take it down a level
i'm on call this week. as i mentioned yesterday, i'm trying to bring my call stress level down a few notches. because truthfully? there is no reason for the repetitive cortisol surges every time my pager goes off (clearly, my adrenals work fine, as opposed to what seems like 99% of the babies in the NICU). i can do a better job, be a nicer person, AND have a more positive experience when i don't rush, overly stress out, or let myself become overwhelmed.
let's start by taking a step back and admitting that i am not yet taking my pager's ring in stride. honestly, i think it might be a bit of a pavlovian thing left over from residency. because back then (yeah, WAAAAAAY back then -- as in 2 months ago!) i carried a pager that did sometimes require running into an emergency situation and perhaps warranted a bit of adrenaline.
yeah, most of the tme, i get super urgent pages like the above about follow-up appointments and DDAVP dosing. i mean, come on -- it's not like "QUICK! help me interpret these thyroid studies, STAT!".
sometimes i get alert lab values which freak me out a little, but if i really stop and think about it, lab results aren't instant, and the kid behind the number has been okay for the hours of processing time, so ACK!! OH NOO!! responses to ugly sodium numbers (even if they are termed 'panic' values by the lab) don't make much sense, either. a calm and thoughtful approach is better for the patient, the caller, and for me.
by far, the most panicky calls (and therefore panic-inducing -- unfortunately, freakouts can be contagious) are the ones from parents, usually describing a scenario that is concerning for adrenal crisis or DKA. but really, if they have time to make a phone call through our switchboard (this can take a while, apparently), then i have time to breathe and reassure and think through their scenario before choosing between option A (continue to watch the child at home and follow up) and option B (tell them to high-tail it to the ED).
so today, when the pager goes off (and ohhh it will), i am going to take a minute and breathe/visualize a seascape/sneak some ativan (KIDDING), whatever it takes to try to alter my previous conditioned response. hopefully i will someday be able to glide through my work days -- pager beeps included -- with a calm and positive energy.
if you are in the medical field, what is your response to your pager like? and if not -- is there an equivalent stimulus (blackberry beep, email heading, phone call from the boss) that makes your hair stand on end and your adrenals cry for mercy? i could certainly use your tips + coping strategies!
workout: 35 minutes elliptical + full-body weights circuit
making it easier: i've decided that mondays are going to be official pizza nights in our household. we have a conference that lasts until 6 and the day tends to be a busy one overall, so why not make things just a little bit easier?
luckily, there are a number of frozen pizzas that i like (and don't feel horrible about from a nutrition perspective). pictured above is 2 slices from the american flatbread pie -- this is actually quite no-frills pizza that tastes like the neighborhood pizza joint to me, with plenty of cheese and a bit of oregano.
boards/reading: i spent ~2 hours after work dictating and handling calls, so genetics is getting pushed back a night. it will be okay.