16 January 2017

Residency Update: Night Shifts in PGY2

Dr. Chandler (here out referred to in true doctor's wife text as DrH, for Dr. Hubby) just finished five weeks of night shifts, a couple weeks delivering babies on his OB rotation and then moving to an in-patient care rotation on Purple/Yellow team (known among residents as PYT). Whenever he is on nights I end up getting very little sleep, because I prefer to distract myself with books and movies until I'm so exhausted I can't keep my eyes open.

When he was on PYT, DrH would typically arrive home around 8:00 AM, which is normally a time that I would have already been up and at 'em. But with the shift in Wisconsin's temperatures to somewhere in the neighborhood of 0 degrees with wind chill, I've opted to stay warm in bed until that time when he gets home and is doctor popsicle, so that he can cuddle and warm up as he drifts off to sleep.

On night shifts, DrH will sleep during the day and wake up in the afternoon to work out, shower, and look at which patients are in the hospital before heading off to work. He's one of those lucky people who can fall asleep any time, any where he wants and it doesn't take long for him to be fast asleep. It especially doesn't take long when he's exhausted from the previous night. Some nights at the hospital he's able to get anywhere between 2-4 hours of sleep, depending on how much help is on the floor and what cases need to be admitted. As a second year resident (PGY2, which stands for post-grad year two), I find that DrH prefers to ease the pain of interns (PGY1) a little by taking extra patients, letting the interns sleep if the floor is quiet, or helping to finish notes. He talks a lot about how he remembers how awful intern year was and that he wants to make it less stressful for the newbies. He mentioned having some good senior resident examples when he was an intern that made the journey more bearable.

I asked him this morning if he didn't think that put the new interns at a bit of a disadvantage, because he had to learn as an intern to be more efficient with his notes. His intern year also comprised of more case exposure from in-patient and ICU, which he commented at the time made a huge difference in recognizing what disease looks like when he saw it in the clinic.In answering my question, DrH thought that he wasn't crippling the interns by making one shift a little easier and having an ally on the floor to watch out for them, when he knew he could take the extra workload. It appears that he's also biased to giving the extra help to interns that demonstrate good knowledge and are enjoyable to work with, and he is less likely to help out the first years that show up late and don't contribute much to the team.

So far this year, I'd say there have been some better moments than intern year and some that are just as disgusting. Night shifts are near the top of my disgusting residency bits list. Taking pages at night makes me want to throw his pager against the wall, either that or kick him out to sleep in the living room. There have been several relaxed rotations though, where he has more time at home and is less stressed. It's that halo effect from the more relaxed rotations that I think had senior residents affirming to us at graduation that PGY2 would be much better than PGY1.

More thoughts coming soon on what we've learned in residency about the process for becoming a sports medicine fellow.

05 January 2017

New Year, New Goals

"The ultimate measure of success is not in achieving goals alone but in the service you render and the progress [achieved]."
-Preach My Gospel

Yesterday was the best day for us to hold our annual couple's new year goal setting activity. We do goals in our house as opposed to resolutions. Not that they are that much different, just that with goals I feel like I am working, reaching towards a better habit; as opposed to resolutions that set a new standard, where one is expected to achieve and maintain it cold turkey. I think the purpose of any New Year's resolution is to change, and when we consistently try to meet a goal, we should see progressive improvement, even if the measure isn't perfectly achieved by the deadline.

Yesterday was the first night that Dr. Chandler had off this year. He was delivering babies at night the week after Christmas, and then moved to working half a month of nights in the hospital, in-patient care, known as Purple/Yellow Team or PYT *insert Michael Jackson background music*

So I guess it was really the ONLY time we could have had a goal planning sesh with each other, but there were other coincidences of the day that proved perfect timing.  We invited the sister missionaries over for dinner of Hawaiian haystacks, and they asked if they could share a message with us about goal setting (and play Book of Mormon baseball with us, which has become a tradition with all the missionaries we've met in the Wisconsin Milwaukee mission). They encouraged us to think about how our goals help the ward to achieve its yearly mission plan, which is something we hadn't considered before and committed to add to our list. Yesterday was also match day for fellowships, which we hope to be enjoying in exactly a year.

Note: Flu shot accessorizing is the result of posting our goals in the bathroom, where we could read them during our morning and evening routines... and apparently that is where stickers are removed.

We started by looking over what we had accomplished in 2016. Some goals we more than exceeded, like Scott's goal to "visit someone" in 2016. We visited with Christie in Dallas, Nelsons and Burrs in Missouri. Medical school friends came to see us in Wisconsin. Scott's family reunion was in California, and in the fall we went with friends and met up with good friends in New York City. I also set a goal for myself, after my sister-in-law reminded me that Heavenly Father can't help guide our path if we don't move our feet, to start fertility testing. Check, check! 

One goal I laughed at yesterday was to spend time with my new friends "at least once a month". In January 2016 when we set those goals, I was still making friends and only occasionally was invited to do something together. Mic drop on that goal! Probably seconds after writing that goal and feeling like it was a stretch to do something once a month, I began attending regular ladies' movie nights and book clubs, not to mention becoming better acquainted with newfound kindred spirits at church and residency pals. I would have never guessed a year ago that I would feel so at home in Wisconsin.

We may not have smashed our other goals to smithereens, but we looked at them daily; and the fact that we had set them meant that we did those things more frequently than we otherwise would have (like my goal to dance more).

Some of my 2017  goals include:
- visiting Door County, Wisconsin
- quality time with my best friend
- being more mindful of the words I use
- toning my arms and tackling inflammation (thanks a lot, Mr. Crohn's!)
- inviting others to come with me to church
- and helping Scott get into a fellowship

I think it will be a good year!