The vicious cycle of negativity

I’ve noticed a trend between late nights at work, being tired, and a vicious cycle of negativity.  My temper kicks in, my fuse shortens, and I’m ready to brawl any chance the situation presents itself.  But that’s not me.  What the heck?

Let’s start with lack of sleep:

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body

Negativity

It’s so much easier being negative than taking the time to look at the positive side of things.  I’m a realist so the positive BS gets a bit thick for me.  I’m not outright rude to people, but I certainly don’t go out of my way to sugarcoat things.  In today’s world, I do feel people need better coping skills.  Does that make me a cold hearted snake?  No, I don’t think so.  I just think I’ve seen things and dealt with things that have made me stronger.  Perhaps I’m out of touch.

Realizing lack of work-life balance

If 40 hours/week is the magical number for work-life balance and being able to maintain “full-time” status… I’m well over that.  Perhaps the lack of being able to make my own hours is another imbalance.  I’m a servant to my pager and to my hospital duties.   Don’t feel sorry for me; I knew that going into healthcare.  Is work-life balance an illusion?

Empathy

But maybe this is what needs improving.  As I get older, it’s harder and harder for me to find sympathy and feel empathy in situations.  I don’t have any concrete examples coming to mind, but I find myself believing that people got themselves into a particular situation without a thought of consequences.  There seems to be a huge movement for being in the present — quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind if people had the thoughtfulness to think of the present while also keeping an eye on the future.

I stumbled upon the idea of transference.  Interesting article here about what it is and how it alters your perspective on life.

Needing an outlet

But what if it’s the challenge of being close that can be so emotionally charging?  Maybe it’s the lack of honest accurate communication?

7 Relationships That Will Change Your Life

I completely agree with the article below.  It really opens yourself to learning about others and how it may differ from your own personal situation.  Fantastic read!

Written By Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ann Hall Founder & Owner of: A Coffee with Friends Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Family & Life and Travel Writer I have lived life in the jungles with long periods of time in isolation which has changed my life and perspective on many things but one greater than all is […]

via 7 Relationships that Will Change Your Life (2 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest

When life overwhelms

I’ve taken this week off as a staycation to catch up with life.  We’re nearing the end of our wedding planning and everything is falling into place.  I think when times get a bit overwhelming, it’s helpful for me to take a step back and take a breather.  Whether that’s taking time for myself or diving into a project or doing some inner soul searching… I like to take some time to prioritize my mind and body to get it back on track.

What do you do to get back on track?

Image from IrishTimes
Image from IrishTimes

6 ways to stay positive

How to cultivate positive thoughts in negative situations

Stay positive

Seeing the positive in a negative situation

The most important thing is a mental reset.  Try and learn from each situation.  If you’re too overwhelmed to learn, then try and make small changes by shifting your negative thoughts to positive ones.  Maybe then, you’ll be able to discover the lesson and truly discover the goodness and positivity in life.

16 questions that will show you who you are and what you are meant to do

I don’t know if I fully believe this, but I stumbled across this article on twitter.  Seems harmless right?  I just may learn a thing or two about myself and others.

From Thought Catalog: 16 questions that will show you who you are and what you are meant to do

  1. What, and who, is worth suffering for?
  2. What would you stand for if you knew that nobody would judge you?
  3. What would you do if you knew that nobody would judge you?
  4. Based on your daily routines, where will you be in five years? Ten? 20?
  5. Who do you admire most, and why?
  6. What do you not want anybody else to know about you?
  7. What are a few things you thought you would never get over while you were going through them? Why did they seem so insurmountable? How did you?
  8. What are your greatest accomplishments so far?
  9. What would be too good to believe, if someone were to sit down and tell you what’s coming next in your life?
  10. Who from your past are you still trying to earn the acceptance of?
  11. If you didn’t have to work anymore, what would you do with your days?
  12. What are the five most common things in your daily routine (aside from the basics, such as eating and sleeping?)
  13. What do you wish those five most common things were instead?
  14. If you really believed you didn’t have control over something, you’d accept it as matter-of-fact. What do you struggle to accept that you have “no control” over? What part of you makes you think or hope otherwise?
  15. If you were to walk through your home and put your hand on every single thing you own, how many of them would make you sincerely feel happy or at peace? Why do you keep the rest?
  16. What bothers you most about other people? What do you love most in other people? What bothers you most about yourself? What do you love most about yourself? (Dig until you see the correlation).

