Saturday, May 31, 2008

Steady as she goes
You might think that I would have lots to blog about. I am now 24 weeks pregnant and into my pediatrics rotation for clerkship. But, things have been pretty uneventful lately. Being at the kid's hospital around some really sick kids for most of the day has caused me to have some pretty reactive emotions, but that was expected. I doubt there is anyone with a heart that could witness a newborn having seizures everyday or a 2 year old that hasn't progressed past the development of a 1-month old and not feel it. But I am sure, with all the hopes and expectations I have for the little one kicking away at my ribs (not to mention the hormones), that I am a little more susceptible to this particular heart break. So I will tell one quick story.

I am on pediatric neurology and last week we diagnosed a 3 week old with tuberous sclerosis. On the scale of things, this wasn't nearly the worst case I saw but the discussion with the parents during which we told them the diagnosis will stay with me for a long time. TS is a disease where you could live your life not even knowing you have it. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you could be developmentally delayed with behavioural problems and have to struggle your entire life. Given that this child was already having seizures he is probably going to have a harder road than many others. All these parents want, like probably any parent hopes for, is to know that their son is going to be okay. They would like him to be "normal" but, as time went on and they understood the diagnosis better, I think they just wanted to know that they would still have their child, the little boy that they had gotten to know over the past 20+ days.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One more week
My psych rotation ends a week from tomorrow. Most clerkship psychiatry rotations are largely inpatient following a specific staff psychiatrist, but mine has been almost exclusively outpatient. I do assessments on people referred either through their family doc or emergency. We make medication recommendations and then I see them a few more times to do a clumsy attempt at therapy.

This might be appropriate for some people that have short-term crisis-induced problems. But many of the people that come to our service have long standing interpersonal, personality and mental health problems. I feel bad that some of these people wait a month or more to see a psychiatrist, hoping that they will find a way to dig themselves out of an existence that has become painful and hopeless.

And then they end up with me. For a few weeks.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Like baby beluga's mom

I am feeling particularly pregnant today. For the past month or so I have been feeling very good. I had a few rather unpleasant weeks in my first trimester but that passed. Aside from a nearly insatiable thirst and having to buy all new stretchy clothing, all of my pregnancy "symptoms" have been more of a fascination than an annoyance. Today I noticed that I have really slowed down. It took me nearly an hour to pick up groceries this afternoon, waddling down all the aisles and stopping to take my 5 hundredth pee break of the day.

There is an upside to being the size of a marine mammal. I actually had a guy offer me a seat in a crowded downtown coffee shop. A courtesy I thought had passed with cassette tapes. He was done his drink and just sitting there reading, but I was still surprised.

I am just over 21 weeks into my pregnancy, which means I am just over halfway through being an incubator to my peanut. This recent gearing down makes me a little nervous about clerkship for the next four months. I am not sure how four weeks in the ICU will go when I can't stand for more than 20 minutes and I am headed to the washroom at least once an hour. Thankfully my school is being very flexible. The peanut and I will take it as it comes.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hi from the Peanut

As almost everyone who reads this blog probably already knows, I am expecting my first child in just over 4 months. My husband and I are thrilled and excited but, like most first time parents-to-be I suppose, we are also freaked out, worried and afraid.

I am on my psych rotation presently. This week is my week to be at the kid's hospital for the children and adolescent psych portion of my rotation. There is nothing like hanging out at the kid's hospital to make you acutely aware of how vulnerable children are to all the chemicals, germs, accidents and whims of fate or genes. There just seems to be too many things out there to protect my little peanut from. And plenty that I don't even have a chance against.

I have tried to be a good mother to my parasite so far but, as evidenced by my posting at nearly midnight on a weekday, I haven't been perfect. I feel guilty every time I have pop instead of water or give in to my desire for a bath instead of a shower. I know feeling guilty isn't particularly helpful and I know no parent is perfect. But I also know that, even if I am perfect, there are all sorts of horrible things that could befall my peanut. So isn't my responsibility to make sure he/she has the best chance possible?

My next rotation is pediatrics; three weeks of neurology and then three weeks of general inpatient. I have already warned my husband that there might be a lot of tears coming up.