Sleep… many many hours of sleep.
Meals… 3 meals a day now equals one granola bar and a cup of coffee.
Social life… Classic resident group text to their only friends: of course, fellow residents to ask if anyone is free to hang out or go for drinks? Responses: “out of town,” “on call,” “in OR…” Or my favorite… No response at all… Just an angry face.
The ability to have a conversation about anything besides medicine/surgery… What are current events…?
Family… birthdays, recitals, plays, soccer games… I don’t even know the age of my niece… I had to fake an age when someone asked me the other day.
Libido… No comment.
Sunlight… I’ve gone weeks without seeing the sun.
Friendships… texting/Facebook is my primary form of communication, the only wedding I’ve made in the last 5 years are the ones I’ve been a bridesmaids in… Otherwise I can’t get time off, baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, etc.
Holidays… Nothing like spending X-mas Eve in the pediatric ICU with a nec fasc baby dying in your arms to create some memorable holiday moments.
A healthy relationship… Who can have a relationship with someone who works 90 hrs a week and who spends the rest of those hours studying, doing presentations, preparing M&Ms, answering q30 minute phone calls from the in house junior.
The joy of my ring tone… I used to enjoy hearing my phone ring… Now I cringe because on the other line is only consults, rapid responses, annoying interns and yelling attendings.
Peace… I’m never at peace because I’m on call 24/7… Except for 4 days a month… When I’m still contacted with work questions regardless.
A normal reaction to anything that beeps… I now have PTSD like reactions to microwaves peeping or watch timers going off because they all sounds like the retched trauma pager.
Social appropriateness… Note to self, it is not normal to watch YouTube surgical procedures to review for a case the next day while sitting at the dinner table as others try to eat.
The ability to breathe through my nose… Once you’ve smelled Fournier gangrene for an hour while debriding it in OR. Your body’s natural reactions is to only breath through your mouth whenever in the hospital because actually smelling that wound would equal your demise.
Fertility… I’m 30. My eggs are drying up as we speak.
TGIF… is no longer a valid saying due to the creation of HIPEC Friday.
The joy of text messages… Because attendings can now use that as a form of constant 24/7 pimping.
Beach body… I can barely walk at the end of the day… Much less have the strength to go to the gym.
Sleeping in on a day off… There’s still always that 7 a.m. ACC text/call because why would they think I ever have a day off?!?!
Going to a movie theater… People find the glow/hmmm of your constant text messages/ringing phone annoying apparently.
Ability to drink alcohol… Can’t drink because you’re on call most of the time and usually when you make it to that off call day you are too tired or dehydrated to even think about alcohol.
Having a normal picture collection on your cell phone… My pictures range from cuddly cat to peritoneal tumors.
Cell phone privacy… The circulating nurse had an entire conversation with my mother via text message on my phone while I was scrubbed. I had no idea until 2 days later.
Emotions… If you seriously let yourself feel the grief of your dying cancer patient, the horror in the eyes of the mother, or your now brain dead teenage MVC, the sadness of the parents of your leukemia patient, you think you’d ever survive a day. You learn to turn your feelings off, compartmentalize your emotions… and eventually that turns into your boyfriend having to remind you to hug them when you enter a room, your mom asking you why you no longer ever sound happy… Robot is your new emotional status.
Trust… Last time you trusted the intern, the nurse, whoever to check a lab, write an order, of course it wasn’t done and it totally bit you in the ass…. Therefore YOU trust no one… You must do everything yourself… And this results in you never leaving the hospital or not logging off of Epic for more than an hour at a time.
Money… I don’t even make half of what most of my non-medical friends make… Because they have been in the working world… Making a salary, getting increased pay, earning credit… All I’ve done is made more debt… med school, professional membership dues, license fees, board fees… etc.
Normal time stamps… Everything is in military time… Even my microwave… Because 10 p.m. is forever 2200 on my brain.
A cat pee free couch… If I could only make it home q24 hr to change the cat litter.