Rollercoasters in Medicine

I continue to be amazed at how dynamic medicine can be.  It’s very much like riding a roller coaster; in the line, you’re pumped.  You can’t wait to put the scalpel in your hand or to put your stethoscope on and go play doctor.  In the very next minute, you’re crashing down that first descent, and you think, wait-a-minute.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!  When it’s all over, most days, you’re glad you took the time to ride.  But when you’re standing over the trashcan puking your guts out, it’s uncomfortable.when-we-long-for-life-without-difficulties-remind-us-that-oaks-grow-strong-in-contrary-winds-and-diamonds-are-made-under-pressure

As a family doctor you are privy to the best and worst in people’s lives.  It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.  Not quite like wearing your underwear backwards, but close.  I checked.  I’m good today.  But it’s been uncomfortable.

In the clinic and on wards, we’ve discovered devastating diagnoses and have celebrated miraculous improvement.  It’s not always rainbows and sunshine.  Sometimes, it’s downright messy.  As of late, I’ve been faced with the challenges I have so desired over the past year.  The sick.  The high-acuity.  The zebra.  As I mentioned, it seemed like a good idea while I was standing in line.  Now that the funnel cake is making a second appearance, I remember Gran said to not pray for strength or patience, because “God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls and coal into diamonds using TIME and PRESSURE”.1

god-didnt-promise-days-without-pain-together-withour-sorrow-nor-sun-withour-rain-but-he-did-promise-strengthclever-quotesTime has given me some interesting perspective.  The C-sections are beginning to feel less like the Appalachian Trail and more like a day-hike.  Note to self, it is still taking all day to get there.  Overnight in the ICU, I felt uncomfortable trying to manage a patient after a cardiac arrest that was in respiratory and renal failure.  In a critical patient, there is so much pressure to make sure that all of the drips are calculated precisely, the vent settings are correct, and the appropriate modifications are made as the labs and imaging studies fill your screen.  My pager was on continuous clatter.  I debated throwing it from the roof while I took a breather.  Hypothermia protocol is intense.

I barely had the orders finished before the next septic work-up started.  From 80 years to 8 days in less than 8 minutes.  That has to be some kind of record.  Some nights remind you that you’re just a grain of sand.  Maybe with time, I’ll have those pearls of knowledge to share.

All in all, it was another call night, a great night for learning, and a terrible night for sleep.  Good thing tomorrow is Halloween, and there will be unlimited sugar available.

1 So did Rick Warren

2 Responses to "Rollercoasters in Medicine"

  • So little sleep and yet made it to and thru Hallowe’en! And energy left over to write about it

    1 Ed Evans said this (November 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm) Reply

  • Great job mom and Doc

    2 Ed Evans said this (November 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm) Reply

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