I often see people on their way to death in my job.
Sonographers are in a funny position in the medical world. We can’t tell patients anything, we don’t do anything to physically make them better, and we often don’t have a full history of their medical condition.
Yet patients want to know – is anything wrong, how bad is it, how long have I got?
People think our job is all about scanning cute babies and telling parents whether it’s a boy or a girl.
They don’t realise that with that comes miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, genetic deformities and heart-breaking stories.
It can be a tough gig.
The main life lesson I choose to take from my professional world is that I have to appreciate my health and get out into the world and suck up as much living as I can.
Since my last blog, we’ve been able to do that in a huge way. After nine weeks of working at Launceston General Hospital, I took five weeks to explore Tasmania (with husband Chris).
This started with walking the Overland Track, seven glorious days of being outside in the cold, fresh air, with my little sister and Chris.
They say the track can be a life-changing experience. We pushed ourselves physically in an environment so beautiful but isolated and potentially dangerous. I finished a little broken in body (my left knee doesn’t work the same any more), but wholly replenished in soul.
After that we ticked off all the Tasmanian tourist icons we could, including Port Arthur, the South Cape (as far south as you can go in Australia), the east coast attractions of Freycinet National Park, Maria Island (so many wombats) …
… Bicheno and Bay of Fires, and then ducked up the west coast to Strahan with its Macquarie Harbour convict history and Gordon River cruise.
We had so much time we revisited a couple of places – like Stanley and Deloraine.
I returned to work at Launceston, refreshed and keen for another three weeks of work.
Our best friends from home arrived to celebrate “birthday month”, the 30 days between May 24 and June 24, when all four of us become another year older.
This gave us the chance to do some more touristing*, including trying out segways and eating our way around Bruny Island.
(*Touristing is a valid word, I have discovered).
After five glorious months in Tasmania, during which we saw the autumn leaves turning and a smattering of snow, we are heading to Dubbo in Central NSW for my next job.
And we have a fortnight to get there, so touristing, here we come again.