Weight on My Shoulder

Ever since I have chosen this career, I have this feeling of weight on my shoulder every time I am at work. There’s always something around my neck.

It’s not that I feel like Atlas, the Titan in Greek mythology who was condemned to hold up the sky for eternity. No, nothing like carrying the world on my shoulder.

I know this profession can be stressful. And in fact it is always in the top 10 of most stressful jobs in the world. Though it may not be as much stress as police officers, fire fighters, and enlisted military personnel.

On the other hand, at least our profession is handsomely compensated. I agree though that the salary for police officers, fire fighters and the military should be increased, for the services they provide and the risks they take just to perform their duties.

But this weight on my shoulder and this feeling of something hanging around my neck could be a badge of pride as well. A symbol of our profession if you will.

Come to think of it, there may be other ways to bear this, but this is the easiest way to carry this load. That is around our neck. Thus I would always carry this weight on my shoulder, perhaps until I change career or until I retire.

Like what the Beatles’ song say:

Boy, you gotta carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time,
Boy, you gonna carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time.

If you’re wondering what is this weight on my shoulder?

I am just pertaining to the stethoscope that I always carry around my neck when I am working.

Were you thinking of the load of responsibility that we are burdened with? Well, that too. Especially when we’re in charge of the ICU.

By the way a stethoscope only weighs 6 ounces, which is not even half a pound. Unlike the taho vendor in the Philippines who has to carry that enormous weight on their shoulders as they go through streets after streets, just to make a living.

I really have nothing to complain about.


Changing Weight

With all the current fascination on weight-watching, it is interesting how our weight can fluctuate. And I am not even talking about the gamut of weight change over one’s lifetime. Our weight can change considerably even in a span of a day.

Are you not boggled on how a boxer’s weight is so much different during the official weigh in than his weight during the actual fight? And that’s just in about a day later. Like when Margarito fought Pacquiao in the super welterweight: he weighed 150 lbs. during the weigh in, and was 165 lbs. during the actual fight the next day. A difference of 15 lbs. in a day! By the way, Pacman weighed 145 and 147 lbs. respectively.

Pacquiao and Margarito weigh in

Pacquiao and Margarito during the weigh in

So I experimented, and checked my weight in 24 hours, without doing any extreme measures:

152 lbs. – That was in the gym, after running 2 miles in the treadmill with adequate hydration. Before you comment on how slight my weight is for a man in his 40’s, I want to tell you that I was a measly 115-pound kid when I was in college. I was so skinny I could fly whenever the wind blows. And that was in a 172-cm frame. (Sorry, I have to use metric system, since it sounded much taller.)

154 lbs. – After having dinner. I was 130 lbs. when I first came to the US. I gained the 20 lbs. in the first several months of living here. That must be the American hamburgers and fries instead of my previous rice and tuyo. However, since then I maintained my weight in the super welterweight (147 – 154 lbs.) for the past 10 years or more. That means eating healthier with less hamburgers and fries too.

150 lbs. – After waking up in the morning, and after a trip to the bathroom. That was more than 12 hours since my last meal. My dinner must have weighed 4 pounds!? I wonder if I fast for a day, how much less will I weigh? In the same token, if I eat like in a Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas feast, how much more weight will I pack?

149.5 lbs. – After taking a shower in the morning, and still before having breakfast. That was almost 5 pounds less than my heaviest weigh in. This just means one thing: my “libag” (skin debris) must have weigh half a pound. Yikes!

The conclusion of my experiment? I should take a bath more. And I don’t think that is an extreme measure.