A Day in the Life: May 2010

Several of you have written recently to ask how things are– and have asked specifically about medicine and writing (the two things that don’t usually make this blog).  So I thought I’d give you a peek into the rest of my life.

(A side note: this post is so unusual for me, I’m not even sure where to categorize it.  It’s not Family Life, nor really Self Education– except the Gout part.)

5:25 I wake up.  Sam is already at the pool swimming his morning workout.  I get up and shower, etc.  In the bathroom, I begin reading a continuing medical education article on Gout.

5:40 I’m downstairs putting the kettle on to boil.  I read NT Wright’s Surprised by Hope and my world is rocked again.  What a great book.  (I’m sure I’ll do a completely inadequate review once I finish.  But maybe you should get your own copy before that.)  I pray and think.

7:05 J comes downstairs wrapped in his comforter.  He asks, "Mommy, can we snuggle?"  We snuggle on the couch and I read him poetry from The Barefoot Book of Poems

7:25 Sam is home from swimming.  He’s home today with the kids so I can go to work.  I brush my teeth, kiss them good-bye, and head to Starbucks.

8:00 I’m writing at Starbucks, working on my ten billionth draft of my YA novel.  Maybe it’s closer?  I go back and forth thinking "it’s so much better this time," and "who am I kidding?"  Happily I don’t have wifi on the laptop I use, so I can’t go checking homeschool blogs and writing sites, or I wouldn’t get anything done.

9:15 My neighbor comes to meet me, and we have tea/coffee and a conversation.  What a treat.  Among other things, we talk about the margin for interaction that you lose when you go from a full-time job to a part-time job.  You give up your child care cushion (the half-hour extra you pay for so that if you have to catch up at work, it’s not a crisis) and have no more time for interacting socially with anyone at work.  This was a treat to get to know her better.

10:30 She’s off to work, and I’m writing again.  This was a productive morning, I think, at least in terms of writing– I met my page-goals and didn’t get sucked into the vortex of discouragement.

11:30 I head to work.  I have 29 patients scheduled from 12-8 (with a lunch break).  That works out to 4.14 patients per hour, or 14.5 minutes per patient.  There is a pile of prescription refills, phone calls to answer, and lab results to analyze.

12-9 I see patients– 28 of them, so in theory they could have each had slightly more than 15 minutes.  But really, who– after getting herself to the doctor and waiting in the waiting room– wants to be the one who gives up part of her 15 minutes so that the doctor has time to spend an hour with the person who’s really sick?  Several of them were really sick, and nearly everyone had something else (other than their blood pressure or pregnancy) that they really wanted to talk about.  At nine, when the last person leaves, I still have a pile of charts and follow-ups to work on.  I end up bringing home some notes for phone calls I have to make tomorrow.

10:30 Home.  Sam’s and the kids are asleep.  I put away my things and prep a few things for tomorrow. Brush teeth.  Fall into bed.  Can’t sleep, thinking about the patient I saw at 3.  Did I do the right thing?  What if she really had something really rare are dangerous? 

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2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: May 2010

  1. What a day… all that, and "gout" too. I'm proud of you. And I know 28 people who are glad to have you for their doctor.

    Blessings tomorrow… I pray you are "surprised by hope."

  2. this was so interesting to read; are you going to do a companion post, and show us what your non-office-hours days are like?

    Also, are you usually able to get by on six or so hours of sleep? That's amazing.

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