Communication is incredibly important

Communication is probably the biggest make or break issue in every relationship — whether that be platonic, romantic, work, etc.  I’ve had various encounters with people in life who are just awful at communicating their ideas, thoughts, feelings, point of views, etc.  In a way, I feel awful for these people because it seems that life would be more difficult for them.  Honestly, I can’t imagine not being able to express myself to someone; people have fallen away from actual contact that it seems technology can just comb over any discrepancies with pure unadulterated vagueness.  The article below triggered this post…

My results: Fairly well communicator
My results: Fairly well communicator

Coming home

All good great trips must come to an end. My most recent getaway to Australia and New Zealand showed me the hospitality and generosity of its people. My travel mates also played a huge part in generating the goofy times. While waiting in the airport, I have had time to reflect on things.

1) How to become an even more efficient packer. Yes, I travel a lot… But I’m always looking for tips and tricks to improve. Stumbled upon this article: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/round-the-world-travel/best-of-round-the-world-travel/content/travel-tips-and-articles/how-to-pack-light-tips-from-a-master-packer

2) While traveling, I often find myself going more out of my way to meet the locals and get a sense of their culture, humor, food, etc. For this particular trip, one could easily distinguish that we were from all different countries: our New Zealand guide, the two Irish gals, my stateside self, and a Polish gal. Came upon this emotional intelligence assessment because sometimes our group dynamic was a bit all over the place.

3) And then I started thinking about people that come into our lives who become acquaintances and then friends and sometimes lifelong friends. The basis for all these relationships is trust. So of course, I stumbled upon this goody: http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/02/03/david-desteno-truth-about-trust/

4) Aside from trust, people typically feel drawn to other people who are positive or generate good karma. When I travel, I definitely feel that good karma and positive energy is an easy way to connect with people. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/04/19-fun-ways-to-create-good-karma/

Staying in the airport overnight has definitely given me way too much fodder to let the mind wander and analyze.

IMG_8271.JPG

24 hours with an anesthesiologist

A piece I’d like to submit for: CNN Money 24 hours With….an anesthesiologist

About Kris:

I grew up in a small west Texas town called Abilene, TX. My mom was a standard tiger mom in that she encouraged me to pursue multiple activities while nudging me to do my best. After drama lessons, tennis lessons, basketball, volleyball, piano, violin, band, taekwondo, pageants, and just life, I left Abilene and pursued a biomedical science degree at Texas A&M University.  My earliest memory of wanting to be a doctor started when I was in the third grade.  I hadn’t been feeling well and was diagnosed with pneumonia — I had been reading a book called This is the Child.  My family practice physician Dr. Lawson was about to prescribe me prednisone, and I immediately got worried because that was the same medication used to help with the child’s leukemia.  Dr. Lawson picked up on my early curiosity and invited me to hang out with him in his medical office observing patients.  After college, med school proved to be a great experience at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and it felt like learning on steroids (as compared to college).  My clinical rotations led me to the path of choosing anesthesiology as a career.  Anesthesia is the perfect combination of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, and sociology.  I matched into a terrific internship in Austin, TX and continued my anesthesia training at the prestigious Massachussetts General Hospital.  Following 4 grueling years of training, late nights, memorable cases, and lifelong friendships, I chose to pursue a cardiac anesthesia fellowship at University of California San Diego — a world renowned institution for the treatment of right heart failure following pulmonary thrombosis.  14 years after graduating high school, I have the job of my dreams.  Here’s a sample of my day…

My Day:
Today I’m #2 in our call lineup, which means it will be a pretty busy day. Typically, we have 15 call spots in our main operating room (OR) numbered #1 to #15. #1 position gets the first pick of cases. #2 gets the next pick and so on.

