27 November 2009

still operating

and by that i mean that i'm still on surgery... but have since my last post completed both my 3 weeks in vascular surgery and my 2 weeks in transplant surgery. yipppeeeee! only 3 weeks to go - and they're at children's. :) i can make it. i know i will.

meanwhile, i'm trying to catch a few winks of sleep to recover. i feel like there are so many stories, funny and sad, that i want to tell. there are so many things i've been learning about myself that i need to write down in the midst of this craziness so that i'll remember when the storm calms. first: sleep.

05 November 2009


it’s the end of my second week on surgery, and i figured it was past due for an attempt at a post. i just sit here blankly staring at the computer screen, mind completely numb, attempting to put into words what life is like right now. here’s a try.

typical day on my current rotation in vascular surgery:

4:15/30am: walk into the hospital

4:30-6:00am: help make the day’s “List” of all the patients (vitals, labs, etc), do ICU notes, do inpatient notes. i think the sun comes up somewhere near the end of this painful stretch?

6-7:00am: round with my intern, 4th year resident, and fellow. we see our 20+ patients in less than 1 hour. (!) then i go back and help my intern change surgical dressings, take out drains, put in orders, etc.

7:00am-6/7:00pm: in the operating room helping operate. back to back operations because our service has 5 surgeons who operate in 3 different suites. (who said anything about meals or bathroom breaks? the tummy growling and the bursting bladder feeling subside after a few hours, trust me).

6/7:00pm: we round again on all our patients, this time with the whole team + the attending surgeon.

7:00pm-ish: finally get home, try to scarf down enough calories at dinner to make up for the rest of the day, pass out on the couch somehow get to our bed by 10pm so i can get up and do it again the next day.

…and, if i happen to be on trauma surgery call (like i was tuesday night and i will be tomorrow night), strike the “going home” part and insert “stay up all night long trying to keep people who got shot in the head from dying” until 4:30am when i head back up to the vascular floor to help my intern and round again.


welcome to my life for the next little while. fortunately (or unfortunately?), henry is taking 3 masters' classes this fall, so he is busy out of his mind too. his day starts a little after mine in the morning, but he works, then goes to class, then usually stays up working on homework until well after i pass out. you can imagine the wreck our apartment is right now.

for right now, life sucks. i work with interns and residents who hate their lives. i try not to think about the hours or let myself hate life. i'm trying to stay as positive as possible. it's all i can do. and - there's the one redeeming factor - you get to do SURGERY. operations are actually pretty neat, and it's amazingly cool to be elbow-to-elbow with surgeons, helping to fix (fill-in-the-blank) in a patient. the hours kill me, but at least i get to spend some of them doing something that helps someone. that's how i get through the day: reminding myself that these long hours are not futile for the patients we help.