Sunday, August 31, 2008

My life is blessed

My life is truly blessed. I am extremely happy. I love my husband. I love my kitties. I love my job.
I was on call the other day and called in early (I only start at 4pm) for a big emergency case. My hubby was second call and just finishing his case. He decided he could start the case while I came in. Luckily, I rolled into the OR at precisely the same time as the patient. We looked at each other and immediately started dividing up the work. Our OR was abuzz like a bee hive busyily working, and I was its queen organizing everything, my bee king at my side helping me with every detail. (Wow! What a metaphor)
Again, I am amazed by our relationship. I love the fact that I see him at work everyday. That he may pop into my room and bring me coffee, or just come in to make me laugh. I love that no matter what, he is there for me. He will come and bail me out at a moments notice, or just give me the advice I need.
And, the job. Back to the night on call... We worked until just after 4am. I was tired, but not totally bagged. The next day I was fine. The difference? Sleeping in my own bed. Sure, I am always checking the clock and wondering if they are going to call me back. But, I don't have to sleep in a disgusting call room, get up to do consults, IVs, traumas, and epidurals. I can crawl into bed and cuddle up with the man who was on call with me (but went home early, as he was on second call), and my two beautiful little cats. Ah, bliss. Oh, not to mention all the money I made!!
Finally, with work comes rewards. Our newest reward? A BMW 335XI in metallic silver!! Only the hottest, most fun to drive car ever!! Check it out on-line.
My biggest stress right now is whether or not to completely book our trip to Thailand, or to just let things flow and fly by the seat of our pants. This attending thing is great!

Friday, August 22, 2008

first call

Well, I did it. I survived my first night on call. We worked hard, but it wasn't crazy. Not quite as enjoyable as my resident nights on call (those nights I had a long supper break, and a coffee break), but not as tiring and crazy as well. When I finished (and between myself and my hubby, we cleaned the slate), I was able to go home and sleep in my own bed. What a treat! As a resident, the staff person would go home and we would stay. We would sleep in an uncomfortable little room with very thin walls dreading the time when our pagers would inevitably go off. Many a night I made money for my attending with IV starts, traumas, and epidurals, getting very little sleep. Last night, I did none of that. Sure, my pager could have gone off (it didn't), and I could have had to go in, but before I would have had to, I would have gotten a bit of good sleep in my bed. I wasn't even really tired today. Previously, the day after call (we just call it "post"), I would have been bagged the entire day and needing to go to bed by 7:30 pm. I feel like I could stay up to my usual time tonight and be just fine. This is so civilized!

Again, I am struck by what a wonderful husband I have. He was ready to help me out at any moment. I am sure that if something really awful had happened and I would have had to run back to the hospital, he would have been there for me. He even told me that he was proud of me last night! I knew I loved him for a reason!

As firsts go, and I still am having a lot of them, I am doing OK. I keep saying, "so far, so good!", and it truly is. Do I feel different as a staff? Yes, and no. Yes, because now I can go home after call and I am respsonsible and can make the decisions. No, because none of this is any different than anything I was doing before. It is like being married to someone you have been with and lived with for years (like Jurgen and me), it is different, but good different.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I had nightmares all night last night. About crazy cases, people dying, and incompetence - my incompetence. I used to dream about not doing well at work - my attendings getting mad at me, about failing the exam, but now it is more serious. Now, when I make a mistake, it is huge. People could die. No, nothing has happened, but I am worried and my psyche knows it. Tonight is my first night on First Call. All night there were mean faces, sick people, and no help, and I am worried that it will come true.
This is how I felt before my first day of work, and that went fine, didn't it? And, I am not really alone. I do have help. Jurgen is going to be working in another room. He asked our scheduller (who is awesome) if we could be on call together, at least for the first little while. So, I am first call, and he is second call. He knew how I would be feeling, and knew that it would make me feel at least a little better knowing he was there. I trust Jurgen with my life, not to mention our patient's lives. His knowledge and skill is unsurpassed.
Still, I worry. I hope that the nurses and surgeons will be just as nice to me tonight as they have been for the last week and a half. I hope people will be understanding. I guess the only way to know for sure is to just do it (Nike). Jump in with both feet and hope you don't hit the bottom!

