Showing posts with label kids in residency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids in residency. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Girls Day and Hurricane Dorian

Since my husband and son left town for a family event, I spent the entire past 2 days alone with my 7 year old daughter. It's been amazing. Thinking back, I think we have only had a handful, if that, of "alone time" opportunities since I started residency over 2 years ago. She is so fabulous. We did all the "girl" things that she loves; went shopping, Sephora, manicures, brunch, and pizza dinner. (How these are her favorite activities, I have no idea, since I am not particularly into fashion, makeup, or sparkles, and I  specifically chose a field where I can wear socially sanctioned glorified pajamas with my hair in a bun every day for work.)

We live in the southeast, where Hurricane warnings closed school the past 2 days, but the hurricane never did arrive in the way we feared. (But the devastation caused by Dorian is heart breaking, shattering, and completely devastating. There are many charity organizations already established and I encourage you to do your research and choose to help as you can. I have added some links below.)

This time with her made me realize the toll of the treadmill that our little family has been on the past almost decade of med school and residency. Between homework, dinner, bath, work, camp, sleep(?) and everything in between, I think that I lost sight of the down time, and effortless sense of "being together" necessary to strengthen relationships and get to experience my kids as they grow up as individuals. While initially I was sad that my call schedule didn't allow me to attend the family celebration, I am so thankful for this time at home. Staycation alone time is definitely something I want to do more of in the future.


Here are links that highlight some of the ways to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian
https://www.newschannel5.com/news/heres-how-to-help-communities-affected-by-hurricane-dorian

https://impact.publicgood.com/campaign/3267a266-ee73-4daa-b7fe-778d036c5e6a

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-dorian-relief-fund/

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Residency Roast

Another academic year comes to a close this weekend. Tomorrow a fresh fleet of interns across the country will be starting their first days nervous and tremulous to be finally let loose on the wards. Although most of my classmates have walked out of the clinic for the last time, I and a number of my classmates have “mom time” to make up for maternity leave (which feels a little like a punishment for having a baby during residency, despite only taking a 5 week maternity leave....but I digress) so I’ll be around a few more weeks.

Our residency celebrates the end of each year with a large banquet to celebrate the new arrivals and to honor the graduating residents with awards, nice words, and roasts. The outgoing residents get roasted by the program director first, followed by another roast by the incoming chief residents. The outgoing chiefs roast the faculty, and everyone has a good laugh along with some good food and drinks.

As a graduate, I was able to bring a whole table full of family to the banquet this year. During cocktail hour I was able to show off Toddler as we mingled with my friends and coworkers and faculty and guests. I was honored to be able to receive an award as well as present a teaching award and was glad those close to me were able to make it. 

I awaited the roasts with some trepidation. I felt I had a lot of potential - I’m a messy eater, a loud talker, a clumsy walker. My PD went first. When it was my turn, he poked fun at my small town (as he is originally from a neighboring small town to my own), my instant apologies whenever something even mildly inappropriate escaped my filter, and my overall “church lady” nature (I used to play church piano and work at a Catholic hospital so it was fitting). He did mention how pragmatic I was, to the point I would send my child away when I was on weeks of night float to my small town (my mom and sister cheered at this point seeing as that was who Toddler spent the most time with on those nights). 

I instantly had a bit of a flashback and felt a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach. I hated those weeks so much. I remember the first week of night float I had as a parent. I stressed Husband out so much trying to get us to cross paths for those 15 minutes before he had to leave for work and I was coming home and vice versa and losing sleep trying to spend minutes with my Baby. It was awful. It was nerve wracking and left me in tears. The next week I sent Baby to my parents. It was such a good logical solution. My Baby would get to spend time with his grandparents who lived out of town, and they coordinated things so my in-laws could see Baby too. My husband was less stressed trying to hurry home as fast as possible to I could see Baby for five minutes before heading to work. And I got to sleep. It worked so well we did it for pretty much every week I had of night float. 

Logic didn’t stop the deep pit I would feel in my stomach as I handed off Baby each of those weeks. It felt like an essential part of me was getting ripped from my gut every time. I would do those hand offs and head off to the hospital to spend overnights alone isolated in my call room or being crushed by the pager. It was absolutely awful. 

And even in the banquet hall, surrounded by those I love most and my co residents and members of my residency who I will miss dearly, surrounded by all the warm fuzzies from sharing memories and laughter together, I felt a remnant of that aching pain in the pit of my stomach. As I looked around the room and thought about all that I would miss about my program, I knew what I would be the happiest to leave behind.

I snuck into Toddler’s room that night when he was fast asleep. I watched him sleep with his face shoved against his crib mattress and his diapered butt up in the air. I thought about how grateful I am for my upcoming attending  job - outpatient with low volume OB call - and thought about all the weekends and nights we would be able to spend together from here on out. I am so happy for the bonds he has formed with his grandparents and extended families from those weeks away, but am even happier that those weeks have finally come to an end.

