Updated: Mar 6, 2019
Hello, and warmest welcomes to my Blog!
As I'm sure you're aware of by now, I'm Cayla, a 26 year old Doctor currently doing my internship in South Africa. I'm a dedicated, passionate control freak who suffers from anxiety when things don't go as planned, but I'm also a fun loving, easy going nature freak - the best of both worlds really ;) !
The magical world of medicine and becoming a doctor, passions that have set my soul on fire from the very moment I received a doctors toy set from my parents for Christmas when I was small . There's a connection I have to medicine that I struggle to put into words, but the short and "yoga mom spirituality" explanation would be that it's my soul's purpose and the path I'm meant to follow.
My childhood was spent seeking out as much information as I could possibly fit into my brain, about all kinds of topics; medicine, nature, sports, the universe and galaxies, nutrition, animals and insects ... you catch my drift. This was largely due to my over inquisitive mind. My family has played an enormous role is moulding me into the woman I am today. My father is a very spiritual soul, I grew up with him reading tarot cards, explaining the healing properties of crystals and natural remedies (like curcumin or tumeric, the current hot topic) and followed in his footsteps of seeking answers about everything - there always has to be more. He also had exposure to the medical world through his medical aid company and, therefore, also has a fair understanding of the scientific medical world. My beautiful sister is a Reiki, Crystal and energy healer, full of wisdom about natural ways to heal the body, a natural healer, an incredible mother and one of my greatest teachers. My mother, an incredibly compassionate nurturer, taught me about empathy and kindness, unconditional love and to believe in myself no matter what. My brother, or should I say my side kick, has supported and cared for me from day one, sacrificing so much to ensure I was okay, he taught me about resilience, generosity, selflessness and to fight for what you believe in. Being exposed to scientific based medicine, as well as gaining a more unconventional understanding of supportive healing of the body with naturally based treatments, I grew an intense fascination with finding a way to combine the two worlds to create something extraordinary. This is the direction I wanted my future to follow, I wanted to become so much more than a doctor, I wanted to become a healer.
I've always been somewhat of a "sickly" person, constantly getting the typical illnesses as well as the rarer ones, mostly more than once. I'm that "poor soul" that's had chickenpox twice, mumps a billion times, I've been in and out of hospital, I've lost all of my rudimentary organs except for my spleen - can you see where I'm going with this? Hence, I didn't get the grades I was hoping for in school and as a result I didn't even consider applying to study medicine. Instead, I completed a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy, Medical Cell Biology and Physiology, knowing I would eventually try and join the Graduate Entrance Program for Medicine. This process allowed me to discover that my passion for this medical world burned brighter that I ever thought possible and I soared through the degree. I then entered the bridging course into medicine and was finally on the path to what I knew would be a bright and meaningful future. In the blink of an eye, but what seemed like eternity at the time, I completed my medical degree and BAM, just like that my dreams came true and I was finally a doctor.
Have you ever felt so connected to something, something that feels so perfect and so right, that nothing could ever stand in the way of you and this thing? That's how I feel about this life in the medical world. So much so that it almost broke me. The ability to help people who are so desperately in need, to spend time lost in the marvels of the human body, to connect with people on an indescribable level, and to constantly seek out more, these are the things I love about what I do. These are the reasons I wake up excited to go to work and embrace the challenges of each day, hoping to overcome them and learn from them. These are the things that kept me pushing through the exhaustion, the illness, the mental and emotional breakdowns, the grueling hours with absolutely no sleep. Unfortunately, when you give so much of yourself to everyone else, you leave very little to give back to yourself. Last year was an exceptionally challenging year and to end it off, I was dealt a life changing and life threatening autoimmune disease diagnosis, as well as Burnout and Adjustment disorder. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health were screaming for me to slow down and take a break, so eventually, with immense convincing from my Doctors, family and friends, I did just that. As I've chosen an integrative approach to my disease management by combining Western and Eastern medicines, meditation and yoga, heat and cold therapy, a strict diet regime and journalling - to the dismay of some of my closed-minded doctors - this time off will allow me to heal and revive myself, so I can get back to being the energized, happy, hard working doctor I know I am and I can't wait to be again. This journey is allowing me to walk down the path I've always known I'd need to walk, the path between the two contrasting yet remarkably similar and vitally important worlds of "healer" and "doctor". My greatest hope is that I reach my ultimate dream of becoming someone who can balance the two worlds and use them to bring about change.
This blog will share with you my journey, from the incredible moments I've had at work, to my disease and healing process, to travel, food and so much more. The most important aspect of this blog, for me, is to create a place where people can share their stories of whatever challenges they're facing - health, mental, personal - it doesn't matter, a place where questions answered (to the best of my ability and possibly with the help of my colleagues), and a space where everyone will feel supported and encouraged.
I'm excited and grateful to share this journey with you, and hope to hear about some of yours too.