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12 November 2010 @ 08:35 pm
disinihibited post-call  
At five am this morning, I was called to take blood cultures on one of my own patients. (This is notable only because on call I cover five or six specialities and usually never see my own patients at all. THANK GOD.) I have witnessed some pretty impressive somatisations in my time, but this man running a temp JUST as he was on the point of discharge - AGAIN - was stellar. (As of eleven am: he managed to get himself a UTI. I don't even.) For some reason, as I was filling out the micro form in between using my pen to prop open my eyelids, I started ruminating on the film Shallow Hal. I can't remember, you see, whether the spell was invoked to make Jack Black see 'true beauty' or 'the real you'. If it's the former - meaning a nice fat girl was seen in the guise of a skinny girl - does that mean the film was implying that mean skinny girls are actually fat? It really bothered me, especially as I was called at six (oncology patient passed) and seven (had to do a group and crossmatch that the team KNEW ABOUT yesterday and SHOULD have done before) and never actually got back to sleep. I don't even like that movie, or Jack Black!

... CALL.

Deaths, like everything, become easily categorised after a while. There are the ones where a 37 year old man with a two month old baby passes away following a shock diagnosis of malignant melanoma only a short time before, and you sit in the office and look at your reflection in the window and your eyes get bigger and you wish you had a Diet Coke. And there are the ones that smell, so so bad, and while you're in there you tell the body, "I could stand here for two minutes and do nothing and it wouldn't make a difference. Me not listening to your chest for the breath sounds that aren't there won't make you deader."

Occasionally we get some nice pulp magazines in the res instead of worthy free shit like the Irish Medical Times. ("Doctors not compliant with EWTD! Accident and Emergency departments understaffed!" How does this count as news?!) In one of them I read about Stephen Fry's statement to the effect that women only have sex to gain relationships. (I tell a lie. I read that in radiology the second time I was urgently called down to resite an NGT that coiled.) Of course it's ridiculous to make such sweeping statements, but in my case? Totally true. I see so many guys that I would like to get to know, chat with, see have we anything in common, hang out, hold hands, maybe kiss, go on holiday, have for a boyfriend. But I'm held back, always, by the knowledge that I'll have to have sex with them at some point. I'm not exceptional enough to get away with not trading that in for the rest. It must have been so restful in the old days, when you wouldn't dream of even kissing your fiance before the wedding (speaking as someone who's only been kissed decently once) and knowing what a blowjob was labelled you a scarlet woman. Lol knows I can't claim religious plausible deniability, but fact is, I'd only have sex in exchange for the ring. (Which is probably why I'll never get one, WOE.)
Current Mood: ditzydelerious
Current Music: this year // the mountain goats
My imaginary friend thinks I'm brilliant.lanitha on November 12th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
It's a cruel thing, really. Like more of the differences between male and female. Guys will consider getting to know you better áfter sex, and females want to get to know the guy befóre having sex...
If it's any consolation, I've been single for 10 years now. Come next January, it'll be 11 actually. It'd be nice to meet someone, but I really don't feel like playing the game. It's so not worth it. Yeah yeah yeah.. 'Twu Love' and all of that... Bah, I say. BAH!

I feel for you on the on-call thing. Your last post made it very clear your sector needs an emergency mentality transplant! Probably ain't gonna happen anytime soon, eh? Wishing you strength to get through it!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 17th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
I wish I knew how to play the game. My mother suggested getting me a matchmaker because she feels I don't make the effort to go out enough ... but even when I do go out, I don't meet guys.

ahahaha, maybe in twenty years? But by then there'll be other crap to deal with. Snails move at a speed of light compared to the HSE.
Rosfoi_nefaste on November 12th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
Re: your comment about the Stephen Fry thing... when I read it, I had absolutely the opposite reaction. At one point, he makes a comment about how obviously women don't like sex as much as men because single women don't purposefully go for no-strings-attached hook-ups, and I was just like "um, dude, wtf do you THINK I did when I was single??"

The thing is, I know a lot of guys who aren't into uncommitted sex, and some who aren't into sex at all, but most of the women I know are kinda like me... and the guys look for relationships and want girlfriends, and the women are all like "dude, I have a career and work 70 hours a week and have hobbies and friends and pets and hell NO I don't wanna date you, but you're kinda hot, so...?" and so generalizations like that make my TEETH hurt, they're just so absolutely wrong based on everyone I know.

