And For Today’s Catastrophizations

Will be going on a 2-week trip next week, and as usual the universe has sensed it and decides to make each day leading to it as toxic as possible. Started the clinic at 8 am, and by my count today I saw: 9 patients for chemotherapy, 9 patients for outpatient consults, 5 inpatients, 3 tele-consults, and countless messages through all possible online platforms that ask for replies NOW. In the midst of all this busy-ness the CEO of the hospital has called to say that he would be coming over at my clinic in the Cancer Center. Immediately I tried to recall if I had recently committed any infraction that deserves a principal’s office-level of reprimand (a learned behavior all the way back from elementary school). He arrived with 7 copies of the book for signature, much to my relief. Even as he was leaving I imagined that he would remember something, ala Columbo, and say, “Oh by the way, there are 64 Philhealth forms you haven’t filled up yet…”

In the spirit of whining: I didn’t even have time to drink water, have lunch, or pee. I did get to pee, but even as I was peeing the phone I had left on my table started ringing. Of course. The anxiety would have been mitigated by telling myself that everything can wait, but med school and specialty trainings have conditioned us to do everything now, right now, ASAP, without fail! Or else get called to present in an audit.

I just hope nothing terrible happens before the trip, like contracting COVID, or an entire building crashing down on me. While I was walking on the parking building I saw water dripping from the ceiling, and I suddenly imagined all five floors crumbling and crushing me to bits. I’ll start packing little by little in the next few days. Who am I kidding, I’ll just stash things randomly into the luggage a night before, and sit on the luggage to fit everything in. Jaime had asked if I want to rent a pair of ski boots, or if I just want to buy in Decathlon. I have no idea how to ski–the last time I walked on ice in Sapporo pre-pandemic I almost slipped multiple times and hit my head on the pavement. I survived that trip without any injuryback in January 2019. A few days later I got slipped in my own bedroom and almost lost my left eye.

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