I’m back

I had a nasty week, as some of you know, but here I am. I survived. That’s the lesson of life, isn’t it? You always survive these things. Until you don’t. I survived, and even if I didn’t solve every last problem, I took care of my people, and that’s what it’s all about.

Thursday night found me miserable and tired and stuck in Antioch. When I finally finished in the hospital, I should have done a quick google to find a hotel, but I didn’t. No, I had to drive around for 20 minutes to find some EconoHell, a $55/night crash pad with no end table lights, a broken toilet seat, and construction debris in the bath tub. The toilet deserves special comment. It was a steady state flush, which means that the bowl never really empties. So I called down the night manager and he “fixed it,” meaning now it didn’t flush at all. Fine. I was too tired to worry about the niceties at this point.

I had to go back to the night window to get a remote for the TV. WTF? Like people steal remotes? Not that I really wanted to watch TV, but I was too tired to sleep, if you know what I mean. Too wired, too annoyed with myself and with work and with just the general circumstances of life in general. Can’t reveal details about my patient, of course, but the take-home lesson from all of this? Chew your damn food.

Friday night, I was so tired that while Karen and Jake were watching Colbert, I fell asleep sitting up. I’ve never done that before. I don’t recall being that tired even in residency, which is bizarre since some of those marathon cancer cases led me into situations where I had been up 36 hours (or more) on only 1-2 hours of sleep. But it’s a different kind of tired, I suppose, when you’re The Dude and not just a 2nd year grunt, a warm body just awake enough to write notes and hold retractors.

A two-day weekend is not long enough to recover. I need a three-day weekend. Or a three-week vacation, but not a four-week vacation. In internship, we got two four-week vacation blocks, believe it or not. Four weeks was too much. By week three, you’re wishing you could get back to work because the sooner you started up again, the sooner internship would be over.

But this business of ours has no endpoint, does it? Except retirement, of course, but that’s 15-20 years away. So I have to focus on the short-term signposts: the end of this gig, the move, the adjustment to the new gig. Our 25th Anniversary is coming up, and we’re going to treat ourselves to some time on the coast . . . and maybe go back to Hoppe’s, site of our Best Meal Ever.