First Post Challenge (Enhanced*)

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My first post from 2/26/14.  Thank you Edwina’s Episodes for the challenge.  Time travel is fun!

This morning I dragged two very cranky children to daycare kicking and screaming. I was running late after fighting with them…potty, dressing, cough medication…and before it was over with each of us was crying, for different reasons. My daughter wanted her blankie. My son wanted to NOT go to “school”. Me, I just wanted to stop feeling like the worst mother ever.

How many other women lived this today?

By the time I got to the office, my first patient had been roomed. Running late REALLY stresses me out. I spent a minute or two trying to choke back the tears and frustration, because let’s face it, no one wants to hear about their doctor’s problems and then ran into the room apologizing and smiling, praying the bloodshot eyes were not terribly noticeable.

Then, my next three patients did not show up.

This does not happen often. Usually I am terribly overbooked, so when I get a no show, I feel…lost.

For a whole hour and fifteen minutes I had no patients! I used the time to get caught back up on all of the charting and paperwork that I am responsible for, but in the back of my mind the frustration was mounting. This morning I had felt as if I had incarcerated my children in some awful foreign gulag with strangers that would surely torture them given the opportunity. My son had begged and pleaded with me, sobbing, to stay “Just one more minute, mommy!” My daughter stared at me accusingly with pain in her eyes as big, wet tears of sadness rolled down her cheeks. Why? So I could go to work and do nothing. Never mind the fact that these missing patients may have had mornings like mine, or worse.

I started fantasizing about quitting my job, becoming a stay at home mom. My student loans are paid off. I could do that. For a year.

Then the self pity started. No one understands what I go through every day to be here. They don’t know that I worked all while pregnant, praying that I did not go into labor early because I could not find a locum to cover my practice. They don’t understand when I have to take a day off for family emergencies or a long overdue vacation so I don’t go crazy or for studying to retake my boards (yeah, another ten years gone by). No one cares how little sleep I get, how many hours I work on charting from home, or how hurt I feel when a patient gets ugly with me, or that when they are calling the “on call doctor” that I may be in the middle of cleaning up toddler vomit. Blah, blah, blah.

I need to tell someone!

The truth is that I think we all want our physicians to have it all together. Give me an illusion of a capable individual who has everything in hand any day. Particularly if you are going to be operating on me. I don’t want to know that your are frustrated with your kids or your spouse right before you cut me open to resect my colon cancer. Or before you do a pelvic exam. Or talk to me about my depression.

The afternoon was a whirlwind, running from one room to the next, and kept me from thinking any more until now. The kids are fed and in bed and peace has returned to the house, and to my heart. As I hold my daughter’s little hands as she is drifting off to sleep I remember these important things:

Children make your life terribly complicated. But they also make enduring the other crap in your life much more worthwhile.

A hug and a kiss and an “I love you, Mommy!” can make it all go away better than a martini. Most days. Sometimes I still need that martini. Just not as often.

Being a physician is an honor and a privilege and worth working hard at. I wrestle daily with motherhood and work and how to balance it all. Sometimes I feel guilty that I find my job so fulfilling. Then a patient says, “Thank you!” and gives me a hug and I find peace again.

And now….

The dishes are not going to wash themselves!

*Enhanced because I did not start including photographs for months but I went ahead and added one here.

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61 thoughts on “First Post Challenge (Enhanced*)

  1. I know I read that before — I wonder if I read it afterwards or if I started reading you right away.

    It’s a wonderful first post and really reflects your whole blog — well done!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a wonderful post Victo. It is my personal experience that doctors who have children are much better at listening,. empathizing, and addressing patient concerns than those without children. I had a nephrologist who i called the Bulldozer because she would roll right over any concerns as if I hadn’t even spoken. She barked orders and didn’t listen at all. She would change the treatment or medication without even mentioning it, as if she were the only one affected by MY treatment. She had a baby and when she returned to work she was a different person She’s now one of the best doctors that I have.. Juggling your practice with your children may be very challenging Victo, but I can assure you that they make you a better doctor. 😀 .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Victo, I’m imressed with that being your first post. One thing for sure, you’ve consistently followed a similar writing style. Your honest, emotional side up front, then the grateful, well thought out conclusion. Makes me read from beginning to end! Thank you! Christine

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Powerful first post. Powerful anytime post – you definitely say it like it is. I was lucky that my husband and I were able to arrange our work schedules so that one of us was home except for a 2-hour period in the afternoon when Grandma was able to come in. But still, I remember how I cried after I had returned to work from my maternity leave and called home the first time, and heard my baby crying in the background. It’s so hard, but these days unless you’re independently wealthy or on welfare, there’s no choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I sometimes wonder if this is how life is supposed to be. Even us retirees can have our hectic days, though probably not near as often as someone like you. But life can be like swimming in an avalanche, sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that was your first post…. amazing. I have to say that reading your post everyday is a requirement and makes my day. I am so glad you kept it up. I am not sure what my first post was anymore as I had a different blog. I’ll have to go look. I just remember the absolute fear and trepidation of hitting that publish button.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would have been immediately hooked. And angry, thinking of how much easier most male doctors–even fathers–have it. The content is of high interest and the way you write about it grabs you and keeps grabbing you, start to finish. The phrase “There is an immediacy” comes to mind: There is an immediacy about your writing, a “You are there” to it, where your reader doesn’t only sympathize, but identifies with you.

    I can also tell you did writing before you became a blogger. I don’t know if it was in a diary, or drafting a book, or “only” for scholarly papers, but those mad skills came from somewhere.

    Great first post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of my doctor’s reality, if you will. Maybe my grandmother’s generation had the right idea with the old family doctor who made house calls and lived right there in town with his patients. Knowing my doctor faces struggles similar to my own makes me feel more understood, more of an equal. Some doctors seem to want their patients to view them “from a distance” and I feel we’ve been taught that because of their education and expertise they’re above us in some way. You’ve never given me that feeling, I’ve often wished I could be one of your patients.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for complement! I have already fielded two ugly comments from patients about my being out last week with my daughter so ill, vomiting blood. I think people want to know the human side provided it does not inconvenience them. I hope I am not aloof or distant with my patients in the office, but it is hard to be completely open with people when you get insensitive backlash. Most of my patients are really great but the negative eats at you… Conditioned behavior and all that. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great first post: I’m not a physician, and my kids are older — yet I relate to your frustrations and your eventual resolution of that day’s troubles. Lately, I’ve realized that being a mom is much like being a professional person: my kids don’t really need to hear about my problems — they just need me to be a mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful first post, Victo. I think all moms working in demanding professions can identify with what you said. I know I did. The two roles are separate, but intertwined and influence each other in many ways, not always bad. Balancing these roles is a juggling act, and it’s amazing how we learn to keep the balls in the air. Most of the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: My Article Read (6-25-2015) | My Daily Musing

  12. Thanks for reposting your first post. I’m dealing with some growing-up at the moment in terms of finding my identity in the world as a doctor but also as a member of a family and your candid experience provides much needed insight.
    (P.S: my first post was pretty lame compared to yours!)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am sure I left a comment on this one but I cannot find it here. Anywat I am telling you that even Drs are human and that you can only do your best and you are …. above and beyond!!
    I like this posts second time round better than the first time I read it !
    Apologies for re nominating you !! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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