February 26th, 2004

Notre Dame des Dons

Good news and better news...

He's refusing his KUB's now, says Jenny of her prisoner. The Detention nurses think it's because he passed the razor blade and swallowed it again.
Never speak of that again, says A. I mean never.

It was one of those days. My patient with pancreatitis who had much free abdominal fluid by CT had none on ultrasound. My patient who should've gone home today got a run of tachycardia due to being so worried about her stress test that her heart flipped out. So she's waiting for stress test again. I got a new patient who has no business being admitted to the hospital, although it was kind of fun hearing her H&P. She smokes a joint a day, and a pack of cigarettes a week. She's been on Anabuse for alcohol abuse in the past, but she only drinks 5-6 beers a day now, when she drinks, which isn't all that often, a couple times a week. You know. To relax. And she used to do IV drugs too, speed being her drug of choice, although she also liked red-tips and blue-tips, which according to A who is the only one of us who knows a lot about these things, are uppers and downers.
I spent most of the day doing errands or rounding with someone or another. The rest of the team is on call tonight.

At afternoon rounds, Dr.K finally turned in our mid-session evaluations. Tomorrow is the last day. She told me that she had marked me as a Manager/Educator at midterm but that I'm more of an Educator now. (basically at the top of the ladder of how a student can perform) I'm well-read and well-informed, I have thoughtful plans for my patients, and I'm just all around spiffy. I thought she was sort of disappointed in me. I suck at EKG's.
I want to blow my Medicine rotations away, because they're a lot like Family Medicine. And I didn't do all that great in Family Medicine, being the first rotation I was in. I only passed it. My standards have changed so very much from the first two years.

Best of all, A looked at us and sighed. "You're coming in this weekend? Like hell. You shouldn't work this weekend. There's no f*ing point." S nodded her head. "We're not very busy." O looked at them, and at us. "You guys work it out."
We're not coming in this weekend. A told us he'd kick us out if he saw us in the building. What a wonderful world. So my room is largely packed up, mostly in the trunk of my car. I'll throw a few more things in after mentor luncheon tomorrow (like my sheets, on which I am sleeping tonight) and head home for the next four weeks. Yes, O Best Beloved, you will no longer be interrupting my few precious hours with my Angel if you should happen to want to visit. And all that jazz.

I'll be in General Internal Medicine 3 days out of 5, in Cardiology on Wednesdays, and in Nephrology on Tuesday or Thursday. It should be a fun month, although I'm already dreading EKG's and heart murmurs. Maybe I'll get good at them. Maybe it doesn't matter. I'll be with my Angel, finally.

I've missed my man. I've missed him so.
  • Current Mood
Toledo doorway


The familiar noise of a helicopter overhead always stirs the same emotions in me. I stood outside of James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children one day, in the evanescent purple-grey of early dawn (so many stories take place at dawn, O Best Beloved, or in the still of twilight) and I watched the helicopter touch down on the top of the building, and I listened to its rotors beginning to whirl to a stop. I tell you it was at Riley because this is not a story about me. I went in, then, cutting through the building to get to my destination because it was a bitterly cold morning, and I had a long way to go. And along the way, I saw the team of flight medics bring their cart down from the roof, wending through the hallways with a child on a hospital gurney, one medic pushing, one nurse leading, one medic bagging the tiny frame. I was an outsider, then, just another observer, not a participant. I caught a flash of dark hair, pale skin, white sheets, no blood, and they were gone, past me as I flattened myself against the wall of the hallway to let them through.

I remember working the ED at another hospital when the call came in that the helicopter was being diverted to us, that we would be getting a peds trauma via helicopter. That time I heard it land outside, helped direct medics and call out instructions. "They're on the ground, everyone. ETA five minutes."
Same ED, helicopter brought in a man found down. I watched. I talked to the medics. It takes a lot to be a flight medic. It takes a lot to be a doctor.

Every time I hear a helicopter I look for it. Parkview's Samaritan is green and white, covers northern Indiana and bits of Michigan and Ohio. There's one in Fort Wayne and one in Rochester. Level II trauma center. Methodist's Lifeline is navy, covers the rest of Indiana. It comes to Wishard, too. Both Level I. The difference between Level I trauma and Level II trauma is whether people are in-house or just on-call. The sound of chopper blades means only one thing to me - someone is hurt. And when I'm not there on call, part of me is glad and part of me is curious and part of me wishes I were there.

Sometimes, O Best Beloved, I am still a passenger on this great ambulation of skills and talents called Medicine. Sometimes I am just a passer-by. And that, too, is a worthy thing to be.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious