Day 234 Back Above The Diaphragm.

Today it’s a new month: February.  All the fellows changed rotations again today.  Today I moved back above the diaphragm, from obsessing over often blurry ultrasound images of tiny fetuses to a different kind of blurry images of breasts.  I spent the day on reporting, and got through a good chunk of screening and diagnostic breast MRI, and a whole bunch of screening mammograms.  The month-long rotations that my fellowships are divided up into have positives – you get really fast and focussed at the subspecialty area you’re working in all day every day all week every week – and negatives – it’s been months since I reported anything above the diaphragm, will I remember what to do?  Thankfully it’s now my fourth rotation in breast, 2 during my training and my 2nd in fellowship.  I had already written succinct template reports into my voice dictation software profile.  The day went very smoothly and the only hiccups were the usual things beyond anybody’s control, and they weren’t at all stressful.

My main challenge today was walking.  After yesterday’s dog sledding and four-hour drive back to Toronto my thighs were cramping, my legs weak and I was hobbling around like an old man.  After work tonight we had a make-up class for our Learn To Skate course, so I strapped on my skates, my feet throbbed wrapped in hard plastic and I spent an hour slipping around wildly flailing my arms as we went through drill after drill trying to get confidence and balance back.  I wasn’t bending my knees enough today.  I got there in the end.  Kim, the crazy instructor, even awarded us with ice-cold medals.  I’m not sure what event they were left over from but it was nice to receive a medal for having survived her classes.  Even if I fell over twice tonight.

On the way home we stopped at the Indian buffet at the top of Church St.  I need to re-frame the advertised “All-You-Can-Eat” into “Choose-What-You-Want”.  With the former I take it as a challenge and end up unable to breath because of a food baby.  I really shouldn’t have had that second plate tonight. Daniel just sat and laughed at my misery.

Apart from not being able to see family and friends I’m really not missing home right now.  The WA State Government is wasting my tax dollars (A$20 million I think is the reported cost) on culling sharks (what an expensive intervention for a questionable outcome), something that has made the news on the radio as we drove through Muskoka on Saturday.  Our Federal and State governments are still oppressing people like me through their inaction towards or opposition of basic social equality.  This Irish drag queen describes quite clearly what it’s like for a gay person to live in Australia (even though her experience is of Ireland):

Daniel is always tactile and affectionate, wherever we are.  Back home in Perth I would actually punch him in the ribs to push him off me in public because I felt uncomfortable because you never know who is watching.  I don’t like getting yelled at from passing cars or teenagers going down the opposite escalator.  Like Orwell’s thought crimes, living in Perth is living in a society where self-censorship becomes second nature and you don’t actually stop to question, why?  I haven’t worried about holding hands while walking down the street or a quick peck on the cheek, or lips even, after work if we meet at the subway station.  Nobody sniggers here, nobody points on the bus, nobody yells out, “FAGGOT!”.  Maybe it’s because we’re living downtown, or because it’s so bloody cold and everybody is wrapped up in their down jackets and we all look the same.  Whatever the reason, I’m not missing my home town in the slightest right now.  I love my job, I love the travelling we’ve been doing: my life right now is pretty damned good.




2 thoughts on “Day 234 Back Above The Diaphragm.

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  1. The title of your posting reminds me of Ambrose Bierce’s definition in The Devil’s Dictionary of “diaphragm” as “A muscular partition separating disorders of the chest from disorders of the bowels . . .”

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