14 January 2006

Home late is still home!

Dear Friends,

Wow, it's 2006 and 2 weeks have disappeared since I've last posted. Since it's 2:52 AM and I can't sleep, what better time.

Just a few scattered thought's today.

Today (actually yesterday) I helped take care of a teenager with cancer. I had a small part in the care. I showed up at 0700 when their operation started, and said "call me when it's my turn!" I had a quick appendectomy to do, and then made rounds with the chief resident on my service. (Actually a second year, but since that's the highest ranking resident to rotate on my service, He's the chief! You know how it goes in residency: When the bosses go home, all the responsibility falls in your lap. The saying is "Boy by day, man by night". (Allowances registered for the residents for whom the revision "Girl by day, woman by night" would apply.) Truth is, the responsibility is always mine as the attending, but it's important for the residents to learn that surgery means it's always my fault.

So I check in on the operation after five hours, because that's how long it was supposed to last, but the first team needs more time. In all they needed 14 hours of time! They did an amazing job with their tour de force and managed to save the teenager's limb. For my part, I got to do a lot of hurry up and wait today. Since I live 45 minutes from the hospital, it just did not seem like an option for me to go home, not with a child asleep on the table. Finally at 21:30, I stepped in and performed the biopsy the child needed and finished in an hour and a half. Happily the patient tolerated the long day in the OR with strength and stability. My heart went out to the parent who had to endure that long day and evening of waiting and worrying. Your prayers for this child's recovery and cure would be dearly appreciated.

A lot of friends at the hospital are prepping for their deployment. It really brings back memories of being in the same situation a year ago. Even though I finally wandered home at midnight, it was a another precious homecoming, feeling lucky to return to the warmth and love of home, and not be oceans away longing for return.

Be bold!


We fight the good fight, and we treasure the days when the sun glints on the crisp snow and you can see Lake Tahoe shimmering in the valley below. No matter how hard a day at work is, it's harder when you're sick and you have no choice about being at the hospital. I'll take the hard day at work, any day.

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