Inflight doctor

My dear friend,

You probably have seen them, the scenes in a movie where they ask if there’s a doctor on board because someone isn´t feeling well. It might sound a bit odd, but it’s one of my fears during a flight. Not because I’m afraid that I’ll have to get off my lazy ass to help someone. It’s the fear that in these moments you’ll discover all the skills and knowledge you do not possess. Everything you lack exposed, when you need them the most. And because of that, you won’t be able to help someone when they need you the most.

Well, here’s what happened during my long flight to Singapore a few weeks ago. My husband woke me up because he heard an announcement. A passenger needed medical attention, so he thought I should go. At a moment like this, the shot of adrenaline flowing through your bloodstream will make you feel wide awake. I looked for my glasses and walked to the back of the plane on my socks, because putting on my shoes would take too long. While I straightened out my clothes and hair, I tried to prep myself for all the possible medical situations I might encounter. The flight attendant didn’t sound very panicky, so the situation shouldn’t be too bad, right?

The passenger turned out to be a man of about 70 years old, who, according to his wife, probably had a hypo because he did take his pills, but didn’t eat very well. I took a quick look at my inflight patient and in my head I released a cry of relief. He was feeling better already after a glass of juice. I asked a few more questions and examined him to the best of my ability with the tools I had at hand, to make sure he didn’t had a stroke or a cardial infarction or any other serious problem. Luckily for him AND for me, this story ended in some sort of an anticlimax. My fears didn’t become a reality.

After filling in a report of my findings, I returned to my seat. My brother, who was sitting next to my husband, welcomed me back and concluded his questions with: “And this happens, just when you decided to quit your job and education. Is it a sign?”. HA! This thought I had, floating at the back of my head, he just said it out loud. That’s what brothers are for. The truth is that I didn’t know, and still don’t, what this event meant or if it meant anything at all. I want to leave this as it is, just a coincidence.

During the rest of the flight, I dreamed vividly about other passengers in all kinds of shocking conditions I needed to help. And I was really OK with it, as long as these situations remained in my dreams. I needed some practice anyway.

I hope you are well my dear friend. Thank you for being there for me. Take good care of yourself.

Much love,

Jasmine

First letter

My dear friend,

We’ve known each other for a long time, but It’s the first time I’m writing you a letter like this.

I want to tell you about a recent change in my life. After four years of working in a hospital as a doctor, I decided to quit. You might wonder why in the world I would do something like this, I understand. Being a doctor is something wonderful and sacred. And with that thought, the possibility of helping hundreds of people, I put in a lot of effort to become one. But as you may have noticed, I’ve been quite unhappy the last few years because of my job. It’s hard to say what exactly made me unhappy. I guess there are lots of reasons. I won’t bore you with the details, maybe some other time. The decision to quit a job or maybe even an identity (because that’s what being a doctor is) is a very very hard one. I tried everything to make it work, I struggled, denied. I thought I was being weak and ungrateful, that I failed and that everyone would be disappointed in me. So it took me months or even years to come to this point. The point where I make peace with myself and realize that maybe, just maybe, this job is just not right for me. Nothing more, nothing less. And I have to be honest, it’s incredibly scary. It’s scary to turn your back on something so safe and familiar.

So my dear friend, these upcoming days I will try to keep my head up and be strong. I’m going to be brave, brave enough to take control of my own happiness, even if it means stepping into uncertainty.

Wish me luck. Hope you are healthy and happy.

Lots of love,

Jasmine