Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Estoy aprendiendo como los tiempos cambian.

There's a current popular contemporary christian song that has frequently been finding its way into my afterthoughts. One line in particular. "We all bleed the same." The artist sings advocating love one towards another. I was thinking about it as I watched my fellow travelers fill the airplane last weekend. Single file line, waiting for the aisle to clear, then continuing on towards their designated seat. I would watch their faces, and imagined a sketch book that God had taken, pencil in hand, into which He etched each eye crinkle and hair curl, and made the jaw line just so. There were no two faces the same. Each completely unique. Each completely beautiful.

We all bleed the same.
We're all beautiful. Created down to the last eyelash with the same loving hand. Each one.

I was on my way to Illinois. Got to spend about 40 hours with my nephews and celebrate Christmas with the family.
 Peter Bear
 Little Lincoln
and Miles Austin

Group effort opening Miles' Christmas gift!!

Back at work this week, doesn't even feel like I missed a beat. Not much had happened over the weekend that I hadn't already set up for before leaving on Friday. Made it easy to pick it back up again right in rhythm.  Waiting to sign out this evening I sat and listened as my chief bemoaned the fact that she's taking two weeks vacation over the holidays. How busy she is going to be seeing all of her family and all of her fiancee's family, and how tired it will make her that it won't feel like a vacation at all.  As I listened I heard the song playing through the back of my mind again. No matter how different we are; we all have been created with love. We're all beautiful. We all bleed the same.

Much Love.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Estoy preparando.

1. We went.
2. He’s okay.

And they weren’t joking! I got to do the whole case!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Estoy calculando el riesgo.

There’s some names that everyone knows. A patient that has been at the hospital months on end, just about every resident has been involved in some aspect of his or her care. Or a patient, for good or bad, who is a frequent flier on the surgical service.
This particular gentleman is the later example, a frequent flier.  Every couple of weeks he shows up as a direct admit to the floor. Sent in from clinic with abnormal lab values, or another virus. He usually walks in with his suitcase, “here to check in again!”  So, when I saw his name on the ICU census, I was very surprised. Considering how closely he is followed, anything and everything should be caught in early stage. Soon enough to stop it in its tracks.  Evenso, he’s there, critically ill, fighting for his life as he does everyday just now with higher stakes.  I was then even more surprised to hear his name mentioned by my Thoracic surgery attending. “They want a lung biopsy, so you’re going to do it Christy. No one is going to take this from you. A lot of the bad stuff is in the region of the lingua, so we’ll take a wedge of that. And this one’s yours Christy!” At least that’s what she told me. Another story when we talked with the ICU team. “Absolutely not!!!”  They seem to be under the impress he’s way too critical to survive even leaving his room let alone allowing us to position him on his side and collapse a lung to do surgery. I got consent from the surrogate just in case, we do get to go.
1) Will we get to go?
2) Will he be okay?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Estoy pensando en la navidad.

Hitting the Christmas music pretty hard this year. Wish I could carry it around with me throughout the hospital.

Change of rotations today. Always leaves the teams short staffed. We are supposed to have eight 2nd year residents in our program. We are now officially down to 5 of us. So short staffed on top of starting with a severe handicap left me as the only 2nd year resident at the hospital today. Every single chief didn’t ask, just went ahead and used me in their 2nd year position. Thoracic and consults. Trauma. Vascular. General Surgery. I guess one did ask. “Hey Christy, are you busy?” Yes, actually I’m very busy. “Oh, well, come and scrub me out of this case.” So he didn’t really ask.

At a time when one of my Thoracic patients was not doing too well up on the floor. Two vascular patients were in the ED needing admission, booking and consenting. And the pages went out for two traumas to come in. My chief texts to ask if I’m there. Says she’ll look for someone to help me. Thankfully, another one of my co-residents actually just showed up, instead of saying they’ll see if they can help. Then in the middle of the two activations one of my Attendings calls me to ask how I am. (A little background: earlier in the day I had asked this Attending for help, and he had tried to weasel out of it as quick as he could) So exasperated I was at the general show of caring with no action to back it up, that without thinking I barked into the phone that I was “FINE!” While thinking to myself, you’re off the hook sir. No worries! We got this! Thankfully I immediately caught myself and lost the bark.

