NUMB3RS

I have a fascination with numbers and I tend to compartmentalize things in my life and will periodically give myself grades on how I think I am doing in the different areas in my life. Mom Berthina gets a 75.9%, wife Berthina gets an 80%, doctor Berthina gets a 65%, sister Berthina gets 35% and so on and so forth. I try to do this at least 4 times a year to get a a real sense of how I am doing and make adjustments accordingly. I find new years resolutions to be particularly tiresome and irksome since you only think about them for the first few months of the year. I like feedback so much that I even keep a chart on answered prayer request for family and friends. I usually say things like, the average for our answered prayers for the year is 83.6% and people usually give a funny look like what is wrong with you”. I am usually thinking what’s wrong with you? If you are going to bother to pray why not try to be efficient?

I have a constant running timer on the next major event in my life. If you have any doubt, just check out the bottom of the page. I know numbers, I understand them and appreciate that they can give me concrete information without all the subjective fluff. Not saying that the context in interpreting numbers is not vital. As a matter of fact it is critical to accurate interpretations. However it is very comforting to know that gravity is still 9.81 m/s2 . I love that little g (gravity) has not changed. As a matter of fact big G has not changed either. It is still the universal gravitational constant aka “Newton’s constant” and it is still  G \approx 6.674 \times 10^{-11} {\rm \ N \ (m/kg)^2}.

Anyway before I digressed, I was professing my undying love for numbers. I recently sparked a debate at work with a colleague about me grading myself on my wifely duties. I can understand that there is a certain “double entendre” in this statement but keeping that aside, how can you be great at anything without any feedback. Often we get both positive and negative feedback but for some reason we mostly remember the negative feedback. I keep an accurate account of how I am doing so that when I get either positive or negative feedback on my behaviour over a certain period of time, I can compare it to my own notes and if it is accurate embrace it and make the necessary changes and if not, just reject it and move on. Of course this will be completely useless if this were only based on my opinion of myself, I have a group of trusted confidantes (number 1 being my spouse) whom a surreptitiously get to give me feedback, I find that people are a little wary of passing judgement on other people’s life but if you can take the criticism then you may find this beneficial.

I have a rule of 33.33%; I say 33.33% of my time should be spent on my family, 33.33% on personal and 33.33% on my career. Obviously my spouse gets a lot of the personal time because we do a lot of things together. For me it is very obvious that I need this allocation of time to stay in balance. Invariably in life you get unexpected events that throw you out of sync but if you are not careful, you will find yourself hallowed and disheveled because personal time (the most important category) always takes the greatest hit. My advice is to make adjustments as necessary but make sure you pay yourself back that time. My husband used to laugh when I would tell him at the end of a difficult block in medical school; “I owe myself 18.6 hours of sleep, I need that time paid back to be the normal me again” and I would take a week or so to pay it back.

In conclusion this is just a nerdy way of ensuring growth and evolution. This may not be for everyone and some people may have even found it tiresome to read this post. Again you know yourself the best ( or at least you should), if you found it useful, try it out and if you found it cumbersome reject it and move on. That is the beauty of the evolution process; plagiarizing and imitation is highly encouraged because as we know it is survival of the fittest. A personal quote is; “Scavenge the earth for wisdom you never know when you might need her.” It is only fitting to conclude with a quote about balance: “Balance that’s the secret. Moderate extremism. The best of both worlds.” Edward Abbey

balance

Food for thought: Check out this new section on quotes that inspire introspection

“I sometimes marvel at how far I’ve come – blissful, even, in the knowledge that I am slowly becoming a well-evolved human being – only to have the illusion shattered by an episode of bad behaviour that contradicts the new and reinforces the old. At these junctures of self-reflection, I ask the question: “are all my years of hard work unraveling before my eyes, or am I just having an episode?” For the sake of personal growth and the pursuit of equanimity, I choose the latter and accept that, on this journey of evolution, I may not encounter just one bad day, but a group of many.”
― B.G. BowersDeath and Life

Night float as a surgical Intern

Guide to Night Float:
 

6:30-9pm: DOCTOR, can the patient eat? What is the diet order doctor? Doctor why is this patient NPO?
9pm: Rounds with Dr. O. 4 new consults on cancer patients who will be dead by the time your shift ends. Overhead announcement that visiting hours are over.
9-10pm: DOCTOR can the patient have ativan/ambien/benadryl?
10-11pm: Call from H. to discuss the plan of care for his patients tomorrow. Code Gray (violent patient) ED room 9.
11-12pm: DOCTOR can you come to the room on the floor to discuss this extremely complex patient (who you know nothing about) with his third cousin?
12-1am: Doctor, the patient’s third cousin is still waiting! Also, patient has fever to 37.3, would you like blood cultures?
1am: Dr. T’s patient has just arrived from Cherry Hill. He is tachycardic to 180, BP is 70/20 and he has a large pulsatile abdominal mass on exam. There are no notes or orders in the chart. We tried reaching Dr. T, but she is unavailable. Please come see the patient and put in orders STAT.
1-3am: Doctor I see that this order from 4 weeks ago that no one has been doing is in the chart, do you want me to start doing it? OR Doctor, the results of the CXR ordered 4 weeks ago just resulted, would you like me to draw blood cultures? Also, what did the colonoscopy from 1998 show?
3am: Doctor, the Calcium is 7.9, would you like to replace?
3-4am: Pullups/situps. Second call from H.
4-5:30am: Platelets are over 1,000,000. Platelets are greater than one million. Platelets are 99999999999999999. BEEP BEEP BEEP.
5:30-7:00: Doctor, what is this patient having done today? The other doctor said he would order this thing, why isn’t it ordered yet? What do you anticipate our next steps with this patient are?
7:00-7:30: Please come to the board and draw Chouinard’s segments. [Awkward silence… Gunner answers] List all the steps of the Kreb’s Cycle. [Awkward silence… Gunner answers] Describe the blood supply of everything in the human body. [Awkward silence… Gunner answers]
I can’t take credit for this guide. My co resident Dr. Oliver B. came up with this. What an accurate depiction of my night float experience.

Grace

I have always been fascinated by the word. It’s meaning, implications and breadth; from faith to music to beauty it is so versatile. It is a five letter word with I must say that I became fascinated by this word several years ago. See, that is what I do; when I find a topic of interest, I relentlessly research and immerse myself. It almost becomes an obsession. As a matter of fact, if I was an actor, I would have to practice method acting. What better way to understand something than to experience it. Grace is something I aspire to. It is not a word that comes to mind when I try to describe myself. As a matter of fact I used to erroneously associate this word with weakness. Here are a few definitions of the word.

  • unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
  • disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
  • a temporary exemption :  reprieve
  • a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
  • a pleasing appearance or effect :  charm
  • ease and suppleness of movement or bearing
  • used as a title of address or reference for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop
  • a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks
  • a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura
  • a sense of propriety or right
  • the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful
  • a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward

    a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving

    skills that are needed for behaving in a polite way in social situation

    Of all the above descriptions, my favorite is “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”. This always gets me, that fact that I did nothing to get God’s undying love and there is nothing that I could do to separate myself from his love.

    As I always say; I got Grace for my Past, Favor for my Present and Faith for my Future.

    All in all , GFF is a winning combination and has served me well in the past decades.