If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
I feel like talking about this because I am sure I am not the only one this year, and I am also not the first nor the last.
This year I chose to work over Christmas because I thought it might be nice for my colleagues, my flights were very expensive, it would have taken me half a day to actually arrive at my parents’ house, so I decided to stay and work. Plus, as a doctor, you can’t really avoid it for ever.
I don’t think I had realised what it meant until this weekend – after working for 8 days in a row, the plan was to rest before another 7-day week. But then it hit me: it was my first Christmas alone in my short 28-year-life, I was suddenly homesick (though I had seen my parents in Summer, I usually see them once a year), and sunken in a suffocating cloud of thoughts; after I had lost most of my family over the last half a decade, it wasn’t difficult to get lost in this.
I am blessed to have a nice NHS family of nurses and colleagues that I will be working with this Christmas. And I am here to offer them and my patients all the joy of Christmas that I can’t share with anyone else.
This is my home after all. And this is the profession that I love.
Why I wanted to talk about it? Because, as nice as some are and they do try to understand, I have struggled to find actual empathy. I obviously couldn’t ring my parents to talk about it, they were sad already.
That is why, if you are far away from your family today, on Christmas Eve, I want you to know that you are not actually alone. I am, like you, looking out the window at the same moon, hoping that my family are looking at it too. If you feel like crying, it’s ok, please do, I know I did. If you want to reach out to someone for help or just a chat, please do! If you want to ring your family to tell them you love them, I urge you to do so!