Thursday, August 11, 2005

priming the pump

Huh. So it turns out I didn't have to go to that Grand Rounds after all. I realized this when I bumped into my program director.

(Double take)
What are you doing here?

I'm...uh...attending Grand Rounds?

But why?

MICHELLE's mandatory?

No it isn't! You're on leave!

Because I got this e-mail that was all like, "YOU, MICHELLE AU, HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED TO ATTEND GRAND ROUNDS TODAY!" So I figured that the e-mail was all specific, with my name on it and everything, so I had to come.

(Making swatting gesture)
Oh, those e-mails. They're just automatically generated. They don't even pass through our office. Just ignore them until you're back at work.

Aha. And I just thought, "Wow, here's a residency program that's really serious about Grand Rounds!"

Yes, but we're not crazy.

So, you heard it here first. Anesthesiologists: Not Crazy.

* * *

It was good to get a chance to do the little work-routine dress rehearsal, though. First thing that I learned this morning is that even with Joe and I splitting baby and dog duty, I'm going to need a full hour to get ready for work, even if I shower the night before. The second thing I learned during my little run-through was that from start to finish, one pumping session at work should not take more than 20 minutes--and I'll probably be able to shave down that time significantly once I get the hang of it. In brief for those interested (those not can just skip ahead), here is the pump that I've been using for the past three weeks.

It's the Medela Symphony, and it's a hospital-grade pump that I'm renting from some crunchy granola mommy business on the Upper West Side. Now, my original plan had been to just buy a pump, figuring that given the cost of several months of rental fees, the thing would pay for itself. But I decided to rent a hospital-grade pump instead for two reasons: one, I didn't want to commit to purchasing a pump unless I knew that this pumping-at-work thing was going to pan out; and two, if I was going to pump at work, I wanted the monster of all pistons to ensure maximum pumping session speed. Hence, the Symphony. There are other hospital-grade pumps out there too, but I'd heard many good things about the Symphony (including the big plus that it's really quiet while running), so that's the one I picked. It's costing me $60 a month to rent, which is a lot, but it's worth it, and cheaper than formula besides.

I actually think that what I need to do to shave the most time off these sessions is just to have the pump set up already each time I need to us it, so all I need to do is to plug it in and then, uh, plug myself in. Ahem. But seriously, I could probably save a good three to five minutes each session if I didn't have to take the damn machine out, connect all the tubes and whatnot, unhook everything and pack the whole apparatus back up again everytime I needed to do my thing. So what I really need now is a chain and a bicycle lock, so I can just leave the pump out in the locker room shower. You might think it's crazy to need to chain down a breast pump--honestly, who would want to steal something like that except for a TOTAL PERVERT--but keep in mind, the in-store price of such an item is more than $1,200. Hence the rental, you see?

Ah, breast-pumping. So fascinating. And now that I've alienated 75% of my audience...

* * *

I was watching that documentary on ABC last night about Peter Jennings. It's so strange when someone like that dies, because they're barely even real people to you--they're just like these timeless, immutable icons that never age, never change, and certainly never die, for chrissake. I've been watching the evening news with Peter Jennings ever since I can remember (it was my family's evening news program of choice, I didn't really have much say in the matter as a kid, though I did come to prefer him to Rather and Brokaw when I actually developed an opinion on the matter) and I just always thought of him as this kind of James Bond character, all dashing and suave and well-versed in world affairs. No one could pull of a safari jacket like that guy, let me tell you.

It sounds strange, but this kind of reminds me of when Mister Rogers died. (Yes, his name was Fred Rogers, but you have to call him "Mister" or no one knows who you're talking about.) Mister Rogers wasn't supposed to die. He's Mister Rogers! He's supposed to be around forever, feeding his fish and throwing his blue Keds up in the air! For him to actually dare to be mortal was just blasphemous.

We'll miss you, Peter Jennings.

Currently reading: I had considered this before, but the chatter from the Comments section reminds me that I really should read "The Pillars of the Earth" at some point. I just need to find a copy.

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