My Thursday... 08.27.09

8:12- Arrive at work to find pediatric case with anesthesia just starting in my assigned room, which is the size of a closet. There is no room to move anywhere. Room contains two anesthesia carts, our nurse, our nurse trainee, an anesthetist and her attending doctor, my tray full of sterile instruments, the portable ultrasound unit, an IV pole, myself, my attending, one regular garbage can, two biohazard trash receptacles and two dirty linen depositories. Extension cords are trailing everywhere.

8:15- I don my superstar lead skirt and vest and scrub in to case, wearing sterile gown and gloves so that I can assist my attending physician. My patient is 14 years old and has just been diagnosed with cancer. We are placing a portacath so that she can begin receiving chemotherapy next week. She is plump and rosy-cheeked and quite adorable.

(My own son turns 14 in 2 months.)

Fastforward to 11:30AM- Next patient is mid-60s. There's a problem with the chemo portacath, but we sort it out without having to do anything invasive. SCORE!

2:00PM- 4yo. on her 3rd liver transplant. Again with anesthesia in a tiny, tiny room. So much equipment, so many people, SO LITTLE ROOM to move around. 3rd LIVER TRANSPLANT on a 4 year old and our evaluation shows that the third liver is not taking well.

I seriously wonder if I'm in the right profession.

9:22PM- There's a certain irony in the fact that I regularly drink myself into oblivion so that I can go to work the next day and work on tiny livers on their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th go-rounds...

But then again it's really no wonder at all that this is difficult.

And then I return home in the evenings to my wonderful family cheerfully inquiring how my day went.

"Fine," I say.

Because how could I possibly explain? And why would I want to bring them down?

So I guess I'm semi-quasi-explaining it here instead. If you can't handle it, stop reading.

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    robp said...

    Shit, Rho, a bunch of us drink without nearly as much direct contact with the reasons. Sure, you win when it comes to irony, but damn...

    I say cheers, and put this shit into words every time you can. The more you put out there, the more you know who's behind ya.

    You got cojones, kid. I don't know how many people the world needs, but you're one. Take care of yrself, not just others. (Don't do as I do...)

  1. ... on August 28, 2009 at 2:07 AM  
  2. MadEd said...

    I admire you greatly for what you do, and the hope your work gives to those people who most likely are desperate for it.

    And I feel deeply for you as well. I can definitely see how anybody in your profession might have difficulties sometimes.

    I'd love to be able to make a difference in people's lives. You do.

  3. ... on August 28, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
  4. rhondapalooza said...

    I deal with my job very well most of the time, but yesterday wasn't one of those times and I really needed to sound off about it as a means of attempting to work my way through it.

    Thanks for your feedback guys. It's definitely nice knowing that SOMEone is peeking in at what I post here. I write for myself, but there's also validation when I'm able to bounce things off of friends.

    I love ya'll! :-)

  5. ... on August 28, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
  6. robp said...

    Love? Love is a walk down Main Street.

  7. ... on August 28, 2009 at 8:00 PM