Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just Another Day in Paradise

I awoke at 4am (thank you, pregnant bladder) this morning from a somewhat disturbing dream of being trapped within the body of steel bleachers with a feeling of dread. Today is my surgery day, and I had a few big cases lined up. I chalked the portent of doom up to normal pre-surgery jitters. I should have listened to my gut. Shortly after arriving to the hospital, I started rounding on patients, one of whom was a patient that I believed was more of a "social admit." The patient was a 37 week pregnant woman that had presented the night before complaining of contractions. The triage nurse insisted that she had changed her cervix from 1 cm to 1 cm with "a little wiggle room." Since she lived rather far from the hospital and was to be a repeat C-section for delivery, I griped a little (good-naturedly, of course) that the nurse was killing me, but admitted her overnight for observation. Well, chalk up another for the nurse and her keen instinct, because the patient broke her water about 5 minutes prior to my arrival on the floor.

At first, she was only 2-3 cm dilated, so preparations were made for an ASAP C-section, and I went down to start my portion of a pelvic reconstruction surgery that I had co-ordinated with one of the urologists. He was still placing a sling, which was fortunate because I got a stat page that the nurse thought the C-section patient may be fully dilated! I broke scrub, ran upstairs, and checked to find the patient was about 7-8 cm. I spoke with the patient briefly about proceeding with a VBAC, to which she responded as though I had asked her to voluntarily cut off a limb. So, instead I ran back to the OR, asked them to prep for a stat section, and peeked into the room where the urologist was still working and asked him if he could stay busy for another 20 minutes so that I could deliver the baby. He happily agreed, and I bounced to the next OR and did a quick 20 minute skin-to-skin repeat C-section with tubal ligation with the scrub tech.

It was all of 9 am when I had re-scrubbed for the pelvic reconstruction case, and I was pretty much on an adrenaline rush for the remainder of the surgery. Luckily, this case went very smoothly (pelvic reconstruction is not one of my more favorite surgeries to do). After this case, I went to do a quick consult and pelvic on a young, uncooperative teenage girl, and back to the OB floor to complete rounds, check NSTs, and finish discharges. I had a minute to grab a bottle of water and half of a sandwich and it was time for the OR once again.

Next was a hysterectomy, and, unfortunately for me, I did not have another doc to first assist. While I am perfectly capable of doing the surgery on my own with a tech, it just goes so much more smoothly and quickly with two pairs of hands and eyes. I got into some pretty brisk bleeding on the right pelvic sidewall and got a little closer to the ureter than I liked, so back the urologist came to check out the plumbing. I just really have a phobia about occult bladder and ureter injury during hysterectomy. I saw a few in residency that had to go back to the OR after the defects were discovered in the post-operative is just not pretty, and I get super paranoid about these things. I felt badly for bothering the urologist, but he assured me that he would rather have 30 intraoperative consults at the time of an original surgery than having to go back in days after the event. Fortunately, everything checked out ok, and while the patient lost a little more blood than I would have liked, she did very well throughout the surgery.

Then, it was back upstairs to review more NSTs and an ultrasound on one of my mild pre-ecclampsia patients (who also is a gestational diabetic). The doppler flow was worsening, as was her 24 hour urine protein level, so we made the decision for induction. Orders were written, post-op patients were checked, and my remaining surgeries proceeded without incident. I picked up CindyLou from daycare, we came home, ate dinner, she had a bath, a tantrum, and a bedtime story. Now she is tucked up in bed, I am tucked in on the couch (as yet unshowered, with a splitting headache, I might add) and I am praying for no more laboring patients tonight. Ah, just another lovely day in paradise. Isn't medicine fun and glamorous? Ha.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Taking a break from the medical for a moment. Mr. Whoo and I are facing a friendship dilemma. We are, perhaps, being somewhat unreasonable. In the past I have mentioned Mr. Whoo's core group of good friends, and how much they are a part of our own extended family. This group is such an entity that I was a smidge more apprehensive about meeting "the guys" than I was about meeting Mr. Whoo's parents. Over the years I have gotten close with all of the boys as well as extremely close with their wives. All of this was just dandy....until one of the guys cheated on his wife. Even worse, said guy was at our house visiting for the weekend when his wife found out!