With love,
Kicks 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday AM coffee


The golden weekend begins

I wake up at 7:30 before my alarm. Approx 10 seconds of quiet uninterrupted bliss ensues when I realize I’m the only one awake. I can’t wait to make Saturday morning coffee. Then Dog demands to go outside.

While dog is outside, I read the last few page stories of the mystery I’ve been working on. Toddler fusses. I think “only ten pages to go” and Toddler falls miraculously back asleep and I finish my book.

Toddler fusses again. No coffee yet. Upstairs I find Toddler covered in poo including pieces in hair and hands. Apparently letting him eat that much pizza last night was a mistake. Toddler is protesting in the tub but much much cleaner 5 minutes later. I peek out in the hall for backup, turns out Husband heard the commotion and closed the bedroom door for a little longer sleep in. Hmph.

Toddler is dried out of bath. I sit him downstairs with yogurt and all is forgiven instantly. He smears his yogurt-covered hands through his recently bathed hair as I rinse the poo off of sheets, his pajamas, my pajamas and throw in the wash. Coffeemaker is finally started. I sit down with my own yogurt, which Toddler immediately realizes is different from his own and demands some. We share a little more yogurt.

Toddler gets spot cleaned, and I finally pour my cup of coffee.

It’s a beautiful day. Toddler loves being outside. Dog, coats, boots are collected and I spill a little of my precious “mom juice” on the floor. (“Mom juice” is my explanation to Toddler for coffee, wine, diet Mountain Dew, etc.). Clean floor. I go out thinking I might sit outside a sip some coffee, watch the commotion and listen to the radio. Coffee is a little colder but still tolerable. Spill some coffee on my old white worn fleece

I drag my chair to the sunny corner of the backyard, before realizing I have nowhere to put my coffee down. Coffee sits on little mud pile.Toddler decides he wants to rock with me on the chair, then by himself.  The ball is thrown to dog. Sip. Throw. Sip. Throw. Toddler gets stuck in his plastic car. Extract Toddler. Sip. Run around yard with Toddler and Dog. Sip slightly warm coffee.

Sneak inside to top off cup with warm coffee and grab Kleenex for Toddler.

Back inside. Laundry gets  done, clothes are packed and bathroom gets cleaned. Toddler finds the Swiffer cloths very interesting.. Now off to our parents for a weekend away.

I think I need another cup of coffee.

I can’t wait until I start my attending primary care clinic job this fall (yay!) and this becomes more of a typical than atypical Saturday (minus the poo).

Kicks

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Getting down the mountain with Pizza turns.

A few weeks ago we took my kids on their first ski trip. Actually, it was the first time my younger one has ever seen snow!

The first 2 days, the kids were in ski school and my husband and I got to go ski the "fun stuff." We are both pretty advanced skiers so it was great going down the mountain, together, without kids,  like we were dating again. I love anything outdoors and active, so this was the perfect antidote to the recent run of a lot of ED shifts.

But on the last day of our little trip, the kids revolted. They were exhausted from learning this new skill, in this new environment, in a new climate. No one wanted to go to ski school, and the only way we convinced them to get up the mountain was if we promised "family day." So, to the bunny hill we went.

The 4 year old rode the gondola down to town with me after 2 runs, but my 6 yo was still ready to show off her new skills. So she and my husband decided to try to ski down the longest run to the base of the mountain.

The look of sheer disbelief, awe and pride she wore when they walked off the slope 40 minutes later mirrored my own. She had "pizza turned"* the whole way down. Slipped and slid across parts of it, tumbled in others, but she did it. All 3 miles of snowy slope. Some of it way harder than her 2 day total skill level. All of it an entirely new experience.

I felt that way after running my first code. A mix of "what just happened" and "wow, I look like someone who knows what they are doing." Disbelief and gratitude and pride and fear. As this academic year starts to wind down and senior year is approaching, I look forward to having more of those moments. Medicine is humbling. The human body and whatever otherworldly spirit that accompanies it, is capable of incredible, unpredictable, and inspiring things. Our capacity to learn, study, and train in order to impact the course of the life of another person, or use our skills to intervene and directly affect their future, the future of their family, their destiny, is uniquely motivating.

I hope to keep motivating my children to push their limits and challenge themselves. Parenting my children gives me a window to parent myself. Motivate myself. As lifelong learning is a huge tenement of our field, I hope that lesson of small, slow, pizza turns, sticks with me.

* For those who don't ski, "pizza turns" refers to the wedge shape you make with your skis to slow down and control your speed.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Adventures in Pumping


Life is going pretty great for Team Kicks. Baby is almost 4 months old and is a complete joy. He has a sweet easygoing temperament and *usually* sleeps through the night. We are so spoiled and it is so easy to leave work behind and come home and cook dinner while we sing to each other - me from the oven and counter and Baby from his bouncy seat on the kitchen floor - then playing and rolling (!) until bedtime. Love.