5:45a Early heart day wake up. Today, I will be providing anesthesia to a 70-something year old lady who needs a new heart valve.  On heart days, I wake up at 5:45a to be at work by 6:30. And on regular main OR days, I wake up at 6:15a to be at work by 7:00. Ahhhh… To have more beauty sleep!

6:17a Breakfast in the car – it’s either green juice, Shakeology, or banana on the go!

IMG_6880.JPG
Breakfast on the go!

6:31a I meet the patient and her family in the pre-operative area.  We go over a detailed plan for her anesthesia as well as answer any questions.  One of the best parts of my job is meeting all different types of people.  It’s an amazing feeling to meet people at one of their most vulnerable moments in their lives and win over their trust and respect.  It is my job to safely manage their physiologic processes.  Oftentimes, patients tell me it is the anesthesiologist who is the most important part of a surgery — they understand how easy it is to bring them close to the brink of death and then revive them back to a wakeful state.  It’s incredible the amount of trust patients place in your hands in such a short time after meeting them.

IMG_6883.JPG

7:15am The patient is under anesthesia and all invasive monitoring lines (arterial, central venous pressure, cordis, pulmonary artery lines) have been placed.  The transesophageal echocardiogram is performed and results are relayed to the cardiac surgeon.


7:45am Cardiac surgeon makes incision.  The patient is monitored throughout the case.  Multiple screens show all the physiologic monitoring results.

10:00a Bathroom break! Partners/colleagues break each other out so there is always an anesthesiologist monitoring the patient.  It’s also a good time to grab a snack!

IMG_6884.JPG
My work bag with some life saving snacks to avoid hangriness!

11:32a Drop first patient off in Cardiac Care Unit and grab some lunch. The doctor’s lounge keeps us fed with soup and salad. Today, I’m feeling the vegetable soup. Grab a quick bathroom break and then to interview the next patient.

IMG_6887.JPG
Lunch on the go!

11:45a Electrophysiology study for atrial fibrillation ablation. The view from this OR is such a delight!

IMG_6888.JPG

The view from my little nook.

IMG_6889.JPG

IMG_6911.JPG

14:00 I get a call from our anesthesia czar, one of my partners who runs the schedule. He was wondering if I would make my 15:00 hip replacement. After a quick conversation, we decide that I would call him in 30 minutes for an update.

14:33 We are finishing up with the current case and I call the czar back to find out about my next case. I learned that there is an emergent heart that will be started by another colleague and that I will continue the lineup in EP (so my day went from a 16:30 finish on paper to roughly a 19:00 finish). Anytime I am in the top 5 call positions, I know not to make defined plans because you never know if there will be add-ons or changes to the schedule. This makes my social life a bit frustrating as my non-medical friends have a tough time understanding and adapting to this “you don’t get out of work at 5p?” concept.


15:20p Drop patient off in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Grab a quick snack and head back to EP for the next patient.

15:25p Speak to the next patient who has arrived for an a-fib ablation as well. Induce and get started with the case.

IMG_6915.JPG

19:22 Drop last patient off in the PACU.  As #2 on the call list, I look at my watch and realize that I am #2 at night.  This means I will be the 2nd person they call tonight if extra rooms in the OR get booked (traumas, heart call, etc.).  As much as I’d love to head home and grab a glass of wine and unwind, I meet up a friend for dinner to catch up and relax.

21:42 Head home. Shower. Brush my teeth and get into bed.  There’s always a risk of being called into work.  Tomorrow will be a shorter day.  After the hectic day, I am still thankful for my wonderful job and colleagues.  Looking back at my journey to get here, I smile because I couldn’t be happier.

Adversity

After A While
by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and that you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
with every goodbye you learn…

IMG_5605.JPG