Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Year, New Me

Year after year, I have seen resolution after resolution fall by the wayside. We always start the new year with the best of intentions, but, more often than not, our perfectionism gets the best of us. We inevitably fall off the wagon, then, once off, tend to wallow in the mud. I will say that I have not been perfect, but instead of wallowing, I have picked myself up and tried to be better. Since starting my new regimen, I have lost 15 pounds, 6 inches from my waist, and 4 inches from my hips. I also ran in my very first 5K (boy, is my body pissed off about that one!) So my resolution for 2010, is much the same as every other year. To be a better mother, doctor, friend, and person. But this time, when I inevitably fail, I won't give up on myself as a lost cause. I will dust off and persevere. I know I can do this, and so can you. 2010 is going to be a great year, and I hope to be able to share more stories with all of you.

I am six months into my new position, and I cannot believe the difference. I am still working very hard when I am at work, but when I come home, I am home! I see my kids, we do normal family-type things. We have *plans* each weekend! The days that I am on call, I expect to stay in the hospital, but luckily, those days only come one week day per week and one weekend per month. The past four years are becoming more of a dim and distant memory. I have no idea how I did it, besides sheer adrenaline. I remembered that when I thought that I might die in the last mile of the 5K that Mr. Whoo and I ran together. If I can survive those 4 years of stress, I can survive a measly 3.1 miles.

Recently, I discovered that a woman that I know from college is a patient of our Ob/Gyn practice. This is a bit of a sticky-wicket for me ethically. We weren't the closest of friends in college, but we knew one another well, she is my face.boo.k friend, etc. I find myself worried to death that something will go wrong with her pregnancy, and that she will feel like it is my fault. So far all is going well, and she is excited that I am part of the group taking care of her. I, however, am petrified. The closest thing I have come to before was being a physician for the nurses with whom I worked in the hospital. At least they knew me as a professional *before* becoming my patient! Anyone else out there with advice on how to handle being a physician for someone who knew you before you became a doctor?

P.S. Whoever keeps commenting with Asian characters/links/advertisments, would you please CUT IT OUT? I will not publish these comments, and they are cluttering up my message feed. Ugh.

17 comments:

Carrie Ann said...

How did you get yourself to run on a regular basis? I've been trying to get myself to run but it isn't working out very well.

Jinni said...

Wow - about the treatment of your college acquaintance, I wouldn't do it. I don't know how small your town is - so maybe there is little choice - especially with insurance limitations. I have always referred anyone I know to someone else. But I live in L.A. with a number of practitioners.

mamadoc said...

A normal life does make an amazing difference, doesn't it? Congrats on the weight loss!

mamadoc said...

PS As you continue in this business, you will encounter more and more the situation where a patient is your friend before hey are your patient. The only advice I can give you (after many years in the same town) is to try to treat them and look at them in the office the same as any other patient and do everything by the book. It'll save a lot of aggro later. Good luck!

Ev said...

I have treated my highschool friends, my neighbors, my cousin-in-law and never thought too much about it. I mean, I was completely stressed out throughout their pregnancies, and was basically their personal physician even though technically I share OB patients with 4 other partners, but they indicated that they wanted me, so I did it. I don't know how you could get out of treating her without offending her. Let me know if you figure out a way so I can use it in the future, just in case.

And congrats on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle!! I need to get my butt in gear. I am so happy that the new practice allows you to live life! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Go Dr. Whoo go! Awesome job on the weight loss! I am so glad to hear you are happy!

Mrs. Mom

Fizzlemed said...

I haven't much to say about treating patients, because I've seen like... five. But I have friends that work at the ER here and at the urgent care centers, etc., and I try with everything I have to go ANYWHERE to avoid them. I don't want them knowing about my stitches, let alone my hooey. If it were me, I'd be uncomfortable with it... because someone whose seen me bong a beer probably wouldn't want me in their hooey either! Congrats on the weight loss! My Resolution this year is to run a 5K... I hope I can have your success!

Tigermom said...

About your patient and friend, do everything as you would with another patient, especially any difficult conversations.

OhBeeGuyKnee said...

I have really enjoyed your blog! As an OB/GYN in a very small community, I have patients who have become friends and friends who have become patients. I am always more nervous when treating them. I recently performed a C/S on a friend and the night before I couldn't sleep because I was so nervous. Luckily it was uneventful but I was shaking like a leaf when I made the initial cut. I know how you feel but like mamadoc said...do it by the book and try to think of her only as a patient in the office and in the hospital. Good luck. Keep blogging!!

