Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One day in my clinician-educator internist's life, last week

2:15 am Daughter appears in bedroom doorway. Blanket has fallen off bed. Why she is unable to replace is a mystery, otherwise very capable 4 1/2 year-old.
2:15:30 am Back to my room, door slightly ajar. I fear the worst. The cat has infiltrated the sacred sleeping space. Allergic to cat.
2:15:35 am Back into bed.
2:17 am Cat jumps on bed. Turn on the light and spend next 5 minutes looking for him. (Husband away on business - am alone dealing with cat highjinx.)
2:45 am Never found cat. Can't sleep. Thinking about 1,000 things. Eventually fall asleep.
6:19:30 am Wake preemptively to 6:20 am alarm, then set it for 6:40 am. So tired.
6:40 am Awaken to alarm.  Let cat out of room - he is peeved to have been trapped inside all night. The nerve!
6:55 am Daughter enters my bathroom as I'm getting ready - she hangs out a bit then watches some Super Why while I finish getting dressed.
7:10 am Son awake and summoning me with a pressing "MAMA! MAMA!"
7:20 am All are dressed for school, head downstairs for breakfast.
8:00 am I'm out the door after goodbye kisses. Nanny will take kids to preschool.
8:50 am Walk into office, answer emails etc
9:10 am Arrive at Team room - first day back as ward attending. Start rounds, we are on-call. Take advantage of teachable moments. Only gentle, encouraging pimping.
10:30 am Done with rounding, resident and I meet with interdiscplinary team for discharge planning. I love my social worker and case manager.They are the greatest.
10:45 am Back in office. Starving -skipped breakfast - eat grapes, saltines. Wonder how early I can eat my lunch. More emails. Do some writing for a manuscript. Multiple, multiple emails with various collaborators on different research projects.
11:45 am Start calling ward teams to find good patients with physical exam findings for physical examination round teaching session for third-year students at 2pm.
11:55 am Eat lunch (leftovers) in between calls to teams to find patients, writing, email, and 28,471 other things.
2:00 pm Meet students, show them picture of Osler and have them guess who it is. Need hints. Introduce him as the Father of Modern Medicine and read an inspiring quote about the art of observation as segue to physical exam rounds.
Divvy up students into 3 groups to go with 3 faculty mentors - I have one group.
2:15 pm See first patient together. Student notices his great example of clubbing. Discuss causes, pathophysiology, correlate to current patient.
2:35 pm See second patient with interesting heart exam. No one else can hear his murmur. Have them all listen multiple times in same spot but 2/6 systolic ejection murmur continues to elude. Patient is wonderful with us, wants to help, has fun.
3:02 pm Call in two minutes late to conference call with collaborators (who are also friends) for a research study.
4:45 pm Finally done with very productive call - head to team room to see how call is going.
4:55 pm Leave- with husband out of town, have to pick-up daughter at school.
5:45 pm Pick up daughter
6:10 pm Dinner altogether, made by godsend nanny
6:45 pm Up for daughter's shower, read story to both, changed into pajamas. The two roughhouse a bit until someone ends up crying.
7:10 pm Resident calls with run-down of admissions so far. Son and daughter chant her name over and over, much to her delight.
7:15 pm Son tucked in with bear and lullaby - he is starting to sing along - I've sung this to him since he was a wee bug.
7:20 pm Do daughter's Stars for the day - I'm generous and she gets all 5 today (say please and thank you; try not to whine; share; clear your plates; make bed). Daughter tucked in. Same lullaby by demand.
7:35 pm Curled up on couch under throw blanket, writing for leisure and work. Miss husband.
10:00 pm Call husband. Then stay up working on side project (essay on health policy) --my usual routine when he's away (otherwise asleep by 10:30).
11:20 Done. Sleep. Hope blankets don't fall off beds tonight.


  1. I continue to be impressesed with your efficiency... cat and blanket notwithstanding. I'm looking forward to checking out SuperWhy, and eventually reading any of your "side" projects!

  2. T- SuperWhy is AWESOME. Love it. PBS. Daughter loves it and helps her in her sweet efforts to read.

  3. I loved this! Nice to see I'm not the only one who deals with husband absence syndrome.

  4. Great post! I remember writing one on my own blog last fall when my husband was gone for a week. Doesn't it just make you feel like a superwoman??

    As much as I hate blankets falling off beds, as well as alien nightmares threatening a full night's sleep, it pales in comparison to sick nights and the nights of nursing babies, doesn't it? Not to diminish - it's all relative.

    Glad to see there are gentle, encouraging pimpers out there!

  5. FD: Husband Absence Syndrome (HAS) affects me greatly and swiftly. He's totally my partner in crime (and child-rearing and life-coaching).

    Gizabeth: Yes 5 seconds of being up mucho preferable to extended go-back-to-sleep convos, nursing, changing soiled sheets, etc etc. If only I could go back to sleep for sure afterwards!

  6. Whew! I did this post type once...my crazy parenting/premed combo. http://khebert.blogspot.com/2009/09/24-hours.html


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