Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Looking back over the past week, I can say with the utmost confidence that it has been a completely wretched week.  I was held until midnight almost every night last week, and then I was on call on Sunday.  Call started with a code and a slash trach as we rolled in at 7AM on Sunday and ended with the third... no, fifth emergent ex-lap in a young patient with a terrible prognosis as we transported her to the SICU at 8AM, an hour after we were supposed to get relieved..  We did high acuity case after high acuity case for 24 hours straight.

No, I take that back.  We did have a two hour respite between 12:45 and 2:45 AM when we retired to our call rooms, only to find construction workers painting and chatting amongst themselves.  Apparently, "They will not be working on the call rooms over the weekend," ended at midnight on Sunday.  At first it was even bearable.  As I dozed off to the wafting paint fumes, the din of the fan outside muted most of their lively banter.  And then they turned off the fan and started sanding the wall behind the head of my bed.

At 1:45 I wrote an email stating that contrary to what we had been told, they had been working on our call rooms overnight, and one resident had no place to sleep, as the alternative call room was locked, and we were not given the code.  I'm sure it will be interpreted as "She has a bad attitude," because that is how residency is.  Perhaps I will get lucky, and will merely receive a, "I'm sorry that happened to you," and nothing will be done to remedy the situation for the future.

I slept absolutely zero.  When I got home, I could only sleep for three hours.  After that I just couldn't anymore.  I fell into bed at 7PM after repeatedly falling asleep at the dinner table to the noise of my daughter having a nuclear tantrum and my husband responding to it with his own tantrum.  I barely remember interacting with either of them at all that day.

And then I got berated all day in the OR the next day.  Then I came home, and the cleaners, which my husband had kindly rescheduled so that I wouldn't be kept up by them on Monday, were there until 6:30 PM, so it didn't even matter that I got out on time because I had to sit in the basement for an hour.

I also looked up the outcomes of our various cases.  That was depressing as well.

Today was actually good.  I ended up giving away my mandatory overtime, and managed to get out on time.  I had a good attending.  But then I saw my assignment for tomorrow, and I am now dreading it.  Yay.  It's like one of the CA3s said when I was a CA1, "When I see that I am [doing what I am doing tomorrow], a piece of me dies inside." Yes, yes it does.

My husband, who until yesterday basically was a single parent for a week and a half, has also been at wits end, with an incredibly short fuse, and my daughter has had a nuclear tantrum every single night since I've been home for bedtime.  I'm sure it's due in part to my recent schedule.

I keep reminding myself that I only have 5.5 weeks at this particular set of ORs left in ALL OF RESIDENCY.  But of course, there will be fellowship with all of its delights as well.  I feel like I'm not even allowed to feel exhausted, sad about the outcomes of my patients, or angry about how we get treated as residents, because it will just be interpreted as whining by an ungrateful resident who doesn't know how good she has it.

Ugh.  This sucks.  2 weeks until it starts to get a little better.


Solitary Diner said...

You absolutely are allowed to whine about these things. They're tough. And sometimes whining is the only thing that gets a person through residency.

And ice cream.

And alcohol.

Good luck with it.

Solitary Diner said...

*I are allowed to feel exhausted!

(I am so exhausted I can't even coherently comment on a blog post, apparently.)

nicoleandmaggie said...


atlantagirl30345 said...

You might be interested in this article (though, frustratingly, they basically discuss it as a problem for surgical residents when really a lot of people face these challenges.)

annie said...


I remember right around this point in residency, I had a laparoscopic vag hyst coming up with one of the worse, old school, abusive attendings around (I had already matched in MFM fellowship, mind you - no laparoscopics or vag hysts in my future). I was dreading it for days...I fell asleep at a stop sign driving home (I was so tired) and had a little dream that he actually slapped me (as opposed to verbally berating me) since then I could just leave. He was 9 hours late for the case (really - I called him per OR request and he yelled 'don't call me, I'll call you' and slammed the phone down), yelled the whole time, stormed out when the ureter wouldn't flux for us when we were cysto-ing at the end, and left me scrubbed and holding a cystoscope @ midnight with a possible whacked ureter.

The ureter wasn't whacked.
I got the patient off the table.
part of me died inside.
That was November of my chief year.
That was the pits.
It got better.
Three years later I can even kind of laugh at how ridiculous it was.
It gets better.
hang in there.
You're really almost there.
Even though it doesn't feel like it.