Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Advice for newbies

Went to a conference today at my old stomping grounds. My interns are graduating!

I guess that means I'm old.

Here's some advice, hard-earned by me but free for you:

1.Be nice. This directly leads to
2. Your nurse makes or breaks you. I have been fortunate in this respect. Michelle, then Kim, then Jen have rocked.
3. The learning curve the first year of attendingship is steeper than internship.
4. Go to a coding/billing conference.
5. Don't go on a spending spree right away. I know, that first check is burning a hole in your pocket but trust me. Shovel money into savings.
6. Bring in a treat to the L&D nurses the first week you work. Remember, they have your back!
7. Get an MP3 player so YOUR music is playing in the OR. Even if everyone else hates it. ;)
8. Meet and greet the IM, FP, and peds docs.
9. Download some games onto your phone. Useful for whiling away time before a delivery.
10. Take some time off before starting.
11. Do NOT, under any circumstances, be a princess.
12. Yelling frequently means people ignore your yelling. Save it for the important stuff. I want people to KNOW when I'm pissed...and how to fix it.
13. Look at your billings monthly.
14. Be quiet the first few months as you figure out the politics of the hospital.
15. If L&D is swamped and nurses don't get lunch, spring for pizza delivery.
16. Treat your office staff humanely and they will reciprocate.
17. Learn which patients never, never get double-booked.

Did I miss any?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I was wrong

Ureteral cancer.

Now I need to go look stuff up on emedicine/up to date/nih.

Monday, April 27, 2009


So I'm going to ortho later this week. Only because I told my awesome nurse the story about running into him in the elevator. She then called their office and told me either I could choose the time or she would.

Harumph! Outmaneuvered! I admitted defeat and scheduled my own damn appointment, thankyouverymuch.

Not the first time she's made appointments for me...last time she was worried enough to schedule an appointment, I ended up having pneumonia. I'm just not good at figuring out when I need to get things looked at.

Still no word on Mom's biopsy. :(

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So my mom (finally) got the CT-guided biopsy yesterday of her pelvic mass. I am willing to lay odds on an adenocarcinoma originating from the colon - she had a TAH/BSO back in the early 90s. I however, have not told her that. Yanking away hope seems unnecessarily cruel. She's already gone through a lot in the last 6 weeks. She's pissed that urology isn't too keen on stenting her ureter but is keeping her perc since it's working well.

And now we wait. Because of what I do, I know that pathology usually takes 3-4 business days to process, diagnose, and transcribe. Which means that the wait will probably last until after the weekend for her.

And if I'm right, we - meaning me, my sister, and my mom - will have to figure out what to do. I live a long drive away. I can't manage this via phone. I've been pushing for her to move in (ohdeargodwhatamIthinking!) with me - we have plenty of room.

I worry about my kids - my daughter's kidnergarten year was scarred by our caring for my father in home hospice (stage 4 lung). My son is that age now. DD remembers some. The boy was only 1 at the time, so he doesn't but he certainly would recall anything from now forward. I don't worry about them seeing the completion of the circle of life, but rather the fact that caring for someone very ill involves restricting other activities and paying attention to them.

It's tough - I've read about the "sandwich" generation - caring for kids and parents. I'm in a cage - caring for kids, parent, and patients. I've been ignoring me. I ran into ortho today at the hospital and he asked about my knee. I admitted that it was bad and I need to get into see him for the next step. I'm not sure when I have the time to do that!

Friday, April 17, 2009

To the love of my life

20 years ago, you gave me your class ring.

Twenty. Years. Ago. We were young and stupid, two teenieboppers "in love". But with you, we've weathered a lot and my love has blossomed even more. I can honestly say that I love you more now than I did back then.

I love you with all of my heart. I admire what a kind and great man you are. I'm thankful our children have such a great role model for a father. I love laughing with you.

Here's to a long future together.

Love you, always and forever.

Against the odds

4th, (yes, FOURTH) set of spontaneous triplets diagnosed yesterday since I started practicing here 2 1/2 years ago.

What is in the water!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Notes about calling your doctor

1. Menstrual cramps ARE NOT, nor ever will be, a medical emergency. Waking me up at 5:30 am (20 minutes after I went to bed from a delivery) is not appreciated in any way, shape, or form.

2. Please listen when I give instructions on what I chart as "labor precautions". Every week from 36 on, I give my little spiel on when to go to L&D. Please listen so you don't wake me up at midnight with a complaint of hourly contractions.

3. On Easter Sunday, don't be surprised when I tell you that the pharmacy is likely to be closed. I'll call in something for your UTI, but it won't help until tomorrow.

4. And don't call me after the pharmacy has already closed for the matter what, it WILL wait until the morning. You're not sick enough to be admitted for the UTI/URI/1 bout of vomiting.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The optimism of a crocus

Spring is in the air. Today is my scheduled OR day, and I was done dictating my last case before it was supposed to start! Hours ahead of schedule! Great OR day! Listened to the Beatles in the OR, did 2 hysts in 78 minutes total time (anesthesia was impressed).

So I drove home (woo hoo, home before 2 pm!), changed out of my scrubs and started to tend my front raised beds. The folks who had the house before us were master gardeners. I'm not, but I try.

Crocuses are in full bloom now. Purple, yellow, white flowers greeting us and reminding us that life is always continuing. Flowers that come out despite the cold and the snow. Small and delicate.

Daffodils are just starting to bloom. So are my brunneria. My tulips haven't. The hyacinths are considering it. The bee balm, balloon flowers, sedum, irises, and daylillies have the greens showing. The roses put up a good fight, but I trimmed them back (and have the scratches to prove it).

Pulling up dandelions is very satisfying when you get the whole bloody taproot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More randomness

Mom is out of the hospital now...after rewriting Harrison's. ;) DVT, PE, GI bleed, pelvic mass, ARF, hydronephrosis...and she's still refusing to come and be with me. UGH! ***head banging against wall***

Didn't make it up to Dad's grave. Maybe next time.

Just want a q-word call weekend, so I can get things done around the house. I've been away for so long, that my house is an official disaster zone. Plus, spring is in the air and my gardens need tending. I don't rake in the fall (hey, the leaves are mulching the ground!), so spring has a lot of clean-up.

The L&D nurses laugh every time I tell them more of my shitty month. Because I am a shit-magnet. Really.

My car died while in Michigan. Now I have to decide if I'm going to get a new car (mine's 8 years old) or try to repair it and gimp it along for a few more years. My contract actually states that I need a functioning car...I'm currently driving a rental.

Why do I always get the sickest patients? Or the bat-shit crazy ones? My newest nutcase is a heroin addict asking for Percs for her dysmenorrhea. Nope, try some Motrin. She didn't like that answer.

Dogs totally rock.

I have an awesome hubby who is an amazingly patient and kind man.

Never ask "What ELSE can go wrong?" Because something will.

Don't like the "monetize" tab on Blogspot. This is where I vent, gather some thoughts, brag about 2 wonderful kidlets. Then again, money isn't an incentive for me, which is why I like where I'm at - the local hospital is wonderful at letting me be a DOCTOR and not care about the business side. It's why I went to medical school.

I have some wonderful friends as well...keeping me laughing and handing me tissues when I need it.