The OR desk just called to inform me that I was supposed to be starting my first case at 7:30. I glance at my clock. Its 7:25 and I’m sitting at my kitchen table eating a bowl of grapenuts. I look again at my calendar, its empty. My notoriously anal surgery scheduler must have forgotten to put the case on my schedule. I hate the feeling of starting the day 3 steps behind. As I hurriedly get dressed, I realize that I have not done laundry. The only clean bra left, is a black lacy push up number that I bought on a whim for my last anniversary. I have only worn it once. Normally it lives at the bottom of the drawer next to the unmatched socks. Oh well, I think as I pull on my shapeless dark green scrubs over head, no one will know. I grab a banana and head out the door.
I drive quickly to the hospital. My scheduler rarely makes mistakes. Tell myself it’s not the end of the world. I make myself calm down before I call her. She apologizes.
As I rush into the hospital my phone rings. It’s the radiologist calling with a CT result on a different patient. He is concerned for malignancy . The corridor is loud and crowded, I can’t hear him clearly as I race down the hall. Holding the phone with my left hand, I place the index finger of my right hand in the opposite ear in order to help drown out the background noise. As I briskly march down the corridor in intense conversation with the radiologist, I notice several people looking at me quite funny. A couple folks even point and laugh. How rude, I think, rather irritated in general. As I approach the elevator, I realize the source of laughter. I was holding the banana in my right hand… which was held to my right ear. So to everyone in the corridor I had appeared to be having a serious conversation while using a banana as a phone. Nice.
Next stop is the OR. I took a couple of deep breaths, apologize for my tardiness, reviewed the charts and performed the surgery. I then head to office where I am greeted by a very sweet “I’m sorry” coffee, from my scheduler. All is well with the world, other than getting a couple teasing texts from people about my banana phone.
I finish up late and head to my dermatology appointment. I have had several atypical moles in the past, so I get skin checks every 6 months. As I arrive at the office, the nurse takes me back hands me a small paper gown and says ”everything off but your bra and underwear” then quickly steps out.
At this moment I begin to panic. I suddenly remember that I am wearing my sexy bra.
What is my dermatology colleague going to think when they have me slip off the gown and I stand there being analyzed looking like I stepped out of a Victoria secret catalog, except add 15 pounds, spider veins and pasty January legs.
I weigh the options: reschedule appointment, get completely naked, make bra joke or just pretend that I don’t look like a wannabe pin up girl.
I go with ignoring the elephant in the room.
Attractive dermatologist, who is my same age and is seen at regular social functions, steps in the room. I make no small talk just look straight ahead as I drop the sheet at let them exam me.
I stand up tall and proud. I’m all cleavage and cellulite in the always flattering florescent lighting of the cold exam room.
“All’s good. I’ll see you around,” Dr. Derm says awkwardly.
I take another deep breath and laugh.
On the drive home I think back over the silly day I’ve just had and realize that in general I take myself way too seriously. As physicians we get held to higher standard, but at the end of the day doctors are just like everyone else. We have bad days. We forget to do laundry. We have cellulite.
I could have rehashed the day in anger. Instead I told my stories to my husband over a nice glass of wine that night, and we had a really good laugh.