Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Monday, November 19, 2007
    The Fog, and The Blog, and the Monday

    ...I'm a little depressed at the moment. Not because of the fog. I happen to really like fog. It's as thick as hell out there tonight, you can't even see the Century City office buildings or more than a block ahead of you. It adds a nice Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Chandler-esque atmosphere to the city. And hey, it's a great sound deadener too!

    I had ample opportunity to admire the fog this evening as I was driving around, first to the hopital to admit the patient I was handed on a platter at 5:15 p.m., then to the nursing home to see my poor old dementia patient. He was transferred there from Local Community Hospital after his wife took him to the ER today and announced she couldn't take care of him anymore (and let's be fair, she has her own set of problems, but her family and I have been working like mad to get him to move to their daughter's who lives out of state, but the wife has been fighting us tooth and nail. Because she apparently would rather dump her husband in a nursing home. WTF.)

    I think part of the problem is that even though I've managed to keep up with National Blogger Posting Month (so far, anyway), I keep coming across people who write much much better than I and manage to do so on a fairly regular basis. They have interesting topics; I have recipes and bits of medical advice. Well, that's what I know and I find it interesting, at least some of the time. And as they say, practice makes perfect. The whole reason I joined the project was because I needed something that would discipline me to write every day and learn to do a better job.

    Maybe it's that I am spending another week as hospitalist, a chore I loathe. I did finally email the head of my call group today to tell him that I don't want to do inpatient work any more, which made me feel much better. V. was wonderfully supportive about this.

    "I feel guilty about it," I whined.

    "Guilty? Where does guilt come in?"

    "Because Bob and Ray [not their real names] work their butts off taking call. They do so much more than I do."

    "Is that your problem, or theirs?"

    "Theirs," I admitted.

    "We're hiring more docs," she pointed out. "Let the newbies do it, it's their turn. You've done your share."

    Sometimes I really do need permission to say no. (Thank you, V.!)

    Suddenly I'm feeling somewhat better about things. Writing all this down just made me remember a quote from one of my favorite writers, Barbara Pym:
    Writing... really does take you out of yourself. I sometimes feel it lets you more into yourself, though, and really the very worst part.

    -- Less Than Angels




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