Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 41: And the award for best supporting beverage goes to..........COFFEE!

If I ever win an award, I will be sure to thank caffeine for existing. This past week, caffeine was my superhero. 

Award for best supporting beverage: Coffee

Caffeine, aside from the one or other fine wine or Hennessy will be the most extreme I will ever get with any type of drug. I try to ween myself off of coffee and for very long periods of time, I don't need a coffee during the day. I even sometimes have phases were I can't drink coffee because the thought alone disgusts me. Other times, and the phase I'm currently in, is that I enjoy drinking a coffee in the morning and sometimes during the day. 

This past week, it kept me alive.

After getting home late Sunday night from visiting my grandma in the hospital again, I went to work Monday. Since it was a usually Monday, a coffee was needed just for that. After the morning rounds, I spent the rest of my day dealing with blood draws and placing about 8 lines. I lost track at some point. When a patient needs a new line, the nurses don't tell me, they simple place a bandage that is used to keep the lines in place on the counter. This inefficient method requires me to look into the supply room every now and then to see if there is something for me to get done. It started off with 3 bandages. When I was done successfully placing those, I walked into the supply room in order to put away the things I had used only to find 3 more bandages waiting on me. Once those were through, I found two more. The residents even felt bad for me and told me to just leave some for the others if need be. I can't live with leaving things behind for others to pick up, especially when it is more or less technically my task to complete. After all of those, I went to the tumor board conference. I had warned the doctors that I wouldn't be coming the next day because I had to go to my grandmas again. I had originally planned to take Friday off but now had to switch that for Tuesday.
Monday Night: Straight Outta Compton

Tuesday morning, I hopped on multiple trains and arrived at my grandmas 3.5 hours later. After a bit of a fiasco on the weekend where the nurses didn't want to give me information about my grandmas treatment although they were actually legally obliged to do so, I finally had a nice talk with one of the doctors there. I'll tell you a pretty stupid position to be in: being an almost doctor with a grandma in the hospital and your relatives all wanting you to bud into the doctors's not my place and makes me feel rather uncomfortable. It's not like I'm going to know more than the attending. The nurses and some doctors definitely didn't act right in regards to the situation but I still tried to be respectful of their positions whilst also accomplishing some of my relatives requests. 

Tuesday night, I attended a concert in Hamburg. It was a great time. I hung out with some friends and only got 1.5 hours of sleep before catching my train at 4:50AM back to the hospital in time for work. I got about an hour of terrible sleep on the train. So, with that amount of sleep in me, I looked and probably acted like a zombie all day. I pumped three cups of coffee in me (I'm aware this is still little compared to the hard core addicts). Nonetheless, it just barely got me by. It was another day of placing lines and drawing blood. It was almost the end of the day and time for me to leave for two rounds of seminars when I was asked to admit a privately insured patient. I pushed myself to read through the old release letters before heading to the patient. He was a very nice gentleman and I don't think he perceived me as such a zombie. Afterwards, I quickly headed to the seminars with my third cup of coffee in hand. 
DJ Premier and his live Band in the Mojo Club Hamburg

Where did my drums go??

Breakfast of champions: yogurt and tortilla chips

Once I arrived at the train station to catch the train home, I was beyond excited to be in my bed soon. Unfortunately, I realized when I was on the train (before the train left) that I forgot to buy my monthly ticket. I quickly jumped out of the train again. I went and bought my new ticket and ended up having to wait an hour until the next train came.........greeeeaaaattt. I was too tired to even be mad. I slept like a rock that night.

The eight hours weren't enough however and I needed two coffees on Thursday and Friday to get through the day. Thursday was grand rounds. I was still tired and the chief caught me off guard and I sort of bombed the first round of questions regarding the anatomy of the stomach (something I actually know really well). Luckily, throughout the grand rounds, I redeemed myself nicely and also asked a lot of questions which made him feel good because he could explain things to me. The rest of the day was guessed it, with difficult blood draws and line placing. We had our seminar with the chief that day and I rocked it. The topic was colorectal cancer and for some reason I was a roll. I was answering questions to completion where he could only nod and say that was correct (which is odd for that particular chief).

Friday was much the same like the rest of the other days. During lunch, the chief of thoracic surgery called me and asked if I wanted to drain a pleural effusion. When I asked him "when?" and he said, "now", I quickly ate three more bits and hurried to him. I had drained one pleural effusion before with a bit of help, this time, he let me do everything. 

The patient I had admitted Wednesday, became my patient. This meant I checked on him, looked to make sure his examinations were requested in the computer and wrote his release letter. It was a fairly simple case but a good start to get used to what is in store this coming week. 

Starting Monday, I'll be in the thoracic surgery department for a week as a pseudo-resident. Should be a good and challenging week. 

I spent the weekend in Stuttgart visiting family. I arrived Friday night to a yard filled with 5 screaming kids (under the age of 5). They all thought it would be fun to chase me around. You'd think that would be the last thing I wanted to deal with after the week I had but, I loved it. The rest of the weekend was also relaxing in a crazy family and nature kind of way.

A few of my favorite people

I'm captured.

Out and about near Stuttgart

Let see how many pounds I gain or lose depending on how much I prep myself for operating and how long the operations actually go where I'm not eating most of the day.  

Stay healthy!


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