Midwife with a Knife said...

I have to agree. In my specialty, since there aren't a ton of us, it's pretty common to end up taking care of people we know. And you just have to remind yourself that when she's a patient, she's a patient and you have to do everything the same as for any other patient.

Nicole said...

I just love your blog. After giving birth to my son (nov. 2007), I've become even MORE fascinated by the work you doctors and nurses do every day. My nurses and doctors were all fabulous in the face of an annoying delivery (induced for high blood pressure at 39 weeks, delivered 3 days later after being given cervadil 2 times (and removed one time which resulted in labor stopping). At the time, I thought I wanted to be induced ( though I NEVER asked for one--she's the doc) because I hated lying on my left side. Next time, I plan on living on my left side if it will mean a natural delivery. haha. If you ever have a free second to answer a stupid question, I'm just curious: Immediately after I delivered my son, the OB got a very worried look on his face and said, "I have to deliver the placenta NOW," and he pushed really hard on my belly. After that, he relaxed and sewed me up. What happened there? I'd ask him but he's not my regular OB and my husband was too busy playing with the newborn (and trying to avoid looking at the mess down there)to notice all that.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for writing and providing insight into your very fascinating line of work. I'm glad you're happy with your new job. It sounds like my OB's hours. Anyway sorry for the rambling. Happy New Year

ER's Mom said...

Yeah, in a small town, I am the doctor to friends and coworkers.

I worry more about them...I have a friend who is considering surgery with me now. I know my complication rate is acceptable, but in the back of my head goes the little voice "what if it happens to her?"

ugh.

mamadoc said...

This is just the way of it if you're in a small town long enough. Bad stuff will happen to people you know and are friends with. Sometimes they don't do well and it's not your fault. Right now my accountant and friend of 20+ years has a new diagnosis of acute leukemia, diagnosed when I hospitalized her for pneumonia. That's the breaks if you stay in a small place for enough years and have any relationships at all. In some ways, that makes it worse. In some ways, that makes it better.

Nicholas Fogelson, MD said...

Taking care of your friends is one of the real pleasures of the OB job, and also one of the most nervous. I have delivered many people who were friends of various levels. Its always very rewarding, but also nervous as you point out.

My advice? Just enjoy it. You know what you are doing. Just do the right thing. Be careful that you treat her like you would any other patient. If you start to feel like you are thinking or acting differently than you would with another patient, maybe get one of your partners involved. The problem is affect bias, which is the subconscious tendency to make choices that lead to positive emotion, and avoid those that lead to negative emotion. If you feel that coming on, get help. There is a great discussion of this in Jerome Groopman's book "How Doctors Think".

Nicholas Fogelson, MD
http://www.academicobgyn.com

Anonymous said...

I live in a really small town and I have been the patient on the other side. At first I freaked. Now I know they will take better care of me. Ex. One of my acquaintance friends is a nurse that works in the PACU. When I lost my baby at 13 1/2 weeks and had to have a d&c. She had no idea (emergency d&c). I was brought down to the or and she saw me through the PACU window. She saw I was very upset and she came out and asked what was wrong. I'll never forget this. I started bawling hysterically and then she started crying too. Because I was so upset, they had the anesthesiologist knock me out in the hallway. She was holding my hand when they did it. She personally walked me back up to the floor instead of having transport do it afterwards. Cried with me upstairs and gave me a big hug. Yes I freaked out because she has seen me naked. She was an absolute professional. I am glad she was there. She was one of my biggest supporters when I got pregnant again with Cate.

As far as changing jobs. I know how you feel. I have no idea how I worked at the same hell hole for 9 years. After going through the loss of the baby, I realized I needed a change. I stayed out on maternity leave with Cate till she was 5 1/2 mos old (as long as possible). Came back on 5/26/09 and was hired by another agency on 5/29/09. I immediately turned in my notice. I have been with the new agency since then and LOVE it. The people are awesome. They are knowlegeable and nice and good people. There is none of this let's stab this person in the back. They even gave me a 10k payraise. They made good on their promise to move me to the hospital in my town within a year. I start at the new hospital on Tuesday. The best thing is when I do something great, it is acknowleged. Thank you goes a long way.

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Anonymous said...

congrats on your 5k andthank you for your blog. my .partner is an OB/GYN first year resident.

in the rare chance we get to catch a pint we sit and catch up on your blog :)

glad you like your new job