Thursday, May 31, 2012

Social Calendars and Choosing a Dinner Partner

This is Part 2 of my Retirement Dinner Story
To catch up click here to read Part 1 


Source
There's a reason why women take charge of the social calendar in married life. We are genetically programmed to take care of these matters. We are able to look ahead of the now to foresee any potential downers at our social event and work to remedy such situations before they ever have an opportunity to come to fruition. Case in point...open dinner seating.

There were over a hundred people attending this retirement dinner. If you were not a doctor, or a doctor's wife, you either worked directly with Doc C or were a member of his family.

At the announcement inviting (or rather herding) us into the dining room for dinner, we all picked up our name card and shuffled through the doors to find ourselves a table. I think most wives would agree, by this time, we would have already conversed, chosen a table and made arrangements as to who we were sitting with, who was in charge of grabbing a table, saving seats, etc.

Men don't do this.

Instead, I found myself aimlessly following (and perhaps wobbling a bit-- the stilettos--those damn shoes!)  Doc H around the dining room (this was his gig, not mine) as he tried to locate someone he would like to sit with.

Here's a classic example of a fundamental difference between men and women. Doc H is searching for someone specific in a dining partner. Someone he can rub elbows with. Someone he can network with. Someone who he would like to pass ideas by or perhaps informally screen for a potential job. If he has his way, he won't sit by a random person. He'll be gathering information, gathering data. He will be working this dinner.

We, ladies, will go straight to our friends and sit together to have a gab fest, drink free wine and cocktails, and have a great time. Work can wait until Monday morning. This is a social occasion, after all... a party, for the love of Jiminy Crickets! Did I mention the drinks are free? The drinks ARE FREEEEEEEE!

Despite all this, and regardless of the fact we happened to be one of the first couples in the dining room, we ended up being one of the last to sit down due to the circular dance we performed as Doc H tried to find a suitable dining partner. We ended up much like Baby, and found ourselves seated in the corner among the ficus trees...with only one other doctor seated at our table. No wife, no girlfriend, not even a  stinking date for me to occupy my time with. At this point, I would've been happy had he brought along a paid escort.  No such luck. Just me and two blood and guts guys. Me and two guys who wield a scalpel for a living. Me and two guys who slice and dice. Human beings.

It was at this point, I realized I left my iPhone at home. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Pinterest, no Instagram, no texting, no apps, no games, no blogging, no nothing. No. Nada. Zilch. 

This was going to be a long night.

S-O-B.

So much happened at this dinner, I've decided to write a few installments so I don't overwhelm you or take up too much of your day. Please be sure to follow via GFC, Linky, email, Twitter, or Facebook to make sure you don't miss out on the rest of the story. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Doctor's Retirement Dinner

When Doc Hubby first came to {insert name of a prestigious hospital here}, he took a strong liking to his Chief.  Doc Chief was a kind and open-hearted soul who was capable of demanding the best of his fellows and collegues without being an overbearing, ego-centric, a**-grinding, a**hole we all know some docs can be. His collegues and coworkers found him to be gentle, yet firm. They all enjoyed working with him and this was clearly evident as everyone celebrated his retirement with loving, sincere, and genuine tributes at Doc C's swanky retirement soiree.

Source
I'll admit, I really don't enjoy going to these things. Well, let me rephrase... I don't like getting ready for these things. Once I get there, find someone I can talk to and relate to, (and have a glass of wine--or two) I can enjoy the evening. If any one of those three factors is missing...it's a dud of a night and I'm left asking why in the hell did I even considering stuffing myself into a pair of Spanx for the evening?! I hate feeling all my fat squeezed up and under my armpits! It creates chaffing. Yes. I chaff at these events.

S-O-B {read that as tears or an acronym, your choice}

And, yes, I do love my Badgley Mischka's, but in all honesty, my feet (or any other woman's for that matter) were not meant to be at such an excruiating angle for so long. If God had made us with this intention, girls would be born with ballet pointe slippers strapped to their feet. Yet, I stood through cocktail hour like a warrior. The wine flowed freely and seemed to settle down in my feet. I blame the numbness for my wobbles, it was never the alcohol or the stilettos.

