Today I was actually going to finish on time (queue the fanfare as this is a very rare occurrence) But instead… I CHOOSE stay behind. Yep. I actively made the decision to stay. Now usually it’s unheard of to finish on time, in all these years I’ve never planned anything straight after work because we end up finishing anywhere from 20 minutes late to 4 hours late. It’s just a given. Usually it’s because there’s so much going on that hand over to the next team of doctors takes much longer than the allocated time, or it’s that we are knee deep in an urgent case that it’s basically unethical to stop and leave, or it’s because we feel so guilty that there is just so much work for the next shift that we stay back to help ‘tie up loose ends’ which usually takes about five times longer than anticipated.
Today instead of finding myself in one of those situations I actually choose to stay back. With 30 minutes to go I decided to ‘quickly’ see a teenager who had cut her hand while jumping a fence and needed stitches. ‘QUCIK’ is basically the understatement of the century in a doctor’s world. But in all honesty – I love doing stitches!! Yes everyone thinks I’m this warm, fuzzy Paediatric doctor who loves cuddles and bubbles but let’s face it – I have this streak in me…I’m an adrenaline junkie at heart.
Wednesdays seem to be the only evening me and my husband have together during the week so I was initially keen to get out on time so we can actually enjoy dinner together. But today was different. When this patient came up who needed stitches I ducked out and made a call..
“Babe, I’m actually going to finish late today” (this is not an unusual scenario, I’m always late)
“You must be busy. Ok no worries, I’ll see you when you get home”
“Actually.. it’s my fault, I’m being a bit of a nerd and want to stay back to do some stitches” (he still thinks I’m the coolest doctor he knows so never really thought of me as a ‘nerd’)
“Ha Ha! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd!” (30 going on 3…??)
So there I go, sacrificing my own plans for a little bit of exhilaration. Now I feel a bit weird about what non-medical readers who may not appreciate the thrill of doing a procedure may think, but I promised myself to only write the truth so here goes. I love it! Stitches, drips, lumbar punctures, breathing tubes, managing the severely unwell child… I love doing them all. I never unnecessarily do them and it’s not like I’m some sort of crazy person who likes to see these things happen, I would never in a billion years wish these things on any child, but let’s face it – it happens. Kids get sick and need these things done. All the time. And when it does, I like to be there. No harm in that? The reality is, if a child is in a situation where decisions need to be made quickly, seemingly nasty procedures need to be done with a certain level of precision and passion, you want that to happen in the hands of someone who is comfortable in those situations. Even if it means the doctor doing it might have a Grey’s-Anatomy-eagerness-to-get-their-hands-dirty streak to them.
The cuddles and bubbles cut it most of the time, but every once in a while that excitement from doing something with that little bit of an adrenaline rush is what keeps us going.
So I ended up staying back and did the prettiest stitches I’ve ever done.
Dr. Nelu x
(Photo credit: https://prezi.com/qtxwrdksubkp/greys-anatomy/)