Wildest Night!

I kid. I remember in college that Thursdays were the start of the weekend. This October, my Thursdays have been marked by desperate reading of multiple articles before talks and quizzes on resident academic day. I love academic day. The fact that Friday is marked by a fairly serious commitment to education is pretty sweet. Except when I have loads of articles to read and it’s already late. Fortunately, I only have 6 more to read tonight.

Work is going pretty well. I’m paying the price for my two nights of call in early October and my week of leave by being on call almost every day these past two weeks. I’ve been VERY lucky with the pager although last night I got paged by an ER staff doctor in a snit. I was told that I HAD to come in because MY patient was now in the ER 6 hours after surgery saying that he couldn’t breathe. Since this did not quite jive with the surgery he had, I asked what his exam showed. Mmmm, well, I was once again informed that this was MY patient and I had to go in.

Now, this was not exactly my patient. But the ER staff was irritated that this guy came in as a seeming “patient dump” by ENT and she was not going to have it. Sigh. Nevermind that she was there and would get to go home at 7, while I was working the entire next day, But since I was the ENT duty doc and this was a rather insignificant issue to take an awesome!stand! against the ER, I went in. But earlier that evening when I got home, I realized I had left my keys at work. Kelly let me in (thank you!), but now that it was two in the morning, I was 2 miles away and functionally carless. So. I packed my lunch and ran to work at 1:45 in the morning. Blech.

Once I was there, the patient stated that he couldn’t breathe when he lay down. So, I had him lay down. He looked up at me and shook his head. I said, “Open your mouth.” He did. Shockingly, it worked. [I’ve spent the last few minutes trying to type something exceptionally scathing about this patient, but I can’t. Nothing conveys quite the scathiness I feel, in addition to the complete disbelief in the capacity for some people to be complete and total idiots.] Not that I’m judgin- oh wait, yes I am.

So, I went to bed in the call room and woke up, freezing. But after a day of clinic and a gross amount of notes still left to write, I’m now reveling in a call-free night. I made chili for the Halloween potluck. It tastes pretty good. Never fear, I used a separate, one-time-use spoon to taste not only because I try to cook in a sanitary way, but I also have a huge fear of being that person who brings the dish that makes everyone sick. Now, I’m going to finish my articles and go to bed. And that ends my wildest night ever.

Best week ever!

Is it overly jinx-y to have a title like that, especially since I’m on call today? Maybe, but this week at work has been totally awesome. After a few weeks of working in the O.R. with a few things thrown my way, I’ve done a septoplasty, a few FESSs, and a superficial parotidectomy (inferior branch). So! Awesome! I love the O.R. and it’s amazing how quickly time goes when I’m actually operating as opposed to retracting or watching. I mean, those roles are important too, but it’s nice to be transitioning to a more consistently active role.

Oh, and plug of the day! Heirloom tomatoes are amazing! I had a Caprice salad this morning for breakfast and the dish is amazing with a nice, ripe, tomato-y tasting tomato. I used smoked mozzarella, which was ok. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the smoke. But the dish was still amazing with slices of tomato and cheese topped by salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.


For how complex life is, it’s funny how certain things can fit into relatively tidy boxes. I feel that I am pretty good at compartmentalizing, mostly b/c my life seems to consist of little Acts (like a play). Most of it centers on places I lived as a child, then I move on to my varying stages of schooling- high school, college, med school. Then Kitty Hawk time and now I’m in my newest phase, Residency.

Why do I bring this up? Because I spent a good part of the day cutting on dead people. Isn’t that weird? I mean, it’s totally essential for surgical training (do NOT believe the hype about 100% simulation, it’s doggie doo). But really, dead people. I most certainly do not see dead people in the rest of my day-to-day existence and I must confess, I would be more than a little FREAKED!OUT! if I did. But in the lab. No biggie. For the most part. Occasionally there’s a whiff I just can’t shake. But I’m doing well now. Why? B/c I’m home, relaxing, thinking about how awesome life is, and looking forward to tomorrow when I get to repair fractures that staff inflicted. Well, maybe not the waking up at 6:30 on a Saturday bit, but the plating? Awesome.

Wait, what does San Diego mean in Spanish?

I found out 2 days ago that I was selected for an Otolaryngology residency slot in San Diego- hooray! The results from the GME Selection Board were released at noon, EST on 12/12. I was really hoping that everything would work out. Taking my current assignment was something I really wanted, but was slightly risky since I ended up on 2 year orders. My job position, however, goes away once the Kitty Hawk decommissions in July so I’ll be freed up to pursue the next step in medical training.

If I hadn’t been selected, I would have been very sad because it would have meant that the detailer had a very!special!surprise! for me. But now, my tasty treat will be five (5) years in San Diego doing something I totally love. AND, I get to go to the location that has text pagers, robots in the basement, and dark blue scrubs that look quite nice (shallow, no?).

And I will get to see a lot of my USUHS friends when they come back after being hot shot flight docs! They will have cool jackets and nice tans offset by golden wings embellished by acorns.

BTW, even though I mentioned the release time above, I was actually in bed since it was 2 a.m. here. But I did find out at 0630 since I slept on the ship that night, not because of the results release but because I left my apartment keys on the ship. By the time I figured that out after getting a lovely haircut at Landmark tower and going out to the Kirin beer hall, it was 2300 and I was at my train stop. So, I switched platform sides and went into work a few hours early.