Before I leave shoes, I have to tell you, I've never seen so many red soled shoes in my life. Not even in the Bloomingdales shoe department. I'll admit, I had alterior motives to dropping my napkin on the floor and putting my face as close to the floor as possible. I was taking stock of Louboutin inventory for the event just as any self-repecting, card carrying Nordstrom member would do. 

Why must lipgloss be so damn sticky? I was trying to look as elegant and sophisticated as possible as I was having a conversation with a Doc who has devices named after him. Big Honcho in the world of medicine and mentor to my Doc H. It was still wine and appetizer hour when we were standing, chatting away. I found myself having to peel my bottom lip off my pinot wine glass... while he spoke...and watched. He dismissed himself immediately thereafter.

I can't really blame him.

S-O-B.

So much happened at this dinner, I've decided to write a few installments so I don't overwhelm you or take up too much of your day. Please be sure to follow via GFC, Linky, email, Twitter, or Facebook to make sure you don't miss out on the rest of the story. 

Click here for Part 2: Social Calendars and Choosing a Dinner Partner


Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Taking time today to honor those who have served and remember those who have fallen...

Source

Enjoy your holiday!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Google Search Keywords for Your Enjoyment


These are my one-day, Google Search Keywords:



They all seem to align themselves nicely today, don't you think?






CYBER-PERVS.








Friday, May 25, 2012

My Day With the Pager

Remember the day I was saddled with the pager? Everyone left the kindest comments hoping my day went ok. I'm so traumatized I can't string together words in any eloquent or clever fashion which depict or give that day it's justice or you a laugh. Ellen, from Sisterhood of Sensible Moms commented her pager gave her PSTD. I think I'm suffering the same fate, my friends. Please forgive me, but all I can manage is a listing of the day's events and a few things I learned.

Do they come with a
pager holster?
Source
People don't become emergently sick at any random hour. No, even though their symptoms and pain have been lurking around for days, they always decide to beckon wildly at the most inconvenient times. It all seems to begin at 3pm as everyone else is beginning to wind down their work day.

My morning wasn't bad. I just carried that sucker in my bra cup like it was a pacemaker outside my body. The box squawked just a couple pages which I forwarded as instructed, via text message to his cell phone.

There are only four buttons on Doc H's pager. Those were enough to thoroughly confuse Your Doctor's Wife. I was panicked. Would I/could I accidentally delete a page? Then what? They'll have to page again, but how many minutes will that waste? I prayed that if I had deleted any it was just a page from a nurse asking for discharge orders or another elementary question which did not demand immediate attention.

Then came a page from a doc from an affiliate hospital. I text. A couple minutes later another page from the same doc.         Uh.        Oh.

While I did make it through my shower without a page, my cup squealed while I was in the hover position over a public commode. I began to fish it out of its holding place, but was having a bit of trouble which evoked premonitions of the sucker swimming in the toilet. I decided I should let it wait until I could wash my hands. I put those kegel exercises to the test.

I pick up D3 from school. I'm driving on a busy and congested highway...and BEEP! BEEP BEEP! I wish it was a cute little VW bug vying for my attention. I can't text and drive. I can't pull over. I ask D3 to text the page. She does as told.

Before we reach home, my car rings (yes, my whole car. I can't figure out how to turn down the ringer on the hands free blutooth.) It's Doc H. His voice is muffled. Another "uh-oh" moment. He's calling from inside the OR. Normally, he'll break scrub to call when he needs to talk to me. Now, he has a nurse holding his cell phone up to his scrub cap and he's talking to me through his mask. More emergencies, more unscheduled cases equal late night. He hasn't had time to eat and doesn't see any break in the day. Bad day. 

My bra beeped while I was in a busy, noisy restaurant. Everyone turned to look as I was fishing it out of my left cup. I was mortified...

