Friday, January 20, 2012

3 life lessons

In the short 20 days of 2012 i have learned three life lessons that i thought i would pass on to those of you who read my blog (all 4 subscribers).

#1- When a VA patient says that they are not going to make it out of the hospital alive- LISTEN TO THEM! I have come to learn that vets have a distinct ability to predict their illnesses and even their deaths. I am not making light of any patients dying, because as most of you know, my patients are dear to my heart, they are my family. Well...maybe not the one that told me today that he was going to sue the government and even though he liked he, he was going to put my name in the lawsuit as well. Sweet.
Nevertheless, listen to your patients. If they say they are going to die, watch them carefully. Take every strange lab or breath they take as a sign. And maybe move the code cart close to their room.

#2- Don't leave things around work that you wouldn't miss. I say this as i mourn the loss of my stethoscope. My beloved black stethoscope that was presented to me in August 2003 when i entered medical school. As i crossed the stage with 140 other students, receiving my white coat and stethoscope, i didn't know what i was getting myself into....but i couldn't wait to be a doctor. Something i had wanted to do since i was 2 years old. Yes, two years old.
And that stethoscope was by my side- for my first 2 years of med school classes, through the 3rd and 4th year rotations. Through my IM residency and my first 18 months of pulmonary fellowship. Then, one saturday morning i left it in a sleep deprived haze at the VA and when i came back to look for it 48 hours later, it was no where to be found. And i cried and cried in the smelly bathroom of the VA, cursing myself for letting it leave my side and cursing the person who picked it up. I am guessing it was sold on craigslist. Or Ebay. And now, i have to shell out some serious cash to get another one.....until then, i just press my ear up to my patient's chest to listen to their lungs....thank goodness all of my patients are men. Boobs would get in the way!

#3- Roll with the punches (and changes)
This is not really a "lesson." It is more like a "no duh."
I have come to realize that despite my type A personality, i cannot control everything. And things will happen unexpectedly and even when you think the world is crashing in on you and dealing you a bad hand, go with it. It usually turns out to be the best thing for you in the long run. And I say this as i think of all of the changes my friends and family will be experiencing this upcoming 2012. There will be weddings, babies, new relationships, people moving, friends reconnecting.
All i know, is that i am blessed to be able to continue to roll with the punches i am dealt and am glad i have my sleepy bloodhound by my side.

So there it is, my 1st blog of 2012. Life lessons from the 1st 20 days of January. I have plenty more to say but am working on not wearing my heart on my sleeve- so you get the edited version tonight. :)