However I grossly underestimated how not-fun it would be to be a resident and pumping. The number one thing I underestimated was how hard it is to keep and transport clean parts. There are CDC guidelines for this stuff - wash every time, let air dry, yada yada yada. Not happening. In the fridge the parts go. I have one friend who has an extra set of parts at work for each pumping session. Love the idea but my pump (Spectra) is huge. I was traveling with two bags for awhile (pump bag + work bag, not to mention a coffee thermos in one hand and a water bottle in the other) but I was clearly such a hot mess trying to keep all my things afloat my mom finally bought me a little wheelie suitcase that at least fits all my pump parts. So I wheel around the clinic and the hospital and started leaving my laptop at home which at least makes me appear a bit more together.

I told myself early on that breastfeeding was NOT going to be something I was going to lose my mind over. I was not going to schedule a middle-of-the night pump - if Baby is sleeping, I am sleeping. If I had to give up breastfeeding for any reason, fine. I was a formula fed kid and I turned out a-ok. As I tell my moms in clinic,  the best thing for baby is to be a fed baby with a minimally stressed mom. However, as I found myself pumping in my car on the way to work in a skinny little nursing sheath in subzero winter temperatures and a car that was slow to warm up, I questioned whether I was actually sticking to this sanity thing.

I would like to dedicate this post to my 3 pump-spirations - I have three wonderful co-pumping co-residents in my life. One has a similar go-with-the-flow (hehe pump puns) attitude towards breastfeeding as myself and was the first to recommend car pumping. One has a baby almost 6 months older and was answering my very basic pump questions via text months and months earlier. And one is so dedicated she has a middle of the night pump scheduled to keep her supply up and she is still a bomb resident every single day. My residency is so pump/breastfeeding friendly I've never seen a new mom resident without a breast pump along. So we can do this. Plus anything after 6 months I consider a bonus.

I still have so much more to share about pumping. Awkward conversations with older male specialists. An episode with a preceptor where I was about to run to my pump an hour later than planned when my preceptor started sharing this emotional story and all I could think about was...time to pump....time to pump.... So sanity = questionable. I do address pumping a lot more with my postpartum moms in clinic now - especially with my non-English speaking patients who I discovered I had been prescribing double electric breast pumps for but never addressing how/when/why to use it.

If I had any tips for pumping residents/students/physicians so far I would say 1) hands free pumping bra 2) pumping in the car is a game changer and 3) seriously go buy a wheelie suitcase with all the pockets if you don't have a nice pump bag. Anyone else have any tips? Still have a few months to go. Would also love to hear some ridiculous making-the-pump-work-at-work stories if you've got 'em.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Chocolate Sprinkle Sandwhiches

I cannot believe it has been so many months since a post. A quick update...

1) Biking to work is so unbelievable. When we moved across the country, one promise I made myself was that if I had to fly 3000 miles to train in my dream specialty, there was no way I was going to sit in traffic every day. So we found a house that is a good bike-able distance from the hospital. I have composed so many posts in the many early morning and late (and odd, 2 AM post shift) rides home, but none have translated into an actual post. I'll catch up.

2) Time is a great healer. A great equalizer. A great decompressor. When we first moved, everything was so raw, so scary. It stayed that way for a while. That fear, uncertainty, difficulty, and stress was only compounded by having our moving truck arrive a month late, evacuating for a hurricane, and realizing that being a resident is really intimidatingly scary stuff. Also, my son HATED school. And my husband realized finding a job was not as easy as it seemed in a new city with no contacts or networks. But all that is over now.

Which brings me to now...

Some days I feel like super mom. I have prepped meal plan organized food in the fridge, menus written on the kitchen chalkboard, cut up fruits and vegetables to snack on. My kids have their backpacks and lunches packed by the door, clothing laid out on their beds. I'm rocking this mom/resident thing. But then there are days like tonight. I was coming off a really hard stretch of super intense 5 nights in a row. Working over Xmas in a vacation spot is like Target on Black Friday in the ED. So. Many. Patients. So. Many. Drunk. People. So. Many. Lacerations/Holiday Hearts/I left my meds in another state. Just. So. Many. So when I had a "switch day" from nights to days, I slept. Then I made a cake. Then I went out for a manicure. I had no energy for the market, meal prep, lunch making, and homework organizing, so we took a night off. But today, I had an early morning shift, that stretched from "I'll be home by dinner" to "I'll be home after a central line/LP/all my notes." Our wonderfully flexible nanny texted me at 5 pm asking dinner plans. At 5:30, I got a picture of my kids eating their favorite go to snack-for-dinner: Chocolate hazelnut butter sandwiches with rainbow sprinkles, on whole wheat bread. At least it's whole wheat? And the "healthy" brand chocolate butter instead of Nutella?

One thing I am learning as a resident/mom without my family around is that I can't do it all, and I can't pretend to do it all. I have learned to be okay not looking put together all the time (ie: show up to the holiday show post overnight in scrubs), be okay that my kids eat the provided lunch plan instead of a cute bento box, and be okay that I have yet to attend a single PTA function and don't really feel guilty at all.

Hope to post more often,
Boxes