Monday, September 17, 2007

No pain no gain

There are many differences between my professional past and present but the most pronouced difference today is physical. Except for hitting my head on ceiling mounted operating scopes several times during residency, ophthalmology was never physically demanding and ironically, this factored into my choice to pursue ophthalmology in the first place. On the other hand, kitchen work is essentially manual labour requiring strength and stamina in addition to hand skills and coordination. Adjusting to this environment is challenging at times because my small frame and accompanying muscle mass are disproportionate to the task at hand not infrequently.

Several body parts have been most affected. Perhaps, I am the only person who will ever admit to chronic wrist tendonitis secondary to studying and knitting, which is now exacerbated by carrying heavy vessels and trays. My hands also have tell-tale signs of food industry work, decorated with scars from scrapes and burns on the right and the odd cut on the left (since I am right handed). As well, washing dirty equipment in the "dish pit" at work results in wicked back aches. Luckily, my feet have been largely unaffected because of my beloved clogs.

The above discussion may resemble complaining but it is not. Instead, it serves as a reality check to anyone who might believe that being in pastry is a glamorous or perhaps, romantic occupation, as sometimes seen on television. My new profession is within the blue-collar realm; however, my worst day in the pastry kitchen so far has still been better than any day at the clinic and ultimately, this is why I would happily not trade places with my former self no matter how fatigued my body feels at the end of a hard day's work.


Anonymous said...

Hallejujah for clogs! And your body will get used to it, trust me. You're doing good. :)

Charmaine said...

Thanks Fionna! I don't know how you do it :)