She Pooped on my Shoes

I’ve had a lot of “stuff” on my shoes: Blood, amniotic fluid, meconium, vernix… and now I can add poop.  Maternal poop.  I can handle lots of “crap” (pun kind of intended), but poop on my shoes was almost too much… especially considering that I had to finish the end of the delivery and then do some stitching up.  I could kind of smell it, and it was on the back of my mind the whole time.  I guess I need to learn to be less anal (pun, intended?) about these things…


Don’t worry, now they’re clean!

I hate to break it to all you ladies out there, but pooping while you push – it’s more common than you think.  Don’t worry, we’re discrete about it: if it happens, you’ll most likely never know about it.  It’s not too often, however, that the poop lands on the floor.  (And landing on the floor would be okay… I was just unlucky enough to have my foot in the wrong place).

I guess it’s a small price to pay for being the one to help bring her baby into the world.  The new moms are always so gracious and thankful and the whole experience always makes up for the time I spend cleaning my shoes at the end of the delivery.  Even this time.

Let me just say: Thank goodness for Cavi-Wipes!



Birthday Runs and Wishes

I feel like I have so much to say and no time to say it.  I should start by thanking everyone who has continued to read all my posts and comment during this busy and trying time.  I know I haven’t been around much, but I want you to all know that I read every single comment that gets left, even if I don’t have time to reply to them all.  My last two posts about my recent goals and about not coping well with the start of residency have been met with great readership and comments – and they have been getting me through.  Thank-you blogging world: You have pulled through for me yet again.

I won’t say that things are getting easier, because they aren’t.  I had a few good days – Thursday and Friday felt better than most, and then I had a glorious weekend off of call.  However, back to work this week has brought back the feelings that were drowning me before.  I spend all day wanting to write about what I’m going through, but then when I finally have time to sit down (after the kids are in bed and the house is tidied, and the lunches are made), I really have no energy to write anything meaningful.

Despite the difficulties I am going through right now, I thought I would share a little bit of the greatness I’ve had:  This weekend was my 31st birthday and it was actually pretty great.  My mom came for a visit and as a family, we had a wonderful time.  Husband bought me some new Pandora Essence charms that are supposed to represent “Happiness” and “Positivity.”  He gave me a card explaining that he didn’t think he knew how to bring those things into my life, so the next best thing he could do was give me something to represent them.  It was very sweet.

I also ran a 10K train run on the day of my birthday.  I almost didn’t register for it because I was pretty depressed about the move and everything.  But then I figured that I would be even more disappointed with myself if I woke up on the morning of my birthday and knew that I could have been running a race but I wasn’t… for no good reason.  With all the hesitancy, it turned out to be a fantastic run.  The trail was beautiful and I was challenged by some great people running ahead of me and passing me…  I even beat my best 10K time by almost a minute!  My new personal best for 10K distance is now 53:37!!  I can’t believe it.  I ranked 28th overall, 9th for my gender, and 5th in my division (Female 26-35).  That’s really not too shabby.  I feel very proud of myself.

I still wish I could go back in time and change what has happened.  I want to be back where I used to be, with all my friends and with the comfort of the familiar.  However, I hope that the glimmer of greatness and happiness that I had over the weekend is the beginning of me feeling better about everything that is going on right now.  I hope that soon the good days will match the bad days and eventually overtake them.  I’m not so naive to believe that the hard part is over, but it was nice to know that I still have the ability to feel happy.

Late to the Gate

Well, I am late to the game for this week’s building Rome challenge.  But don’t worry, I have been thinking about it all week!  I’ve been crazy busy everyday and by the time I have a chance to sit down at the end of the day, I am ready to fall asleep!  In fact, I fell asleep while painting my toenails last night and now they have to be re-done!

My goals from last week:

1. Run 4 times.
This did not happen.  I did run three times, but I almost didn’t even get that in.  I think this just means that 4 runs a week are not practical in my life right now.  I always thought I could use my post-call days for running, but I am just way too exhausted.

2. Spend less energy fixating on what I’ve left behind.  I think this falls into the theme of this week, which is “finding the good in the bad.”
I don’t think I did a very good job of this.  I still often think about the people and the experiences I feel like I’m missing out on.  Maybe I’ve gotten a little better at not letting myself dwell on it, but I still think about it all the time.  I still cry almost every day too.  Maybe I get a 50% for effort on this one?

3. Complete the PALS provider book and pass the course.
Done and Done.  No plastic babies died on my watch!

4. Only have one “treat” per day
I did pretty good at this last week. SO far this week, I don’t know if I’ve been great at that.  Honestly, I am just hungry/munchy all the time and I don’t know what I do about it…

Goals for this week have been pretty hard to think of.  I’m sure that’s probably because I’m feeling so down that I have no motivation to do anything.

