Wednesday, 21 January 2009


It's now just after seven pm and the Monkey ought to be in bed, but is sitting next to me working out how to unlock the portable phone. At the rate she's developing it ought to take her around 15 minutes. She occasionally presses the answering machine button and when it startles her drops it like a hot stone and says "oopsy noodle" which I personally think is adorable. Her adorableness is partially why she's still awake next to me.

Usually by this time of night the girls are so tired that they become irrational. It's almost comical looking at how bipolar their behaviour becomes. From manically happy to desolate and tantruming in mere seconds. Usually at this stage the Monkey starts saying things like "I'm tired" while refusing to go to bed. Tonight however it's me that is sitting sideways on the couch barely able to sit up and yet refusing to go to bed.

I have my ankles propped up on the arm of the couch and am mourning the loss of angles. I work all day with people who have real oedema so I know they're not even remotely swollen compared to most, but I've always loved my svelte ankles and they've definitely been overindulging. I can probably still get away with wearing something flimsy and strappy but I will keep pulling at them and wishing I'd worn something to cover them because vanity tells me they used to be so much nicer.

I have writing all over my wrist and arm, that is smudged from the heat and humidity, notes to order tests and check blood results. Names of people who by 5pm blur into eachother a little. Mostly old. Mostly very sick. Mostly the same complaints. I have to remember that tired as I am this is still a sentinel event in their lives and I have the potential to assist them through it or make it worse. But I confess, sometimes I do lose the philanthropy and wish they'd just stop smoking and do some exercise and not bring the bloody McDonald's into the hospital like a neon cliche. Mostly I find it very rewarding and am enjoying my position, even though I still feel a fraud identifying myself as Doctor.

I am still getting pretty good feedback and in myself know I'm doing well. I am comfortable doing things like ordering panadol now without feeling the need to ask someone senior first (baby steps!) and today was the first doctor at a Code Blue - the Everest of doctoring. I didn't freeze but did have a moment of "Oh shit" when I realised I was the only doctor in a room of nurses who were expecting me to jump in. Which I did, before thankfully moments later being superceded by someone much more experienced than I. Chaotic and amazing how long 3 minutes can last.

My superiors are certainly not going soft on me because of my pregnancy, in fact, largely assisted by my unimpressive girth I think most of the time it doesn't even enter their consciousness. I am happy with this and prefer to be treated as a colleague worthy of respect than a delicate flower. In fact, when addressed by a very senior doctor who I had not previously met as"Hello Mum" and later as "the little mother" I bristled so much and felt so angry at his patronising paternalism and sexism that I had to bite my tongue *hard* at the inappropriateness. I am a DOCTOR thank you very much.

I am coping really well at the moment and managing to balance everything, but it feels like I'm doing it while walking on a razor thin wire. While I manage to keep everything organised I'm fine and look impressive, but as everyone knows, and what makes it so enthralling to watch from the sidelines is knowing how close it all is to disaster.

But I tell you what, receiving that paycheque in the mail makes it all worthwhile. So does coming home to my babies and being genuinely delighted to see them, of wanting to hold them close and hear their stories as they snuggle in close secure in the knowledge that while they have missed me during the day, that they too are glad to see me. Who knows, maybe we'll work this out.


hissychick said...

Just wanted to say that I think you're awesome and every time I wonder how on earth I'm going to juggle it all I think of you.

"While I manage to keep everything organised I'm fine and look impressive, but as everyone knows, and what makes it so enthralling to watch from the sidelines is knowing how close it all is to disaster.

I am hearing you loud and clear!

Kim said...

I hear you on the cankles! I'm at a point now where vanity has taken over, and despite the 40 degree heat my cankles do not see the light of day - they're covered to allow me a little dignity in this late puffy stage. I can't wait to find my ankles again :)

Keep being a superstar Dr Jenn. You should be so proud of yourself.

Averil said...

I'm addicted to every update on your awesome first year as a doctor Jenn. I think you're amazing.

Are you going to change your Blogger username to "the little mother"??

Go on...

Spiralmumma said...

Oh my god-and some people think feminism is redundant!

I'd have wanted to reply- "Oh hello it's the anachronistic old misogynist!"

Cyliebug said...

You are awesome. What a wonderful introduction to the rest of your career.


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