His infidelity unmasked a whole multitude of other undesireable facets of his personality that, until that time, he was able to keep hidden from even his close friends. Mr. Whoo and I found ourselves sympathetic to Cheater's wife, and distancing ourselves from him. True to form, while Cheater's behavior caused great chaos within the core group, the guys came to the decision that Cheater was still "a part of them" and while his behavior was not condoned, it was forgiven. Fast forward a couple of years, the couple is now divorced. Cheater, after various and sundry placeholder relationships, jobs, and stunts, is now living with the very woman with whom he cheated, and is bringing her to "group" events as his girlfriend. Even more bizarre, most of the guys and girls are completely accepting of her and often speak of how "nice" this person is! I know for a fact that she knew that Cheater was married when she had the affair with him, so, in my opinion, that alone strikes her from the "nice" book. Mr. Whoo and I have been the most vocal in our disapproval, both of Cheater and his girlfriend, but now everyone is treating us as if we are strange for not just "letting it go."

Now, I know that everyone has their own personal "hot-button" issues. For me, it is infidelity. Without being too detailed, it has affected me in a personal way (not in my own marriage, but in my family). I realize that I am completely being emotional about this, but it is something I can't help. I can't even look Cheater in the eye anymore. Mr. Whoo rarely answers his calls. He and his girlfriend live within a reasonable distance from us, and he is forever making overtures for us to make plans together. We are starting to run out of excuses. So now we are wondering, are we being childish and immature about this whole issue?

For me, I like to think that I surround myself with people of good character. Since Cheater has shown his character to be sorely lacking, I would be happy to let the friendship fade into the "group," which keeps him squarely in our social picture. So where do we go from here? We can't spend forever avoiding him and shunning her. That makes me feel as though we don't have strong enough character to move on from our friend's bad decisions. So why do I feel, in my gut, that just "letting it go" reflects badly on me (like I'm condoning the behavior)? Argh. See what I mean about issues?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Under the Weather

Both literally and figuratively (lucky, lucky me)! I'm back! Battered, broken, sick, and exhausted, but back at home and back in the blogging world. Did ya miss me? Nah. No matter how wonderful an idea of a tropical cruise in January may sound, don't succumb to the allure. My body and my immune system are seriously up in arms over my fluctuating climate. We went from temperatures in the 20s into the 80s and then back to the teens in a little more than a week. There is a full fledged revolt waging here, and it is not pretty. As badly as I am feeling, Mr. Whoo has it worse, and today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, honey!

It is also not a fabulous idea to plan 2 back-to-back vacations in the weeks prior to a loved one's (very important) birthday, especially for a procrastinator like me. I had already had a good idea of the present he was getting, but minor details like dinner and a cake and all of the rest was a little more tricky with only a few day lead time. It is actually a very good thing that I didn't have a huge shindig planned, because the both of us were rendered absolutely useless this weekend, by colds and work and the like. On top of that we got about 4 to 5 inches of snow today (yay!) It has been a very low key day, and we have really needed it. Right now, Mr. Whoo is tending the driveway and CindyLou is busy decorating and re-decorating her kid sized snowman.

I am trying to recuperate, not only from vacation, but from getting my butt kicked at work in the last 5 days. We arrived home late on Tuesday, after a long, long 6 hour flight delay, pee soaked jeans (CindyLou's, not mine!), the great toddler pant airport search of 2007 (which culminated in a set of oriental style pj pants, only 27 dollars, in which the seam ripped within the first hour of wear), and a blizzard for the drive home. Wednesday, I had 3 surgeries scheduled, but one cancelled at the last minute, and, for a fleeting moment, I believed that I was going to get to leave the hospital before noon. Unfortunately, a laboring patient thwarted those dream plans and I was at the hospital until about 10 pm. Thursday brought 56 clinic patients and a tearful breakdown (moi), and I arrived home at 7 pm. Early Friday morning, around 3:45 am, a term patient with a non-reassuring fetal strip brought me into the hospital. Thankfully, the baby scored well on a biophysical profile, and the patient went on to have a very nice delivery after a little augmentation. The baby was perfectly fine, it just had a really tight nuchal and body cord. Luckily, since I was worried about the strip, I cancelled clinic patients to keep an eye on the baby. (Well, I say lucky now, but talk to me next week after my 100th patient in one day.)

