Most of the time, working in the hospital doesn't bother me; it's just where I work. Granted, I spend the majority of my time on the L&D floor. This floor is full of young, healthy, and happy patients. Luckily, one doesn't encounter much death and decay on this floor. Since I've been rounding on my TOA woman on the Med/Surg floor, though, I'm reminded once again how the majority of the hospital is full of the sick and the dying, not just the brand new and living. It forces one to stare their own mortality in the face. It makes me uncomfortable and melancholy. Denial, denial, denial. We all are great at this. For example, I had to walk past the smoking area on my way into the hospital today; patients garbed in gowns, some in wheelchairs and towing IV poles lined up and happily puffing away. Slaves to their addiction. Killing themselves with a smile. At least smoking will get your post-op patients up and about to ambulate. Gotta love the drive to smoke for that.
I'm sending my TOA lady home today. She is speaking optimistically of adoption and alternate parental avenues. I'm hoping that the depression doesn't hit her like a ton of bricks when she gets back home. She's coming to see me on Tuesday and Friday. Gotta let them go sometime. Many times as an OB/GYN, I find myself acting as counselor as well as physician. I've spent well over 30 minutes at each visit with this patient and her family, explaining, encouraging, and uplifting. I know that they appreciate this, and I love to do this for them, but it does drain me. I chose OB my 3rd year of medical school because I loved to read about it, loved to do some hands-on procedures, and most of all, because I loved talking to the patients. You have to love to do this job. At times it takes all that you are. I am lucky because I do love it, and I am unlucky because becoming the counselor in my profession has carried over into my "real-life" relationships. I am the confidant and problem-solver for my good friends, and, because of this "super competent" role that I have assumed, I am too reticent to vent my own problems to anyone. Not that I have huge problems, mind you. My life is relatively charmed. I'm finding that this blog is a wonderful, anonymous outlet, and I am thankful for that.
P.S. Don't you think it is weird that the word "blog" isn't on the spell check? Funny.