For those reading this blog for the first time, please know that I really do love my job. I have been writing this blog for nearly 3 years and have never used it as an outlet to overtly complain or vent. However, this week I am in a funk. I have just learned that the Asia trip has been rescheduled to a time when I cannot go, my toddler has decided that screaming is his new favorite way to communicate and I have been forced to attend WAY too many meetings (see #2). I promise to bring you a helpful and informative piece of encouraging information next week but this week you are stuck with a cheeky rant. Hopefully you will find my list humorous and insightful. If nothing else, it will inspire you to wear clean socks to the gynecologist.
I would never choose any other profession (except being a gondolier in Venice)…
…but there are parts of my job that I could really do without.
8. Being Soaked in Bodily Fluids
In my cubby at work (due to cutbacks I am no longer allowed a desk), I keep a ziplock bag that contains spare underwear, bra and pair of socks. On a fairly regular basis, I get sprayed with urine/amniotic fluid/blood to the point that it soaks through my clothes to my under garments. I am a professional. I accept this as part of my job, still, it’s gross.
I have also recently learned what amniotic fluid tastes like. Which is definitely a piece of information that I could have gone my entire life without knowing.
7. Sleep Deprivation
Babies are not just born on Monday-Friday between 8 and 5. They love to come at 2 a.m. when it’s cold and rainy outside, and I am sleeping cozily in my bed. I always count it a privilege to be a part of a birth, but it’s hard to roll out of bed sometimes. Working 10 hours the next day is also extra awesome.
What I have discovered the hard way, is that when I am sleep deprived I lose my filter. Am I the only one who struggles with controlling their tongue? I have a rather goofy/sarcastic sense of humor. When I’m low on sleep and having a long day, I sometimes say exactly what I’m thinking. Not always a good thing.
6. Getting Paged Stat to the Hospital While I am in the Shower
Much as the babies like to come at 2 am, emergencies do not consult my outlook calendar as to a convenient time to occur. There have been many occasions where I get called into the hospital from the shower. I rinse out the shampoo, throw all my toiletries in a bag and rush to the hospital as quickly as my Camero will take me (which is 9 minutes and 34 seconds, shower to surgery). This results in a very bad hair day.
Obviously, a medical emergency is more important than my flat ironing routine. If you come for an appointment and am looking more on the disheveled side of professional, then this is likely why.
5. Living My Life with an Asterisk
Those close to me know that any commitment I make has an understood asterisk attached of “if I don’t have to go to the hospital.” Sometimes a literal asterisk, if I am replying to an e-mail invitation.
Again emergencies are more important than my social calendar, but still it gets old.
4. Telling Someone their Spouse has been Unfaithful
I see women on a regular basis who come in thinking that they have a yeast infection, but actually have a sexually transmitted disease. In giving them this diagnosis I am also telling them that their spouse has been unfaithful. Awkward and painful.
Tears and obscenities usually being to flow at this point. My heart breaks for them.
3. Missing too Many Bedtime Stories
I miss a lot of bed time stories, school plays and morning cuddle time due to work. Luckily, I have a great husband who is wonderfully supportive and a great at carrying my side of the parenting weight a lot of the time. But missing all those bedtime kisses when I’m stuck at the hospital is one of the biggest draw backs to this job.
2. Charting/Computers/Meetings/Insurance Companies
The business and administrative side of medicine can be obnoxious.
Recently a patient asked me if her insurance would pay for a specific test, I was sleep deprived (see #7) and just started maniacally laughing at this preposterous question. There are a million different insurance companies, all have different deductibles and rules that all change constantly. I can never know what an insurance company is going to do. I employ 3 full time staffers whose job is to file billing claims and fight with insurance companies.
One morning I had two patients request their birth control pills be changed to generic so their insurance would cover them. That afternoon another patient came in needing her generic changed to a name brand so her insurance would cover it.
When I’m done with insurance, then starts the paperwork, well computer work to be more exact. On a good day, I spend a least an hour a day charting after I am done seeing patients. On a bad day, I spend another hour at home charting when my kids are in bed.
1. Stinky Feet
Women are very concerned with the cleanliness of their ‘nether regions’ when they come to the gynecologist. They apologize for any ungroomed pubic hair or if they have not showered within the last 7 minutes. What most people don’t think about is that it’s their FEET that is right next to the gynecologist’s nose when they are getting a pelvic exam and not their vagina. It has been a long hot sweaty summer. Trust me, there are some disgustingly stinky feet out there.
Thank you for suffering through my every triennial rant. I already feel better just typing it. I hope you have learned to be kind to your gynecologist if she looks tired and disheveled, or she may just tell you exactly whats on her mind and call in the wrong brand of birth control pills. And please, for the love of Tampax, Wash your feet and wear clean socks when you come to the gynecologist!