And that's exactly how it went and how it continued to go. He came home at 12:30am that night when I handed the pager over to him. He was able to sleep until 2:30am when the pager went off again and he sprinted back to the OR. But this time, the pager beckoned from his side of the bed... so much better than my side.

Now, do you want me to tell you how he couldn't leave the hospital until noon the next day even though he was officially on vacation at 5pm the previous day? 

I didn't think so. 













Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pigs vs Chickens vs Me

I hurriedly busted through the garage door which leads into our laundry room and into our home huffing and puffing, but with steadfast focus on the task at hand. 

Get through the door carrying eleven overfilled reusable grocery bags, don't let the dog out, shut the door, step over dirty, stinky laundry piles, don't get tripped up on any bra straps or jock straps, don't drop the keys, don't lose the mail which is crammed in my armpit and fighting for breathing room with my purse. 

I see the finish line. The kitchen is just....right....there. Just make it before both my shoulders separate. That is goal. Eye it. Visualize it. You can do it.  Blast past the in-laws, their friends, Doc H, a couple of the kids, the dog. Ignore those around you and their offers to help. Don't they understand this is a fragile balancing act? One simple shift and it all blows. I have eggs here people! Make way!

I barely make it to the counter, only pausing to get enough backswing on my loot to heave-ho it onto the countertop.

"What have you got there?" Doc H asks as I jut my lower jaw out to blow air up to dislodge the hair that's stuck to the sweat which has beaded up all over my face. My in-laws and their friends are rummaging through the bags now...

"That there is your free-range, grain fed, organic, $15 whole chicken." I huffed.

"WHAT! 15 bucks for a chicken?!"

"It didn't live in a cage. You said you wanted farm-raised." (read here for proof)

"I didn't say that!"

I'm still catching my breath, "Yes, you did! You said you only wanted farm raised pork."

"Exactly! Pork!"

"So you care about the pigs, but not the chickens?" My hands are now free, so I'm wiping my matted down hair away and off my face.

"Well, at 15 bucks a chicken, we should get some chickens and put them in the yard."

"Wait, what? Are you saying you want me to kill the chickens we eat now?" I am in disbelief as I adjust the girls back into place. {Note to self: never were demi-cups on shopping day again}

"Sure, it's easy. All you have to do is pick them up and wring their neck." 

At this point, I quickly glance at my MIL and we make eye contact. I see I have her blessing. "I'm going to be wringing your neck in just a second."

I can only do so much for love.

This will NOT be me.
Source




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thanks, Food Inc.

Last night Doc H watched the documentary "Food Inc" while I was sleeping. Because of this, he has shared his desire to consume only farm raised meat.

I'll admit, it's not going to be that much of a stretch for us. We already have fairly healthy eating habits. I don't purchase anything from the freezer section unless it's veggies or all-natural ice cream, and even the veggies are for emergency situations only.

I switched from ground beef to ground bison years ago. By the time the kids realized it, I had already been serving it up to them for over a year and a half.

So, yesterday we were ordering at a fast food drive thru and today we're here:



Should you need me, try looking for me at our local ranches and farms (I'm sure I'll be able to find some within a 200 mile radius from home) where I'll be throwing a half a cow, 4 pigs, and 24 chickens in the trunk of my car.

The things we do for love.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Your Doctor's Wife: Saddled With the Pager

This morning began routinely: wake up, get dressed, coffee, a few daily scheduling remarks and reminders shared with Doc H, school drop-offs, return home to the dog. All normal. Nothing new. Then the phone rang... It was Doc H asking me to search his robe pockets for his pager. I did and I found it. My husband saddled me with the pager for the day.

This has happened before. It doesn't happened frequently, but when it does, it runs my day. I become obsessed and unnerved by the little, archaic technological relic. I don't think drug dealers even use beepers anymore, right? Yet, here I am; saddled and strapped to the beast all day long. When the beast screams for Doc H, it's my call to action. I must immediately text Doc H with the call back number.

This bastard (the pager, not Doc H- just wanted to make sure that was clear) stresses me out. What if I read the numbers wrong? What if I text a typo? Transpose numbers? What if someone is on the other end bleeding...bad.

