Wednesday, October 22, 2008

School & the Farm

I'm on call tonight, and there's nothing going at the moment, so I thought it would be a good time to update. I probably won't get a chance tomorrow. And, I was thinking about what to write, when it came to me: Anesthesia school and farming don't mix. The farm has certain chores and tasks that need to be done, and school requires a great deal of time, and I am always torn between the two. This is what a typical day looks like:

4:30 a.m. - up and in the shower.

5:15 a.m. - leave for the hospital.

6:00 a.m. - arrive at the hospital, change.

6:10 a.m. - get anesthesia drugs and supplies; set up OR. This would take less time if we had enough supplies for every room, but that would be too easy. So, every morning is a scavenger hunt. Sigh.

7:00 a.m. - meet the first patient, do a pre-op assessment and start an IV.

7:30 a.m. - First case starts. From here it's a whirlwind - finish the first case, do a quick clean & restock on the room, get the next patient in, and so on... I cannot leave the patient once they're asleep under ANY circumstances unless another anesthesia provider replaces me, so I am stuck in the room unless somebody stops by to give me a few minutes out.

11:30 a.m. - if I'm lucky, I get 30 minutes for lunch by now. If not, well...

1:00 p.m. - by now, if I haven't had lunch, I fuss gently to the anesthesiologist (a physician who specializes in anesthesia) who is working with me so that he or she will find somebody to let me eat.

4:00 p.m. - on a good day, I get replaced by about 4, but those days are rare. I usually have to finish whatever is assigned to my operating room. Then it's either off to class (1-2 days a week, most weeks) or I get to clean up my room, change and go home.

5:30 - 6:00 p.m. - Home! I generally feed the chickens immediately (because they cluster at the end of the pen when I drive up, wanting a treat), collect eggs and check water. I also water some of the outdoor plants, pick any ripe veggies that happen to be hanging around and sometimes do a little weeding. Occasionally I'll walk down and look in on the horses. Then I take my bags, go inside, get some water, hug Ron (my husband) and snuggle the dogs.

6:00 p.m. - clean up any messes, throw clothes in the wash, pull clothes and a lunch together for the next day, and eat dinner. I usually take a few minutes to check e-mail and update the blog sometime between 5:30 & 6:30 p.m., as well.

7:00 p.m. - Read and study. There are generally 3-4 chapters of reading that I need to do each night. I also have to track each case I've done (with all the attendant details) on a special case-tracking program. Additionally, I am working on a thesis, so I try to fit some of that in. If I watch TV, I do it with the textbook and computer out, so I can try to stay caught up.

8:30 p.m. - Usually by this time, I'm ready for bed. I try to push it 'til 9 p.m., but sometimes that takes more intestinal fortitude than I've got. So, I pull together the books I need for the next day, hit the hay and prepare to do it all again the next day.

This schedule isn't taking into account days when I am on a specialty rotation and have to be at the hospital as early as 4:45 a.m. (which means up at 3:30 a.m.) or days when I'm stuck in a room 'til 5 p.m..

My weekends are spent trying to catch up on some housework (which Ron and the boys do most of, so I'm lucky), doing some baking, trying to catch up on the thesis, trying to catch up on the reading and studying and trying to do a little farm work, such as clean the chicken coop or do some weeding. Oh, and I try to hang out with Melissa a bit here and there and help her with whatever project she's got going, but there's not a lot of time for that.

So, when I show you this forlorn little spinach and broccoli bed, you'll completely understand when I confess that I've only watered it twice since I planted it. :) Mine is the bed in the front. I am afraid we're not going to have too much spinach or broccoli around here this winter unless it comes from the grocery store... or the farmer's market!

My fall is full of specialty rotations, and if you slogged through the above account, you know what that means. Yup - an even more crabby, even more exhausted me. The garden beds are neglected (and likely to remain so for some time) and the animals are neglected, Ron and the kids are neglected... and Melissa and the princess are neglected... what do you do?

If any of you know how to make that cloning thing work, though, give me a ring, will ya? Because I could sure use some help! :)



Debra said...

Oh My word! What a demanding schedule! I think you should be patting yourself on the back!

Thistledew Farm said...

You have given me an opening for a reference to one of my favorite movies - "Multiplicity". You know how our silly ideas are - if we did conduct some cloning - we'd end up with #4's...

Terri gets a lot more done than her day represents (believe it or not)...her porch garden was awesome this year and if she has waned a bit in the fall, well she's resting up for Spring! That is the real reason she's excited for fall, she loves napping and fall represents the biological preparation for natures big nap - winter!

It appears that it is time for one of my specialties - reminding Terri that she is doing great things and her life if very cool to the average smuck!

Don't forget to Buy Hand Made and Visit her giveaway!

Terri said...

Debra, thank you! This will all be worth it some day soon (in about 9 months... hmmm, what else do we know that's physically and psychologically demanding, and takes 9 months??). Anyway, I hope it will!

Melissa, you are my grounding force through this mess, and just let me say I'm glad you're next door! By the way, Achilles peed on your lemongrass this morning... I washed it but I'll trade you so you don't have the "tarnished" one. :) And some days I think I'm a #4!!!


Thistledew Farm said...

To make your day I selected you for an Excellence Award - I called it the Award for the Least Amount of Time to Blog Blog. Go check yourself out!