Sunday, December 13, 2009

My day last Wednesday......

A day as mom, wife and the cardiology teaching attending.

0603 Baby cries, out of bed. Husband gone to gym. Labradoodle wagging tail.

0635 Hug, kisses, clean diaper. Labradoodle pacing nursery.

0640 Oatmeal, applesauce, milk. Coffee for mom. Labradoodle watching expectantly.

0655 Wipe hands, face, high chair, floor. Labradoodle helpless, softly barks by door.

0657 Labradoodle returns from outside, excited for treat.

0700 Dad home from gym, Labradoole showers him with licks. Mom in shower.

0735 Find baby, Dad and doodle in playroom. Mom in dress and heels crouched in miniature chair to read book. Baby loses interest at page three, moves on to puzzle.

0755 Out the door. More coffee. Granola bar.

0805 Remind myself I should not be reading Blackberry while driving

0825 Park, walk past gym (boy I need to exercise), up to office

0830 Glance over desk multiple stacks of papers to beautiful view of water

0835 Sit down at desk, more coffee, sign charts, read emails, work on manuscript

0930 Don white coat, pack pockets with stethoscope, name badge, article to share with team, lip gloss

0935 Take deep breath, push metal plate button, mechanical doors open. Here we go. Heels clip, enter Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Vents wheeze, telemetry beeps. Long coated residents and short coated students assemble. Post call team members look weary. Start rounds.

0940 Review angiograms, echocardiograms from overnight admissions. To the bedside.

0950 Find mother with 20 year old son. New diagnosis of heart failure with uncertain prognosis. Attempt to convey seriousness of situation while allowing for an element of hope. More rounds.

1020 Team met by transplant patient taking new heart out for a lap around nurses station. Supported by physical therapists and with husband in tow, she pauses to give me a high five.

1040 More rounds.

1055 Grouchy man irritated that he has not had breakfast, and is waiting to go to cath lab. Attempt to diffuse his anger and reassure.

1115 More rounds.

1130 Patient with elevated neck veins, muffled heart sounds, low blood pressure. Review clinical diagnosis of cardiac tamponade (I am genius cardiologist/teacher).

1140 Patient with large pulmonary embolism, yesterday I was certain it was left heart failure (I am idiot cardiologist/ teacher).

1200 Urine nicotine positive on patient who requests heart transplant evaluation. Confront him about smoking. He denies. Without heart he dies. Cardiology fellow asks, “Wouldn’t you lie too in his situation?” I suppose if I were stupid enough to smoke with end stage heart failure I would be stupid enough to lie.

1230 More rounds. Post call intern looks miserable.

1245 Patient returns for the third time in 4 weeks. Could not afford his medicine.

1300 Last patient to see, of course not on the floor. March team to echo lab. Find patient. Finish rounds.

1330 Retreat to office for salad and almonds. More coffee. Dictation and charting.

1400 To pathology lab to review heart biopsy specimens from last week. Discuss with partner immunosupression for complicated patient.

1435 See clinical research study patient for exercise test. She sets new record on treadmill after artificial heart operation.

1500 Administrative meeting with Nurse Practioner to review clinic schedules, insurance pre-authorizations, upcoming travel to conference.

1615 Back to CCU to check on sick patients. Talk to families again. Confirm plan with nurses and fellows.

1730 Back to office, already sky is dark beyond window. Unpack lab coat pockets, transfer items to purse.

1745 Walk past gym (boy I need to exercise) drive home

1815 Pull into driveway. See Dad, baby and doodle down the street in a cluster of neighbors.

1817 Tackled by doodle who escapes from leash to greet me

1820 Pre packaged dinner into oven

1830 Back to floor with baby who is already in PJs. Books, puzzles, balls. Sing if you are happy then you know it.

1855 Upstairs for diaper, rocking chair, lullaby and bed

1910 Dinner out of oven. Defrost veggies. Glass of wine.

1940 Dishes, laundry, organize house.

2030 Climb into bed. Catch up with husband.

2100 Asleep


  1. We have such parallels in our day. Also have been thinking I need to go back to exercising - not sure where to carve out that time but think it's important. (although, I do the nightly glass of wine which has some benefits, right?)

  2. I'm not sure if wine benefits mental or physical health better. I would bet on the former.

    I wonder if the bouncing from genius to idiot gets worse over time. The more I learn, the stupider I feel.


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