I know if I get in the shower it will scream at me mid-shampoo. I have errands to run. I don't want it screaming at me, drawing attention to me in Safeway. I don't want to clog up the Metamucil aisle like I did last time as I text the page. The busload of seniors from the independent living facility in my neighborhood are not patient grannies and grampies. One even mumbled I should learn to drive my buggy as she squeezed by me. Didn't she noticed I was traumatized? I was texting as fast as possible, my eyes darting back and forth between pager and IPhone, double checking the number, correcting the number all while whispering obscenities to myself? Didn't they notice the stress sweat forming on my upper lip? Cut me some slack lady!

Woman's clothes were not designed to carry pagers. Even if Doc H's pager had a clip, which it does not, women's clothing does support such devices. So I have to carry it...in a pocket. Women's clothes don't have those either... especially functioning pockets. We have small decorative pockets which may be large enough to carry a lipstick, not a pager.

My purse is not a viable option. Like most mom purses, my purse is a black hole. I'm afraid I would never find it in a timely manner.

So what's a Doc wife to do? I carry it like every other self-respecting woman who has something of value on her person... I stick it in my cup. I've got two cups, but you'll usually find it in the left cup.  My silhouette is a little deformed as I push the buggy down around the store, but at least I know it's there, it's safe, and it's easily retrievable.

Now, if I could just figure out how to turn it on vibrate.


Click here if you're curious how my day went.



read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Week in Review

This week, I shared my
Mother's Day with you,
an other Beau Hunk chapter,
I shared my excitement as my daughter came home,
and my gripe about putting time and effort into doctor referral for someone with 3 degrees of separation.



Tomorrow a new week of new posts...
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Asking Your Doctor's Wife for a Physician Recommendation

It happens all too often; I am asked for a physician recommendation. People learn you have a Doc Hubby and before you know it, they think you're as knowledgeable as a Stedman's Medical Dictionary and a Who's Who in Medicine.

Source
I received this message via Facebook messenger today:

Hi Emma how are you? Hope all is well. I'm sitting here with my friend talking about her moms [sic] heart condition and how they want to get a second opinion at ________. Isn't Doc H at ________? Is he a cardiologist? Can they request he review her chart? It's my friend's mom.

I haven't heard a peep from this friend in over a year. Last time we lunched, I extended the invitation. She never reciprocated. Now she wants medical advice/help so she's popped back in my life via FB messenger. At this point, I'm thinking a phone call would have gone over better.

I immediately reply stating Doc H is not the doctor they're looking for. Unfortunately, I don't know of any doctors at that hospital. I tell her sorry I can't be of any help in this matter, and I send my best wishes to her, her friend, and her friend's mother.

Here's my gripe with this request... She takes it a step further by replying, "Do you think your hubby can recommend anyone at that hospital?" Here's where I roll my eyes and the words "are you sh*^ting me" scroll through my brain.

She was a great friend in high school... decades ago. I absolutely adored her and her family. If she were asking for herself or a family member, I would spend the time to research a doctor for her. I would want to help her. I'd be happy to help her. But she's asking for someone twice removed.  

If I knew of someone off the top of my head...no problem. I'm happy to share the information and help out.   However, in this instance I do not and here's what she's asking me to do. She's asking me to spend 30 minutes of my time with my husband after he gets home from the hospital researching the right doctor for that particular case. I wouldn't want to just pull a name out of a hat. It's a recommendation that both Doc H and I will be linked to. I wouldn't send a friend to just anyone; it has to be a doc I would refer  my family to. We'd most likely have to sit at the computer to pull up the hospital website and review the department docs and their bios. If we are lucky, Doc H might know one or know of someone's reputation (good or bad) to help in our search.

I realize 30 minutes does not sound like a long time. In normal time, it's not. However, when your husband comes home to find you half asleep in bed, you're tired, he's exhausted, and you have many other family matters to discuss, it bears on you. We have such little time together as it is. If I'm lucky we might share 15 to 20 minutes talking in the morning before he leaves for the hospital. Most likely he'll be gone before the rest of the household wakes up.

