As I sit here, having just put the kids to bed, with a moment to reflect on my day, it occurs to me at just how unique my life is. Sadly, I think most days I just take it for granted what I do on an average day. Scratch that, what I am allowed (and asked) to do. Today is not unlike the others but there were a few poignant moments that really have me feeling awed and blessed and exhausted to be who I am.
6:15am - The day begins with trying to get showered and ready with Jackson running into the bathroom to hug my leg and say "Hi Mommy. I like your robe. I'm awake now" and Caroline removing every single item out of my bathroom drawer and slyly taking into the other bathroom for "safe keeping." Thus, the mousse-less frizzy hairdo I donned today.
7:30am - Drop the kids off at daycare and stop in the hall to look at a rash of a friend's baby girl.
7:45am - Sit down at my desk at work to clean off the paperwork and labs that came in overnight, including a death certificate, a few handicap stickers, 3 new patient transfer records, multiple med requests, and a discharge summary of a dear patient just released from the hospital with significantly worsening dementia, now finally into the nursing home I've been trying to arrange to no avail for 6 months.
8:30am - Start seeing patients. A few physicals where the patients are completely naked and somehow, despite everyone commenting that it should, it just doesn't phase me. In my exam rooms, a penis or a breast is no different than a nose or a foot. And no, prostate exams and pap smears don't gross me out because, again, it's just like looking up their nose to me. A hip injection, an abscess drainage, a trigger point injection, admitting a man to the hospital in congestive heart failure, talking through a 78 year old women wanting to leave her abusive husband, and schmoozing with 3 drug reps round out my morning.
12:30p - Call three patients to discuss their new diagnosis of terminal cancer. One was a 50ish man with stage 3 lung cancer that is the picture of health and found after he came in for what he thought was simple heartburn, a morbidly obese 60ish woman with uterine cancer that is inoperable (and thus incurable) due to her size, and a 70ish woman with ovarian cancer found when she came in for what she thought was going to be her gall bladder.
1:15p - Lunch with the Most Annoying Drug Rep on the surface of the Earth.
1:30p - Finish morning charts and call a few patients about their xrays from the morning that including 1 pneumonia, 2 non-pneumonias, 1 broken rib, and a foot fracture.
1:45pm - Jump back in to seeing patients. Five physicals (whew) including one on the nurse that helped deliver my daughter and 2 teenagers that ended up being rather entertaining visits. The 14yr old boy has gotten into drugs and sex and the parents (both of whom came with him) wanted him drug tested and STD tested. They wanted me to give me "the facts" in a "clear and frank and scary way." So, I rolled up my sleeves and did what I do best: be frank. At first, he was flippant and stubborn and the typical know-it-all teenage boy. But, once I got to the part about his penis looking like a cauliflower from genital warts or that it could altogether just stop working if he continued to smoke cigarettes and pot (ok, maybe I exaggerated the timeline on that one slightly), he was sitting upright at attention and much more interested in what I had to say. His sister, the 12 year old, was equally entertaining. When I asked her if she knew how a woman gets pregnant she replied, "Of course. You put the banana in the coconut and then there's a baby."
5pm - Call an 83 year old patient about his dangerous heart arrhythmia picked up on 24 hour monitoring but try to explain to him that he is not a surgical candidate for an implantable pacemaker and there's nothing else to do about it but just avoid the medications we can and hope it behaves.
5:30p - Pick up my two adorable children from daycare. Caroline was riding around in a wagon when I got there with 4 other boys her age, playing whack a mole with their heads and laughing hysterically about it while Jack was running around the playground pretending to fly. Since Matilda is at work late tonight, we stopped at Panera for dinner and I watched for 30minutes while they shared (without so much as a whisper of an argument) a very large M&M cookie, dividing up the M&M pieces for Jack and the cookie part for Caroline.
7pm - Ride home. Caroline starts to whine and Jack says "No no, Sissy. It's not the time to cry." She replies with something resembling "Forget you, I'll cry if I want to." He then very quickly responds with a series of phrases "No, Ma'am. You do not tell me no. I tell you no. It is not nice to do that. Crying is for night time. Not now. No, Ma'am." I didn't know whether to be proud or cringe. My son is turning into me.
7:30p - Everyone into pjs, we read stories on the floor, laugh about Little Bunny Fru-Fru turning us all into Goons, and all go to bed without so much as a peep. And as I walk out of Jack's room and turn out the light he says, "Night night, Mommy. I love you."
In the words of my son, "I had a great day but I'm tired now. I will have sweet dreams. Nite nite."