Friday, August 15, 2008


It still doesn't quite feel real. I keep having to stop myself from writing PGY5 at the end of my name. I keep expecting to look up and see my attending come back in from coffee. Maybe it will feel more real after I get paid for the first time.
Nonetheless, I am doing it. I not only survived my first week as an attending Anesthesiologist, but I enjoyed it. I did a whole host of cases - neuro (twice), gen surg, urology, ortho, and not all of them were completely straight forward. I even got a couple of compliments from the surgeons. Today, one even said that my spinal was in super fast!
I think this is going to be a great working environment. I already like all of the nurses. I know most of the surgeons, and like most of them, and I love my colleagues. I am finally starting to understand what my husband was talking about. It is so nice, too, to come home after a busy day and not have to study. I can do absolutely nothing after work if I want to, and not feel guilty! I have to be honest, though, I hvae picked up an anesthesiology book once or twice just to make sure I was on top of my game for the next day. I definately didn't learn anything new, but it did give me confidence the next day.
I am sure I will have "precall jitters", but at least I know my most trusted "friend" will be there looking out for me. Jurgen asked our scheduller if he could try to schedule us on call at the same time for the first few. That makes me feel better, as he knew it would. He really is sweet sometimes.
I am no longer counting down the days. I am no longer dreading something coming up. I am no longer living with that dark black cloud living over my head. Freedom is a wonderful thing!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

first day

Well, I did it. I survived my first day of work!! No one died, and I didn't screw up! I am amazed. I got along well with the nurses in my room and the surgeon was really nice to me. Maybe I can do this!
I was doe late, but it wasn't my fault. One of my patients ate, so we switched the order of our cases, and that took awhile, and then my last case seemed to take a lot longer than the surgeon thought it would.
The only bad thing is that my jaw aches, and now I am getting a headache. I am sure that it is because when I am stressed I cleanch my jaws. Even if I wasn't that stressed, I must have been a bit, because I was definately clenching.
Well, little by little I worked at becoming an Anesthesiologist. Now, that I am an Anesthesiologist, I will work little by little at becoming a really good one!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

prework jitters

I start work on Monday, and I have the jitters. I am worried that I won't be able to do my job properly. I am worried that people will think I am terrible. I am worried it will take me until 7pm to finish my 7 cases.
There is always this little voice inside my head. It tells me that I am not good enough, not smart enough, that I keep fooling people. Do other people have this voice too? Most the time I am able to smush it down inside and remind myself of how far I have come. Me, no one else, me. I got into Medicine. I graduated with Distinction. I matched to my first choice in Anesthesia. I passed my Royal College exams. So, have I fooled people? No. I worked at it, hard, and was successful.
I must remember that I can do this. That I do have the knowledge. And, I am not really alone. I can call on Jurgen, or Paul, or Annabelle, or Tim, or..... I am sure the nurses and the surgeon will take pitty on me, as it is my first day.
That little engine never seems to get off the track. It just keeps on chugging: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggedy jigg!

We just got back from Montreal.  We were there for a week.  We went for a wedding, and stayed for the fun.  We did some of the traditional tourist sites like Old Montreal, Notre Dame basilica, and the Harbour.  We did some shopping on St. Catherine street and on St. Laurent.  Then we also did some fun things.  We went on a rapids ride down the St. Lawrence river, and to La Ronde Six Flags amusement park.  That was probably the best part of the whole trip!  I learned a couple of things there - Jurgen likes rollercoasters as much as I do, and we are both just a bunch of big kids.  6 rollercoasters in under 7 hours!  The little bones in my ears where just a whirling by the end of the day!!
Some of the bad things of the trip really made me appreciate the end of the trip - coming home.  I lost my camera the third day.  I left it in the restaurant we were in (I am sure!).  It never turned up.  In SK someone would have turned it in, not taken it.  Then, the French.  Some were nice, but we ran across some that were really rude!  At the wedding for example, we were unfortunately seated at a table with all french, except us.  They only spoke French around us, although I knew for a fact that they could all speak English.  They got up to do a little song and did not invite us.  We just felt completely excluded.  Luckily, my hubby has a great sense of humour and kept me laughing about it all.
Then the noise.  We were on a busy street in a hotel with a hot bar, which we were above.  In short, little sleep.
I had a great time in Montreal, but I am very happy to be home again.  The kitties were super happy to see us, I know we will have a great sleep, and there are no French people here.
Amen SK!!