Friday, August 26, 2016

And we're done...

I made it through residency; wrapped up in June.  I managed to negotiate a stiped that let me take a sabbatical over the summer prior to starting my new job.  Saw family, put my toes in the sand, grew a beard that was much more salt than pepper, and cleared my mind.  As of this writing, I'm one week into a new gig as a Family Medicine doc working 4days a week.  I'm anxious but excited about it; I'm ready to start feeling human again.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bandit Bandit

During a brief reprieve from the pagers, I've managed to hide several pictures of 70s era Burt Reynolds in various places in resident call room: behind the dart board, on the back side of the sleep room doors, in the freezer, on the bulletin board among everyone's snapshots.  Here's the troubling thing that I've encountered, my co-residents (many of them in their 20s and very early 30s) inhabit a cultural landscape where, no shit, someone actually said "Oh yeah, he voiced one of the dogs in 'All Dogs Go to Heaven.'" I died a little on the inside. Absolutely no cultural reference for "Smokey and the Bandit" or "Cannonball Run." So, they will, no doubt, be wondering who in the hell put photos of a hirsute mustache-sporting lothario all around the call quarters.  Oh well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hopefully, it isn't a train.  Between parenthood and the demands of being a physician in the waning days of my residency, it's difficult at best to keep up with writing and impossible for me to post as frequently as I'd like.  In due time, however, I'll post regularly.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Still Nightfloating (5 shifts left)

The hellscape that is nightfloat is on the downslope.  I enjoyed a weekend at home with the family despite sleeping the sleep of the dead and being so thoroughly wiped out such that I couldn't make decisions or carry on a conversation or maintain linear thoughts.

It was a rare February weekend with some sunshine and mild temperatures.  Great to tease you with the promise of spring but saddening to know that March looms to yank the carrot from your grasp.  Still, hanging out at the park with kiddo, Dylan-dog, and Winning Run was pretty great.

On the drive in to the hospital today, the mountain loomed large in the afternoon sun.  Seeing this thing is one of my favorite things about being out here.  It always captivates me and makes me happy.

Hoh boy, 5 more shifts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


So, I'm on my second two-week stretch of night float, that magic time in resident's life when you get to switch your sleep schedule and work overnight in the hospital hustling to admit patients and juggling multiple pagers.  Personally, it's a little fun but can really suck.  First of all, I detest that it takes me away from my family.  Seriously, the most grounding things for me are to see my wife, son, and dog on a daily basis.  This experience, for all of the good things about it, truly robs me of that as I'm not evening going to my house or sleeing in my bed on a daily basis. Instead, I'm staying at a friend's house who is just a few minutes from the hospital.  Luckily, I've got a great air bed, eye shades, and ear plugs.  Still, though, I miss the kiddo and the family.

At times, the chaos in the hospital overnight can be exhilirating: simultaneous cross-cover pages from nurses about patients who either need a Tylenol dose or are crashing (no way to know!) or from the ED to admit patients.  It's neat to be in a normally crowded place in the off hours and see how dim the halls are or how the monitors still chirp and buzz overnight but how it seems a little calmer overnight.

On thing that I do not love is the switching to a nocturnal way of life.  I'm an absolute wreck of a man without adequate sleep.  I will admit, too, that I've moved more and more toward my three-year-old's sleep schedule.  This schedule block, of course, has thrown that away.  I'm living on coffee and adrenaline.  At my age, it's not a sustainable combination.  Luckily, just when I'm really adjusted to the schedule, it'll be time to switch back to days.  Yippee!

Over halfway done with residency.  Nuts.  Seems like an eternity ago when I quit my job and became a Scottie.  I'm different now.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Hot Town, Summer in the City

A very brief review of the year in photos (mostly from the hospital).



Winter's Snopacalypse.


Summer (Not in the hospital, obviously).

July has come and gone in the blink of an eye, much like the first year of residency.  I cannot believe how time has marched. Some days were eternities, others were milliseconds. Time is elastic.

I'm sitting alone in the resident room at the hospital, covering the service, staring at the sunny outside, watching pigeons stroll by the window and check me out.  Somewhere in Seattle, Winning Run and kiddo are playing outside getting ready for the audible assault of the Seafair Airshow's Blue Angels. I'm typing this and hoping for a quiet afternoon which, by simply typing that phrase (or even thinking it), is unlikely.

So, the calendar has ticked over and I'm now in the second year of residency.  I've been through the gauntlet of intern year's ridiculous inpatient schedule.  I've wandered like a zombie through the hospital halls, exhausted, hungry, wasting away, doing my best to keep it together and earn the confidence of those around me.  On some days, this work (like any) can seem so effortless, so second nature; on others, however, every moment seems foreign, terrifying, unfamiliar.

I'm still trying to process the year, still battling against the fatigue that has accumulated, still trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel in order to offer up something of myself when I make it home. A colleague and I were talking about whether we'd do this over again knowing what we now know and I'm uncertain of my answer but am leaning toward "Hell no."  

One thing's for sure, though, I can endure. Hell, I have endured and, perhaps, maybe even thrived. This experience of being a doc is unparalleled. I have the honor of seeing so much that many folks can't even imagine. In some ways, there's the hook that keeps you coming back.  "First one's free, kid."

Two months of inpatient family medicine, two months of inpatient internal medicine, one month of inpatient obstetrics, one month of inpatient pediatrics, one month of emergency medicine: these things add up! I'm happy to have them in the rearview and happier still to be more comfortable in hairy situations. I do, however, look forward to more time in the outpatient world, in my clinic, and, of course, with Winning Run and kiddo who will be three (!!!) in a few months.  

March on, time, march on.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Snopacalypse 2014

Obviously, I'm no longer in the southeast.  As a result, I've missed the most recent snowpacalypse that laid waste to traffic in GA.  Seems that friends and family from Atlanta all have horror stories of how bad everything was.  Glad I didn't have to be a part of it.

My folks let me know that they had broken out the snowshoes and decided to traipse around.  Although I'm not sure that less than 3 inches of snow really qualifies as an adequate base for using said snowshoes, they had a good time.  At the risk of alienating them (or angering them), I received the following image from their jaunt and thought I'd share.

I've never been snowshoeing and don't claim to be an expert but something seems a little odd about the photo.  Mom might be doing it wrong.

Wait, It's February?

Unbelievably, it's February.  I'm on the downhill side of my black weekend (where you are on call on a Saturday and need to work post-call on Sunday) and am looking forward to having a day off on Saturday, two more days of work and then 24 hours off! I've been at it for two straight months; first, on an internal medicine service and, now, on an inpatient family medicine service. Up at 4:30, in by 5:45, rounding by 7:30, home in the late PM. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Day. After day. After. Day. Sick patients in, get them better, they come back. Rewarded for efficient work with more work.  

Again, my main advice is never do heroin.  And don't have the shitty misfortune to have a severe mental illness because you'll be marginalized to the edges of society, fail to make good decisions about your health care, will fail to consistently take your medication, will be victim to your mental illness which will lead you ultimately to heroin which, once more, you should never, ever, ever do.

I. Am. So. Tired.

Speaking of not doing heroin:  PSH, RIP.  My money has it that last words were "I'm a *** idiot."