Monday, December 30, 2002
This post tells you what doctors talk about after work. Beware.
Today was my first day back at work and it was a "total nightie" [nightmare], as my sister would say. I spent three hours on Sunday going through backed-up stuff and was constantly either on the phone or seeing patients today, but still I'm stuck with a backlog of lab results on people I have to call. In need of a break, I headed down the hall to see my good friend from work - let's call her V. V. is an endocrinologist but also does basic internal medicine, like me.
As I walked in, I saw V. on the computer playing with a Bob the Builder spelling program sent to her by her husband. The idea is, you get a picture and a three- or four-letter word, usually with one letter filled in to help you start. You click on a letter and move it to one of the open dashes. You get instant feed back from one of the cartoon characters via a word balloon ("Superb! Fantastic! Terrific!") Needless to say, this program is for beginning readers... but after watching this for about ten seconds, I said, "I need that. Something I know I can do that will stroke my ego."
"I'll email it to you," said V. After which I showed her my Christmas pictures of my niece and nephews. Then we got into a discussion of what a crappy week it was at work. The holidays are slower than usual, but we also have to cross-cover for each other. V. is following a patient in the hospital who belongs to one of our co-workers. He is hypernatremic (running a high sodium level) and is somewhat dehydrated, and not very responsive due to these problems.
"Let's fill him with fluids and watch his brain swell like a sponge," I suggested idly. [Note: not recommended]
"I'm doing it a little more gently than that," she responded mildly. After which we both went back to watching that hypnotic Bob the Builder spelling program. She was debating moving up to the six-letter word level when I left to go back to my charts.