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July 11, 2010

home/weekend call
okay, i have to say thus far home/weekend call has not been nearly as bad as i had expected! yesterday i was only at the hospital from 8:30 – 12:30. and this was with the attending that tends to take the longest on weekend rounds, and we did have an inpatient on our team (he’s home now!). i had been anticipating (not dreading, but just sort of expecting) an all-day affair, so i was pleasantly surprised at having the afternoon to myself.

furthermore, the pager has been (amazingly, wonderfully) quiet at night. during business hours, it rings quite frequently, so i didn’t know what this would mean for my sleep while on call, which is 24/7 for a week at a time. i’ve also never taken call from home before! for the first 24 hours, i couldn’t relax at all, knowing that i could be beeped at any moment. but i’ve already calmed down a lot.

now, in the medical field there is a HUGE superstition about saying something like the “q-word” above, or (horrors!) putting it in writing, for fear that admitting that things are peaceful will somehow invoke the spirits to bring on the worst-case scenario. while working in the ER, i used to dread the inevitable school bus accident*, but now i suppose i have to come up with very specific endocrine disasters to worry about. um, diabetes camp runs out of insulin?? there’s a national steroid shortage, and the NICU has to ration the hydrocortisone? that would be bad . . .

and today? i’m still on call, of course, but so far it doesn’t look like i’ll have to go in at all! yeah, i’ll take this over a weekend in the NICU ANY DAY!

this weekend’s slower pace has greatly assuaged my panic about not being able to get anything done (or have any time left for myself once it’s all finished). i will be able to get the usual household stuff done today, AND have time for some reading/work.

* it DID happen, too, during one of my shifts!! the bus had just been bumped, but everyone’s kid had to be ‘checked out.’ everyone was fine, but O.M.G., the angst and paperwork that that one vehicular love tab generated!

what’s in your bag?
two lovely ladies took the cue from my bag post and revealed the contents of their totes/backpacks . . .

marathon maiden is carrying enough for a small army — including a giant kaplan MCAT prep book and flashcards! perhaps she can count toting around these items as part of her strength-training routine . . .

chelsea‘s bag may look worn from the outside, but is filled with colorful and organized components. plus, we get a glimpse into her office including a swoon-worthy (okay, maybe just to me) graph-paper log.

if anyone else has a bag to share, drop me a note or leave a comment!



workout: 40 minutes elliptical (10 as warmup, 30 post-weights), levels 9-12; upper body weights (from SSU week 3).

in the kitchen: it’s a rare saturday night that we stay in and cook! however, since it’s my first weekend on call, i didn’t really want to be far away from a computer (to look up patient info, labs, etc) in case i did get paged. plus, we had ingredients just languishing in the fridge! so cajun jambalaya it was.

the recipe in the magazine called for chicken breast plus turkey sausage, but i substituted bison sausage since that was what we had available. it worked fabulously! i also nixed the whole foil packet idea and just used a glass pyrex covered in foil. less messy, less wasteful, but the same ‘steaming’ effect. i baked it for 35 minutes rather than the 25 stated in the recipe because the shrimp didn’t look quite done enough initially.

farewell, furry friend
our dog-sitting adventure ends today. major deegan has been a little bit tempermental this time around, insisting on sleeping in our bed and refusing to eat his food (although he picks out everything we try to put in there to GET him to eat it, including cheese, tomatoes, red pepper pieces, and carrots).

clearly, he has discerning taste. does orla make dog accessories?


  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Glad your weekend is going well! I still have to do a what&#39s in my bag post – problem is, I rotate my bag on a daily basis, depending on where I am going. That jambalaya looks awesome – I love one dish meals. I think I may have to try it out with some veggie sausages!

  • Reply Julie March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Fun to see you go through the same home pager dilemmas. I have to say, I&#39m still not good at it 7 years later. I don&#39t go to the movies when I&#39m on pager call. I don&#39t want to have to leave the theatre for who knows how long waiting for the ER or an intern (sorry) to tell me a rambling story or have to make calls to the pharmacy for refills. I also have trouble going to yoga – having to keep your pager by your side and maybe having to leave the class really interrupts the zen. For you, I could see a dilemma with going out for a long run. You&#39d need paper, pen, phone. The thought that I could get called away literally any moment still really bothers me but that&#39s the Type A planner mode being jostled. Thankfully we don&#39t have much call and it&#39s usually not horrendous with frequency of calls.

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    julie: YES you get it exactly! but uh oh that it doesn&#39t get easier — that&#39s not great news! for runs, i have just decided that i&#39ll just do treadmill runs for when i&#39m on call. i can&#39t exactly have it beep when i&#39m 3 miles away!

  • Reply Julie March 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Some people handle it better than others. I&#39ve seen a PCP friend answer pager calls while making homemade gnocchi with his sleeves rolled up, elbow deep in dough, with someone holding the phone to his ear! I strive to be that easy minded about it. His pager rings continually and he doesn&#39t stress about it. Another thing for the happiness project, I guess. 🙂 Have fun – learn lots!!!

  • Reply amy. March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    hey sarah 😀 thanks so much for the nice comment. did you used to live near/in Philly? beadworks is amazing !

  • Reply sophia March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    yay, I&#39m glad you got a pretty good weekend to yourself. And bison sausage, huh? Fancy! I wonder what it tastes like.

  • Reply BroccoliHut March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    So glad you&#39ve gotten a nice reprieve this weekend! That bus incident does indeed sound like a bit of a nightmare–may it never happen again!

  • Reply pen March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    i would share my bag, but i&#39m currently caring around contents coated with spilled yogurt in my bag. i just can&#39t seem to get it clean. 🙂

    Glad its not crazy this weekend…i won&#39t mention the Q word.

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