An update to my 8/18/2019 story “On leaving a competitive residency and burn out”

Of note,

This post is a follow-up to my previous story on leaving a competitive residency (Urology, PGY3 in 2014) after getting burnt out. The link is here: https://doctorsrus.medium.com/on-leaving-a-competitive-residency-and-burn-out-3a78e0eb0fd9

I am active on https://www.reddit.com/r/Residency/, my reddit handle is FibromyalgiaFightrMD (fighter spelled w/o the e).

Over the years, I have noticed increasing posts on r/Residency from my Residency brothers- and sisters-in-arms about Residency burn out, depression, anxiety, and thoughts of quitting medicine. I have felt a measure of their deep suffering that they do not share with words in their posts. I responded to several posts, but deep in my heart I wanted to do something more.

I have also noticed that out of the few stories that I published before, during my short stint as a “blogger”, that this particular story gets the most consistent attention, with over 8,000 views since 2019, which makes my heart sink since that is approximately 2,600 readers per year who are burning out or concerned about burn out. Most found this article on Google.

The past two years of my personal life was incredibly difficult. I have had chronic pain affecting my spine and major joints that stemmed from a severe car accident that occurred in 2014, weeks before I resigned from Urology Residency as a PGY3. This MVA played a significant role in my decision to resign from Urology, contributed in a large part to my burn out experience prior to resigning, and instigated an insidious progression to chronic pain and disability.

My Fibromyalgia progressed over the years. At the time I wrote the original story below (which I left entirely un-edited), I was having noticeable disability and failed traditional pain management. I was referred to specialists in Ortho, PM&R, PT, OT, Rheum, tried all the recommended medications (opioids/NSAIDS/Muscle relaxers and an alphabet soup of anti-depressants).

Months after writing this Medium story on leaving residency and burn out, my functioning rapidly declined, my chronic pain condition became severely disabling and I could not sit or stand or even lay supine for more than 10 minutes without incredibly uncomfortable stiffness and pain.

The pandemic also elevated my daily stressors when I found myself unemployed and living in very real fear of poverty. I grew up with poor immigrant parents, English was my second language, and I was teased for the clothes I wore up to high school. To say that I went through my own personal hell is a huge understatement. To add to the misery, I became distrustful of the traditional medical system, and stopped believing in all standards of care for Fibromyalgia. I started to use weed to numb my brain and body to the daily stressors of mental and physical health issues. It started off as occasional use and progressed rapidly during the time that my pain and functioning was significantly worsened.

Thankfully, I have been recovering for well over a year from my mental health issues, chronic pain issues, and addiction to weed issues. I was able to pick myself back up slowly and currently have been working part-time to support my family. My wife also started working around this time, which lifted a lot of the financial burden that I was causing my family.

Presently, I have not touched weed and am not concerned that I will ever use it for the same (seemingly hundreds) of “use-cases” that kept me addicted to weed and perpetuated my genuine belief that weed was “my only crutch” while in the deepest and most painful phase of my weed addiction and Fibromyalgia.

I want my recovery story to be known to those that will benefit from it the most. I want to start writing again and reach deep into the hurt souls out there that are suffering the way I have suffered since resigning from residency. I want my darkness to shed light to those who have been living in the dark and are fearful that they will never see light again. I want to use my painful experiences, and the difficult lessons that were extremely bitter pills to swallow each day, to bring joy and hope to those who stopped believing in joy and hope.

If you are reading this from my Reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/Residency/comments/u8bdga/advice_for_residents_who_are_suffering_from_burn/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3), or if you found my story on a Google search result, I highly recommend that you sign up for a free Medium account and add yourself as my follower on Medium to get further stories.

I will share my burn out experience and my recovery process from previously disabling Fibromyalgia (I still have “whole body” pain and stiffness symptoms that are MUCH reduced after months of daily dedication to moving, thinking, and breathing differently… thanks in large part to the Wim Hof Fundamentals course, which taught me how I can use my brain, body, and breath differently — I will DEFINITELY elaborate much more on my personal Wim Hof experience and how it profoundly changed my pain and addiction disease course… albeit slowly and painfully). I will also share about my experiences with using https://www.regain.us/, for severe marriage issues where I almost caused my wife and I to divorce on many occasions, and https://www.betterhelp.com/ for my chronic life-long issues of anxiety, depression and trauma (my ACE score is 8/10 https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean). I am not sponsored by Wim Hof, Regain, or Betterhelp but I am truly and deeply grateful for these services… they saved my life, my marriage, my family, and my legacy and I strongly encourage anyone curious or hurting enough to try them out.

I am aware that the topics of residency burn out, disabling chronic pain, and weed addiction are incredibly somber and serious issues. I take each subject matter very seriously and I will use the benefit of my playful personality to share my story in a “fun” manner that will hopefully help reach deeply to those of you who need it most.

My future project is starting my own blog if there is enough interest on Medium.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any subject that I described above. I am not here as a medical doctor. I am not a pain specialist nor addiction specialist. I am not a medical career counselor. I am on here as a flawed human who has benefited immensely from being accountable to my previous sins (I define “sin” not religiously… I am not religious, I define sin as anything I do that makes me feel regretful/remorseful). I am here to share my heart to those who are suffering deeply. My own experiences have taught me that sometimes the “Doctors” who will love and care for us the most is ourselves… and that we have to learn to love and care deeply for ourselves to get the best healing from traditional medical doctors and other health providers including mental health and integrative medicine.

I would really appreciate any and all feedback in the form of commenting on my posts. Please check out my original story of my burn out and abrupt resignation from Urology in the beginning of PGY-3, a word of caution to those thinking about resigning, and some personal recommendations that I would have told myself back in 2014 before quitting Uro. Again, the link is here: https://doctorsrus.medium.com/on-leaving-a-competitive-residency-and-burn-out-3a78e0eb0fd9.

If you read this far, THANK YOU for your curiosity and time. I am rusty with my writing but I promise to practice and show up as much as I can.

Much Love!

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Doctors R Us

Doctors R Us

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Medical Doc in primary care, hubby & dad. Recovering from chronic unwellness and addictions. Healing from ego driven suffering. Inspiring others to self-heal