A Decent Egg… Scrambled or Fried?

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“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – C. S. Lewis

On days when I am just overwhelmed and not able to keep up I use quotes to bridge the gap between meatier posts.

Today, you get both!

It started with my first patient this morning wanting me to offer a second opinion on his work up with a neurologist for neuropathy. I had no records. And oh by the way, I have this massive abscess on my chest wall that needs to be drained…

My second patient had a massive burn on his leg from the tailpipe of his motorcycle after an accident. And oh by the way my other ankle is hurting really bad and the ER did not do an xray… Turns out he did have a rather nice fracture and we had to locate an orthopedist that could see him today.

My third patient was a brand new patient just discharged from the hospital after her fifth stroke. Doc, no one is telling me why I keep having these… Turns out she has had years of poorly controlled diabetes, high cholesterol, and blood pressure issues that I had to wade through in addition to getting her set up for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. The proverbial train wreck. Then I had to discuss the fact that her strokes are probably going to keep happening.

My fourth patient… Aw hell. It only got worse from there.

By then I was running over an hour behind. You just can’t recover from that. The whole rest of the day was shot. And it was not like I could hurry through or skip any of these issues for these patients. Fortunately, I have very understanding patients who were kind about having to wait. Maybe they were spewing venom on Facebook, tagged in my waiting room, but at least they were kind to me and to my staff. I am grateful for that.

Multiple emails about administrative things had to be exchanged. Phone calls made. Staff moral boosted.

I did not get to pee all day. Or eat. Or breathe.

Then, I rushed from clinic to pick the kids up in the nick of time and headed home. We ate. We did Pre-K homework.

Wait! Pre-K has homework?!?!!

Bed. Bed still feels a very long way away.

So what does C. S. Lewis have to do with all of this? Not a damn thing except that this quote struck me square on the forehead when I saw it.


Am I that decent egg at risk of going bad?


35 thoughts on “A Decent Egg… Scrambled or Fried?

  1. Ooh! I did that tailpipe thing when I was about 11 or 12, getting off the back of a bike. I was wearing shorts, I had at least a 2nd degree burn I didn’t tell any grown ups about.


  2. “And oh by the way”—The worst words a clinic doc can hear…

    I remember those days well, only my patients were under 18 years old. I got burned out in primary care which is why I pursued the public health degree a while ago (was just about to venture into research and nonclinical work when I got sidetracked with writing). When I return, it will be in a nonclinical position. It got to the point I felt I was practicing medicine with one hand behind my back. So many patients to see. So little time for each appointment. I loved the patients and the intellectual stimulation, but it was all the headaches that eventually wore me down (like the ever-growing list of EMR requirements).


  3. You’re a good egg :o) I often read your posts and wish you were my doc . . . Oh, you would have your hands full, I would certainly make it into your blog! On days of overwhelming proportions I channel that fabulously forgetful and somehow wondrously wise fish Dory, *just keep swimming*.


  4. I’m a soft boiled egg; boiled in 2 inches of water and steamed for 6 minutes, peeled and sprinkled with salt and pepper. All good eggs come in different forms. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope you have an easier day tomorrow! Eggs need to be turned regularly. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep.


  5. No, you are not.

    When we sit in the doctor’s office we of course are focused on “our” problem. And forget that the doctor and nurses hear the bad news of everyone all day long. THAT is a lot of work, empathy, sympathy, compassion and then more work again. Your title and tag line of this blog are brilliant. We forget that the people we look to to ‘fix’ everything are eggs just like us. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you.


  6. Oh wow! That is a very busy day! I would suggest to the TV networks that your office would be great material; toss out crime dramas and go for real-life medical dramas. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค


  7. Perhaps the answer is to chill — refrigerated eggs last a very long time.

    I know a lot of people get impatient waiting for their doctors. But I would rather know that they are taking care of their patients properly — which includes me. Everybody just needs to bring a book!


    • Prior to my deleting Facebook, I would watch people railing against their physician if they had to wait longer than a 1/2hr with people chiming in saying they needed to send a bill to the physician for the amount of time they had to wait. They are frustrated. I get that. But the flip side is that I don’t think any physician WANTS to run late. Thankfully I have terrific, understanding patients!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is going much, much smoother. Woohoo!


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