But man, the social pressure has gotta suck... I'm so sorry you can't just get what you want out of life, or meet people who want the same as you do! And, btw, you're plenty awesome enough for that, don't EVEN.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 17th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, I totally agree! It's just I don't personally know many - any? - of them; but I live in a small conservative city in a small conservative country working in a rarefied and super conservative job. I always assumed, when I was younger, that I'd be like that too - have a string of lovers to my name was how I believe I described it at one point, lol - but. It just hasn't happened like that, and at this point I'd just settle for one half-decent dude. Like, I would rather get married and have that rather than finding a string, when finding ONE is hard enough.
Difatomelette on November 13th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
I don't think I've ever commented on your non-fic posts but I had to come out of lurking to express how I feel EXACTLY the same way about guys/ring=sex. I try to convince myself that I don't care about never getting 'the ring' and there's only so much time before that fails.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 17th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
The way I always imagine Austen heroines is not having loads of sex, but instead living this quiet and satisfied life with their very best friend, one they can always rely on. And occasionally they share the same bed to make a baby, but that's it. I don't see why this is so much to ask of the twenty-first century. We're supposed to be allowed anything we want now, but apparently not this.
Sereniaserenia on November 13th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
What sucks is being married and knowing you're SUPPOSED to have sex, and still not wanting to! I guess I'm lucky Lachlan respects that, even if he's really not happy about it. 50 years ago, he'd be asserting his husbandly 'rights', whether I liked it or not.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 17th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Which probably illustrates why I will never get married, because I won't even pass step one. :/
lokifanlokifan on November 15th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
I felt Fry was quite wrong (about me in specific; obviously you weren't saying he was right in general!) Partly because I want sex but I'm not looking for a relationship; partly because I'm more attracted to women, and obviously women have to like sex for that to work or we'd just sit looking at each other all night.

Also, um. Are you asexual? Don't want to be a jerk, obviously your feelings don't mean you're necessarily ase, but the way you phrased it made me wonder - and I also don't want to be a jerk if you are and I don't know!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 17th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
Not at all, I think people's sexual appetites are as varied as their palates. I just felt a total sense of 'that's so me' when I read it.

See, I don't know. I know one or two asexual people here on lj, and they don't seem to require any 'relationship' with, say, the opposite sex (I'm not sure what you count as if you're asexual!). Whereas I am very much interested in a relationship, just not so much in intimacy. I'm pretty sure that's because I have intimacy issues, too. So I don't think I can say I'm asexual as a sexual orientation, but I can in the sense that the prefix a- means without - a favourite one of doctors is 'patient was admitted due to chronic acopia'. :D
(Anonymous) on November 16th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
Have you ever read Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin? It's a great book, and gives a lot of food for thought, and it might help you to figure out some things and work out how you feel and why, and what you want. I would really suggest it for some insight.

every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 17th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
I had a look on Amazon - is it one of those uber-scary feminist tracts? I didn't want to go outside after I read The Woman's Room. :(
(Anonymous) on November 21st, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
I dunno- is it scary? I didn't think so, she is a total militant feminist though. I don't think it's a ferocious book though, I just think she scares people cos she asks really taboo questions.
The book is often misrepresented as arguing that all sex is rape- this is definitely not what she says nor what the book says. I just think it's too uncompromisingly philosophical/objective for a lot of people to deal with. I'd say as far as Dworkin goes, Pornography is a scary book. Intercourse isn't, it's just really thoughtful and questions things you're not allowed to question.
yahalomayyahalomay on January 1st, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC)
Hi! I know this is a bit weird, but I was just reading some of your book reviews and, being bored in the wake of the holiday season, had a quick glance at some of your other entries. I read the comments below about asexuality. I just want to say that there ARE asexual people who have romantic relationships. Some asexuals have no sex and no romance/intimacy, but quite a number have no sex but still have a 'relationship', they still 'date'.

I only say this because I was once pretty confused about whether or not I was asexual, and it sounds like you might be exploring it. Hopefully this isn't too out of nowhere. ;)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: xmas: pink sparkly treescoradh on January 3rd, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
No worries, I'm quite used to it (and in my job I have the randomest conversations with strangers too :D).

It is EXTREMELY confusing to me to not know what I actually want. In an ideal world I'd live in a Jane Austen, where babies appear without apparent contact between married couples and intimacy of the physical sort is limited to a fervent hand-press, but mental intimacy is a prerequisite. idk, guys seem like they'd have anyone (but not me), but nakedness grosses me out for the most part ... probably because I usually see it in its sick and unwashed state. :P I can't figure it out, so I'm probably destined to be alone and lonely without ever figuring out what I need. Cue world's tiniest violin.
yahalomayyahalomay on January 5th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
The asexual community (check out the LJ community, or AVEN) as a whole is quite diverse, but there are definitely people who desire mental intimacy but not physical. People who don't have sex, people who don't do sexual acts, because they don't want to. It's actually pretty liberating to know you're not absolutely alone in your not wanting to have sex. With that in mind, perhaps you are not doomed to alone and lonely? :) Not that having a community/knowing about asexuality will solve all your problems, but it does help with easing the confusion and utterly despair that no one will love you ever. :)