Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Partying Like a Rockstar
Last night I went to a rock concert with some friends. The weather was not so good, and I still had a hacking cough. Worse yet, I had been scheduled at the very last minute to present at trauma conference today. Trauma conference involves presenting not only in front of your peers and attendings, but the trauma surgeons, all the surgery residents, and burn unit and ICU staff. I HATE speaking in front of people... even small groups, but just shy of 100 people is definitely large enough to make me all sweaty and tachycardic.
So did I stay home like a sensible person and blow off the concert? No way. One of my teenage favorites was opening for the main group, and there was no way I was going to miss seeing that!
The case was easy enough: teenager shot in the chest, filmed, and given a therapeutic chest tube. Yesterday was spent scrambling to load x-rays and CT scan images into a Powerpoint presentation. I was fortunately able to also track down a rare video shot in the trauma bay of the procedure being performed on the patient.
The concert went much later than I had expected. It was also at this weird venue where you have to provide your own alcohol. Fortunately, one of my friends is a good planner. She brought a couple of bottles of wine as well as champagne that she had earned a few months back. (There is a longstanding tradition in medicine of rewarding residents who successfully perform a lumbar puncture without any RBC's on the lab results with a bottle of champagne.)
I finally got home at 2 am, slept for about 4 hours and got up early to run over my presentation. For once there wasn't any problem transfering my files onto the hospital's computer system. It went pretty smoothly, I was able to answer every question, despite not really having been all that involved in the case. My role was to essentially look at the kid, check his airway, breathing, and circulation. Maybe I should precede every presentation with a night of drinking and sleep deprivation-- it seemed to help my nerves anyway. More likely, I should just chalk it up to a fluke, and be more responsible next time.