Spring? Break

My last meeting of the week was finally “in the can” as one of my creative arts colleagues would say. For me, the “can” is comparable to the “porcelain convenience” which turns out far more useful than that last meeting of yesterday. A pint or two with a mate was just what I needed to start the rest and relaxation. Nothing about the weather or the day of yesterday would imply “spring” or a “break” for me either.

My plans to jet west for some fun on the West coast were changed when one of my fellow surgeons become ill. I gladly take on his cases this upcoming week as this work will give me a time to enjoy more time in the hospital. Taking care of patients, interacting with my medical and surgical colleagues is great fun since most of the time we are just greeting as I come and go. It’s fun to hang in the surgeon’s lounge, help residents with dictations and discuss techniques and patients. I miss these aspects of surgery as my career keeps me more on the academic side of teaching rather than practice.

I can’t believe I am saying this but one of my favorite surgical colleagues will be in charge of our service this week. I have missed his prodding and teaching more than others because he’s smart, cantankerous and fun for me to prod back with my brand of humor. In every dealing with him these days, I cling to his wisdom, especially concerning patients who are close to death, but smile with a twinkle in my eye when he brings his stormy mood to the conversations with those we are training. He’s passionate about perfection; always want this in a surgeon.

My running goes back to 3AM with my increased surgical practice duties. I had been delaying my runs to an hour before sunrise but now, they begin and end in darkness. The temperature dipped to 19F this early morning bringing a chill that felt great on for my knees but killer on my face and hands. Even with mittens, the skin across the dorsal surface of my hands cracks and bleeds with exposure to the colder weather; another challenge. My nose and right eye run and tear constantly in the cold with the wind but this spring break, rather than breaking, I am toughening up.



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