processing issue

21 May

Have I ever mentioned that I have a processing issue?  John diagnosed me (sketchy, to be sure).  He reassured me, “Don’t worry…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your ears.  Just your brain!”

Basically, this is just a more medically way of saying that I don’t do well with competing noise.  Multiple conversations going on around me at once is my personal ninth circle of hell.  For the life of me, each voice sounds like it’s the same volume as the next.  Don’t even try to have an important conversation with the radio or TV playing.  For this reason, John unabashedly tells family, friends, colleagues, bums on the street: “Anna would be horrible at Emergency Medicine.”  He softens the blow slightly by saying, “But that, of course, is the reason behind her musical ear…subtle harmonies stand out clear as day.”  See how he (successfully) butters me up?  It’s been going on for years…

But in the last couple weeks, he’s changed his tune.  The idea of me doing a seven-year residency in surgery is unappealing to both of us and, frankly, though I enjoyed surgery more than medicine, I wouldn’t say I was absolutely head-over-heels in love with the OR and nothing else.  As my ED rotation approached, he would periodically tell me, “You know, it’s okay if you like the ED.”

Well, this might be a problem.  It sounds trivial, but I would have some serious concerns entering the same field as my husband, seven years behind him.  I love that we’re both in medicine…that we both have similar loves of exotic foods, good music, bioethics, travel, and literature…that we both want children, pets, a broad definition of family, life-long friends, and adventures far and near.  But I kind of also want our own respective little corners of our careers that are our own.  And, I’m revealing a new depth to my insecurities here, I think it might make me happier to be in a field where I wasn’t always going to be seven years behind him.  In a career where you’re constantly learning, I would have difficulty always being the one who benefited from his experience and expertise yet could given little in return.  It’s petty, but it’s where I am now.

Now I’m just getting way ahead of myself, as we’ve only had orientation to the ED.  I could hate it.  (I don’t think I will.)

In lighter news, today I successfully inserted my first 20-gauge peripheral IV line into a consenting classmate.


11 Responses to “processing issue”

  1. Larry May 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I have a pretty good idea about the size of a twenty guage shotgun tube. That seems like a guage that no one would consent to have used as as an IV. Should I assume that the two “guages” are different?

    • annaojesus May 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      ha! i hope so! for comparison: 23-gauge is teeny-tiny…they’re those little butterfly needles with which they stick small children; 14-gauge are pretty hefty…we place them in trauma patients in order to give them massive amounts of blood in a hurry.

  2. ericrosoff May 22, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    as the consenting adult – Anna did a great job with the 20 gauge shotgun…

  3. Neal May 22, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    I wouldn’t worry about that 7 year gap in the same field; remember, he’ll end up being the old guy, out of date, needing his “younger” wife to keep him up to date in the newest methods. He’ll still be using leeches and you’ll be in the 21st century 🙂

    • annaojesus May 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      ha! is that how you and your wife ended up? i’ll let john know…will keep him modest 🙂 and, thank you!

  4. ahyesplans May 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I understand where you’re coming from. My boyfriend (six years ahead of me) and father are in the same field, Pathology, which I said I’d never enter for that reason alone. But my most recent research has been in Pathology- and surprise- I love it. I have a long ways to go before I’m even at clinicals so maybe some other specialties will pop up before then, but it’s something that’s been nagging at me already. I’m looking forward to how you end up dealing with it! Best of luck with the ED rotation 🙂

    • annaojesus May 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      First of all, it is awesome that you love pathology! It’s such an important field, and totally applicable to everything! I really wish that I loved it/was better at it. I just got a sweet email from my uncle in response to this post reminding me to do what makes my heart sing 🙂 Who knows where we’ll end up/what we’ll end up doing…what’s also been kind of a relief for me is all that we can do within a given field. Today we had grand rounds that addressed the usefulness of physicians who were board-certified in both EM and palliative care, which sounds totally fascinating to me, and not at all something John would do 🙂 I’ll be looking forward to finding out what you’ll discover to love in clerkships! Thanks for the well wishes!

  5. Joseph May 25, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    On the other hand, it is also likely that you can shorten that 7 year gap into a few short years……just follow your instincts….John should be worried…you are very good…lol….

    • annaojesus May 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      ha! I love you! Thank you–I’ll be happy to have a fraction of the career your son has created…he’s a pretty fantastic one! Thank you for the encouragement and advice; have no idea where I’ll end up, but it’s pretty exciting stuff! Miss you!


  1. the ER has everything, including cancer « anna in med school - June 13, 2012

    […] used to think I would hate the ED, in part due to my “processing issue” (as John calls it) and in part because I thought having continuity of care would be […]

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