Saturday, June 21, 2014

Call Weekends

I'm on call this weekend. 

The idea of that just still seems terrible to me. I'm still too close to residency to not have a minor heart attack every time my pager goes off. I haven't trained myself that 'call' here is way nicer than call is when you're working in the hospital. I mean, a lot of not nice things run through my head every time the phone rings or the pager beeps, but I quickly realize that the call is for something reasonable, and that it's my job to be answering the phone and helping them, so I get over it pretty fast. I think it's the fear of something terrible waiting at the other end of the call that makes it such an unpleasant sound. I'm usually so relieved that someone just has questions or wants to be seen for something routine, that I'm not mad about the call anymore. I'm like 'sure I'll come in to do your stitches!'

Turns out, call weekends have their perks:

For instance, if I didn't have call weekends, when would I do my laundry???

And I always have at least one dinner offer during a call weekend - but sometimes I decline so I don't wear out my welcome. Last weekend, though, I was hosted both Saturday and Sunday evenings, and a third person brought me soup and cheeserolls which I ate for lunch both days. It was awesome!  and I was on call a couple nights this past week, and I was invited to dinner one of those nights by a local guy who makes it his 'pet project' to take care of the Doctors in town. It's great. 

The down side to being on call is the work... If the pager actually never went off, or the phone never rang, call weekends would be my favorite. but the truth is that I am actually working, and any social commitments are tenuous at best, and that keeps me a little unsettled. I hate if I have to leave or cancel last minute if the pager goes off! but it's a reality of the situation. It happened this week. I was just about to bite into a chicken leg when *beep beep beep*. so off I go, and good 'ole George reheated my supper and we continued our visit an hour later when I returned from my emergency response call. 
I guess I could just sit at home and wait for interruptions, or I can just go about my plans and just juggle things as they pop up. Luckily I can juggle. I taught myself a few years ago. I can only do three things, and I'm not great, but I can do it.

When I'm on call, I Almost always have to go in to do stitches for someone. It does't matter if it's a weeknight or weekend. I'm the stitch master. Today was an eyelid. Last weekend was a foot. Before that, I was on a roll with hands.

the middle of the night calls are the worst. Especially if they are during the week or on Sunday night. That kind of wrecks my mojo for the next day. That also happened last weekend. I was awake from 2-5 Monday morning, then had a big day at clinic. But that's how it goes. and that doesn't happen every time. The team at the clinic takes pretty good care of me, and everyone is pretty considerate of that type of thing. We watch eachothers' backs. They keep my schedule tidy. I chastise patients who are hateful to the front office and nurses. We've got a good thing going.

So the typical call weekend usually has a handful of clinic visits for asthma/colds/STITCHES/abdominal pain. There are usually a couple of calls that get referred on to the ER because I know I don't have what they need at the clinic. Then there's probably one PRIME (emergency response) call, where I have to respond to someone's house or an accident scene. Those tend to take a while.

But every once in a while, you get an awesome call weekend where there are very few calls, and the calls you do get happen at all the right times. Last weekend worked like that for the dinners and errands. A few months ago, I had another one of those special call weekends where I got to do a lot of fun things, none of which got interrupted by work! It was awesome. Take a look:

Went to the Winton A&P Show. Saw this awesome old truck, then discovered that it was owned by a lady that works at my clinic and her husband!  So what did that mean???  It meant I got to ride in this bad boy during the parade!  They had another classic car there, so the Whitings rode along in that one.
I believe this Chevy is 70 years older than my Chevy pick-up at home. This truck is my truck's grandpa.
Here's the Whitings being chaufferred through the parade.

the Fair had more to offer than a classic car show/parade. Like any proper Southland event, they had sheep shearing.

And a wood chopping expo: 
That guy just chopped through that log. I'm pretty sure it only took one chop.

And there's an area full of strange bikes that you can ride. Bikes of every shape and size. 
It's a crowd favorite.

Another fan fave is the 'dress up your goat' contest: 

This one is a schoolkid or a tourist, complete with backpack. This one was my favorite. I just kept imagining a goat that was trying to disguise itself as a person and trying to sneak into some event where goats aren't allowed.

and all that while I was on call!
But it didn't end there.
After leaving the fair, it was time to go fishing, but not until I saw the patient that called and needed to be seen at the clinic! perfect timing!
So then a local guy took Aaron and me out to a couple of sweet fishing spots, and we both walked away with fish!

Note the pager on my hip.

Right as we were finishing up with the fishing, I got another page, but the timing was once again perfect, so I just popped in and met them at the clinic again on the way home! 

 Then after a wardrobe change and a run, it was time to clean those fish and cook 'em up!
You don't realize how much you miss a tailgate until you don't have one to skin fish on...

THAT is some precision fillet work, my friends.

And then after supper, I went to an engagement party in town.

And that was a successful call weekend. That was all one day. I'm pretty sure the rest of that weekend was fine - one middle of the night PRIME I think. Everyone was fine.

So I'm hoping the rest of my current call weekend goes smoothly. I haven't been out and about as much as that weekend from a while back, or even last weekend, but it's been good to just lay low after a hectic clinic week with Aaron away. It's cold and rainy this weekend, but I'm gonna try to get to a rugby match tomorrow. I know a couple kids on the local team that I can go cheer on, and will just get all caught up with chores around the house. 

It's nice when work and play can coexist peacefully. 
And after this weekend, I only have two more call weekends here... and probably never again... ever. So even though I've made them sound not so bad, I'll be happy to be done with them. 

I can find a new time to do my laundry.

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