One of the funniest things about medicine is the dark humour and inner monologues that can occur within a doctor’s head. Ok, maybe that’s too generalized to let me personalize- I definitely have had moments where there are two conversations, the one I’m having and the one I wish I was having. Fortunately, I have friends and colleagues that do this too which results in some hilarious conversations usually along the lines of-
Me: So I told her, “Blaugh de blah”
Doctor friend: [gaspy laugh]: You did NOT!
Me: Of course not, I told her “Bleeky boo” but I wanted to tell her “blaugh de blah.”
I think part of the problem for me is that I was raised in a family that valued a little flexibility with recounting events in order to never get in the way of a good story. Of course, I clarify to make sure everything is ultimately accurate but the initial shock value in really telling someone what you were really thinking can be oh-so-satisfying to the story-teller. Ok, ok…me.
Yesterday, I had a really weird experience of telling a patient she had to go home. As in, “You are and will go home.” I’ve never had to be that direct with someone before but I’ve also never dealt with someone who was trying to (really, really obviously) game the system. Granted, she initially did require inpatient care but when she improved and was ready for discharge, a plethora of symptoms came up that she stated she would not leave until they were “worked up.” Which to her, meant very expensive, needless radiology imaging. So, instead (and more appropriately), I had internal medicine examine her and then discharged her when all was verified to be well.
This weekend was definitely my comeuppance for my “Tra-la-la, I’m such a white cloud attitude!” After 4 spookily quiet weekends, my pager exploded this weekend. Whah. It is funny though because when I said how much call sucked in front of one of my attendings I thought to myself, “Tierney! You should be telling him that you think the only bad thing about having call two weekends a month is that you miss the good cases from the other two weekends.” Then I thought, “Bullshit, call DOES suck. That’s why they make residents take it. And there’s hardly ever any good cases, only painful consults.”
But, to not be too woe-is-me, I did have a break Saturday morning and part of Sunday morning. And I didn’t get paged between 2-6 each night so I guess that was nice (no, it sucked! It was only 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep! <–future Mom me is looking at that sentence and laughing).
What did I do with that time? I read Bossypants by Tina Fey which was pretty good and I went to brunch with my friends at Starlite which was also good although I made a poor menu choice. What about “eggless frittata made with veggies and smooth garbanzo flour” sounds bad? How about that it’s borderline tasteless? Oh well, at least I was healthy!