“I got problems up to here, I got people in my ear
Tellin’ me these crazy things that I don’t want to know
(Shit y’all!)” – Fergie Glamorous Life
Without exception, the joy and wonder of everyone was forefront in all of my dealings today from my early morning Mortality and Morbidity Conference (why would they even bother to hold this on this Monday morning after last night’s amazing events?) to my lecture on Procedural Sedation (I know my drugs that make my patients comfortable) to ensuring that every student was comfortable with advanced airway management to driving home in the heat of the early evening as I couldn’t tolerate any air conditioning today. I needed the extreme heat; extreme wonder and extreme problem-solving.
I am polishing my coding skills and adapting my programs in my laboratory. For me, coding and writing computer programs has been a hobby since I first placed a stack of punch cards (Fortran) in our university computer center that contained my data from real gas measurements that I had carefully collected in my Physical Chemistry class. It was as important back then that I followed every step in data collection putting each step in its proper place. The better my order in collecting the data, the less debugging in my programming. When I moved to Turbo Pascal (a C language), my debugging was done automatically if I spoke the language properly.
Today, I am playing with Python- such an easy language for coding for me compared to the Pascal experiments but I follow the orderly arrangements of each step and piece of data that I want examined and run. The problems??? Most of my colleagues do not understand the end point of what I am trying to glean from the data. One of the physiologists kept arguing with me because he had missed three crucial steps. For harmony, I put those three steps on paper for him but that task slowed my progress.
The progress of the entire group is of paramount importance for me. I am the transducer who sees where we need to go and converts the data for analysis. I don’t know why I can do the conversions, I just get them done in my head; usually on my runs along with my meditations. It’s kind of a strange role for an object-oriented surgeon. The biochemist/physical chemist in me has to take over sometimes because I am not in the operating room with this project.
Still the joy of seeing around the corners and embracing the gray areas with joy makes my brain grateful for those miles I put in early this morning. I slept without difficulty even though many that I encountered explained that they were too excited to even sleep. The joy and gladness of my spirit that seeks to explore and question even the programs that I know are working keeps me calm and serene. My codes are working because I have put at least two contrasting algorithms for the each analysis. If my colleague doesn’t understand both of them, perhaps they will embrace one or the other. Perhaps my colleague will trust that I will always put my best work out there. Trust me, there is a kind of spirituality to this work for me at my old age.
I keep remembering something that my former surgery residency program director kept telling me last month. He kept saying that my brain is just wired differently which allows me to muse about matters that others generally ignore. “Will you just stop questioning the fact that you do stuff that other folks don’t want to do or even think about!” he implored. “Look at you!” “You are never going to be an ordinary woman so embrace yourself as you are.” Since I try to take others as I find them, perhaps I should do the same for myself. I need to work on my soul as much as I attempt to connect with the souls of others. “Shit y’all” as Fergie would say.