Perhaps, it's also just bad timing. As it stands now, Doc H is 3 hours behind his self-proclaimed ETA. We had an errand to run together. I'm guessing I'll be taking care of it on my own tomorrow.

Besides...I am fiercely hangry. That's hungry+angry in case you were wondering.



Today, you'll find me Co-Hosting over at Fun Friday Bloghop! Come link up!



And if you're eligible, join me at Follow Friday 40 and Over!



Friday, May 11, 2012

A Wife's Lessons Learned (The Hard Way)

Lessons Learned:

Source
Never trust your husband's memory (no matter how smart he truly is) when it comes to itineraries. You may find yourself circling the airport terminal waiting for your in-laws to get through baggage claim... a whole 24 hours in advance of their actual arrival.

Upon arriving at your destination, never walk away from the car until you are completely certain your husband (and driver) has locked the car... and turned of the engine.


{...to my Doc Husband, if you're reading this, I understand these things happen because your mind is at the hospital with your patients. I'm so happy I have a sense of humor about these types of things. Aren't you?...}

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spousal Chatter

We spent the weekend at our vacation home (really future retirement home, but we're in denial... "vacation" sounds more palatable). We have already completed the bulk of the remodel, but we still have a few little odds and ends which need to be completed. Since we have family coming, we drove out for a quick weekend trip hoping we could cross a few items of the "to do" list.


Our new place is located is a somewhat rural area. The closest mall is two hours away. The town's economy is primarily driven by tourism, so we do have some hoi-ty toi-ty boutique-style shops, but certainly no department stores...we do have a RiteAid, though.

These are not Calvin Klein's
Photo Credit
(...driving in the car)
Doc H: I forgot to pack underwear. I have to buy some.
Me: We're here for one more night. Can't you just turn them inside out?
Doc H: No! Where can I find some?
Me: I don't think you're going to find any.
Doc H: There's an apparel store! (Brakes, squeal, pulls over, ouch, whip lash...we go inside)

Doc H: Hello, Ms. Saleslady. Do you carry men's underwear?
Saleslady: (frowning) Nooooooo, we don't. Saw-reeeee....
Doc H: Do you know where I can buy some?
Saleslady: Umm... did you try RiteAid???

(back in the car)
Doc H: (despondent and defeated) RiteAid?!!! I'm not wearing under from RITEAID!
Me: Where do all the locals buy their underwear?
Doc H: They must all go commando.

*******************************

(...trying to mount a bathroom mirror)
Doc H: (getting tired of holding up the heavy mirror and frustrated with my slow mechanical abilities) Did you get it?!!
Me: I can't get it in the hole!
Doc H: Thank God you're not a man.



Monday, May 7, 2012

The Med Student Spouse's FAQ Answered

Photo Credit
If you've happily skipped on over to my blog today in hopes of getting a chuckle, I'm sorry, but today's post probably won't do that for you (unless you enjoy listening to the realities of other,s lives- then maybe).

Being the wife of an attending who is settled in his job, I find my inbox filled with emails from the spouses and SOs of pre-med and medical students who are just embarking on the medical family life journey. All seek advice on various topics and issues. These ladies (if you're a med school husband please email and represent!) seek guidance, support, and want to know the truth. In a nutshell, they want a glimpse of what their family life will resemble given their husband decides to go the surgery route.

Here's a sample email:

Hi! I follow your blog and wondered if I could ask you for some advice: Do you know of any kind of surgery specialties that are family friendly? I ask in regards to time with family (the doctor's that is) my husband is a premed student and we are still deciding on whether a medical career is best for us. We have a daughter that is only a year old and she barely sees her father as it is. I just want to know what I'm in for. Thanks.

And my reply:

Hi Future Medical Wife!

