surgeon

Category

Organized

I am so organized. You don’t even know…My shirts are arranged in my closet by color; each of my upcoming conferences/trips has its own manilla folder complete with checklists and a pocket for receipts; I keep duplicates of all my toiletries and make up at home and work so I am never at either place without something; I catalog my favorite recipes on Pinterest and spend sleepless nights on call choosing what to make for dinner the next night. I...

Joy

When the alarm went off this morning, I tapped the snooze button over and over for an hour. Finally, I made it downstairs for my morning ritual of coffee and devotions. By coincidence, or more likely God’s humor, my personal reading and the church’s automatic email, were both about joy. Soul soothing words, as recently, life has felt a little bitter, a little empty. Jarred by the sudden death of a dear friend’s husband and my welling anger of American...

So Tired

As it turns out…I’m tired. Just really, really tired. My partners and I are participating in a study to examine the physiologic toll that nights on call have on our bodies. We are all wearing these little wrist bands that track our heart rate and sleep. We check our apps every morning…the little wheels spin and spew forth numbers about our heart rate variability, our sleep quality, and our “recovery”. This data will be matched with our call schedules and...

The Margins

I was asked to arrange a meeting with a few consultant services who regularly participate in the care of our patients. I glanced through my calendar…between my call schedule, some upcoming travel and some events with the family, I found just three possible dates in August. It came as no surprise that the invited attendees weren’t available those dates, so back to the calendar…very few dates in September, even fewer in October. It could be Thanksgiving before we get together....

Failure

I’m not really one who appreciates failure very much. I’m pretty used to working very hard for the things that I want and generally reaching some degree of success. It may be luck, it may be hard work, but in the end, I usually feel like I am successful in the things I put my mind to. But this time…it was different. Failure smacked me in the face. I was angry and frustrated and disappointed and sad…and very, very thankful....

Dear Memphis,

Dear Memphis, You are not that pretty. Actually, in some places you are kinda dirty. Your river is muddy, everybody thinks you are dangerous, and you are very expensive to fly to. You are famous for BBQ, the Blues, and a King who never really ruled anyone. You have a strange pyramid in the middle of your city, you have a sports team named for an animal that doesn’t live even remotely close to you, and you have a “island”...

Weary Soul

Yesterday, I came home from work a little early. I just simply could not. do. it. any. longer. Total exhaustion. I wandered around the house aimlessly, in a fog. While trying to get my younger boys ready for the Cub Scouts Pack meeting, I mumbled my words…or couldn’t find words altogether…they got lost somewhere in my head and I couldn’t get them out of my mouth. “C’mon boys! Put on the…you know…the thing. That…whatever it’s called…” I faded quickly at...

A Different Conversation

Last week, Allie, my 14-year-old daughter, and I went to the doctor together. Neither of us are sick. We are preparing to travel out of the country together, so we set up an appointment with a travel medicine physician, to be sure our immunizations are up to date and that we have our malaria prophylaxis covered. I handed the doctor the tattered stack of papers I have been carrying around since medical school, proving I have had my tetanus shots...

It Needs to Hurt a Little

The other week, I finally tackled the job of painting Scott’s office. He works from home now, so we agreed that setting up his office¬†was priority #1 when we moved into this house. I decided on a paint color and blocked off a Sunday afternoon to sequester myself in his office and get it done. I have painted many, many rooms in our homes over the years. I have, what I think, is a pretty good system. Tape on the...

The Abundance of “No”

Across my desk, sat the Vice Chair of Surgical Education. She was debriefing with me after an observation of my interactions with the residents and students I have the honor of teaching and mentoring in my new job. She offered some kind and complimentary words followed by a few pieces of advice to make me a better teacher. The interaction was comfortable, but matter-of-fact and compulsory as part of my role as academic faculty. But just as she was getting...