Sunday, June 10, 2007


Dad and I went sailing yesterday. After jibing, and going back and forth a lot and almost crashing into a bridge, we raced a few boats and won. It was a fun sail out in the bay. I got to see my apartment area. I should learn to sail.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Back to Work!

I'm back to work today. I walked by my old room where I spent 10 days as a patient. It is strange that someone else is in that room, staring out that window maybe. I spent a lot of time staring out that window. And now I wander by in the white coat and it is entirely different. I don't get the same looks anymore, just blend into the background a bit more. I do get to walk wherever I want, though. Nurses station, doctor's work room. Wherever.

I put on the white coat and pager and name badge when I left home, "I'm a doctor again," I told Steve as he walked me out to my car, trying on the words as much as the coat. It felt good to be doing something again. Something useful and contributory to the world and my future. I was worried, but now that I'm here at the hospital, I feel fine. It comes back to you, I suppose. Like riding a very complicated bike.

I have more patience now with the nurses and patients, having been there, maybe, or just being well rested. I never did look at the patients as just a diagnosis too much, but I surely don't now. I know it's not fun to be there in those beds. I understand that and sympathize and don't feel annoyed when nurses call with questions or patient requests. That's what I'm here for, after all. If I can make this whole thing easier, I want to.

I hear some of my collegues talking about the "interesting" patient, or the "cool line" they got to put in, or the "hot mystery case." I have trouble seperating myself from that anymore. Every blood draw is a stick. Every neuro check is a bright light in the middle of the night. Every drip line is an anchor. Every confusion is a patient who doesn't understand their diagnosis or plan of treatment.

The nights are long in those hospital beds. So are the days.

I was lucky enough to have people almost always with me. I'm not sure how it's tolerable otherwise. In solitude, pain, illness, uncertainty, probably fear.

I think of my patients who I wish I'd talked to more and explained things to them. I've learned. I'll do better next time. This time. Every time.

I get to sleep in the call room tonight. I get to walk around without the iv pole. I get to take the stairs if I want. Best of all, I get to leave when my work is done.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Good News from Geico

They're on it. I DO have comprehensive (some sort of smart move on my part...lucky?) that will cover theft and a rental car for 30 days. Great!

But my toilet is still not flushing properly. Hmmm...

At least I have feet

Is this a test, seriously?

Today my car was stolen, but that is getting ahead of myself.

The trials in the last couple months are as follows:

  • Headaches

  • Brain clots in all my venous sinuses

  • Stroke

  • 10 days in the hospital

  • Systemic Lupus Erythramatosis

  • on disability from work

  • my parents' divorce

  • three cavities

  • Today my phone vibrate thing doesn't work, my toilet won't flush properly, and my car is missing after I came back from a two hour bike jaunt from 11 am-1pm (so they took it at noon on a semi busy street?!?)

  • My head still hurts

    Mind you my car is old. It's a 1994 Nissan Altima. And I've had bad run ins with brick walls and the bumper is not totally on and the paint is starting to peel. The stereo volume button is off. The CD player doesn't work consistantly. It makes no sense to steal my car. My stethascope, running shoes, roadside kit and tools were in the trunk.

    I'm miffed. Who would steal my car? Why? It's not insured for theft because it just isn't worth enough. I'm hoping it shows up somewhere around the beach. That's what the police said sometimes happens. The officer warned me that if I found it to call them instead of get in it because if they catch me in it they will take me out at gun point. Okay, point taken.

    So, I am still miffed. We'll figure it out. I know. I guess I could use a new car anyway. I just haven't budgeted money for it and I'm not working totally right now.

    I have a lot of other good things:

  • I went to Costco yesterday and got super good bread and fresh mozeralla and made the best sandwiches ever.

  • I'd just cleaned out a bunch of other stuff from the trunk of my car (white coat and doctor bag etc) so it could have been worse.

  • My mom found my pots and pans in the garage; they are the ones that Pop gave me when I first moved out, so they have sentimental and real value; she shipped them down today.

  • I have my own apartment again (neighborhood apparently questionable, though).

  • I bought a plunger but it doesn't seem to do the trick quite yet.

  • My phone at least still works to talk to people and I fixed the sync this morning.

  • My computer works and the wireless I just had hooked up is doing well.

  • My diet from the coumadin has been liberated. Only things I can't eat still are mangos and liver.

  • It's turned into a beautiful day here.

  • I can get money from my account at home much more easily than I'd expected.

  • I found a book sale at the library today and got lots of good stuff for $2.75!

  • I have a bike.

  • Marna and Jamie (college roomies) are coming to see me. I talked to Marna this afternoon and she said her car is regularly broken into for the toll money she keeps in the glove compartment. She also has a roommate who almost died on a Peace Corp stint and says she is just gratful to be alive everyday and it puts things into perspective.

  • I almost died, too, I suppose.

  • I'm grateful to be alive. I still have a lot I want to do and see and be and love.

  • And I don't really need a car for any of the important stuff like that.

  • I'm very loved.

  • My brother just got married to the Wonderful Becky at the most perfect, fun, loving wedding ever. They're in Europe for three weeks now.

  • My family was all together for that and really glad to see my healthier and dancing.

  • My friends are supportive and loving.

  • The people at work have been very understanding and forgiving.

  • I go back to work on Friday (night float) if I feel like I can make it energy-wise (and if I can figure out how to get there I guess).

    I'm reminded of one of the stories on a Tony Robbins CD on happiness. The child is complaining that he wants some new fancy shoes like all of his friends. His mom puts it into perspective when she tells him, "Hey, at least you have feet!"

    At least I have feet...and more.