My cellphone rings. "Dr. Z. Where are you?" I look at my alarm clock. Shit! My first case was supposed to have started ten minutes ago. What happened to the alarm? Have the kids been playing with it again? Nope, just plain overslept. Do I have time for a shower? No. I'll just put on extra deodorant today. Good thing I got a short haircut last week, less of a grungy matted hair look. God I smell like my gym's locker room, a decidedly musky rancid odor. Shave? No time for that either. Guess I'll go with the lumberjack look today. Got to brush my teeth though. Throw on my scrubs. Got my wallet, my keys, my beeper, and my evil iphone. Out the door we go.
God I hate commuting at this hour. So many crazy drivers trying to get to work. Oh crap I forgot to change my underwear. Oh well just another reason to slow down and not get into an accident. C'mon lady! The light turned green five seconds ago. Stop applying your makeup and move it. And can you try driving with at least one hand on the steering wheel please? Stay calm. Turn on some soothing classic rock on the radio. Nobody at the hospital will give a shit if you die while trying to get to work. Man look at this line of cars trying to get into the hospital's parking lot. So this is what it's like when people come to work during normal working hours. Damn it. Why is there always some idiot who suddenly realizes he can't find his ID badge just as he pulls up to the parking gate? Got lucky today. Found a spot that's not a day hike away from the door.
One of my partners has graciously started my case for me. Thanks man, I owe you one. No problem, it happens to everybody. Is it just me or is he standing a little further away from me than normal? Okay now I'm good. I am in my element. I rearrange the anesthesia cart to the proper way, MY way. Check the patient. No twitches. Good. Sit back. Everything's good.
10:00 Hey I'm doing okay. I thought that late night case last night would wipe me out. But I'm doing okay after only four hours of sleep. This is going to be easier than I thought.
12:00 God why do the nurses and surgeons get breaks but not the anesthesiologists? I'm dying here. If OSHA knew the working conditions of anesthesiologists they would declare it a dangerous occupational hazard. I'm fading, fading... Where is my power bar? I need some rehydration but I don't want to have to run to the bathroom later. I'll just sit here and swallow my saliva instead.
13:00 "Anesthesia! Patient's waking up!" Huh? Oops. Sorry. Where is that syringe I drew up? There. No more twitches for you! Jesus I got to stay awake, I mean alert. Get up off your chair and walk around. That'll do the trick.
14:00 There is a God; this wretched case is finally wrapping up. Call preop. We're closing in here. Is my next patient ready? Really? The OR scheduler moved my next case to another room? Is she going to put anything else in here? Thank God. I have to remember to buy her something for Christmas this year.
Early out for once. So that's what the sun looks like. I won't have to take my Vitamin D supplement today. Gee it feels strange to be driving home with all this traffic. Hey buster do you mind not throwing your freaking cigarette ashes all over my car? Smokers are so disgusting. They think the world is their ashtray. Whatever happened to ashtrays inside cars, not that anybody would use them anymore. Just toss it out the window.
Get home in time to take a nap before the kids come back from their afterschool activities. I really need one. Then it's dinner time, play time, reading time, and finally bedtime for everybody. Try to recharge for another day. Only twenty more years until retirement. Got to remember to set my alarm clock really LOUD tonight.