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26hr photo project: "Sometimes, we don't know what to do with all the emotions..."

This photo series by a resident doctor in Calgary documents the stories of physicians before and after their call.
By: Rebecca Hay
November 30, 2020
Photo: Rebecca Hay (Instagram)

Dr. Gaya Narendran says: "Positivity can really be so important and needed, but we don't talk enough about how it can also be toxic, and make people feel more lonely. We have so much in common in this experience that we don't have to feel as lonely as we do. Sometimes, we don't know what to do with all the emotions we're feeling, and it's easier to be positive; but it can also feel isolating. If all someone is seeing or hearing is positivity, they may think that's how they need to handle any stressful event, and think their negative feelings aren't valid, aren't as important, and unwelcome. It's good to focus on the good things and can be healthy coping, but to ignore everything else can be harmful too.

"The times I feel better is those interactions where I find myself to be vulnerable; those connections most often happen with families. Sometimes we're holding ourselves together by a stitch, and we can't let it all out in order to keep going, and positivity is a necessary coping skill. We show up emotionally and vulnerably for our families because it's what we do and we want to help, and maybe that makes it harder to do for each other." Swipe to see Dr. Narendran before and after call (after shown first here).

About 26hr photo project: Photographer Rebecca Hay is a resident physician training in Paediatrics in Calgary. "Physicians commonly work shifts up to 26 hours long—often without breaks or sleep, caring for families and vulnerable people. A lot can happen in that time, both beautiful and exhausting. I started the photo project "26hr" to highlight the human aspect of medicine and the incredible people working these shifts, and to explore their stories and perceptions."

Rebecca is on Instagram as @liferecaptured.

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doctorsmed studentsheartwarming

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