clinical

When There’s Just A Lot Going On

I’ve started several posts in the last week, but every time, something more important happened that I wanted to write about, so nothing got finished. There’s been a lot going on in clinic, and at home.

Clinic has been both scattershot and intense, a wildly varied assortment of cases: I had a patient in severe mental health crisis, and for the first time in a long while, I spent some time down in our psychiatric emergency room. There were a number of rather large men in sharp dark suits with earpieces, and I assumed they were Secret Service and that someone famous was down there as well. Of course I was trying to figure out who. But then I realized they were just our hospital’s security, in large numbers and spiffy new uniforms.  I felt quite safe navigating my petite self through the chaos of the lockdown unit with those guys around.

I had also sent a patient to the emergency room with what I was convinced would be a serious medical diagnosis requiring admission; turned out it wasn’t, and I felt that old intern insecurity: “Are they shaking their heads wondering what the primary care was thinking?” Knowing, logically, that all I can do is what I think is right for the patient, and not worry what people think.

Then there was the usual outpatient hodgepodge: fractured fingers and toes; end-of-life discussion; “I think I have herpes”; rectal bleeding; UTI, UTI, UTI; “I need an early refill of my Oxycodone” (i.e. red flag behavior for prescription drug abuse); “I think I have chronic Lyme”; real angina; look at these elevated liver enzymes… how much are you drinking?; infertility; traumatic brain injury; “I just found out my husband is cheating on me”; “I accidentally slept with someone who is not my boyfriend”; dog bite; rock climbing injury; allergies, allergies, allergies; every manner of respiratory infection; endless arthritis; demanding V.I.P. patients; horrible recurrent nosebleeds; TSH of 248; erythema nodosum, twice…

And personally, it’s been an intense time for our families. Hubby’s mother was just discharged from the hospital, and we’re traveling to Upstate New York tomorrow. It’s so hard to be far away when loved ones have medical issues… The kids are so excited for the trip and thrilled to see their cousins, it’s heartwarming.

Meanwhile, it was my grandmother’s 90th birthday this weekend. She requested a very small gathering, and NO PRESENTS. So that’s what we did, just the closest relatives, over at my mom’s. It was a beautiful summer-like day, we grilled and chatted and laughed until late afternoon… Not knowing that my aunt, who was in hospice care for end-stage emphysema, would pass away that evening. She was a carefree lady who knew her own mind, fierce and yet fun at the same time. I understand that she didn’t want any services, just a big party to celebrate her life. Beautiful.

I was at the office late today trying to wrap things up before heading out of town (and far, far away from our electronic medical record). Even so, somehow we managed to have a nice little family dinner… Okay, it was a tad crazy with everyone coming from work, and I didn’t order enough sushi for six adults and a toddler who inhales California rolls. But, it’s always good to be with family and remember what’s important.

Now it’s almost midnight. I’m sitting here on our bed, Babyboy crashed out on my left with the two kittens curled up between us, and their mama tucked in on my right, purring.

I am so thankful for this, for the peacefulness of this moment and all the love in our house.   Life is what it is and one never knows what’s coming, so I need to remember to appreciate everything that we have, every day.

Plus, there is no better stress-reliever than a pair of sleeping kittens (and I had no better photo to put with this post, so here I go again with the gratuitous kitty pics!)

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Categories: clinical, home life

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