Friday, February 18, 2011

So much for the gym

    There's a new gym right down the street from our house that I decided to check out. I got a seven day free pass and today is day #4 I think. I went once. Different excuses, really. A 24 workday, small group, general lazyness. Today's excuse is named Anthony. He's 8lbs 10oz and pretty cute for a newborn.
    That's right: after working all night as the H.O. in the hospital, I was in the deepest of dreams when my pager when off. The only reason I got out of bed to check on it was to make sure that my continuity patient wasn't in labor. And guess what, she was. And not only that, but she was having a C-Section. I was told I'd better get there in the next 20 minutes if I wanted to participate.
     As a side note, our program here is one of the few family medicine residencies that trains its residents on how to do C-sections. Most of us, when we graduate, won't do C-sections anymore, because in most of the US, the OBs do them. But it's a great skill to learn, especially if you're considering going overseas or living somewhere rural. Which are both possibilities for us in the future.
     Anyway, back to my story. I love delivering babies. And normally I only get to do it while I'm on an OB rotation. The only other times I get to deliver are when the woman is one of my clinic patients. Those are known in my little world here as "continuity deliveries." And they're the coolest ones. Like this lady today. I met her when she was two months pregnant, and I've seen her in clinic about ten times since then. I've answered all her questions about breastfeeding, labor, gaining weight, etc, etc, etc. And trust me, she had a million questions. "If I bend over to tie my shoes is that bad for the baby? What if I accidentally roll over in the night? Do you think he's still ok?" I've listened to the baby's heartrate at every visit. And today I got to reach into her belly and pull out a healthy little boy that apparently survived the shoe-tying. Definetely worth skipping the gym for. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011


    I’m on an easier rotation, finally. It’s nice to see the sunshine and go walking with the dog in the park after work. And now that I finally have some time, I’m going back and proof-reading and signing the forty-five dictations that I’ve been totally slacking on. They are all, or almost all, discharge summaries. Basically, each one tells the story of one of the patients I took care of in the hospital this last month. It tells the day they were admitted, the day they went home, their list of medical problems and medications, and what happened while they were in the hospital.
     So interesting. All of them are interesting. From an educational standpoint, it was a good month of learning: a few good cases of CHF, some rule-out MIs, pneumonia, dehydration, cancer, cirrhosis, pyelo… you know, the basics. From an emotional standpoint, for me anyway, it was tough. Because mixed-in with the 43 discharge summaries there are two death summaries. And because several of the other 43 contain descriptions of meetings in which we told a patient and their family members that their time left together is short.
    These people are so cool. From all over the world. Speaking multiple languages. Most without insurance, or at least without private insurance, who ended up at a county hospital. One weighed 600lbs. One was covered in sores from head-to-toe, two were veterans, several were grandmothers, several more were drug addicts. And I got to help take care of them. I was their doctor for the days they were in the hospital. I got to meet their families, draw pictures for them of the insides, and wake them up at six AM to listen to their lungs. Me, little me, their doctor.
    There’s so many blogs out there already. Why would I write one too? Maybe for my family and friends far away, to share some of what’s going on out here and tell funny stories of the people I meet. Or maybe more for me, just to have a place to digest and process some of what I’m learning and going through. We’ll see if I can stick with it.