Wednesday, June 11, 2008

if it doesn't scare you, i would think you were kind of weird

Post-call for cardiac this morning, and I slept in until 10:30am.  I can't even remember the last time I slept that late.  Usually I would be up by 9:00am at the latest, because while I certainly have the capacity in me to sleep in, it is a little difficult to do so when your kid has his face pressed up against yours and the mouth part of that face is demanding breakfast.  But Cal had to go to school this morning, so Joe dragged him and his pie hole out of the bedroom by 8:15am.

Last night was not a bad night on call as far as cardiac goes.  In fact, I would have probably finished even earlier were it not for the frothy geysers of blood issuing forth from the chest tubes after we finished closing.  We ended up re-opening the chest--turns out the bleeding was coming from a saphenous graft bypassing one of the coronaries feeding the heart, which, I'm told, is this organ in the chest that moves a lot of blood through it.  Who knew?  So, a little surgical fixing down there and a lot of blood products on my end later, the guy was all shined up and up in the CTICU.  After eyeing the rest of the patients in the unit with a suspicious eye, on the lookout for anyone else looking bleed-y or crappy or otherwise like they were headed back for the OR, I left the hospital and went home.  To my house.  Where my bed is.  And now you know the rest of the story.

So!  We have our anesthesia residency graduation dinner this Friday!  I have not been to a graduation dinner before (the only way you can go if you're not a graduating resident is to be the +1 of one of the graduating resident, and as you know, I'M MARRIED) but I am excited to go.  It is at a pretty nice hotel on the Upper East Side, and I think people will be dressed up and whatnot.  I think I am more excited about seeing people dressed up than I am about anything else, actually, since all I ever see people wear are scrubs.  We will be unrecognizable.  Apparently, there is also a speaking part of the evening, wherein some of the attendings take turns "roasting" each of the graduating seniors.  I have no idea what they're going to say about me, but I am thoroughly looking forward to being humiliated.  I LOVE THE PAIN.

Joe will meet me at the dinner after work, but I'm going home beforehand to change and pick up Cal so he can come too.  (I could not get a straight answer out of anyone whether or not it was OK to bring kids, so I decided screw it, I would just bring him anyway.  It's not like he's going to eat anything.)  I'm bringing Cal partially because I don't want to arrange for childcare, partially because I want to show him off, but also partially (let's just say 33% for each of these reasons.  Well, maybe 20%-60%-20%) because he was born the month that I started the my anesthesia residency, and I want people to see him as a graphic reminder of just how long we've been doing this.  See this kid?  This is how long you've been practicing anesthesia.  You've been doing anesthesia this kid number of years.  

And it is a very vivid reminder, actually, because while (as many of you pointed out), Cal looks a lot older now, like a real kid rather than a baby, is somewhat self-sufficient, walking, talking, marginally potty-trained and all that.  But he's still really young.  He isn't even three yet.  And that's how old our anesthesia careers are too.  But now we're graduating, some of us (myself included) ready to go out and start real jobs, work independently, be entrusted with a level of responsibility that we feel (or at least I feel) a little bit nervous about.  It's like me saying to Cal, "Hey, why don't you walk to school yourself today?  You know how to get home, right?  Here's the key to the apartment."  And I don't mind telling you that while most days I feel pretty good about graduating, there are moments where I feel like the hubris of me finishing my training and becoming an attending is sheer lunacy.  Then again, does anyone ever feel truly ready for this?

That said, I think fear is a good emotion for physicians to be able to feel.  I don't mean maladaptive fear, like the kind that causes you to sit rocking in a corner as your patient arrests--I mean the fear that causes you to worry and question whether or not you're doing the right thing.  If you're never scared as a physician, if you always think that you know everything and that you're infallible, you're bound to make a really big mistake sometime soon.  I think fear can be a good thing.  You should be scared.  So this apprehension that I feel now about The Next Step I'm just chalking up to normal experience.  And hopefully it is, or that would just scare me more.