Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stressed Out



My Life has been a roller coaster for the last couple of months.  I don't mean a nice Disney coaster either, I'm talking about Cedar Point 120 mph craziness.  Two partners have taken maternity leave this year and I have done my best to work extra and be supportive, but I think this year is taking its toll on me.

I feel like I have always kept a a decent work life balance. I exercise, eat well, make time for my family and attempt to take some time for myself in general, but over the last 6 months that balance has been close to impossible.

The additional roller coaster involved being offered  the opportunity of a life time this summer.  I was scheduled to travel internationally for 3 weeks. All expenses paid. Patients were rescheduled, passports obtained and childcare was arranged. I was SOOOO excited. Then the day before departure, the trip was canceled.

{Insert sad trombone}

So, back to work I went.  In hindsight I should have taken some time off, when I already had it blocked, but alas, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Somewhere during these crazy few months I started having these crazy fantasies: what if I had to have emergency surgery?  Wouldn't that  be AWESOME.  I could take a week off to recover. No one could bother me.  Now, before those of you who know me IRL have me admitted to the psych ward, I in no way ever wanted to hurt myself. Or have anything really wrong with me. No crying spells, no anxiety attacks. I just keep dreaming of  having an unruptured ectopic. Serious enough for surgery and a week off, but not life threatening or overly painful.

We go back to fully being staffed next week, and I have scheduled myself some down time to re-energize. I  have been focusing on that and already feel much better.  Hopeful to be back to my peppy self soon.

Anyone else ever get so busy and stressed out that they start imagining how awesome it would be to have appendicitis? 

17 comments:

  1. On one of my rotations I imagined how nice it would be to get hit by a car on the way home since then I wouldn't have to go back to the hospital the next day. Suffice to say I'm not going into ObGyn.

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  2. As an intern, I often thought about how great it would be to be hit by a car/train/anything - not enough to die, but maybe spend some time in vented in the ICU - both so I could not have to go back to some of my awful intern rotations and I could possibly finally get some sleep. You know life is bad when you are envious of your vented patients.

    Looking back, I probably could have used some therapy during that time.

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  3. I don't know if this will make you feel better or worse, but my husband and I are on a mini-vacation right now for 5 days. It was supposed to be three weeks. The one of his partners decided to go to the Congo, giving 3 weeks notice. Duration of the trip? 3 effing months. This doc had a FULL OR schedule and just dropped it. Our vacation shortened... and my husband is the Chief of his department. Whaa.effing.hoo. I feel like we're constantly being screwed, and he never has enough time to recover and catch up on his sleep. It sucks monkey balls.

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  4. All. The. Time. Seriously, its a frequently recurring fantasy. Maybe I need help, too. Or maybe we're all normal.

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  5. Of course. I recently needed an arthoscopy and went off for 6 weeks and felt very very good...I think we work too much. We really should have more time to rest. I wonder why doctors need to perform as superheroes they are not. Specially wemen.

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  6. This is the scariest thing I've ever heard. If this is normal for doctors then I pray I will be an extremely abnormal doctor. It might also be enough to force me into a "lifestyle" specialty, if there is a such thing.

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    1. Ive been on OB for 10 years and I do love my job. I've never been as busy as the last 6 months though. My schedule will be better soon.

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  7. I'm a second year IM resident on night float. I fantasized about getting hit by a train on my walk home the other day. Thank God tonight is my last night of night float!

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  8. Before I started in medicine, I used to look forward to getting the slightest illness so I could take a day off from the job that I hated. I realized it was time to switch careers when I had to go for GI imaging (complete with fasting and a colon prep), and I actually considered that completely worth not having to go into work on the day of the test.

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  9. Usually I feel sorry for my patients, but lately, I've been feeling jealous rather than sympathetic. How nice to just be able to be a patient for a short time with no outside obligations.

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  10. Sadly,I too have wished for a minor not too painfull injury in order to have some time off. This coming from someone who took 5 days of maternity leave with my first and 10 with my second. By the way appendicitis won't buy you much time. I had an acute appy 6 months postpartum and was discharged two hours post op.

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  11. I too have felt the urge to have a serious-enough-for-a-real-break thing happen... but luckily it never has! Slogging through for now, just like the rest of you :-)

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  12. Once I was so stressed by 1:2 call for a long time on a busy OB service that my only reaction to an abnormal mammogram was, "If it's cancer I'll get some time off!". Fortunately it wasn't cancer. I have since found a new job.

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  13. yes. YES. I have been that stressed out. I do think it is a sign you need a much deserved vacation, asap! You shouldn't have to be pregnant to get some time off ;) Hope you get some well-deserved R and R.

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  14. I'm only married to a doctor, not one myself. But I am a mom of a 2 year old and a 6 month old.
    I have often wished for an illness minor enough as to not be a serious threat but enough to require 'rest' and maybe surgery, whatever...just for some relief and sympathy.
    It's hard; I can't even imagine how difficult it is to be a physician and a mom.
    I'd always wanted to be a physician, and for numerous reasons it did not happen to date. So perhaps unrealized dreams are eating at me. Never claimed to be 'normal'. I really do believe that this society has totally messed up priorities and it is all too easy to swallow the sweet drink.

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  15. I am not sure I've wished an illness on myself. But I am always jealous of others with seemingly less stress....I walk by a secretary's office (she works for the nurse that's in charge of women's services at the hospital) and she's always looking so peaceful at her computer.....

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  16. Yes, when I'm exhausted on WR and seeing the patients lie their in their beds, I have thought 'I wish I was the patient lying there resting in bed' - then berate myself for that illogical thought of course!

    Also sometimes when WRs go forever, and the patients are being served lunch, I have found myself craving some of the patients' lunch…. ;-p

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