Well, you ask a loaded question and it's one which deserves lots of discussion and forethought. According to Doc H, Cardiovascular and Vascular are the most time consuming specialties. However, if you ask the wives, they will also add all the other surgery specialties to the list. The bottom line is this: critical is CRITICAL. Patients cannot wait and they seem to need emergent care at night and on holidays. I've even been in the ER with on kid getting stitches and Doc H was tied up in the OR in the same hospital. That's life as a surgeon's wife.

None of our kids want to be surgeons. If anything, they might be toying with the idea of becoming an allergist, dermatologist, physical therapist, etc if they opt for a medical career. However, I think you will set the tone of how your kids either appreciate or resent his work. Doc H's first wife hated his job and verbalized it. She was just the kind of wife who expected her husband to be home at 5 for dinner. That idealistic family portrait is not conducive with a surgeon's work demands.

You and your kids have to be in it for the bigger picture and appreciate that in order to find that "happy" place. I am very supportive of his career. I am proud of what he is able to do. However, I will also say I enjoy time to myself and am okay alone with the kids. We (me and the kids) have our schedule and make things work for us. Unfortunately, we cannot depend on Doc H for anything. If he makes a school function, recital, family party, etc, it is just icing on the cake. If you go in with low expectations of his participation, you won't be disappointed.

But, keep in mind there are very many variables at to what his work load will demand. Such as: where will he practice? In a hospital? Private practice? How many other docs will he be working with? Share call with? etc...

I hope this helps. It's important to know the realities of the profession so you can both make decisions that fit your particular family and needs best.

I hope I don't put a damper on things for you. I just want to be honest. It's a tough life for the doc, spouse and kids, unless you all see the bigger picture and go into it with open eyes and an accepting heart.

If you need me...I'm here for you!

Big Hug,
Emma (Your Doctor's Wife)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend Doctor Humor

An oldie, but goodie from my high school days....



YouTube via alyancovicVEVO

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tell Me About Yourself Award!

I was a little hesitant to participate in this fun award in order to preserve my anonymity, but I have had some time (okay, more like two months) to ponder it and decided I should just do it!

A BIG thank you to Brandi over at Yee Wittle Things for the nomination. If you haven't visited her blog you really should. She offers a mix of personal stories, photos, and reviews. Given that I have been trying to make a more conscience effort to support eco-friendly companies, I especially appreciate her reviews of green products. What's that you say? You love give aways? Then Brandi's your gal! Like I said, she's got it all going on! Go check her out!


The rules are simple.  Tell 7 things about yourself that would be found interesting.  Then send this to 7 bloggers that you nominated.  Remember, only participate if you like, it's all in good fun :)

7 things about me that I haven't already posted on here before....(this will be easy!)

1.  English is not my first language. Yet, I cannot speak my native language. I understand it fluently. When I went to pre-school, assimilation (not diversity) was embraced. If I must speak my native tongue, I sound like I'm speaking underwater. It's embarrassing. 

2.  If I could, I'd be a life long college student, because I love being in the classroom...not for the parties...really...I swear on my uncle's cock fighting chickens back in the home country.  

3.  In case you're wondering, I am American. My parents immigrated here legally. I don't think I could ever move to another country away from my family (well, they each had at least one family member here. That's how they had sponsorship). I am still bewildered over how they survived the journey and actually stayed. 

4.  I was a cheerleader in junior high and high school. It still comes out at the kids' games. Sometimes I just can't help myself and I blame it on my parents. They'll both yell and scream during their games, too. Once, after a game, D3 told my brother she could hear her grandparents cheering while she was on the field and it was sort of embarrassing. His reply? "What? Hey, at least now they're cheering in English. When I was playing, they'd be cheering in Spanish! THAT'S embarrassing!"

5.  My Doc Hubby makes the best darn margaritas in the WORLD! For that reason alone, I would never leave him.

6.  I was asked to prom by a classmate. I declined his invitation. He went on to win a super-large, national modeling competition and national campaign for a large chain of stores. Everywhere I went for a year, I would look up and see him staring down at me from a large billboard.