Sigh, hence the Christmas music. Lots of Christmas music!

Much Love.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Estoy cansada.

I’ve learned that I am not allowed to complain. Especially in the presence of nurses. Even if you’re just trying to empathize with a group of complaining nurses, they’ll shut you down right fast. Wag a finger at you saying, “you signed up for it.”
So I’ve learned to simply listen intently and agree with whatever they need my assent on. And no matter how I’m feeling, or the day is actually going, when asked, the appropriate response is always, “Living the Dream.”

Most of the time, it’s the truth. But then sometimes, it’s about all you can do to look straight and keep calm. For me, those times come when I’m already baseline exhausted. As a surgical resident, we will acknowledge that we walk around the hospital with baseline GCS14. (Ideal is GCS15, we lack that last point due to constant state of confusion and lack of orientation to time) But when I can’t seem to clear the exhaustion fog, work gets blown out of proportion in my mind.

It happens to us all. This month, the intern and I ran ragged keeping the vascular ship afloat. My studying time has severely suffered. Next month is looking like it will be more of the same. Living the dream! Living the dream!

Much Love.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Estoy orando.

I had a patient declare my doppelgänger to be Amelia Earhart today. We had just finished our case during which I had deployed a filter within his inferior vena cava. But had only used a bunch of local to do so, therefore he supposedly was considered to be at his baseline of alert and oriented x 3. The last time someone tried to assign my doppelgänger as a Russian American actress, my family immediately veto’d that idea.

He persisted with his statement that I looked like Amelia Earhart, until I flipped him up on his side in order to move him off the OR table. Despite the usual warning, the movement startled him. To which the Anesthesiologist reassured him, “don’t worry, she’s never dropped anyone.... yet.” Either way, we were finally distracted away from any supposed look alike.

My chief told me not to come to the hospital this past Friday. I’ll be honest that it caught me off guard, and I was hesitant at first. But when I was able to collect what it ment... 48 hrs away from the hospital... I didn’t dare argue with that, opting instead to hold my breath until it became reality. After leaving the hospital Thanksgiving night I packed a bag and fled. I spent two whole days up with family and friends in CT. Much fellowship, great conversations, good food (Thanksgiving left-overs included) and some time to study! In the absence of being able to attend church, it definitely did my soul good.

Much Love.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Estoy una chica aburrida.

You know the phrase “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” A proverb,  been floating around for a couple of hundred years. Who knows where it actually originated from. Maybe was even some kid trying to explain to Mom why the chores aren’t done. Doesn’t really matter.
I wonder, has anyone ever asked if maybe Jack was just a dull boy to start with?

Residency has a sort of monotony to it. My friends all periodically move, or change jobs, or have another kid. Something new, and I’m still here, just working. Makes my life dull in all appearances. But on top of that, God granted me a rather dull personality to begin with. I learned years ago that it is best to be friends with funny people. Then all I have to do is laugh and we get along great. And I love laughing, so makes it easy for everyone.

That’s not to say I never make a joke. Why just the other day I tried my hand at it. Granted the Attending took me seriously and then I had to backpedal pretty hard to reassure him that I had, in fact, only been joking. Fail #1. And then later that day when I was recounting the interaction to my team in hopes of maybe getting a secondhand laugh at least, my chief, who is the Ukrainian soldier amongst our crew, without looking at me simply responded, “Don’t joke.” Fail #2.

On the other hand...

I once had one of my medical students look at me and say, “You know... if someone called you and said “The world is ending!!! You’d calmly respond, “okay, meet me in 5 minutes, and we’ll discuss.”

There’s many different personalities in this world. And with a little bit of faith it’s easy to see just how well orquestrated it can be. We can use our different strengths to work together. I must concede, and let others make the jokes. After all, they need people to laugh at the joke, same as I need someone to make the joke. We all have our roles.

In the end, I know there’s no hope in challenging a proverb that hundreds of years old. But, what’s wrong with Jack being dull?

Much Love.