Moving from Trauma to ENT is not only a change of pace, but a whole new canon to learn. I have always loved learning, and as I lay on the couch recovering from surgery, I've been learning more and more about otolaryngology. Today while studying tympanic membrane (eardrum) anatomy, I looked at pictures of ruptured eardrums. I found it ironic that after going from trauma: broken femurs, open fractures, facial trauma and many other graphic injuries, I cringed at every picture of a ruptured eardrum. I guess I was imagining how bad it would hurt? It reminded me of how little tolerance I have for pictures or videos of violence, gore or injuries. I think it must be that when I have a patient in front of me there is a task at hand, but when I'm looking at pictures I just imagine how bad that would hurt if it happened to me. I can stomach most things in the trauma bay, but show my a picture of a broken arm, and I'm highly disturbed.
The great news is that if nothing else I will now have empathy for people who have what appeared to be terribly painful ruptured eardrums, and at best, I have a lot of learning ahead of me, and I'm excited to see where my path takes me.