7.  My very first car was a Honda. One day I was driving to school in the morning and noticed smoke emanating out the back of the car. I pulled over to a pay phone and used my emergency dime to call Dad. He asked when was the last time I put oil in the car. Oil? Who ever said anything about oil? Gas, yes. Oil, no. Per his instructions, I immediately drove to a auto supply store. Even though I was dressed all cute in my cheer uniform, none of the male employees would help put the oil in the car. I asked for a funnel. The gave me a huge funnel; one which would never fit my oil hole. Never mind! I went to another pay phone and called my high school sweetheart who was a year ahead of me and in college playing ball... so he was home asleep. I told him I couldn't find a funnel small enough to get the oil into my car without spilling it all over the engine. Sleepily, he told me to come over. I did. He walked out in a thin robe and crossed the crunchy, frozen lawn in bare feet. I popped the hood. I showed him the funnel. He couldn't believe I couldn't get that to fit the oil hole. I said I couldn't. We bickered. He said, "show me". I pulled out the dipstick and showed him how small my oil hole was. I couldn't understand why he was doubled over in a fit of laughter. As I watched him remove the large and clearly marked oil cap, I knew it was a moment I would never live down.  


Here are some great blogs that I'm nominating:


I enjoy so many blogs and these are just 7 of them.  Thank you again Brandi!!!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pavlov, Toddlers and Goodbyes

I would like to know if there is any other profession which is capable of bringing about a Pavlovian response in a toddler.

That's where we found ourselves nine years ago. While Doc H's call schedule is much lighter now (he worked hard over the years building his department, hiring more partners and developing a cross-coverage call program), back then it was just him and one other doc. Before that, he was flying solo. Yes, that translates to on-call 24/7. Every day. Every month. Sounds enticing, doesn't it? Night after night after night...he was responsible for every urgent case (within your specialty) that came through the door on a gurney.

By the tender age of three, our Little Buddy had learned a Pavlovian-esque response to Doc H's pager. The first time I noticed it we were all sitting around the breakfast table on a bright, sunny, late summer, weekend morning. The kids were in their pj's slurping away on pancakes drowned in syrup and Doc H and I were pounding the coffee as we usually do. Then it happened. The ear piercing beeps broke up our nice little family breakfast. As Doc H stood up from the table to grab the phone, it happened. The cutest little toddler hand - still plump with baby fat - knuckles are still just dimples - immediately shot up in the air as Little Guy enthusiastically opened and closed his hand (his version of a wave), smiled, and said, "Bye-bye, Daddy! Bye-bye, Daddy!"

It was bittersweet. Little Buddy was (and still is!) such a cutie and just full of love. He held no resentment that Daddy had to go (that came from his older sisters who had refined the art of Daddy guilt trips). For Little Buddy, it was just a matter of fact and he was going to send Daddy off to work with a smile.

I tried to explain to Little Buddy the beeps did not always mean that Daddy had to go, but the news fell on deaf ears. To Little Buddy beeps were the stimulus which brought about his conditioned happy and loving goodbye response.

Pavlov. Toddlers. Pagers. Goodbyes. *sigh*

A Surgeon's Mantra: "I Hope I Don't Kill Him"

Photo Credit
"I hope I don't kill him."

The first time I heard my husband utter this sentence, we were dating. Hearing it was a jolt to my system. Such a thought was preposterous. He was a doctor; a surgeon! He was not a killer. Killer equates murderer, and that was not the kind, gentle, intelligent man I was dating and in love with. This deeply concerned man standing in front of me captures spiders and releases them outside. I kill spiders right along with snails, slugs, and ants.

When he, and other surgeons, take ahold of the scalpel they cut into the human body with good intentions. {After hearing the "k" word, I'll admit, I was a little freaked out.  I verified Doc H's intentions by taking a sneak peak in his freezer for body parts. None found.} They cut to either improve a patient's quality of life, or extend his or her life. Where in the hippocratic oath does it mention a intent to kill? The oath reads:
Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.
Perhaps if Grey's Anatomy aired prior to our dating days, I would have been more prepared for the thought of killing someone on the OR table. They like to throw that phrase in there every now and then.

