I think I’m in love. It must be love if 14 hours in the hospital flies by at the blink of an eye. If 5 hours of sleep feels like a total luxury. If I feel like an idiot 98% of the time, break down in tears of frustration at embarrassingly regular intervals, and yet still feel profoundly lucky.
(Rereading these last few statements, I notice how easily these could be attributed to those of the victim of an abusive relationship…now that’s a horrific, potentially accurate analogy for a medical student if I’ve ever seen one…llllllllllllll)
I’ve been at the VA Medical Center for the last week now, and I’m pretty thrilled that I get to be there for my last three weeks on general medicine. So much more to follow, but to note:
- LOVE Vets! They are stoic, tough, adorable, moody, cranky, emotive, talkative, pensive, cooperative, combative, crazy, brilliant, supportive, and so much more. And their war stories are the stuff of legends.
- Wearing scrubs during long call has got to be one of the best traditions. This is why I entered medicine.
- I have never seen teamwork and education prioritized anywhere else to this extent before, with out ulterior motive.
Today, the intern on service and I spent two hours draining over six liters of fluid from a man’s abdomen.
Oh, and this just occurred to me: one of my residents commented that I was good at explaining illnesses and procedures to patients in words they understand. I wonder if it’s because I try to do so here. This is important to me. The majority of readers are not in a medical career. If I say anything that needs further clarification, please let me know. I promise, the use of med jargon is not to make me feel smarter…when you’re saturated in a language, it becomes too easy to forget what words are those of everyday. My second day on the wards, I asked an elderly obese woman with a prior heart attack if she had a history of hypertension. “Oh, God no!” And then: “Do you have a history a high blood pressure?” “Oh yes, for many years!” My point being that, in this conversation, I was the idiot. So quickly we forget. I’m a college graduate, and I can honestly say that before post-bac and med school I had thought there was a difference between hypertension and high blood pressure. Otherwise, why would anyone choose to create a perfect synonym with the same number of syllables? You don’t even save on time by saying “hypertension.”