I'm spending another night at the hospital sort of as a metaphorical method of keeping my fingers crossed. Baby boy should pull through just fine. He'll need to stay here and under quarantine for his own protection; he should officially no longer be contagious within the next few hours or so. We did have a dispute as to whether or not to make calls during the wee hours of the morning pertaining to an electrolyte situation or to wait until daylight. I have the telephone numbers for a reason, and I'm not afraid to call physicians at home. That's why I'm here. Baby boy might have been fine anyway, but now he's recovering from that particular setback even faster.
I did hear a nurse complain to a house physician of her opinion that I think that being my father's daughter gives me the right to be full of myself. I'm far beyond letting things like that hurt my feelings. There may even be a bit of truth to it -- not so much that I'm full of myself (or at least I hope that part is not true) though I am confident in what I know, but I am willing to push limits for the good of a patient possibly just a bit further than most in my situation because I'm maybe slightly less likely to get much flack for it. My only feeling about that is that yes, I am fortunate, and I wish everyone had a connection similar to mine that would allow him or her to feel supported in acting boldly in doing the right thing for his or her patients, but regardless, we all should be pushing our limits for the good of our patients and should be willing to take whatever flack comes our way as a result, regardless. As long as we are not practicing medicine unethically or incompetently, are not exceeding the scope of our training, and are not defying direct authority, and especially if no one dies on our watch, we are standing on solid ground.
So many medical students have been here before me. I wonder if they felt what I feel under similar circumstances. I think about how they dealt with the feelings. At some point we have mandatory joint support group counseling sessions to discuss this very thing. I scoffed at the idea initially, but am now beginning to believe that there might be justification for the practice.
I'll be tired tomorrow (technically today), because choosing to stay at the hospital with a patient tonight doesn't automatically give me the next day off. On the other hand, I am being supervised by incredibly kind pediatricians this week. One or another of them will probably notice the inevitable dark circles that will appear under my eyes (and no, I won't sketch them on with a blue eye shadow pencil if they don't show up on their own; I want sympathy in the form of time off for a few hours of make-up sleep, but I'm not that desperate for it) and will probably send me home early. Life is good.
If you've been following my saga in the last six weeks or so, you may very well believe that I am bi-polar. I'm not. Really. It's just the nature of the beast. Young adulthood changes from unbelievably dismal to equally sublime with less than a moment's notice. Circumstances of this phase of medical school are similarly capricious. It would be perfectly lovely if every medical situation with which I'm ever connected were to have such a blissful ending as this one seemingly will. The sun shines a bit brighter and the world is a sweeter place when a baby whose life was in jeopardy makes a recovery. I will not always be so fortunate, nor will my patients, so I shall pause, smell the flowers, and savor the moment.
I don't own this video. To whomever owns the rights to it: please allow me to borrow it if only for a short time.