This weekend I am doing my vacation penance call for OtherDoc, which has earned me the privilege of denying several pain meds to seekers, and a 6 am delivery this morning. I arrived home just in time to "get up" with CindyLou so that the birthday boy could sleep in, do the dishes, put away the groceries, and whip up some chili. Since then, I have been catatonic on the couch, staring out at the snow, and trying to keep from throwing up. Awesome. Right now, I actually am starting to feel more human! On that note, CindyLou is back in from the snow and hungry, so duty calls! I've missed you guys, and can't wait to catch up on what is going on in the blogging world! Oh, and I will publish comment responses soon, promise.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Holy cow, I've been nominated for a MedGaget 2006 Medical Web Blog Award, and here I am not posting for weeks and weeks. Who did this? (I suspect Fat I right?) I am incredibly flattered that a whole 12 people have voted for me already. Awesome. It looks like I am a far cry from winning, but if you wanna vote for fun, here is a link! Really, it is an honor just to be nominated. Thank you! :)

Back and Gone Again

My poor blog, she's been so neglected these last few weeks! We've had a jam-packed holiday season with multiple family obligations (not to mention work and the fact that this pregnancy is continuing to kick my ass). Over the Christmas holiday, my parents were in town for a week. It was wonderful having them here. CindyLou was so much fun this Christmas, saying "Merry Christmas, Mommy!" on that day and in the week following Christmas Day. So adorable. My parents left on the 26th and Mr. Whoo's brother and his family arrived that same evening. I spent most of the 27th catching up on office paperwork, doing a few small surgeries, and watching in amazement as the Seminoles finally played a good game, um, second half.

Then it was off to the ski cabin that Mr. Whoo's family had rented for the New Year's holiday. The cabin was really nice with amazing mountain views, and it was minutes to two different ski resorts. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate. It was warm (40-50s) for the majority of the week. The first two days we had snow on the ground at the cabin, so the little ones got to sled and make snow angels. We also took them snow tubing one afternoon. There were 10 adults (including 2 pregnant women) and 7 kids (ages ranging from 9 months to 5 years), so to say that it was busy would be a gross understatement. For the most part, it was relaxing. I didn't do a whole lot of skiing, partially due to the less than stellar conditions, partially because of the pregnancy, and mostly because I generally spend most of the first few hours of skiing on my ample posterior, until I get my "ski legs." The majority of the time was spent watching bowl games, playing board games, and eating. My kind of vacation! We all watched the ball drop together, and I did have the teeniest sip of champagne (so good, sigh).

We arrived back home on New Year's Day, and our house appeared as though a Christmas bomb had gone off within. Messy, messy, messy. Mr. Whoo has been amazing about cleaning up Christmas. OtherDoc is also on vacation this week, so I got the double whammy of coming back to a full schedule and all of his patients to cover, to boot. I swear that my office staff is trying to kill me. Tuesday I had 53 patients in the office, Wednesday I had an induction and 4 surgeries, Thursday I had a c-section and 52 office patients, and Friday, for my "half-day" I had 27 office patients and 2 surgeries. Needless to say, I spent most of Friday night catatonic on the couch. This weekend I have to finish writing all of my clinic charts (before I forget what happened) and I must dictate my delinquent charts (all 26 of them, ack.)

Oh yes, and we also have to pack for the cruise that we are taking this next week. In retrospect, I realize that the timing of this cruise is less than ideal, but we booked the cruise before the ski trip was planned. The cruise is not just any old cruise, it is called The Rock Boat, and we have been on a few over the years. It started back in 2001 with Sister Hazel and a few bands and has since grown to a rather large floating concert with multiple bands. We are going with a group of friends, and it is always a good time. As expected, this is usually a big booze cruise, so I am a bit apprehensive about being the sole sober person, not only in my group of friends, but on the entire cruise ship. On the bright side, there will be lots of great music and concerts that I will actually remember this time, and I'll be ready with the video camera to record any and all funny/embarrassing moments.

We fly out Tuesday morning, we will drop CindyLou off with Mr. Whoo's mom, and then we are driving down with all of the gang on Wednesday to Fort Lauderdale. I am actually very thankful to be getting a few vacations so close together, it is just a matter of getting prepped and on the way that is stressing me out. Once we are on the boat, it will be nothing but relaxation. So, I am afraid that I will once again be out of touch for the next week or so. I have lots of interesting ideas in my head for future posts, and will do my best to post more regularly once the craziness dies down. Bear with me, life is getting in the way of blogging, it seems! I hope that you all are having a great 2007!