As lame as it may seem, I’ll put running 3 times as my first goal (I feel that if I actually write it down, I will be forced to do it).

I’ve also been having more stomach aches recently, and yesterday I was feeling nauseous all day.  In my head I know I need to de-stress and relax a little (or a lot). So that can be another goal.  I started trying some mindfulness exercises before all my shit hit the fan back in March, and I haven’t done them since.  Maybe I should get back on that.

I also want to try and make “me time” some kind of priority in my life.  Right now I have been writing every night in a little journal.  It is supposed to be a summary of my excitement over my gift project and I was going to give it to K at the end of the month with pictures of all the gifts.  However, it has become sort of an emotional dumping ground.  We’ll see what bec0omes of it.  However, I need to make sure I take some time for myself this week… it is also my birthday on the weekend, so what better time is there to have some “me time?”

So How about I leave it at that for now.  Here are my 3 goals for this week:

1. Run 3 times
2. Begin mindfulness exercises again
3. Make time for some “me time” everyday (even if it’s just 10 minutes).

The Truth About Residency

I am now about two weeks into my residency, and here’s what I have to say:

I am not coping well.  Not well at all.

I don’t think a day has gone by the in the past 14 days where I haven’t cried, or tried not to try, or had tears welling up in my eyes.  I have been trying (and continue to try) very hard to be open, accepting, non-judgmental, and receptive to change.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that I miss “home,” my kids are acting out and they miss me, my husband is having a hard time figuring out how he’s going to work and manage our childcare situation, and most importantly, I am not enjoying my program.

People here are very nice, for the most part.  However, it seems like teaching is not even a priority here.  I am used to having preceptors who are eager to teach and who throw you into a situation expecting you to work hard and want to learn, even if you don’t feel prepared.  Here, I’m not allowed to do anything.  I feel like the only reason I’m allowed to even deliver babies is because half the time the attending physician doesn’t make it to the delivery on time.  Good thing they have residents…  I once asked if I could suture a vaginal tear (which I have done many many times as a med student) and the response I got was, “No, I have to get back to the OR, so I’m going to do it.”  Hmm.  Glad that teaching is an important part of your job…

Things are also very disorganized here.  Charts are a mess (and are really just a huge medical error waiting to happen), and coming from a place that is supposed to be “behind the times,” they are certainly much further ahead than we are here.  I am part of two “programs” here, the obstetrics and gynecology program, and the surgical foundations program – which just leads to tonnes of confusion.  I am an ob/gyn resident, but I do a foundation year of general surgery preparation – all that means is that instead of getting more ob/gyn time and elective time like other programs do, I do extra surgery and I have to write a huge surgical foundations exam at the end of it all.  I was looking forward to doing an elective in ultrasound, but now I don’t get to do that… And one resident told me that on their 3 months of general surgery last year, they never went to the OR once.  Hooray!  I’m a surgical resident, but I get to deal with ward issues and wound care for 3 months!  Fantastic.  I also have to take all of my vacation as one block – so I don’t even get any time off until next June.  How sane and practical is that?  Given that I am two weeks into residency and feeling ready to quit, I don’t know if I’ll make it to June.

As for my home/personal life – well, the only thing keeping my together there is my little gift project from K.  And to be completely honest, even that is getting a little difficult.  Although I love all my gifts and cards, they are a constant reminder that I’ve left behind some amazing things when I left and I don’t think I will ever come close to finding those kinds of things here.  I hardly have time to pee, let alone make new friends and build a new social life.  We start rounding at 6:30am and handover is at 5:00.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get out of the hospital by 5:30.  I am on call 1/4 nights, on average.  I am literally, never home.  The time commitment would be the same anywhere, really.  But life would be easier if I was with my friends and my life that I loved… and if I had a support system.

I wish I could tell myself that things will get better as time goes on, but every month or two, I start a new rotation.  New colleagues, new preceptors, new nurses, new hospital… over and over and over again.  How am I supposed to develop any sense of normalcy in the next year?

Vagina Girl

Today I was called to the OR to be the “Vagina Girl.” Sound exciting? Well, it’s not the most glamorous job in the OR, but at least it’s something to do.
The “vagina girl,” (AKA bottom end person) is responsible for putting a long instrument into the uterus from the vagina and move it around while the surgeon does everything necessary to cut it out. The vagina girl then gets the fantastic job of pulling the uterus +\- tubes +\- ovaries out through the vagina. It sounds a little vile, but bigger things have been known to come out of the vagina!  And, a laparoscopic surgery sure beats an open surgery (from the patient’s perspective)!

I know I haven’t gotten a chance yet to blog about starting residency. However, It has been a huge adjustment, with one of the most difficult adjustments being that things are way less hands-on than I’m used to. So, as you can imagine, even being the “vagina girl” is pretty welcome role in my books!