic on the off chance that some patient or the other would choose just that day to visit and not finding me there would go off to some other doctor or worse spoil my name by complaining to everyone that “this doctor is never in his clinic it’s a waste of time to go to him” even if I wasn’t there the only time he came- but that’s how people generally, talk don’t they?.
I have also started going on Sunday morning rounds, sacrificing my regular Sunday sleep-ins, which I last used to do when I was just a kid starting out in the profession. The result of all this dedication is just beginning to show- my practice is up and more patients are showing up daily. Most of them are new patients and referrals through word of mouth recommendations- siblings and cousins and friends of old and satisfied patients. Besides as this is the wedding season I am getting a lot of walk in brides “my marriage is fixed for this month end is there anything you can do for me within that time frame” kind of patients who don’t mind getting a temporary procedure and paying a premium for it- after all it just has to last till the honeymoon trip, right? And the brides sisters, cousin sisters and in one case the bride’s mother too have turned up after seeing what I did to the bride asking “can you do me too like you did my daughter?” Of course madam, he who pays the piper calls the tune and I am at your disposal to make you look more beautiful than your daughter on the day of her wedding, but what happens later on is between you two.
So all in all, it’s been a productive two months and I have been making some money – not obscene big money like those IIT fellows but ok’ish money for a doctor. I can almost buy now a new car or a new mobile phone- both of which cost about the same amount nowadays. But on the flip side, all that continuous work (and pressure and stress) means I have totally lost it when it comes to my own well being. I have put on weight – maybe 5 kilos around my belly- my pants are all so tight they look like skintight jeans and every time I stretch I fear my shirt buttons will pop off and leave me exposed. I have a constant throbbing in the back of my head which I know is a sign of hypertension (high blood pressure) but am afraid to check my own blood pressure for fear of confirming it and having to start taking lifelong medicines for it. My head aches fiercely every single day when I wake up in the morning due to lack of sleep and the fact that I now have Sunday consultations means I miss my Sunday sleep marathon which in turn means that I can’t make up for the lost sleep over the weekend.
I fear that I am hurtling straight towards a heart attack and an early death but that’s the price one has to pay for success in society right? But in spite of all this you know what hurts the most? The fact that the other day I caught myself boasting to someone on the internet that my appointment dairy was full till the end of the month. That hurt most. I remember laughing and mocking my friends and colleagues whenever they boasted of the same and to make the same assertion now- it means that the Borg have now taken me in and I am part of the Borg Collective now (a star trek reference for those who are not fans). Which means that the system has taken me in and turned me into robo-doc. I am no more a human being with hobbies and interests and hopes and laughter. I am a now a thorough professional who is dedicated to work. I have finally grown up and become a responsible adult. Society wins and individualism loses. I held out as long as I could but I am now with you all. Are you satisfied at beating me?