Why Am I So Beat?

I’ve started writing several posts this week, only to get pulled away by one thing or the other. By the time I’ve been able to get back to the draft, my thought and attention has already turned to another topic. I’ve now got very brief outlines for blog posts on: the ridiculousness of cramming an annual physical exam into twenty minutes; trying to get our kids regular exercise; how I struggled with breastfeeding; and what I’ve learned from an amputee cat.

But, it’s almost 10 p.m. and our kids have only just fallen asleep. I’m looking at these now and just can’t resurrect the original energy behind each theme. Why am I so beat? I have to think about this. I am really beat. 

My day started at 5 a.m. I woke up before my alarm started chirping, which is the best way to wake up. I extricated my legs from under the comforter, pinned down by two comatose cats. My clothes were hanging in the bathroom already, as always, because I can’t turn on the lights to pick an outfit, and even if I could, I can’t think straight until I’ve had some coffee, so I’d end up dressing even more poorly than I already do.

In the shower, Zest, out of the shower, briefly considered doing something, anything, with my hair or my face. But as usual, I couldn’t justify the time. Hence, just a plastic clip for the hair, and hypoallergenic moisturizer for the rosacea face. Kissed Hubby, pulled the kids’ blankets over them, and made my way downstairs without tripping over the very much alert felines.

I checked the outfits I’d picked out for Babygirl last night: today was her school picture day. I didn’t know what she’d want to wear, but I knew what I didn’t want her to wear. So I picked out three colorful choices, and laid them out really nice, along with a bottle of No More Tangles and her brush. I knew that Hubby had to leave early, and that my mother would be getting Babygirl dressed and to school. I tapped out an explanatory text.

Into the kitchen, flicked the coffee maker on, packed the kids’ lunches. Hubby had made the sandwiches the night before, my job is to pull it all together. I threw fruit and yogurt into my lunch bag (and forgot my lunch), poured my coffee into the travel mug with the handle, zipped my pink fleece and made my way out the door.

Realized I had to pee again, went back inside, also realized I forgot to scoop the cats’ litterbox. Finally got into the car, defogged the windshield, drove to the train station. Just missed a train, caught the next one. Mesmerized by social media the whole ride in, didn’t make eye contact with a single soul. Got tearful reading about the Doctors Without Borders hospital that was bombed, the Syrian families broken by war and rejected by the comfortable, the latest on the Baby Bella case.

The train disgorged me and a zillion other hospital staff right on time. I was the first one in the office. Logged in, addressed a few patient portal questions, checked a few labs, printed prescriptions, read emails. Today is my teaching day: the medical students interview course. I quickly reviewed the readings (I’d read them last week), checked our floor assignments, called the nurses’ station, got the resource nurse, got a few names of patients who we could maybe interview. Ate my breakfast, and brushed my teeth (my new thing, brush after every meal!). I pulled on my white coat, the one that is two sizes too big (from when I was fat), and reminded myself to find a smaller one soon (again).

I love walking through the main lobby, with the new huge glass windows. There is so much light and energy there. This is in contrast to the small library where we meet with our students, which is in the oldest part of the hospital, and is verifiably antique. There’s a marble fireplace with a collection of commemorative Wedgewood plates on the mantle, oil portraits of long-dead hospital patrons, walls of bookshelves, and a round table with uncomfortable old armchairs. It’s wood and carpet and books and just so NOT hospital, it’s wonderful.

We discussed our topic of the day: how to interview patients about drug and alcohol use. A sometimes delicate subject, easy to flub, essential to know. We made our way to the floors. I took the stairs, as per usual. The students know that I got stuck in one of the hospital elevators and had to be rescued once, years ago, and so, I take the stairs. Even up 22 floors. They don’t know that I’m just as motivated by the idea of NOT running into my patients in the elevator, and standing there awkwardly, not remembering their names.

Today was a measly eight floors, no sweat. We had a wonderful interview with a forthright patient who was willing to share their story of addiction. We thanked them profusely, found an empty visitor’s lounge, debriefed, and then split up to do more interviews in even smaller groups.

Only one of my students was able to do an interview, as not one other patient on our assigned floor was willing or able to talk to us. So, upon mutual agreement, we went to see one of my own patients who is currently admitted. Mini-rounds. This was actually productive, and we had a positive effect on patient management.

I went back up to my office, and dedicated several hours to log in, address a few patient petal questions, check  labs, print prescriptions, read emails, and call patients. I had saved up quite a few patient calls for this time.

I had forgotten my lunch, so I walked to the ATM, then down the street, bought an entirely too expensive salad, and ended up hungry again an hour later. Stuffed a handful of almonds into my mouth, finished my seltzer water, brushed my teeth (my dentist would be proud).

Today there was a faculty meeting from 4:30 to 6 pm, so I went to that, thought it was useful. I ran for the train, was again mesmerized by social media, hopped into my car, and went to my mother’s to pick up the kids. She’d taken them to school and picked them up. Babygirl was still in the pink flowered sundress with the pick tights and new blue Mary Janes. I had to smile, because that was the dress I’d been hoping she’d pick.

There was Japanese food at Nana’s! I grabbed bites of dinner in between Ring Around The Rosy with Babygirl. Babyboy was deliriously happy because the soup they got had clams. He loves clams, mussels, fish. He can eat a half pound of swordfish in a sitting!

By then it was well after 7 pm. Babygirl was melting down. Nana helped me herd them to the car and home we went. Babyboy made me drive around the block first. We finally pulled in and Hubby helped carry them and all their gear inside. He got their lunches, I got them upstairs. We skipped bath time. On went the pajamas, and into bed they went. And then up again: someone wants water, someone wants a book. And then back in bed. And up: someone wants to listen to soft music, someone wants to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. And so on.

Hubby and I cannot get bedtime under control, I think because we’re more exhausted than the kids. And so it’s 10 p.m., the kids have just fallen asleep, and I can’t do anything more intellectual with my blog than recount my Wednesday.

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