Thursday, September 2, 2010

doctoring...thus far

I'm running on almost empty these days.  This past 2 weeks have been insane and intense. I'm up way before the sun even thinks about coming over that horizon...and I'm home so late I didn't check my email once last week....and I crawl into bed with my make-up on.  I spoke about 10 words to my lovely husband each day.

I found myself teary sitting in one of the hospital's stairways at one point.  On more than one occasion I have entertained thoughts about quitting residency all together.  It's hard, consuming, and demanding.  And after a grueling ten years of school under my belt, I just wonder - when does the madness end?  When do I get to live my life on my terms?

With the whole pregnancy thing, it's even harder to do with my constant nausea and frequent jolts to find a bathroom to puke in. :-(  (my mom loved being pregnant...she never threw up or got nauseated so I expected to be the same.  not so.)

So, it's easy for me to feel sorry for myself.  I get one day off per week when I'm lucky (unless I'm oncall - and around here oncall weekends are non-stop action!).  Except, I don't want to feel sorry for myself.  I want to love this challenging road I'm on....I want to embrace it as part of my journey.  So I'm taking a little step back to remind myself of how wonderful some of my experiences have been.
I've participated in some amazing procedures including a total pneumonectomy, a live birth, 4 open heart surgeries, multiple craniotomies, a corneal transplant, and more.  The co-residents in my program are as rad as they come, and alllll the other interns in the hospital are freaking in that respect I'm more than lucky.  I feel like a part of a team - where we are all in the same boat together....and that makes it easier to swallow.

Is it weird that even after all that, there is no other hospital I'd rather be at that this one? 


  1. Wow! things sound tough! but look at you! you are a bride, a wife, a doctor and a soon to be momma! You got this girl!

  2. i don't know how dr's do it...i have a couple of friends in your situation (minus being pregnant) and i think they have super magical powers to work those schedules. at least you love the people you work with...i'd try to focus on that little blessing...and the little one growing in your belly. :)

  3. Awww.. that does sound REALLY tough, but just remember how hard you've worked to get here! I know you may feel like this isn't worth it some days, but if you give up now, all that hard work would have been for nothing!

    Did you ever watch Scrubs? I didn't start watching it regularly until later in the series so I didn't see TOO much of the first season or so, but what you're describing sounds a lot like what Elliot went through at the beginning.. except that she wasn't married or pregnant. But anyway, my point is that I think residency being like this is normal, and I know it's just TV, but they all turned out okay and happy.

    You can do it!

  4. I am so in awe of you... I felt very much this way "When do I get to live my life on my terms?" during grad school (thought about quitting almost every day for 3 yrs). I can't even IMAGINE how much more demanding med school, residency, etc. has got to be.

    you're one day closer to finishing, though! And it is great that you like the hospital and your co-workers. That can make a huge difference.

  5. Hang in there, girl!! And get some drugs. Seriously. I had to be on them until week 16. They will make a huge difference in the nausea/vomiting.

  6. You can do it, sister! I know you can. I don't know you, but I know you can do this. I have faith in you. Rock on!

  7. oh Jes, I'm sending you tons of love from afar. If anyone can do this, it's you. You are a strong, loving and positive woman. In this post alone, you manage to make me feel better about what you are going through because you see the bright side of your co-interns who are awesome. But don't forget to take care of yourself a little. My friend told me that eating crackers the second she woke up in the morning and following it up with eggs made the morning sickness bearable. I'm sure that is next to impossible with wandering around a hospital for 18 hours, but keep trying to eat.
    that's what I always do - make people eat healthy things to feel better (not french fries, apples and eggs).
    loves! s

  8. residency blows...there is no way around it.

    i am in my fourth year of general surgery residency and i still contemplate quitting at LEAST once a week. it will have its ups and downs, but i'm not gonna lie, its rough. in fact, i started blogging intern year mostly as a way to vent about residency without always complaining to my (now) husband.

    hang in there, i have two mantras...
    one is "i am becoming a sword", as in how swords are forged by being thrust into fire, beat down with steal and thrust into the fire again, and at the end come out shiny, and magnificent and able to accomplish amazing feats.

    the other is, "they can't stop the clock" residency will end sometime, and you will be stronger, wiser and a more fabulous doctor for it.

    ps. if you want to read about my ups and downs, check out my blog...

  9. I'm not giving you a pep talk. I'll just tell you that no matter what you do, you're already AMAZING. ;)

  10. I agree with Miss C. I couldn't do it and you're a trooper for finding the strength to every day! xx

  11. Coming from someone on the other side of residency and fellowship, stick with it, it's worth it. Not that one day off a week when the rest of the world just doesn't get that you really do have to work that much is ever fun, but it will get easier when you're not the newbie on every rotation. And, those other awesome interns will help get you thru. While on-call weekends were never something I looked forward to, some memories I have of hanging out with my residency friends on those weekends while sitting in the PICU or looking for the unit with the best chocolate on CHristmas Eve (head up, its always the pedi-heme/onc floor on the holidays) are nights that we still all talk about. Yeah, it sucks and there are days where you will feel like you can't do anything right, and there are days where things are really sad and there are days that go on for hours and you aren't doing a single constructive thing but you have to stay for rounds at the end of the day, but there are days where you learn something really cool or days where you come up with a pretty good diagnosis and days where you connect with pateints or their families and you would stay all night just to hang out with them. Hang in there, you'll make it, and you have the added benefit of having a wonderful new husband waiting at home for a big hug at the end of the day (can you imagine trying to date in residency? yeah, it sucked.)

    By the way, how upstate are you? I just moved from Syracuse and if you need any tips of great places to visit on your one day off a week, I'd be happy to email you some suggestions.

  12. If it makes you feel any better I had a minor meltdown in my hospital's stairwell yesterday too. You are not the only one feeling trapped in a hospital 24/7 dreaming of life after school... Stay strong and know what you're doing is worth every minute and every tear. When your patient's families hug you or you know you changed someones life for the better it's all worth it.

    Congrats on the baby!!!! So happy for you guys. Hope this sickness goes away soon so you can enjoy it like your mom did.

  13. I empathize w/ you on the nausea thing. Reminds me of when I was pregnant with my first. I was working as a school counselor and had to visit the bathroom to throw up multiple times throughout the day. Not fun at all.

    This too shall pass.

    (and it's definitely worth it).



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