Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Modern-Day Pioneer

It's finally lunch break time, but since food is out of the question for me when I need to go right back to work, it's blogging time. Fortunately for me, I have my private laptop here. I'm not supposed to use my work laptop for personal use. That seems unfair since I paid for it myself, and I could get away with a little personal use, I'm sure, without anyone ever being any the wiser, but I'm generally a rule-follower where it comes to my schooling and future career. I may someday become a rebel gain, but I will ensure that I have my MD and board certification before I once again allow my true nature to come through.

A fourth-year-resident gave me a ride home as my shift was ending yesterday because I was experiencing too much vertigo to drive safely. The residents and attendings have been most generous about offering rides when i need them. I don't even have to ask, and I've never had to call Matthew for a ride. My peers are not usually on my shift right new, or I assume they would help. Tney'd certainly be my first choice if I were in a position of having to ask. 

I really appreciate the offers of my superiors and of not having to beg for rides, as it would be a very awkward thing for me. I don't like having to ask for help. The way these people present it, they're not doing me any favors; it's society at large who is benefiting, as I'm not safe to drive on a lot of mornings or very late evenings. I'll be so incredibly glad when the last prophylactic injection happens tomorrow morning, and I'm theoretically feeling back to normal in another five to seven days or so after that. all except that I've taken off 8.5 pounds. I was all the way up to 96 lbs., which at just over 5'3"seems light, but I have bones like those of a bird, which I inherited from my mom. 

So now I'm a whopping 87.5, which is rather disgusting. We were asked to come to work in simple, easy-to-work-in costumes on the eve of the Halloween, which extended to the 31st once midnight hit as I worked graveyard. I wore a black glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume (with all the bones in the accurate positions). The physician in charge said he'd never seen a more realistic-looking skeleton and that I should perhaps hire myself out as a model to the anatomy classes. Another doctor said it would be a bad idea because I look so realistic that 1st-year students might pull out their scalpels and begin slicing into me.

This, too, shall pass. I'm not a huge eater even under the best of circumstances, but neither am I the anorexic that I was derisively accused of being in high school. I'll eat whatever I need to eat to look healthy as soon as I'm able to do so. I don't do well with Ensure or those other products designed to put weight on the calorically challenged. I'm going to have to gain the weight back eating real food.  One of the ER doctors, believing I need nutritional advice, has counseled me as to the importance of eating substantial and nutritious food as opposed to sugary and fatty junk. Right now I'm doing well to keep down soda crackers and seven-up; I don't know if she realizes that or not. I also don't know if she has forgotten that I had to take Nutrition 101 as a prerequisite along with everyone else, and that I did quite well in the class, but I'll give her a pass, as she's apparently concerned about my well-being. Nutritious food is obviously desirable, but it's going to take a few empty calories as well to get myself back to the whopping weight of 96 that I was before any of this nonsense started.

Almost all of us happen to have the night of the 8th off. We're having an election party, not that most of us are all that invested in the election. Four years ago, the outcome would have been far more interesting to me. Now, it's more of a social occasion. Ice cream in many forms will be one of the featured desserts. I'll try to eat as much of it as I can without overdoing it and undoing any good that I might have done.

The group wants to hold the event at my condo. I said no because I cannot manage the clean-up. Raoul says he has organize a clean-up crew and that he place will be cleaner when the event is finished than it was before. He says i can go to bed as soon as I'm tired and assume the cleaning will be taken care of, and that even Matthew will not be expected to do more than his share.

I will be working day shift in the office on the 8th and will be tired. The effects of the regime will be starting to wear off but may not yet be gone. My epidemiologist told me that while things will get better, I shouldn't expect to have my full strength back until I regain the lost weight. 

I don't work for two days later in the week. Once each year each 3rd and 4th-year student is assigned to attend some sort of culture event. I don't really know the point of it in terms of whether it's just a form of R & R or genuine exposure to culture. Someone in the student affairs office signs each of us up for an event, usually slightly out of the immediate area but not more than a few hours of travel away. A ticket to the event is procured, travel arrangements to and from are made, and lodging is arranged. We get a three-star hotel, which is OK, I suppose, considering it's free. When I was a kid, my family almost always stayed in three-star hotels, so I shouldn't pretend to be pretentious and behave as though I've never walked through the doors of such an establishment  and it's below my standards. I prefer four-star accommodations or better (who doesn't?), but when I have kids (I started to write "when I grow up and have kids;" I must stop speaking and writing that way. I am grown up) maybe it's best if they spend more time in clean three-star accommodations than in ritzier places so that they don't grow up feeling too entitled. An occasional splurge is fine, but I would probably be doing any future kids I produce a disservice by allowing them to believe that a Holiday Inn is beneath them. We get transportation to and from the hotel to the event. Then, after a late check-out, we're transported back.

For security purposes I cannot say any more about where I'm going, when I'm going,  and what I'm doing, but I must admit that I'm looking forward to it. The timing could have been better, but neither I nor my peers can complain, as all of our culture nights were scheduled months go. I'm just lucky mine wasn't scheduled for any point in the previous three weeks or even now. It wouldn't then have been enjoyable. 

Iv'e held out for nearly this entire blog before ranting about my major complaint. A fourth-year resident kindly gave me a ride home early Wednesday morning, then promptly left for a previously scheduled work-related engagement in another part of the state. I left my cell phone in her car. I didn't even miss it for almost three hours , but by then she was well on her way. Then I started to go completely bonkers over the loss of my phone, having no clue where I might have left it. (The drugs cause a bit of mental fog on top of the lovely digestive effects.) At about that point the fourth-year resident called Matthew to tell him my phone is in her car. He called on the land line to our house from his place of work. She'll be back tomorrow. She's busy enough that I didn't want to ask her to FedEx it back to me. I'll get the phone back early on Friday. We have a land line and I have an old cell phone that I can use to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. Still, I admit that I have been going through withdrawal and that it has been rough.

Because I worked through high school and was forced to save most of my earnings, and also because I have grant money that in theory isn't restricted exclusively to tuition, residency, or practice start-up related expenses, plus I have another source of income, the specifics of which I do not divulge but that I could have eventually accessed to reimburse myself for the cost of the phone if necessary. Hence, in theory I could have gone out and gotten myself a new cell phone. Had I been in possession of ever-so-slightly more energy, I might very well have done so, but fatigue along with guilt over spending money frivolously forced me to make do with the land line and the old cell phone for 9-1-1 purposes for 48 hours or so. Life can be rough. I'm a pioneer of sorts.


  1. Wow... you are really struggling with low weight, aren't you? I hope you feel better soon.

    1. I had my last shot a little over 38 hours ago and have already put on two pounds. I'm attending an ice cream part on election night, so that should help as well. I'll get the weight back on if I work a bit at it.