3.25.2011

its friday, i'm in love!

well, for most people who work normal hour jobs, friday means the start of the weekend.  they think of fun things to do over the weekend or chores that need to get done.  mostly they think of spending time with loved ones away from work.  sometimes, i get to be like most people.  sometimes i do get weekends off & i love it! other times, like today, friday could be monday or tuesday for all i care because i'm on call this weekend.  i am "in house" (translation - sleeping or hoping i get to attempt to sleep in the hospital) for overnight call tonight.  then i have to come in and round (translation - see and examine the babies) on sunday.  normally when i take call on friday, i have sunday off but this weekend i'm doing a favor for one of the other fellows who is having her baby baptized.  so in the next 3 days, i will have worked somewhere around 35hrs depending on how long it takes to round on the babies on sunday.  i'm not complaining (although maybe i am just a little) because this is what i signed up for.  i knew going into this field that it required overnight in-house call.  i knew that it meant sometimes not sleeping in the same bed as my husband at night, or not sleeping at all for that matter.  but i absolutely love my job.

when i was in medical school thinking about what i wanted to be when i grew up, i had no idea.  i wanted to be a doctor, duh, but what kind, who knew?!?  it was hard enough getting into medical school, now i had to decide what kind of doctor to be?  after careful consideration, i chose pediatrics, not because i love kids. don't get me wrong, i do. i chose pediatrics because in general, kids get better.  they haven't abused their bodies with drugs and alcohol.  it's okay to hug you patients when they are kids.  their poopie diapers aren't as gross as adults.  they adapt quickly to being in the hospital and quickly realize they can guilt you into playing board games with them.  the list could go on and on.

once i was in residency, i figured out that i liked being in the hospital more than being in clinic.  unlike most doctors that work in critical care, i absolutely loved my well child checks.  i loved seeing my patients grow and develop.  i loved to talking to parents about anticipatory guidance.  it was the rest of it - the ear infections, the coughs and colds, the constipation visits, vague abdominal pain, adhd - that just wasn't for me.

i have always liked critical care.  i like the acuity of it.  i like thinking about the physiology of the meds or the ventilator.  i love procedures.  i tried desperately to like the picu (pediatric icu), but it was in vein.  i hated it.  it was very emotionally draining for me.  i couldn't stand seeing the 5 year old little girl who was now brain dead because she was playing outside when a stray bullet struck her.  i couldn't stand watching the 17 year old boy who a year ago was playing football and basketball with his friends now too weak to get up from his chemotherapy crying like a toddler in his mother's arms.  it was just too much for me.  even i as i type this, the emotions from that time period still resonate with me.  the kids in the picu have a story.  they have a personality.  they have best friends.  they have a life.  for me, this was just too much for me to deal with for the rest of my career.

i chose neonatology partly because for most of the babies, being in the nicu is their story.  we know everything that has gone on in their lives since they were born.  there isn't the worry that maybe the mother's boyfriend shook this baby so hard that he stopped breathing.  no, he's not breathing because he was born 3 months early.  it still offered me the acuity of taking care of sick patients, procedures galore, but it also offered me the continuity of seeing that baby born at 26 weeks get discharged from here.  now, don't get me wrong, i don't do procedures just to do procedures.  but there is a definite sense of accomplishment you feel when it's your hands that have put a breathing tube in a baby so they can breath, when it's your hands that put a teeny tiny iv in a baby so you can better monitor their blood pressures, when it's your hands that helped to alleviate the pressure on the baby's heart by getting the air or blood out of their chest with a tiny chest tube.  it's a great feeling to know your hands have helped these innocent babies. 

yes, some babies don't make it, and it does break my heart.  some babies end up so devastated developmentally or physically that i wonder if we've done more harm than good.  but most babies do great.  most babies go home with their families and begin their own story far away from the scary nicu.

so basically, the point of this long post (sorry i didn't realize this i what i was going to post about today) is that i my life.  i my husband.  i my career.  i hope one day i get to share this love with a little tiny baby of my own.

happy friday y'all!

2 comments:

  1. Well, with all that love you shared with us- I wanted to let you know that *I* loved this post.

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