Monday, June 29, 2009

Post-Call Exhaustion

Did I really exalt post-call Mondays, not too far back?  Was that me?  Excited about the prospect of heading into another work week without a proper break?  I must have been smoking crack.  Luckily, this is a short week.

The weekend part of the call wasn't too bad really -- a full work day Saturday and a quick hour Sunday, but somehow I managed to incur the wrath of each of my family members inadvertently starting at about 3:30 a.m., and I've been fighting sleep all day.  When I got up at 5:00 to blow off some steam on the treadmill, which I had not intended to do, I was interrupted by early bird John sniffling barefoot on the concrete floor.  After having my sleep and run cut too short, my daughter waged World War III on me at breakfast this morning, when she noticed John got to watch a video before breakfast ("Sweetie he's been up for almost two hours - this was not done against you, I promise").  I finally reacted by slamming some cabinet drawers while cooking.  John thought it was a joke, and laughed.  Sicily continued to glare at me, unmoved.  I thought this mother-daughter hatred thing started at 13, not six!

After self-flagellating all the way to work for losing my cool, I reflected on the good parts of the call weekend.  There were some really good ones:

1)  Getting into the lap pool at the Raquet Club and swimming laps for the first time in, I don't know, 10 years.  Despite the fact that anyone peering down at my backstroke would have thought I was drunk and it took me a while to get the hang of breathing during freestyle -- it felt so good I snuck out at lunch today and bought a Nike swim suit for exercising.  I can't wait to do it again.

2)  Cooking the best Mexican chicken soup I have had in months with Ike Sunday night -- we chopped cilantro, chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and corn - all in a chicken broth base.  We added some spices and garnished with sliced avocado and multi grain chips.  Homemade black beans were served on the side.  My mouth has been watering all day long thinking of leftovers tonight.

3)Taking Sicily up to work Sunday afternoon to read peripheral smears and showing her normal small intestinal epithelium vs. tumor (I'm still throwing antibodies at it trying to figure out what the heck it is - it is a mystery).  I taught her how to adjust the eyepieces on the microscope and compared the large, atypical mitoses in dividing tumor cells to stars.  She balked at my comparison.

"Give me a pen and paper mom.  I think I know what you want me to see.  Does it look like this?"

"No, Sicily, that is the enlarged nucleus with a prominent nucleolus.  A tumor cell, not a mitosis."  I noticed she drew petals around the tumor cell, and searched my memory in quiet surprise trying to find a tumor cell that looked like a flower.

She looked again, then drew.

"Does it look like this?"  She drew a perfect tripolar mitosis.

"Yes, that's it!  Isn't it beautiful?" 

"Nice, mom, but not a star."  

Maybe she had a point.  It did look more like an electrified peace sign.  I'm going to have to get a little more savvy in my descriptions, for her.  

I really hope she remembered the scope lesson at school today, and the chocolate milk from the doctor's lounge, instead of our fight this morning.

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