Any one in medicine, or with a loved one in medicine already knows that we tend to be a superstitious bunch. Funny, since you would think that people, who are, in general, so scientifically minded, would scoff at silly ritual and the whims of fate. *Everybody* knows that you should never, ever say that you are having a "quiet" day or an "easy" case. And, what ever you do, you should not piss off the forces that are better known as the "call gods." When you are on call, especially in L&D, you never know what kind of call you are going to have. Some days and nights are smooth and easy, and some are absolute hell on earth. You can be certain, if you you are having the latter kind of call, that you have transgressioned against the call gods, and they are exacting their wrath upon you.
How exactly do you anger the call gods? I'm not entirely certain of all the ways one can anger them. One way is to plan to do something, anything at all, on the day/night/weekend on which you are on call. If you make plans other than sitting at the hospital on your call day, it tends to blow up in your face. Another way is to get too comfortable, especially at home. Woe betide the on-call physician who dares to try to change out of scrubs into pajamas, take a long bath, or, heaven forbid, take a nap, for the call gods will smite thee mightily. I think another thing that rouses the wrath of the call gods is becoming anything less than vigilant about scouting potential customers coming in through labor and delivery or the emergency room. Your radar must always be roving for potential impending disaster.
For whatever the reason, or, perhaps because they felt bad for destroying me over my last holiday call, a Labor Day weekend 13 delivery-palooza, the call gods were incredibly kind to me this past weekend. I started with a full census, delivered one baby at 3 pm on Friday, discharged every single patient from the census by Sunday, did one consult on Sunday, and delivered another baby at 2 am this morning. I slept in my own bed for 2.5 out of 3 total nights on call. It was the strangest, most unsettling feeling. I kept checking my pager and the computer. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but truly, it never did. That is, of course, until this morning, feeling safe from the call gods' collective hearing, I happened to post to fac.eboo.k that I had an eerily slow call weekend. Oh how my hubris was heard and met with a swift and mighty justice. Not 30 minutes later, I received a call from a sick colleague, requesting that I cover call tomorrow night in exchange for them covering my week-day call next week. Of course, I agreed. I am not looking forward to the kind of payback that the call gods have in mind for me.