Over a lifespan of a surgical career, it is inevitable a number of patients will never make it off the table. As a surgeon's wife, you hope that number is as close to zero as possible. When it happens, it affects our husbands. It rocks us and the "I killed my patient" wave reverberates through the household to our children.

Yet, I find it hard to accept it as "killing" especially when a number of patients lie on the table against the advice of their surgeon. Having gone through the loss of a loved one at a hospital, I understand the emotions and desperation a family feels. Hope is a powerful emotion and one which is easily embraced to when the only other option is impending death.

Here is a composite snapshot of the type of scenario my husband frets about: Eighty year old (and sometimes older!) patient, bad arterial disease, smoker, diabetic, comes in with a ruptured aneurysm. Against Doc H's recommendation, family wants surgery to repair damage with major surgery. Doc H has warned there is minimal chance she will make it off the table. Most likely she will die on the table. If nothing is done, she will die a natural death. The devastated family opts, presses, even demands surgery. It's their only hope.

I ask you, if she doesn't make it to the recovery room, is that "killing" someone?



I realize this isn't a "Fun" topic, but, nonetheless, you can find me and others here today:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meet & Tweet Twitter HOP!

It's the official Meet & Tweet Twitter HOP!


Follow your host:
Laura @ Our Reflection
 

This week's co-hosts are:


The Rules
1. Follow your hosts
{They are the first 7 in the linky.}

2. Follow at least 5 new people via Twitter
{Or more! Introduce yourself... Its a great way to make new friends!}

3. Spread the word!
{The more the merrier! Grab a button and add it to your blog, 
Tweet or Facebook about the link up.}
Our Reflection
<div align="center"><a href="http://our-reflection.blogspot.com/" title="Our Reflection"><img src="http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g383/_laurahernandez/MeetTweet-2.jpg" alt="Our Reflection" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

One lucky link up person will WIN a FREE
solo guest post on Our Reflection blog!




Drum roll please....
Last weeks Meet & Tweet winner is Jordan from Makin Memories of Us!
Congratulations! You have 48-hours to claim your prize.

Please link up your Twitter account, not your blog.


Want to be a future co-host? Email me at momsgonnasnap@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Thoughts on Romance






Today I have the pleasure of guest posting for Rebecca over at Iridescent Indigo.

I was extremely honored to have been asked to share my thoughts on Romance for her Wednesday series on this subject. Please hop on over to read and comment!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Confess...

I do my best to be a good person. I try in earnest to keep bad thoughts out of my head; especially when they are about other people. I try to be polite. I try to be nice and make nice. My mother taught me to bite my tongue anytime I felt the need to say something mean about others. She also worked to instill a sense of class and decorum within me. For the most part, I think I'm successful. However, there are split second moments when such bad moments make brief appearances in my life...

  • I ordered my first Pina Colada of the day at the resort. The bartender, simply smiled and said, "Oh, already? You're my first alcoholic beverage of the day." A veil of shame fell over me.
  • Under the Hawaiian sun and beneath the cloudy judgement of pina coladas, I ranted a little too long to other Doc wives. (However, I will say this ultimately worked to my benefit.)
  • I gave all the other Doc wives holy hell (again, while under the influence, thanks to another Doc Wife who introduced me to Smirnoff Pineapple vodka) for not showing up to a reception and leaving me there with their husbands and dry conversation. As if I'm really interested in how the equipment in the OR should be reorganized or how this hospital or that hospital has an extra three feet in their OR and we don't.  I was the only spouse there. The other Doc Wives informed me it was not open to spouses, but "Thanks for representing." Thanks, Doc H.
  • I spewed at beach boy, Rico, "Maui really needs to repeal its 'no alcohol on the beach' ordinance!"
  • As I slipped on my brand new Prada's, I could only think,  "the devil wears Prada- take THAT, you haters!"

Thank you! I feel lighter, better. I feel as if I'm just emerging from the confessional booth at church. Maybe I should grab my beads...




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