Hard to believe it’s almost the end of June. There’s been a lot going on in my world, most of it pretty good.
My dad is on the mend from his kidney stone issues and has remained pretty stable with respect to his memory and the Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Two rounds of infection, two general anesthetics, mild delerium and his memory testing was the same! Unbelievable really. The thing with AD is that the patient kind of remains oblivious to the reality around him. He recognizes that his memory has declined but he doesn’t understand anymore the impact it has on everyone else, his wife especially. If there is any blessing with AD it is that the patient loses their higher executive, frontal lobe functioning early. It is quite the opposite for the family. My mom is a strong woman though and she is managing pretty well; she goes to her weekly support group, my brother works from their place once a week and she visits the kids when it gets too much. I wish there was more I could do for her and for my dad.
As for me, I’ve done two races this month with decent results, given how awful the winter was with my running. I have another 10K race this weekend and I am not expecting to do any better than 1:15 but that’s okay. It’s an opportunity to have some fun, run on the highway and get a cool T-shirt and medal!
I’m starting a new part-time job next month in addition to my family practice. It is an opportunity I sought out and I am excited about. It is an opportunity to grow as a physician, learn about a different model of care and will be a great change of scenery for me. I’ll be a lot busier, working 5 days a week (instead of 4) but I think I’m up for the challenge. The future of primary care in my province is looking hazy right now and I am a little worried. We have been without a contract with our Government for over two years and they are planning on implementing change to how primary care is delivered without consulting the front line workers, ie me! I felt it was time to start looking at other opportunities where my work is actually appreciated.
This isn’t just the last day of March, it’s also the last day of maternity leave.
I return to work tomorrow.
April Fools Day!!!
As I write this, the baby is in the exersaucer desperately trying to talk to me. I wish I knew what he was trying to say.
I try not to think about it, but I realize just how much I’m going to miss him. It’s time for daddy to take over his full-time care. I wonder if he’ll miss me? Will he wonder where I went? I felt this way with all the kids but with this baby, it’s more poignant. Because he is my last. I know this.
The last six months have been truly a blessing. To be home with my entire family has been wonderfully exhausting, yet I am really looking forward to being a doctor again. I know I never really stopped being one, it’s who I am and who I will always be. Just like being a mother is who I am and will always be – it’s just that the mother had center stage for so long, it seems. But, now it’s time to be a doctor again.
Last night I had a lovely dinner meeting with the doctor who’s been taking care of my patients. We had a “handover” of sorts.
Handover – A handover is the transfer of responsibility and accountability for some or all aspects of care for a patient or group of patients, on a temporary or permanent basis. It entails appropriately transferring information to help deliver safe care. (CMPA)
I had been keeping up-to-date on a few patients since I was off, but not many. Our three-hour meeting was informative and extremely useful. This physician has done an excellent job and a quick peek at some of her clinical notes on the EMR confirmed it. I am officially back on duty as of, well, now.
I have to admit, I feel a little apprehensive. I am used to this feeling – I’ve had it every single time I returned to work after an extended leave like this. Am I going to remember how to write a clinical note? Will I remember how to take an appropriate, concise but detailed history? Thankfully in the past, after the first few hours back, it generally feels like I never left. I certainly hope this is the case next week.
Another variable thrown into the mix is my 6 month old son. When I returned to work after the previous two maternity leaves, the kids had been sleeping through the night for at least a month. (How did I get so lucky? Third time’s the charm, right? Right?!) Sadly, no. He’s not quite sleeping through the night yet. He still wakes at least once, usually between 11pm – 2 am. Husband has been wonderful and doing these feeds more often, but I still wake up. I am still tired during the day. I worry how I’m going to function now that I have to actually use my brain again.
Despite the fatigue and the apprehension, I am ready to get back to my work.