Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Panera Incident

I'm sure you are all vaguely familiar with the concept of being "on call," but I will clarify just in case....

I am actually the person on call for our team at UK every day from 7 am to 5 pm, but there is always someone on call overnight as well. On Monday July 5, I had my first overnight call. In Urology, we have home call, which means we can take calls from home rather than having to stay at the hospital for 24+ hours. This sounds like a blessing, but can be a curse: imagine being called to see a patient in the emergency room at ten at night, going home, then having to come back to the hospital when one of your patients starts having chest pain and needs a full work-up to rule out heart attack. You end up either spending quite a bit of time driving back and forth, or if you're lucky, sleeping in your own bed with no interruptions. My first overnight call was the latter vs. the former; however, I was so paranoid to miss a page that I kept waking up every half hour or so to check my pager! So much for enjoying a night of uninterrupted sleep....

I have no crazy stories or anecdotes about my time on call at the hospital, but there was the Panera Bread Co. incident: Chad and I met for lunch at Panera that day (I only had weekend-type duties since it was a federal holiday, so I was done with my in-house responsibilities for the day), and we were just about to leave when I had my first someone-in-public-requires-medical-assistance-and-I'm-the-only-doctor-around moment. A woman two tables away from us starts having a grand mal/tonic-clonic seizure, and her lunch companion was at a loss for how to handle the situation. In a much calmer manner than I had imagined I would behave in such an incident, I moved the woman into a lateral lying position and waited for her to stop seizing while instructing her friend to call for help. And that was it. I really did nothing other than keep her head from hitting the floor repeatedly. She has chronic seizure disorder, and required no further treatment other than going home to "sleep it off." I had always imagined a public situation that would require chest compressions or rescue breaths, so I was thankful that wasn't required! And also very thankful that Chad was there to help in case something more serious had happened. The weird thing is, I felt like I needed to document the incidence afterwards. I guess that's what the hospital will do to you: document, document, document! I am definitely becoming accustomed to all the paperwork involved in modern healthcare.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Calm before the storm!

Over the past couple weeks, I have been psychologically preparing for July 1 ie the commencement of residency.....I've been sleeping in late and taking naps as much as possible, going to the pool, and avoiding thoughts of "oh my gosh, I have no more safety net because now I'M the doctor!" We also started orientation June 15 which shocked me back into reality and has consisted of the following:

1. HIPAA training
2. Paperwork
3. Free breakfast and lunch!
4. Paperwork
5. Receiving my LONG white coats (and subsequently forgetting to add the "MD" after my name when I took them to get embroidered....ooops!)
6. Paperwork
7. Meeting/trying to remember the names of the other 140+ interns
8. Receiving my pager (which I'm sure will soon haunt my dreams)
9. Receiving my name badge...complete with my head-tilt Glamour Shot!
10. Paperwork
11. Surgical Skills Lab
12. Getting fingerprinted at the VA....ahhhh, government healthcare.

What's scary is: I only have a few more hours until I'm actually going to be held accountable! I am so anxious that I won't be able to provide the level of care that my patients deserve, but I guess that's all part of the learning process.....and why they keep telling us to call our chief residents and attendings if we have questions! I already have telephone numbers programmed into my phone with full intentions to utilize them as often as necessary :)

My next post will be about my first night on call - should be entertaining!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I almost forgot....

Chad and I took a break from the sun and Tecate one afternoon in Mexico to visit our resort's arts and crafts area. They had ceramics and paint, so we decided to make souvenirs rather than buy any. Chad chose a frog and I went for a bowl:

No idea what we're going to do with them!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Puerto Vallarta

Back in January, when I found out that I matched into the Urology residency program at UK (whew), Chad and I decided to book a vacation in order to celebrate the end of school for me and give me one last chance to relax before the next five years of indentured servitude begin. We found a resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and spent one week on the Pacific Coast. I'm usually very pessimistic about travelling - those who were with me on the Key West trip know what I'm talking about :) However, we had a completely uneventful flying experience, no cavity searches at customs, and were then surprised by a room upgrade at our resort! I spent the week eating and working on my tan while Chad squeezed in as many naps as possible......ahhhhh, vacation.


On May 15, 2010, I officially became a physician! Now I have those two little letters after my name that I've always wanted! I can't remember a time when this wasn't my ultimate career goal, and I am so relieved to finally be done with school after 21 years! But, as it was mentioned during commencement, I wasn't the only one who made sacrifices to get here - my family and friends have been the support and encouragement that were necessary to make it to this point. Thank you all so much! I am eternally grateful and I love you very much!

I would post pictures, but I think my camera was the only one that didn't make it to any of the ceremonies! I'll try to upload photos later if anyone is gracious enough to share theirs with me.....
Here's one that I snagged from our school's website:

My little project

Chad had some old furniture that we (well, it was really just me) wanted to update. So, off I went to Lowe's for supplies and here's what happened....
(Note the New Kids on the Block t-shirt)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Temporary Home

Chad and I decided to rent a house in Lexington for a year vs. buying so that we could take our time deciding which neighborhood we wanted to live in (and I wouldn't have been able to take enough time off school to travel back and forth from Little Rock to look at houses). Our neighborhood reminds me of Maumelle - lots of new construction, young families, and sidewalks. I am almost done unpacking/finding places for all our junk/etc. which is bittersweet since we plan to move again in a year or so.....

Some observations regarding behavior when moving to a new house: (1) you wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and run into walls/doors/furniture (2) you can never find the light switches (3) I keep trying to throw stuff away in the trash can under the sink.....which is now actually NOT under the sink, so there is trash mixed in with the cleaning supplies (4) No matter how many times I clean the toilets or shower, I always think about the previous renter's presumedly dirty butt or feet that were there before.

Here are some pictures of our current digs:
(1) Note the dog in the window and the Alabama flag! We can't decide if the plants by the front porch are weeds or there on purpose....
(2) Our living room - much smaller than the last, so we had to be creative with the furniture. Thanks for helping me arrange, Mom!
(3) Our kitchen, complete with trash can NOT under the sink.
(4) Our bedroom and my favorite feature of the house - a walk-in closet! I know this doesn't seem very exciting, but our last master bedroom closet barely fit my clothes, let alone both mine AND Chad's. The door tends to shut on its own and Roxie has trapped herself in there at least three times that I am aware of.

(5) Our office/soon-to-be Alabama room. I have some Bama paraphernalia to hang on the walls when I get the motivation to pull out the power drill. Yes, I said power drill - I love power long as there is no possibility that I can injure myself with them.
(6) Roxie loves to bail up and down the stairs. On her way down, she usually hits that landing and flings herself into the wall....and I'm a terrible person for laughing at her every time.