Tag Archives: work

Kind of a Big Deal

About 22 months ago, I asked my boss to take a week of sick leave because I wasn’t feeling quite well. In my own estimation and the opinion of other medical professionals, that sounded like enough time to get some good rest and back on track if not completely better. No one, least of all me, thought that I would so quickly fall down the rabbit hole. I wouldn’t return to work for several months and when I did, it would be part-time. During those first months back, this day seemed a pipe dream, if not completely ludicrous. I am so very grateful for my job, my boss and the higher-ups who supported me. I have been restored to good health for some time and have been intermittently working 40+ hours/week but due to scheduling, logistics, and contractual stipulations/obligations, today is officially my first day back working full-time. It feels a bit like the first day of school. I’m wearing a pretty dress. I made myself pancakes to celebrate. (I’d have a mimosa if I didn’t have to actually go to work). Though I have been around enough to no longer believe that “everything happens for a reason,” I do still believe that every experience, even the very unpleasant ones, add to your life. Whether by removing a layer of your naivety, showing you a strength you didn’t know you could muster, or revealing who really has your back when the chips are down, you are changed. Big hugs and thank yous to those who had faith in me when I had all but lost my own. And to the doubters, sorry to disappoint. I’m back. And I’m here to stay.

I can't wait to see this on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Universal Studios.

I can’t wait to see this on Thursday! Photo courtesy of Universal Studios.

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Go Ahead, Make My Day

Still on my Bucket List of Places To See.

Still on my Bucket List of Places To See. Photo Courtesy of Grand Canyon NPS (W. Tyson Joye)

I’ve been a little MIA because my day job has been my day-into-night job this week. Despite being tired and my house looking like it was ransacked, it’s been a really good week. Even beyond the mundane frustrations of a large metropolitan hospital, some weeks I joke that I am just “staving off death” rather than “saving lives.” Yesterday, I was reminded that I didn’t take an oath to fix illness, but rather to try and alleviate suffering.  I was delivering the good news to a patient who had been eager to go home for several days; I had spent much of the week reassuring his worried wife (who herself apologized, “sorry, I’m so neurotic!”) and attempting to explain his condition-low salt levels in the blood, which in his case was, counterintuitively, due to an excess of free water in his blood. He was a chemistry teacher in his pre-illness life and despite my crude drawings on the dry erase board, we were getting nowhere until I channeled high school chemistry class: “there’s not enough solute for the amount of solvent.” Eureka!

As I was leaving his room, my patient said: “You are awesome. That’s the word I used when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time when I was eighteen. Awesome.”

Wow, I told him, gesturing my hands like a balancing scale: me, Grand Canyon. Gentleman, pay attention: if that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is. I told him that I will put that in my special mental shoebox that I dip into when work is frustrating, when patients or their families yell at me, when I haven’t peed or eaten because I am trying to work faster, for when I forget to be grateful that I get to do the work I do, even when anyone who works in a medical setting will tell you it is so incredibly not glamorous despite its media portrayal (no McDreamies or McSteamies here…though a cute murse did put his phone number in my coat pocket while we were squeezed in a supply closet once…but I digress).

It was one of the most original thank yous I have ever received, at work or otherwise. And it made my day. So if you have the chance today and feel a desire to thank anyone in your life for something, do it. It just might make their day. And yours. Happy Monday! :)

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Call and Response

It’s my day off but I’m getting ready to go to a mandatory work thingie. These are half-day affairs, usually consisting of continuing education and financial updates, practice improvement announcements and a sprinkle of propaganda. This one is being held at a fancy hotel downtown. I briefly glanced at the agenda last night. An excerpt:

9:00 – 9:05 am WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS Dr. *. ****
9:05 – 9:15 am ANAL HEALTH Dr. *. ********

I am assuming we are allowed to go business casual today. My sartorial response:

Blazer by Helmut Lang. T-shirt by Nordstrom Rack.

Blazer by Helmut Lang. T-shirt by Nordstrom Rack.

I knew this shirt would come in handy someday.

*For the concerned, I do have two hands. This is just an intentional optical illusion. Yeah, that’s it.

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That Buddha, He Sure is Smart

If you can do something about it, do not worry.

If you cannot do something about it, do not worry.

                                                                    —Buddha

This quote comes in handy when my mind is wrangling things that cannot be changed/aren’t my desired outcome/are completely beyond my control. One of my new year’s resolutions (Chinese and otherwise) is to cut down on complaining at work (it’s hard–try it for yourselves!) or at the very least, avoid non-constructive complaining, i.e. try to come up with a solution, not just complain for the sake of complaining. Having said that, about two seconds after I announced my resolution to my colleague/friend N, I starting ranting about the ridiculousness of some recent office politics.

N: That’s not complaining, is it?

Me: No, it’s just me pointing out an objective fact.

N: (laughing) Just checking.

Oh, Buddha. Give me strength.

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