Saturday, January 14, 2006

i have a dream of a call-free monday

It's my third year of residency, and for the third year in a row, I'm on call on the Monday of the MLK three-day weekend. I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure this is not what Dr. King would have wanted. Probably.

But whatever, at least I get a regular weekend out of the deal, if not the plump and delicious three-day weekend. Unfortunately, no one informed Cal that weekends are the day that we don't get up at 6:30am (actually, during the week we wake up at 4:45am, but never mind about that) so this morning he woke us up with his friendly but insistent jabbering. And given the tilt of the Earth's axis coupled with the bad weather, 6:30am looked suspiciously like 3:00am. Jeez, Cal, let a sister sleep. She works hard for the money so you'd better treat her right. However, after various bribes (food) and inducements to return to a state of, if not slumber, then at least quiet, I threw in the towel and got started with our morning.

* * *

You know, I was just thinking yesterday, doing Anesthesia is kind of like driving a car. (This is starting to sound suspiciously like advice that your crazy uncle would give, sort of like, "A bottle of wine is like a beautiful woman.") You have to take this in the context of me not being able to drive though, OK? OK, so here's the analogy. At first, when you start learning how to drive, everything's scary. You don't know where anything is and you feel like the car's going too fast and you have no good sense of how to control where you are in relation to other cars on the road, and every single second you feel like you're going to going to spin out and crash into some tree somewhere. And so it goes with Anesthesia. (Don't laugh at me, you experienced drivers, i.e. the ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD OVER THE AGE OF 15. Driving is scary.)

Then, as you get more used to driving (or so I can only presume), you start to get more comfortable, and certain things become automatic, like signaling, or checking your mirrors or what have you. Maybe you even do a halfway decent job of driving a familiar route under ideal conditions, like driving to work (school) in the middle of the day when it's sunny out. And so it goes with Anesthesia. Standard general case, healthy patient, no major blood loss, we're cool. But back to the car now, even when you feel comfortable under ideal circumstances, you still have to master the subtleties and tricks of driving under non-ideal circumstances, like driving at night, or in the snow, or learning to drive stick shift if you're used to driving automatic. After you have the basics down, these are the things you still have to master in order to, I don't know, become Mister Smith. In anesthesia, this is handling the patients who come down for emergency surgery "not medically optimized" (as the euphemism goes), or dealing with the unexpected in the middle of an otherwise mundane case, or just learning the subtleties of all the meds and physiology and drips and equipment that we have to use every day. This is the point I think I'm at now, entering the second half of the year. Give me your appys, your TAH/BSOs, your TURPs, and I feel reasonably comfortable. But throw me that septic patient with asthma and CAD who just had an MI three months ago and also has a mouthful of loose-ass teeth to boot, and my heart starts to beat a little fast, like I just might spin out at any moment and crash into a tree.

Also, a bottle of wine is like a beautiful woman.

* * *

Joe and I still haven't made any headway on our vacations plans for the end of March, mostly owing to the ill-timing of our vacation right smack dab in the middle of Spring Break, where the price gouging for any warm-type vacations spot is at its worst. This has led me to three conclusions:

  1. We're going to have to choose a very non-traditional vacations spot, where no one else would even ever think of going. Like Duluth.
  2. We're going to have to go somewhere where we can stay with friends for at least part of the time, so we don't have to sell Cal in order to pay for the hotel.
  3. We're just going to have to pay a lot of money to go on vacation, under the somewhat dangerous assumption that we'll have real jobs in a few years, so what's another few hundred dollars now?

Being risk-averse, though, I'm not crazy about option 3, as it sounds suspiciously like the way people talk themselves into debt. Option 1 seems reasonable, but really, what's a non-traditional vacation spot that you'd actually want to go to? It's our first family vacation, and we're going to...Albany! I've explored all of the places that you lovely people suggested in the comments, and while I would love to visit any or all of them, it's just that damn time of year that has us over the barrel. It's "high season" for beach travel, I guess. Joe suggested that we think about going to Vegas, since we can get good hotel deals there and "it's warm," but it's not exactly like people go to Vegas to spend time outside. And the flight is long. Also, I just can't bring myself to take Cal to Las Vegas for his first big trip. This, I'm certain, would lead him to grow up to become an Elvis impersonator of the "old fat Elvis" ilk.

As for option 2, maybe we need to make some new friends. Preferably those with giant villas in the Bahamas that will conveniently be out of town for the week that we're aiming to travel.

Currently reading: Just finished "Pyongyang." I really enjoyed this book. It's more of a travel journal than anything else, but it's the best graphic novel I've read in a while (even more enjoyable for me than the acclaimed but frankly kinda boring "Epileptic"). Next up, "A History of Violence."

No comments:

Post a Comment