i called in sick today.
i had trouble doing it, but i decided that after yesterday — having to leave multiple patient rooms due to uncontrollable coughing fits and feeling the pain every time i tried (unsuccessfully) to vocalize with my inflamed and infected laryngeal equipment — that enough was ENOUGH. i had a night filled with coughing galore, and josh told me firmly this AM that there was no good reason for me not to call for backup today. so i did.
it’s really hard to call in sick as a resident. it means pulling one of your peers to cover your ass, and that kind of sucks. now, it sucks A LOT to get pulled for something like a 30 hour call shift (as you can see, i was not thrilled when this happened to me!) and being asked to work in the ER for an 8 hour daytime window really pales in comparison. but it still isn’t fun to have that pager go off and be ordered to get to work an hour earlier and work somewhere completely different than you had planned.
if you end up needing coverage for a weekend or overnight, you have to ‘pay back’ those shifts, which is a policy that i like. i would feel much less horrible jeopardizing one of my peers over a weekend if i knew that it was a weekend i would ‘give back’ to them later.
i admit that i’m not on my deathbed, but i think i’m better off not cough-hacking all over every baby in durham that walks into the ED. plus, my larynx is very happy to not be abused for a day — maybe this will actually allow for some healing. until yesterday, i never realized the sort of volume one needs to produce to be able to be heard and understood in that crazy place!
on the road
tomorrow i will be taking my diseased body (and fluid-filled ear — ouch) on a plane to savannah, where i will be going to a conference for pediatric fellows funded by the frontiers in science program. now, since i do not start my fellowship for another 16 months, i don’t have any outside funding set up yet, but that is one of the programs to which i may apply. the conference is designed for current fellows to present research and for current residents to meet these fellows and hear what fellowship training supported by this organization is like. make sense? if not, don’t worry — basically i get to go on a trip and see cool science and dream about being a fellow. i’m excited to hear more about what it’s like and to meet up with other future pediatric endocrinologists (although there will be every pediatric fellowship discipline there, not just endocrine).
the weather is going to be freaking BEAUTIFUL while i’m there (although here, too), so i’m really sad i won’t be able to go for some sight-seeing runs! i’ll have to settle for walking instead, which i’m okay with. the schedule is pretty packed with science-centered activities (talks, poster sessions, etc) but hopefully there will be time for me to explore a little bit.
josh’s new friend
when most people want a new computer, they go to a store or perhaps apple.com. but apparently if you have the appropriate nerdiness quotient, it’s much ‘cooler’ (hmmm . . . ) to build your own! i will admit that i was skeptical when josh came home with a bunch of mysterious-looking boxes and started tinkering with a screwdriver on the kitchen table, but . . . it does work!