In the Life of a Fickle Intern

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 19:16

I think this is the first time I’ve ever really wanted a year to end. Though compared to everything else that’s going on in the world, things in my life are pretty inconsequential. Nonetheless, I’ve had my ups and downs this year, more downs than I’m used to. Sadly, I think it’s just part of residency. This has been confirmed by many, many friends and acquaintances going through the same process. Though everything is fine and great now, this year has definitely been a tough one to get through with a lot of little hurtles to overcome. I’m just grateful to not be an intern anymore! My mom has dutifully pointed out that I may have a bald spot from all the hair I lost secondary to stress last year. Such a rewarding reminder of intern year. It’ll grow back, right?

Two thousand thirteen is going to be a big year, whether I want it to be or not. Last leg (1.5 years to be exact) of residency! By the fall of 2013, I will hopefully have a job, a real life, paying job with semi-normal people hours waiting for me when I graduate. Scary!

Though I don’t have resolutions, I do have some goals for the upcoming year: make more time for friends, master the control of my sleep cycle (somehow…), be more social (apparently being tired from work is a lame excuse not to go out according to some people), eat more vegetables, and be more empathetic to my patients (even if they just want some dilaudid). I think these are reasonable!

As for tonight, though I will drag myself from the warmth of my apartment to be semi-social, I think I ultimately will have some alone time with my new-found friend, Sudafed. I have this terrible cold that keeps me nice and congested, waking me up several times a night to say hi. Work is even more brutal when you can’t breathe!

Again, happy new year! Please have a safe and wonderful night! Don’t drink and drive! And the best wishes for the year to come!

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 19:58

Residency is tough, but it’s the hardest during the holiday season because unlike most jobs, every day is the same for us. We don’t get holidays (or weekends or nights…). Last year, I missed my first family Thanksgiving; this year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though I have a great family away from home and I did get to see my own family a few weeks ago, it still kind of sucks. I’m actually on a very light rotation, working on average of 3-4 hours a day just learning, mostly. However, despite having all my weekends off, I’m on sick call, meaning that I am expected to be available 24/7 to cover anyone who gets sick. We all have to do it, but I am still going to pout about it. I can’t travel. I can’t drink. I am just available.

To make the best of this situation (spending Christmas away from home), I have situated myself on the couch surrounded by girl scout cookies, chocolate and hot cocoa. I am hosting my own ABC Family and Disney movie marathon, which is intermittently interrupted with phone calls and text messages from my family and friends. It’s actually kind of nice, in a weird kind of way. Though spending Christmas away from home is not ideal, spending Christmas day doing nothing is kind of amazing.  It’s a free pass to indulge in a guilt-free, chocolate-eating, tv-watching laziness.

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season with lots of friends, family, food and laughter! Happy holidays!

December 10, 2012

Insomnia

Filed under: Daily Lowdown — dailymedicine @ 08:42

If I were in Baltimore, waking up at 6:30 am is almost perfect. I am very much a morning person. So much more productive. Since I’m out west this week, 3:30 am is a tad early to get the day started. Considering I’ve been off nights now for 4 days, my sleep cycle is still off. I think that after an hour of perusing the internet, I’ve caught up on my daily news, stalked a sufficient amount of people, and managed to be semi-productive for work. Maybe I should start waking up at 3:30 more often.

I had an elective medical procedure done on Friday (very elective, nothing to do with my health, and definitely no new plastic parts anywhere!) It was kind of strange being on the other side of the doctor/patient relationship. I had to deal with a lot of different healthcare providers from techs to nurses to midlevel providers to the actual doctor. Everyone was super pleasant except for the midlevel provider! I was thrown off a little by her cold bedside manner. It made me wonder about my own bedside manners. Apart from the extremes, having patients tell me that I’m amazing to drunks cussing me out, I wonder what a normal person would think of me as their doctor…I’m a relatively nice person, I think.

The funny thing about me is that I’m very anti-medicine when it comes to my own personal health. I strongly believe in letting my body take care of itself by taking care of it. I rarely take any medications other than an ibuprofen or tylenol every so often. I was a bit nervous about this procedure. I knew a little too much about what was going to happen. The staff offered me a Xanax (anxiolytic) to calm my nerves and reluctantly, I took it.

Despite only taking 1 mg, I don’t remember much about the night once I got home. My mom told me that I headed straight to bed. She checked on me hourly (probably more often, knowing her) and apparently we had some short, but interesting conversations about colors and butterflies. I don’t remember any of this. Hopefully this will be my only experience with an anxiolytic. It’s really unnerving and kind of funny that I give out these types of medications (narcotics, sedatives, anxiolytics) to my patients all the time! Most of them request the meds by name…

December 3, 2012

Nocturnal Life, Part 2

Filed under: Daily Lowdown — dailymedicine @ 15:58

Though having weekends off is kind of amazing, I am pretty much over working nights. My whole life is on a standstill right now because my schedule is so messed up. Even though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my weekends, I am chronically tired. I sleep weird hours (I woke up at 4 am last night and I just took a 5 hr nap this morning…) and I don’t have any productive hours outside of work during the weekdays. During this last weekend trip, I would wake up at ungodly hours in the morning and just lay there. In return, I literally napped every time we got in the car, whether it was to go to dinner or to the beach or wherever. I felt like an old woman. It was a bit ridiculous.

Despite the crazy sleep schedule, I am having a great month. I really like the new system where as a second year resident, I get to micromanage both an intern and a medical student. For those who know me, I can be a bit bossy and micromanaging is one of my favorite things, at least when it comes to work. I have had some really sick patients which is amazing for my learning, but it kind of sucks for them. This month is making me appreciate my health and the health of my friends and family that much more. I have had a few people coming in on the brink of death, ages ranging from the early 20s to the late 70s. Unfortunately, a few of them did not made it. It’s amazing how fleeting life can be. I forget that sometimes, but I am gently and sometimes not so gently reminded of our fragility almost everyday.

Three more nights and then I am off to California for a much needed break.  I am so deconditioned physically in every way. It’s kind of sad. I am looking forward to returning to a normal person schedule soon.

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