Family medicine is great. Earlier in the week I was completely slammed, double booked almost every hour. This morning two people no-showed and I have cleared my inbox in record time. I’ve paid the office bills that piled up on my desk all week, I’ve already had two coffees and am feeling the caffeine buzz. The phones at the front desk are pretty quiet.
The calm before the storm?
Mornings like this are nice especially when they follow a couple of crazy weeks of non-stop patients. It gives me time to reflect and regroup. It also makes me wish I had my cross-stitching tucked away in my desk. I have several projects on the go and being able to work on something while at the office would be great, especially on days like today when I have done all the work I can do and am just waiting for patients to show up.
I started cross-stitching in medical school. I was never a crafty person and can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, so this was something I was quite surprised I took to so well. Counted cross stitching is methodical, it’s relatively easy to learn and hard to mess up. Having said that, on more than one occasion I have miscounted my stitches and while it can be really frustrating at the time, for the most part it is a relaxing and meditative hobby that I absolutely love. When I haven’t had an opportunity to stitch I get cranky and irritable. So at times like this, when the office is unusually quiet, I really wish I had my hobby to go to.
I saw twenty-seven patients today. It was busy. There were several add-ons to an already packed schedule. I book 15-minute appointment slots. I have colleagues that book 10-minute appointments but I just don’t see how one can possibly deliver good medicine in such a short period of time. So for me, having an extra patient booked every hour makes for a really busy day.
Of the twenty-seven patients, no word of a lie, twenty-five came in because of cold and cough symptoms and only one patient left with a prescription for antibiotics. One. Did they all need to be seen? Absolutely not. I’ve been coughing for five weeks and haven’t thought to see a doctor. It’s a virus. It will get better on it’s own. If it doesn’t it’ll be pretty obvious and will declare itself with fever, chills, shortness of breath and exhaustion.
I like educating my patients about colds and flu. But damn me if they don’t remember the advice on a year to year basis. It can be really frustrating – for them and for me. They’ve taken time off work to see me, they feel awful and just want to get better. I understand that. But when they see everyone else around them with the same symptoms isn’t it obvious to them that going to see their doctor is kind of useless?
After the day I had, apparently not.
I just hope tomorrow something a little more interesting happens.
My chest still burns and I feel like I’m coughing up a lung. Bleh. I almost wish I did have pneumonia because then I could get some antibiotics and feel better. Enough is enough, really. Come on. I’ve had this stupid cough for well over a month. But then again, so has everyone else I’ve seen. What’s funny is me trying to get a history, turn around to cough into my elbow, then turn back, stand up to examine someone and they say, “Wow, Doc, you sound worse than I do!”.
Yes, yes I do. Thanks for noticing. Why are you in my office again?
TGIF. I just want to curl up in bed until Christmas.
Woke up this morning to a very large blanket of snow. The kids of course were just beside themselves with glee to look out the window and see nothing but a white winter wonderland. So excited were they that when I came down to breakfast their snow-pants, jackets and boots were lying on the floor all ready to go. I called them, “Flat N” and “Flat J” and then explained how runners showcase their gear the night before a race. Like this:
Amidst the hustle and bustle of getting everyone ready this morning I was still coughing and my chest felt like it was on fire. So after we got everyone to school I went to the local clinic and had a chest x-ray. I’m sure it’ll be negative but I’ve been coughing for almost five weeks and I’m getting sick of it, pardon the pun. All three kids are sick and I’m pretty sure the baby (well, now a toddler) has an ear infection so husband is bringing him to the pediatrician this afternoon.
I’m sitting in my office now as patient after patient cancels their appointments today due to the inclement weather. It really is quite pretty out there. After I got the x-ray I walked into the local coffee shop (a Starbucks which normally I try to avoid) and got a Peppermint Mocha. Holy good God in Heaven. Pure joy. There is something about peppermint and chocolate around the holiday season that gets me every time.
November was a pretty crappy month for running. I was sick a lot and just didn’t have the energy to run. I only logged about 30km which is low for me.
Illness-wise December isn’t shaping up too well, the cough has returned thanks to all three of my kids having it too and I’ve only been out twice for a run so far. But to my surprise, my pace seems to have quickened. I don’t know if it’s the several days break in between runs or what, but I am getting closer and closer to breaking the 7 min/km pace and it’s very exciting!
My first run in December was last weekend and I managed a steady 4km run (partly because I was under-dressed and cold and just wanted to get home) and my pace was pretty good. My left knee did start to ache a little bit by the end but it was okay after a day or two (I’m pretty sure it’s the patello-femoral pain syndrome coming back so I must start doing my quad sets again!). At the end of the run, I was thrilled to see a sub-7 min pace (just barely though!)
I mentioned in my Gingerbread post that daughter has been sick and now all the kids have the same fever and cough, so I didn’t get a chance to run at all on the weekend. I managed a run home from the office last night and though I did need a few walk breaks because of some mild shortness of breath due to this stupid cough I’ve got, I felt like I was running faster overall. My knee ached a bit but not nearly as much as the last run. I checked my time and pace around 4km and realized I might be able to get a sub-35 min 5km, so I pushed and pushed and ran my ass home!
To say I was thrilled with my overall pace is an understatement — 5 km at an average pace of 6:54 min/km.
What’s worse than one kid being sick?
How about three? Each one on the tail of the previous. Just as the eldest turns a corner towards the healthy side of the force, her baby brother spikes a fever and her other brother’s cough takes a turn towards the dark side.
I am curled up in bed waiting for the 1/2 tab of Gravol I just took to kick in. I am beyond exhausted and still feeling the remnants from last nights’ gingerbread festivities (hence the Gravol).
If I prayed to God I would wish for an uninterrupted nights’ blissful sleepy oblivion. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?