Sunday, July 12, 2009

And other cliches
This past week my husband took Harold out of town to visit the extended family. They were gone for three days making the rounds to various grand-aunts and uncles, second cousins and a great-grandmother. They were gone for 5 days.

While they were away I realized how all my classmates actually found time to study during clerkship. I did all the housework, went for walks to get coffee, did a bunch of reading for my rotation and even some pre-reading for half day. I wouldn't ever give up the support and love of my family, but it was a short glimpse into how, without them, there would be a lot more room in my day to devote to medicine.

By the time they came back Harold had learned how to wave bye bye, can sit back down from standing without a crash landing (he learned to pull to stand a couple of weeks ago), and started shrieking when he wants something. Well that last one is not so charming... but it is just like "they" say. They grow up so fast (sniff) and every moment I miss is something that I can't get back.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Infection Control
This week there has been an outbreak of H1N1 in one of the wards of the hospital I work at. They quarantined the ward (no new patients, only staff that we necessary for patient care and only close family visitors). While H1N1 has been largely a mild disease this outbreak is where the kidney transplant kids (among others) stay.

I have always been pretty good about washing my hands at the hospital. I was quite proud of myself for going through all of clerkship without picking up any nasty bugs. But this outbreak has given me (and I think a lot of the other staff as well) considerable pause. While many of us might have previously been inclined to work through illnesses or gripe about how long it takes to "gown up", everyone is reaching for the hand sanitizer after and before every patient now. It is great that everyone is taking infection control more seriously now, and it will definitely decrease passing infection between patients.

There are already 5 residents off on sick leave. They will all be gone for at least 5 days to prevent spreading infection to any other patients (so far there are only two confirmed infected patients). This is creating havoc with the call schedules. I think the chief residents have doubled their grey hairs in the past week.

It also makes me think of Harold. I am now responsible to stay healthy to take care of him as well as to prevent passing a bug along to my patients.

But H1N1 is now a community acquired infection. Many of the kids I see in emergency (my present placement) most likely have it. We don't even considering testing for it unless the patient has to come into hospital. Most people with the infection aren't even being seen by doctors.

Now that Harold is in daycare he has a good chance of picking it up regardless of what I do. And if he does, I am probably not far behind. The only up side would be that I no longer have to feel bad about staying home when I am sick.

Monday, July 06, 2009

What do you think?

I haven't posted in awhile for all the regular reasons (too much in the to-do list and the regular cadre of everyday stuff getting in the way). But I have also been struggling over what I should be concentrating on in this blog.

Now that I am a doctor and all official like, I am somewhat reluctant to post about medical stories. Pediatric neurology is a very small specialty and there is no way to make these stories completely anonymous. To protect myself and the little ones that I am lucky enough to take care of, I don't want to expose them to the whims and harsh stares of the internet.

Then there is being a mother. Harold is a huge part of my life and is continually surprising me, mostly with normal progression of babydom. I could use this blog to tell little stories about how pleased, but also scared I am now that he is standing and able to reach a whole new world of mischief. While all of that gives me endless pleasure, I don't really think it is worth your or my time to dwell on so much navel gazing.

I could use this blog to broadcast all my ranks, displeasures and pet peeves. But usually, by the time I have a spare moment to write something I have either forgotten or no longer have the rage fueled energy to post about the jerk in traffic or how stupid the government's latest move to "improve" healthcare is.

So what do you think? What would you like to read about?