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On Storms

On Storms

In Denver, we have random lightning and showers that last a few seconds to 20 min at a time before clearing up to sunny skies, and if we're lucky, a rainbow. It has taught me to be in the moment. Because the next moment will be different.

On the last trauma call shift, there were 12 admits, even more trauma alerts, and a few transfers to our floor...with 1 rapid response called on one of my patients, and a 3 hour ordeal with another -- I was ruling out a heart attack vs blood clot vs something else. Three nurses and an RT in the room, and everyone was looking to me for answers and the next step. You know the moment that people tell you about, when you realize you're the doctor in the room? That you're the adultier adult that you usually look to? That was it for me.

It was terrifying but incredible.

The benefit of my program is that as the trauma service, we take care of the whole of our patients: we manage the acute care medicine as well as the chronic when they come in. I like critical care/acute medicine, especially when it involves surgery, so this is a positive in my mind. I'm not hands off on anything, and I am learning how to manage so many things in relation to and due to surgery.

They say intern year (and quite possibly residency as a whole) you constantly feel like you're in a state of discomfort: whether that is something new you've never done before, or you're in a difficult situation - and both have applicable learning opportunities. A lot of intern year is figuring out how to get things done, what's most efficient, how to adjust electrolytes, being the middle man between your attending and a consultant, and how to get better at deciphering what is a true emergency from one that's not. There's a never ending list of things to do and I feel as if I do a record amount of things done in one day, and there is still more. And in between, there are fires to put out or storms to weather through.

I read a devotional about 'the process' that really hit home for me.

It spoke to the fact that we can't just 'think happy thoughts' and have our worries vanish. That if we want to live a life not orchestrated by worry, we have to learn how to pass along all of our concerns and difficulties to God. God cares about you and your future, and He will never leave you. You don't always have to think happy or feel happy - that's not life. But it's a process of letting go, and it takes active involvement. Part of that process is learning to take what God tells us or gives us at face value: instead of adding to or taking away from it. When we start focusing on the end result and the what-if's, it scares and often consumes us. It can make our motives impure, causing us to run after the promise instead of the Promiser. Instead of focusing on the end result, we have to learn how to take one step at a time. With each step we trust that He is in control and that His strength is enough to get us through whatever lies ahead - then He will show us the next step, and the next, and the next. And that is how our trust in God grows.

Leaving you with a few things have been a blessing: being invested in, being taught to do better, being trusted, and learning to do all of the things. 

30 Days to Better doctoring

30 Days to Better doctoring

Intern Year: Week 1

Intern Year: Week 1