Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Starting a New Year, Figuratively
When I first found out I was moving to Buffalo, the first question I asked was, "Do they have squirrels there?" At the time, I was living in a nice suburban neighborhood near a lake just north of St. Paul, Minnesota. I'd built up sort of a squirrel army. I had 4 bird feeders set up, and the squirrels challenged my creative energies keeping them off of them.
Finally, I gave up and had a special corn feeder and corn spinner for the squirrels. During the winter, I put out a 5 pound "wildlife feeder block" and I had deer and squirrels coming to the yard to eat. My cats at the time had plenty to look at, and on my days off I could almost imagine I was living somewhere in the country. Somewhere far from the things of man to quote a line from "Joe vs. the Volcano."
I was sad leaving the financial freedom I had enjoyed as a house physician under contract. I chose when I wanted to work, and my now husband enjoyed being a kept man for those 8 months. I knew I was making the right decision, though, by taking an emergency medicine residency spot. In three short years we would once again be able to return to the lifestyle to which we'd begun to grow accustomed... and then some.
So, I moved into a much smaller townhouse with my two cats, my fiance went to live in Atlanta where he would be able to find work, and the year began. I adjusted to a new working environment, a new way of doing things, a little loss of independence since I was now an intern again, and a whole new patient base.
I went from the drama of ECMC, to the sheer wave of humanity at BGH, to the pleasant ultrasound rotation, and from there to the CCU. The new calendar year started at the small town ED where things could be just as busy as the big city ED but with fewer resources. Also, that was the month I learned how much fun a Buffalo winter could be.
February brought anesthesiology and, after almost 10 years, finally marrying the love of my life. I went from delivering babies like crazy to actually enjoying my pediatric rotation. After a great honeymoon in Riviera Maya, I came back to the drudgery of the MICU followed by ending the scholastic year in sheer hell on the geriatric service.
Now I am back on the pediatric service. Officially, this is my last month of my intern year. Unofficially, I am already considered a second year resident. In addition to my ED shifts this month, I will be attending all the required lectures and training sessions to prepare me for this next year.
Today we had our first: learning to drive the Ford Expeditions that are our SMART (specialized medical assistance response team) vehicles.
Needless to say, it was a lot of fun, and my colleagues and I enjoyed the time spent away from our clinical duties. I had a night shift on Monday which consisted mostly of patching up kids that had run out in front of cars. Most were not serious, and one I had to admit to the pediatric ICU due to a laceration of her liver. Tomorrow I start a 5 day stretch of shifts including evening call on the 4th of July. Let's hope there aren't many burn patients.
Until then, I changed the name of my blog. It's time. I found some squirrels in my own back yard. Not quite the squirrel army I had in Minnesota, but we'll get there.... in another 2 years.