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Patient: Sleepydoc, I believe I have a disease called ‘fatigue’.
Sleepydoc: No, I believe you are suffering from a terrible disease called ‘laziness’. Stop being lazy and SEIZE THE DAY!!!!
Dear Diary……..I wonder if I am supposed to be able to solve everyone’s problems and mine at the same time.
I have to keep the patients healthy and also listen to a colleague personal struggles. There is only so much one person can do.
Maybe I should stop doing emergency medicine and start doing psychiatry.
What I really want to tell some people including patients is….’Get out there and find something that makes you happy!!!!’
I don’t believe that is a difficult concept.
Life is simple, people are the ones who complicate it.
I always hear my other colleagues in the ER complain about how tired they are, and how stressful the job is.
I don’t think being a doctor is easy. It is a lot of work. You have a job that requires so much from you. And you need to be there, treat patients, fill out notes, counsel families. Sometimes you may need to be sheriff and deputy in the department.
But, I also think that as a doctor, there needs to be some sort of work-life integration.
We need to take care of ourselves.
One trick I pull to ‘pretend’ as though I have a regular schedule is to go to the gym only during the week. I also go to the grocery during the week. Therefore I leave my weekends free for any down time with family and friends. Of course I will probably also have to go to the hospital. But that should be for a few hours, after which I can focus on something else to do.
Most importantly, whenever I feel extremely burnout, I take a vacation STAT. I go off somewhere…….europe…..UK….caribbean.
Treat yourselves docs. We have earned it.
Trying not to laugh out loud!!!
I always wonder whether my drunk patients realize how silly they acted while in the ER.
From the cursing to the thrashing about. Do they realize that they have to go out and face the world tomorrow.
I mean, you decide to get drunk, challenge someone bigger than you to fight. Smash your hand through a glass window. Suffer several lacerations. Stumble into the ER at 4am cursing everyone. Then pass out in a chair.
Are these people serious…….
Someone please explain it to me….
I think I see why many people in their teens and twenties are getting all tattooed up.
It is cool….they can express themselves….they can put a significant meaning to some tattoo.
Honestly….I got my ears pierced when I found out that I had gotten into medical school…..but that’s about it.
But when those piercings and tattoos get infected……it is time to re-think and let go.
I had a 20 something year old who had a back piercing. It was infected. The skin around the piercing was red and tender. There was no doubt that the piercing had to come out. This was not rocket science. If you cannot lean back in a chair because the pain is too much, why would you keep this thing in??? She signed herself out against medical advice because, ‘she had invested too much in this piercing’
She came back a week later. The piercing had gotten hooked up in something and had bled a little and the pain was worse. The piercing came out……life went on.
I also saw a teenager who came in to the hospital with a limp. I immediately thought, that she had fallen and twisted the ankle or knee. Lo and behold, under those jeans, was a nice, big, fat, red infected tattoo that extended the length of her lower leg. She had a fever, she looked dehydrated, she looked like this was her worse day ever. I didn’t understand why she had not first came in as soon as the pain started.
The tattoo was badly infected. The skin was even peeling. We had to rush and start her on high dose IV antibiotics and even get the surgeons involved. The extent of the infection may have been to the bone.
However, her most important question was, ‘SleepyDoc, I hope this won’t affect how my tattoo will look?’
I was thinking, suppose you lose this leg because the infection is too far gone…….where will the tattoo be then?
I really wonder sometimes.
Obviously I don’t get out much.
I had a young 18 year old female come to the ER about a week ago. I don’t know if she thought her mom had implanted bugs in the ER but her vague answers to my questions were hilarious.
Sleepydoc: So are you sexually active?
Patient: not much.
Sleepydoc: Do you use condoms when having sex?
Patient: Not usually.
Sleepydoc: Do you smoke cigarettes or marijuana?
Patient: Not often…..(She wouldn’t admit to which one).
Sleepydoc: Do you drink often?
Patient: Every other day doc, when I hang out with my friends……
Sleepydoc: Well how much do you drink?
…..I figured I might as well ask since this was the only question she answered.
Patient: til I pass out.
Preparing for a close family member’s wedding…..plus moving….plus applying for an MBA program……plus crazy work schedule…..equals no blogging……
Ever so often you just shut down…..but it is is time to get back on track now….:)
Male patient, in his thirties decided it made sense to punch a hole through glass with both hands at the same time……..of course he was drunk at the time.
Lacerations everywhere on both upper extremities. He was ‘angry at his wife for asking him to take out the garbage’.
While suturing his MULTIPLE lacerations, he turns to ask me…….if I thought that he had ‘overreacted’.
Ummmmm……yeah….definitely. And when all that alcohol comes out of his system…he is gonna feel it.
It was a wild…crazy…night……
So here we were on another hectic Friday night.
Everyone is out drinking, partying and having a good time.
We the ER staff are being kept busy by several motor vehicular accident victims….they just keep rolling them in.
I was exhausted and had to keep a mental checklist of the patients who were extremely critical to the not so critical.
Then a prisoner came in claiming that he was being treated unfairly in prison and that his lower leg was hurting.
I examined him, found no swelling or tenderness, or even bruises. But, just to be sure, I did an xray, which also showed no bony injuries. When I informed the prisoner that there was nothing wrong, he jumped out of the chair and exclaimed that he was not going back to prison. Something had to be wrong for us the keep him. It was not that kind of night.
During all his antics I saw two more MVA victims come in. And I still had other patients to follow up on.
Apparently, on the prisoner’s way out, he grabbed someone’s soda can and started to chew on it. The prison guards got him to spit out the pieces……I don’t know how they did it, but I was soooo grateful. Then they escorted him out of the ER……
Don’t make an ER doctor’s work more than necessary. Whatever you did in your life to earn you a stay in prison is really on you.
Back when I was in 4th year,medical school, I rented an apartment in NY that was on the third floor of a building which had no elevator.
Doing laundry was a workout in itself. I had
To walk up and down those three flight of stairs with a heavy load of laundry.
Once, I was postcall, but still had to get my laundry done or else I would not have had chance to do it for a week because of my schedule. Tired, exhausted and half-asleep I was going down the stairs, slipped and fell landing on my right foot which twisted badly.
Honestly I thought I had broken it. I just sat there in excruciating pain, and all I could think of was that I had ‘screwed up’.
At the time I was on my surgical rotation and the attending was really hard on the students. However, if I could get an LOR from this guy, I would definitely get into a surgical residency, which is what I was extremely interested in at the time.
I did not even want to go to the hospital, and I didn’t. I dragged myself back up to my apartment. Then I wokeup on the floor of my apartment, just inside the door, about two hours later. I had actually lost consciousness due to the pain.
After being assessed at the hospital, I just had a sprained ankle. I stayed off my feet for two days. Showed up to work bright and early on crutches…….you better believe it.
Also getting around on the subway during peak hour while on crutches is like being roadkill….people will push you and actually tell you to, ‘get out of their way’.
Needless to say, when you are laser-focused on a goal, don’t let anything get in your way once you have a pulse.