On-call for the long weekend, hubby traveling, kids sick… and it’s all OK

Our calls go Friday to Friday. Friday morning of my week on-call, I was knee-deep into my busy clinic, when I got a text that my mom was sick as a dog. Babyboy was with her, as he had been sick the day prior and sent home from school (also GI stuff). Luckily, my sister-in-law and elderly grandmother were there to keep an eye on Babyboy while poor mom was down for the count. And, her house is uber-childproofed.

But Babygirl was at school and needed a ride home. And Hubby was on his way to Denver. We dont have anyone else we trust or who is able to take the kids in the car.. it requires car seats, an impeccable driving record…

Usually we pick her up at 3 pm, and I was supposed to be the urgents doc from 2 to 4 pm. I wasn’t sure how on earth I was going to do both, and I had two patients waiting, and so I sent a semi-panicked email to my clinic director. By lunch I had figured out that duh, I can leave Babygirl in school later if it’s an emergency, it’s really a daycare and they close at 5 pm. So while I did have to leave clinic earlier than I had planned, and my clinic director covered for me, I was able to see some folks and deal with some urgents issues before I left.

So, kind of hectic, but not bad. I didn’t have to round on any inpatients- we now admit to the hospitalists or to the residents. I had backup, and was able t get out earlier than usual to go get Babygirl. It all worked out.

Then, the weekend.   Hubby was away, and Babygirl developed a nice upper respiratory infection, which Babyboy then caught. I had help with the kids for good chunks of the weekend (Nana recovered!) and the calls were light. There were a few moments when I was talking with a patient and one or the other child was trying to climb up me or otherwise get my attention. But overall, they have been very, very good.

I also got a laptop. Seems silly, but previously, I had this clunky circa 2007 desktop computer that was hooked up in our thrid-floor attic office, which is NOT childproofed. So in order to access the medical record, I had to have childcare, basically. Or the kids needed to be asleep. Wasn’t very helpful on call. The laptop is great, and now I can access the medical record from anywhere in the house. Doesn’t work if I’m driving or at someone else’s house obviously, but it’s helped alot.

Not having to go in to the hospital and round on patients makes call a whole new animal. A warm, fuzzy, happy animal. I’ve kept the weekend open, unscheduled, low-key, in order to be able to take calls, take care of the kids, and stay sane. It’s been fine.


Even with the kids sniffly and coughing, even with getting up not only for the few overnight calls, but also to rub one or the other kid’s back, I feel OK.

The calls have all been appropriate. UTIs, sinus infections, the occasional trauma, an appendicitis. A few mystery illnesses we’re following. ALOT of prescription refills. But nothing bad. I’m cheerful with folks. I’m happy to help.

It’s all good.

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