Friday, November 09, 2007

parents, watch your change

I was on overnight call for Peds Wednesday night. Peds anesthesia at our institution is home call, meaning that once the scheduled and add-on cases in the OR are finished (usually by around 10pm, though it can vary), you have the option of going home. The caveat, of course, is that you have your pager on, and if there are any emergencies, your ass is coming back in.

For some people, the benefit of sleeping in their own bed far outweighs the hassle of having to come back in, especially if they live close by. However, I am of the opinion that the only thing worse than actually being confined to the hospital on call overnight is going home, only to be called back into work. In Joe's words, "It's the worst because you've tasted freedom." Additionally, not only do I live a $25 cab ride from the hospital (I have to take a cab in when on call to be able to get to the hospital within the stipulated 30 minute time frame), but I worry that it might be disruptive for Cal and Joe, getting up and down in the middle of the night, fielding pages, leaving the house in a flurry at 3am.

Last night, though, I thought I may have been in the clear. There were emergency cases on the docket, rumored or actual. I had tucked in the Peds Pain service. (We cover the service overnight too--another risk of going home is getting called back in for a pain consult, expired PCA order, malfunctioning epidural, what have you.) Even the nurses running the OR front desk had bolted. So I figured I was reasonably safe. I took a cab home and was home by 11:30pm.

At 1:00am I get a call about a kid in the ER who had swallowed a penny. And then we were off to the races.

So anyway, I gambled and lost. It happens. Post call day off is always a fine compensation, especially under unusual circumstances--Joe was also off from work that day. He had a flight yesterday evening to New Orleans for the annual "Academy Meeting" (I'm not sure what the official name is--American Academy of blah blah blah Ophthalmology something or other) where he's presenting some research. But we figured we'd have the morning off together, maybe a chance to grab some brunch, take Cal to the playground. However, upon closer inspection of his actual plane ticket (this is called "reading"), he realized that his flight was at 1:00pm, not 5:00pm as he originally had thought, so he spent most of the morning packing, and left for the airport by 10:45am.

So it's just me and Cal until Sunday night. We had a good time at the playground yesterday (being connoisseurs, we tried out a new park today near the waterfront--very nice), and I guess we'll have to find some way to occupy ourselves this weekend until the father unit comes home.