Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How To Be Less Stabby While On Call

As a resident, I couldn't wait for the day that I would be an attending and would get to do fewer call shifts.  In my last two years of residency, I did 130 days of call per year, while as an attending I do about 70 days per year.  I anticipated that my attending schedule would feel positively luxurious by comparison, but of course, as with many things in life, that hasn't been the case.  Somehow doing less call makes me less accustomed to it and even more resentful of it when I'm in the midst of it.

Generally, I spend my weeks on call in a self-indulgent funk.  I whine about how busy I am and how long the days are; I neglect anything that isn't work-related (thank all that is holy for housekeepers); and I live off of all the foods that I tell my patients to never eat.  I'm about as miserable and self-pitying as an adult can acceptably be.  Possibly more so.
This call period, however, things seem to have shifted, if only the slightest bit.  I hate my life a little less than normal.  My smiles for patients and co-workers are a little more sincere.  I spread a little less misery everywhere I go.

Being caught up on everything at the start of the call period has probably been the biggest contributor to my slightly less horrible than usual mood.  My state of being on top of things lasted for all of one day after I started call, but at the very least I've only had to scramble to keep up with the additional work of call*, rather than struggling not to drown under call work and leftover work from the weeks before.  There is comfort in knowing that, at the absolute worst, I'm no more than two weeks behind on things.

The slight reduction in overwhelm at work has carried over into not feeling like I want to die when I get home, which in turn has led to me actually doing productive things in the evening.  Where normally I would binge watch Gilmore Girls with a peanut butter chocolate Drumstick** in my hand, I've actually gone for walks to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather.  I've done dishes.  I've paid bills.  I'm actually adulting!

Maybe forty will be the year that I actually grow up?

*Unsuccessfully, of course.

**Immediately after writing this I ate a peanut butter chocolate Drumstick.  Because I'm only human.  I would've turned on Gilmore Girls, but the girlfriend isn't home, and I think watching our show without her is probably grounds for divorce.

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