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  • Writer's pictureJayma Anne Montgomery

My First of July Lament

This has been a less than stellar year.  My hopes that it would miraculously turn around were abandoned somewhere around the Ides of March.  I have already spoken at length about my disastrous attempt to hold down a part-time job in a family practice clinic, so I won’t rehash that debacle here. 

Recently, a wound care opportunity that I declined to interview for twice in the past materialized again.  The company was willing to give me a four-day work week while still labeling it a full-time job.  And so, I was all set to take a stab at my first solo practice where I would also serve as the medical director/open target--incorporating one of the most misunderstood, misused, and high-risk tools in the wound care arsenal into my routine.  (To be clear, wound care is a low-risk specialty to begin with.) 

It turns out that when you stick a sick patient in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, it requires more than a passing understanding of the physics gas laws governing the mechanics of said chamber.  It would also require the skillset to emergently intervene on barotrauma that might occur to vital organs.  Never mind that these complications tend to occur infrequently.  A cursory look at my track record would quickly bring any village idiot up to speed on the fact that I am just that lucky when it comes onto such things (or unlucky depending on one’s perspective).  Long story short, I found myself backing out of an offer letter and a credentialing process that was very nearly complete.  The good news is that I was only about 10 hours into the required 50+ hours of mind-numbingly boring required online training so…there’s that win.

I now have the very real prospect of starting a part-time wound care job with none of the medical directorship responsibilities or the need for me to mentally masturbate about Boyle’s law.  More importantly, it will afford me the flexibility and time off that I need as a working mom with a list of chronic medical conditions that rivals most active seniors. I should be ecstatic.  This specific position with this company is one I have been chasing down for three years.  And yet, the only emotions I can seem to muster are those of caution, discouragement, and disillusionment. 

These past three years of my career have been grueling and dissatisfying.  I have learned that I am a pretty good physician but that this is not good enough for most clinical practice settings.  The grit, determination, and persistent self-denial that made me such a good doc are the very same things I can’t afford to continue doing indiscriminately anymore.  Now, there is far more to lose.  My children are now old enough to appreciate having me around more and young enough to lament any time I spend away from them.  My body can no longer withstand punishing long shifts and weekslong stretches without time off.  I now struggle to wake up in time to get to work three days a week.  This is my new norm.  I can no longer push past fatigue and other physical symptoms of distress to close charts well past midnight.  If I pass out on the couch and forget to take my evening meds, I pay for it the next day.  If I accidentally take the wrong med or the wrong dose of an as needed med, it could cost me an entire day. 

My patients don’t care that I’m struggling to get a handle on what it means to be a chronically ill patient myself.  My employers obviously don’t care either.  I’m not even sure anymore how long I can sustain part-time work at this pace as I age.  I long ago relinquished the idea of running myself into the ground to afford a resort-style retirement living at sixty-five.  Nowadays I am more and more convinced that we need to scale our current lifestyle down even further and heavily research which countries we can live in comfortably on much less.

I don’t know how to have these conversations with my colleagues who are in the prime of their careers, taking on medical directorships, publishing research, and manning executive positions within their companies.  I don’t know how to even begin to explain the nuances of this strange, uncertain time of my life to my many non-physician friends.  Heck, I don’t even know how to have these conversations with my husband.  I can write about it the way I have always been able to write about anything.  It won’t solve it, but it can help me feel a little less lost and a lot less crazy.

Speaking of writing, my master’s certificate is on hold for the third semester in a row.  I never planned this.  My book sales have been lackluster because I don’t have an infinite well to draw from to fund an advertisement campaign nor do I care to pour my limited time/energy into maintaining a social media presence.  I would prefer to be a social recluse, living in an undisclosed location releasing wildly successful novels every few years.  Talk about living the dream!  It turns out that our culture doesn’t reward good writing, it rewards celebrity and toxic extreme personalities, who then turn around and hire a ghostwriter to pen their books for them.  Maybe ghostwriting is where I need to land but even that takes a reputation and solid connections to make a living.  Alas, my lament is growing tiresome.

I’m not at all certain that I gambled on the “right” career here.  But I am committed to see where this next fork in the road takes me—hopefully on quiet country strolls with plenty of time for fleshing out the three or four book ideas I have bouncing around in my cabeza.


Stay Thoughtful, Friends.


P.S. Also, I didn’t use any photos this post because I’m not sure if I’m being threatened with legal action for the non-monetized use of prior photos on this site.  Gotta love our litigation happy, hoax impregnated society.  I literally don’t know what’s real anymore.


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1 commentaire

02 juil.

This is so very descriptive of what life in a Fallen world looks like, where not only systems are broken but also where our own bodies work against us. It's a reminder that we were meant for so much more, for a beautiful life in a beautiful garden where image bearers are glorious to behold. I lament with you, sister. And I remind you that soon, and very soon, our imperfect reflections will become truly glorious to behold, in a place that is better than Eden. He has promised, and He will do it! Keep looking up! 💖

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