We had our retreat for the med-peds program the other day and we asked anonymous questions of each other. I randomly picked our program director. I asked her how long she would remain director and why.
Someone wrote for me, something like, "I know you had a tough intern year. What about this past year has been your favorite thing." Spain is all I could think of in the moment. In reality I said something about learning from last year's trials. I was about to cry. I was crocheting blue baby hats throughout the meeting and I cut my comments short and said the best thing was also that it was not last year and that I didn't stroke again. I didn't know what to say. On the way back to work yesterday night after the meeting, I talked with Bryce and Victor. Cried to them really. Sometimes this is too much. In reality, this past year has been much harder than intern year. It's the adjusting that's hard. And the lack of time to adjust before something else happens. Emotional survival mode. Trying not to think about anything too much or for too long. I'll just look up Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome instead. Or stay awake to keep myself from dreaming.
There are the hat memories, though. I've been giving crocheted hats away. To lots of people. Some to my neighbors. Some to friends. Some to family. I had a stack of them at one point. I tangle up my anxiety into the yarn. People like them, though. Doug wore his made to order green and white one for hours on potentially the hottest day of the year so far. Not a knit cap day. Randy has been nicer to everyone since I gave him his camouflage cap. Victor wanted a cool "cal-trans" orange one to which I added black and green. Keith naps in his yellow and black Charlie Brown one. The grey/orange and red ones keep Scott and Cherie warm on our walk around the bay to the ocean. And there are the two baby hats I made for their little one on the way. Jackie was so pleased with her burnt orange one that she wore it home from the med conference where I'd made it--another hot day. Joe wears one of the early versions that is an odd mixture of colors even though it looks like a multi-colored mushroom. Colin's friend, Joe, says the one I made him is the perfect length and that he looks "hot" in it. Mom likes her collection. As does Jane. Karen says her multi-colored soft greens and blues hat matches her eyes perfectly. Dad has a thin black one for biking. And Bryce finally likes one--the brown and blue one I made that brings out his freckles and his eyes. He's visiting now. It's so nice to have him in town. If he doesn't get drafted, he'll probably be here for a while.
I think there are more.
I started another new rotation today. Team leading at the University hospital. I was up til 3 am learning about my patients and worrying--two things I have perfected lately. The first day went fine. I just never feel quite smart enough. I try to remind myself to not be so hard on myself. Victor tells me I'm one of the bravest people he knows. Brave or foolish has been the question.
Bob just called and told me his friend got jumped outside a bar, went into a coma, and died on Wednesday--in the ICU where I have worked.
Randy told me about his girlfriend's mom in hospice.
One of the patients I made comfort care last month is still happily demented and doing so well they're putting him in a more permanent facility.
I get wrapped up in lives outside. I wonder sometimes if it's to avoid my own.
But there are the hats. So I'll shower and try to sleep thinking of that. Back to work tomorrow to get more new patients and round on the whole team since it's the interns' golden weekend (two days off in a row).
Mom and Bryce went to a fancy party tonight; I was invited at the last minute, but was too tired to go. So napped for three hours when I got home--after Joe gave me a surprise present. Which is another happy thought.
I'm sure I'll feel better after more sleep.