Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Last night I felt like I was living in the stairwell. All the silly climbing back and forth reminded me of M.C. Escher's drawing, "Relativity". By the time I get to the ICU in the morning, I have climbed 7 flights of stairs. I decided to keep track of just how many flights I would do in the course of a shift on-call. My final number was 54, but that includes both going up as well as going down stairs. I did take the elevators once during the shift, but that was only because my intern was with me at the time. A few weeks ago, she had a bad experience of getting locked in some obscure stairwell, without her cell phone, and had to pound repeatedly on a door until someone happened to walk by. I personally found this hilarious, but took pity on her and got in the elevator. (It is hard to empathize with someone who averages 8-10 hours of sleep on call nights compared to my 1-2 because she only gets paged by me for admissions, and doesn't get woken up every 30 minutes by "updates" or lab results from well-meaning nurses.)
Last night was my 5th call night of the rotation out of a total of 9 scheduled, so as far as I am concerned, it's all downhill now. Things got a little hairy this morning when a patient that we had expected to do well overnight decompensated and now doesn't look like he's going to make it. When I left, the ICU attending thanked me for my hard work, but part of me thinks he was just being nice. As far as keeping up on people's studies and labs, I tend to stay pretty well on top of things, but these people are so sick that I don't think I always understand the whole picture of what is going on.
When I got home this morning, there was over 6 inches of snow on the ground. I couldn't get my car into the driveway, so after a quick nap, I cranked up the snowblower and got to work. The thing works so much better on a level driveway, unlike last year when it was pulling up chunks of asphalt with the snow. Hopefully it doesn't snow so much tonight that I can't get the car back out onto the street, but there's no way I'm getting up early to make sure I have a clear path.