Monday, July 11, 2011


So, after getting home at 1am on Friday night, I worked a 14 hour shift on Satuurday, and a 12 hour shift on Sunday. We were busy enough both days to keep me on my feet the majority of the time. When I got home, both ankles were swollen so badly that I could feel the edema jiggling around inside of them. Today, they hurt, and I have to work tonight. I'm hoping this doesn't get worse, but I guess we'll see.

Dad's surgery was more mentally exhausting and stressful than I thought it would be. As someone in the medical field, used to seeing very ill, injured animals, I thought I was prepared for the medical aspect of things. When my mom and I went up to the ICU to see him immediately post-operatively, still intubated and on the ventilator, I actually cried. Yes, I know I'm pregnant and all, but there's a big difference between my patients that are on ventilators and my father. The second time we visited, he had started to wake up from the anesthesia and had been extubated. He was incredibly dysphoric, trying to roll from side-to-side, and moaning. More discrete crying ensued.

The third time we visited that evening, he was awake enough to talk to us, but in a great deal of pain. Since then, he has been making a slow recovery. He was able to walk the day after surgery, and he actually walked from his bed in ICU to this bed in the step-down unit. He was coherent most of that day, but then he had a really bad day - a great deal of pain and drug fogginess. In fact, Saturday and Sunday were very rough, per my mother's report.

Today, he is eating and talking to my mom pretty normally. He's having intermittent atrial fibrillation, which isn't an uncommon consequence of invasive cardiac surgery, but otherwise, he is doing very well. I plan on going back down once I'm off come the end of the month, just to help my mom out.

And interesting and disturbing thing happened to me at work yesterday. I was so tired I couldn't see straight, and all I wanted to do was be at home with my feet propped up. It made me totally apathetic about my cases and that was a scary development. Normally, I relish the complexities of medicine, figuring out a strange case, making a pet more comfortable. Yesterday, I was just clock-watching. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, and I worried that my apathy would affect my patient care. We'll see how it goes tonight.

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