The Biggest Time Waster in Modern History.

NaBloPoMo – Day 11.

What the hell did we do before the Internet? How did one waste time prior to 1994?  I say 1994 because that was the year I got my first email address.  It went downhill from there.

The Internet is a huge time waster.  Or, I should say, using the Internet is a huge time waster. Seriously though, how did we pass the time before we had laptops, iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids, iPads and tablets?  If I wanted to know who was in such-and-such movie, I’d have to go to the local library and find their copy of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide.  If I wanted to talk to a friend, I would have to, [gasp] pick up the telephone!  Who does that anymore?  I know I certainly don’t.  The only people I ever call are usually my parents, ie people who don’t use the Internet. Now if I want to contact a friend, I text her or send an email or write on her FB wall.

Had I had children prior to 1994, how the hell would I have passed the time with a newborn?  God forbid, would I have read a book??  I have lost count of the hours I have spent surfing (where does that expression even come from?) the Internet while the baby nurses.  Be it Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, any number of message boards or blogs, it is how I spend my time these days.  While I do have other hobbies, in particular my cross-stitching, it is difficult to do with a newborn.  (Excuses, right?).

I also wonder where my attention span went to.  It’s no wonder I haven’t been able to finish a novel.  Who can concentrate these days for more than 5-10 minutes at a time when we are constantly “clicking” from one page to the next?  My news updates are one, maybe two sentences long. Sure, I can read an editorial online, but let’s be honest,  I usually skim the first sentence or two of each paragraph.  I have to force myself to concentrate.  It’s sad, really.

Ironic that I am writing about this on a “weblog”, isn’t it?  Back in the day, I’d be writing in a journal that no one, other than me, would read. But now, with the Internet, anyone can read my thoughts and vice versa.  In fact, part of me is happy that others are wasting their time on me.  How is that even remotely healthy?  The Internet isn’t a real thing, it’s a collection of 1s and 0s. You can’t touch it, smell it, really see it, yet it’s probably the first and last thing I go to on a daily basis.  Frightening when you think about it.  Frightening when I think about it.

I need to stop now.

A Difficult Week.

The office has been in some turmoil these past few weeks.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I walk in today to find that one of my secretaries decided to take the day off  with no notice. Just a message on voice mail that she was sick with a “stomach thing.”  Oh, and did I mention it’s the Friday before a long weekend and I’m working alone in the office today, covering 3 practices?

I’m tired.

I’m grumpy.

I’m pissed off with my staff.

I hate being a boss. I don’t want to deal with delinquent staff who think it’s okay to just call in “sick”, especially on a long weekend, when it’s so bloody obvious that she was fine yesterday and suddenly got a “stomach thing”!  Not to mention the fact that she had a 3 day weekend last week!  I have enough to deal with and don’t really want to be doing her job as well as mine today!

I’m also pissed off with myself.  Something came to light regarding a patient that has me completely freaked out that I might be named in a lawsuit and though I did everything I could to rectify the situation, in the end, after a series of miscommunications and communication breakdown between myself, the patient, the specialist and the hospital, I may just end up losing a lovely family to another physician.  I feel sick inside.

Us doctors, we’re not perfect. I know, shocking right?  Sometimes things get missed.  Mistakes happen.  And though I haven’t done anything horrible like leaving a surgical instrument in someone’s chest,     how I am feeling right now, I might as well have.  I am being pretty hard on myself, I know, it’s just who I am.

I am mad.  I want to be a perfect doctor.  I don’t ever want to make a mistake or miss a diagnosis.  I’m supposed to be the expert.  But try as I might to be perfect in this job, I have been reminded just how much I’m not.  It stings like a sonofabitch. I am managing over 900 patients with their test results, consult letters, referrals and office visits.  To say it’s challenging is an understatement.  Ugh, it sounds like I’m trying to make excuses.

Truth is,  I have no excuse.

This is my job.  I should be more vigilant. More cautious. More attentive.

Lesson learned. But at what cost?