Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Black clouds and burn out.

It has been awhile.  Some of you are letting me know that.  (So that means there are people reading this!)
But yes it has been awhile.

I'm burnt out.  I am so close to FINALLY being done.  I can see the end.  I can almost truly envision what it will be like to be done.  I have never run a marathon (oh the days of being an athlete) but maybe this is what those people feel at about mile marker 20.

I feel like I am moving in slow motion towards the finish - that I am stuck in some goo and have to work that much harder to reach the end.

And that is exhausting.

In medicine, we have this idea of being a "black cloud" or "white cloud".  This refers to that resident's luck while on call.  I was always a "black cloud" which meant that when I was on call, I would always have a bad night.  Either I would get a ton of admissions or I would have incredibly sick patients.  It was kind of a good thing as a resident because I saw a ton and got to experience lots of different things.

Fellowship has been a bit of hit and miss.  Which is good.  But this last month I was back at the labor and delivery hospital (2 hospitals here, babies born at one and NICU at the other.  Yep.  Not good.  Take it up with the man.)  Well let's just say that the L&D service and me were always a bad match during residency.  When I was over there last month, I saw another physician who was on the rotation with me as a resident.  He relayed the following story. "I remember walking in one day and having a L&D nurse ask me if I was on call that day.  I was all excited thinking I was going to get to do some stuff.  I told her I was on and she said good.  Thank goodness it isn't Fuzzy Granola Mom again."  He was so bummed, because indeed his nights would be quiet and mine would be awful.

Well with all of that being said, this was my first return to spending a month in L&D.  My little black cloud found me.  It was crazy.  I was also on home call, which means my pager stayed on 24 hours a day, 4 days a week.  The idea was that I would probably get called in 1x/week.  Not so.  Many more than that.  And many nights where I never even got home until 7-8 only to go back in by 10.  Yep.  Exhausting.

And instead of going back to my so nicely paced (I'm in control of my schedule) research month, I went straight to the NICU.  And these last 2 days have also just been crazy.

So I am burnt out.  I have short timers disease.  I am rarely coherent.  And I can't wait for my little black cloud to find some other person to rain on.  And in just a few short months, instead of doing this crazy schedule for months on end, I will have 1-2 weeks followed by many weeks of research.

Ahh... to be in control again.

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