Whirling Dervish

I sit here in my bed in my running clothes.

I came home with every intention to run. And then I sat down. And then I felt really tired. And then all I wanted to do was just prep the stuff for tomorrow (Colpo article) and Friday (MFM article). And to add more people to my master checkbox spreadsheet. And then go to bed.

Usually, I’m really good about being disciplined. You don’t get through med school without being disciplined.

And, usually, I love exercising. Its the best part of my day.

So, for me to feel like I want to do something other than exercise when I have the time to do it is really odd. This usually sends me into “am I suffering a life crisis?” mode. I do the whole SIG-E-CAPS (acronym for questions to ask about depression), but when I start with “do you have problems sleeping” I realize its a moot point as residency has made me essentially a narcoleptic. Yes, I have problems sleeping – I don’t get enough of it and, therefore, can sleep on any chair, sofa, loveseat, or even standing between two cabinets.

Every so often I actually listen to what I’m feeling and decide not to be super disciplined and actually *gasp* REST! Its weird, I know. And, my quality of resting isn’t great as I spend it….updating spreadsheets.

But, anyways…why am I so tired?

Because sometimes being a resident is like being a whirling dervish.

Wait, let me google whirling dervish to make sure that’s a correct statement.

OK, yes – rapid, spinning object? That’s me.

Like being a mom and having 3 children to divide your attention between, you have to divide your attention between certain tasks as a resident, but do them all at the same time. AND MAKE IT LOOK GOOD. (Jk on that last part).

Its like having three different pans on the stove and managing them all. I mean, I think. I don’t cook. But, it seems like an ok analogy here.

For example, today I was in high risk OB clinic. So, I’m seeing those patients, but also have to move around some of the surgery dates for the patients I’ve booked so I have to figure out where exactly I move them to, call the surgical coordinating center, then fax the form to the surgical coordinating center (thank you to our PA for doing this!) and then go check PICIS that is on one computer available to us GYN residents to make sure that SCC got the fax, made the appropriate change, and the patient is in the system correctly. You’re trying to teach the med student at the same time about the high risk patient you’re about to see while sending a few texts/calling/faxing/writing.

See what I mean?

So, my head is still spinning, I’m tired, and I think I’m just going to eat a peanut butter sandwich and pass out.

I’m just going to sleep in these running clothes and hopefully go tomorrow morning. If not, tomorrow afternoon. By some point tomorrow I will have run.

Finally, for a little GYN fun, let’s review the difference between the pap smear and a pelvic exam.

The pelvic exam has two parts.

The first is everyone’s favorite – the speculum exam. This is when we use a metal or plastic contraption to push open the walls of the vagina to look at it and the cervix. Little known fact that even some doctors (ER, I see you) forget – the vagina is not a never ending space. There is an end to it. And, unfortunately, we can make everything really tiny these days — put a computer into a watch, essentially — but there seems to be no better solution for looking at the vagina/cervix than the speculum. Sorry, ladies, myself included.

The second is the bimanual exam in which one hand goes in the vagina and the other on the abdomen to palpate the pelvic organs (uterus/ovaries).

The pap smear is performed during the speculum part. Its where we take a brush to get cells from the cervix to send to the pathologist to look at to tell us if they look weird or not. Its a screening test for cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV. We test for “high risk” HPV, too (there are like a billion types of HPV and certain strains – 16 and 18 – have been shown to cause cervical cancer).

Another fun fact – yes, HPV is sexually transmitted, but, no, its not like chlamydia or gonorrhea. If you have it, it just means you have had sex in your life. HPV is like the Kardashians – its ubiquitous and annoying (jk I sort of like watching the show, truth be told…).

Alright I need to go read about rescue doses of antenatal corticosteroids or update a spreadsheet or something. And feel guilty about not running (guilt — one of the 3 main driving factors in life, remember?)

Until next time…

Coffee Tally: 2.5 (NOT ENOUGH)


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