Sunday, July 1, 2007

The early bird gets the nausea when she brushes her teeth

I've been pushing back my "wake up" time for the past few days so that today, the day before I start surgery, I got up at 5:30am. I'm guessing that, normally, I will have to get up no later than 5am, and probably earlier, depending on how short I can make my morning routine. I think that 4:45am will be a normal time, with the occasional 4am.


That's one thing you can say for graduate school: there is hardly ever a reason why you would have to be in lab at a specific time, much less an early one. I mean, some people have lab meeting once a week in the morning, or journal club, but the earliest time for either of these things that I've ever heard is 8:30am. In fact, I had a journal club that was at 9am on Fridays, and I can't tell you how often I was late to that thing (or slept through it entirely).

I did go through a phase where I got in to lab at 7am or 7:30am because my husband was on pediatrics and would drop me off on his way to the hospital. Once I got used to that, it wasn't really that bad; in fact, I got to the point where I would basically wake up spontaneously most mornings. But, somehow, I don't see how that will happen for 4:45am.

What I can see happening is the following:
1. Nausea.
2. Self pity.
3. Occasionally dragging myself out of bed, slowly and painfully getting ready, and being about to leave the house, when my alarm goes off and I realize I am still in bed and it was all a dream and now I have to do it again.

But that's okay. I only have to do it for a couple of weeks, and then I get a two week break from ridiculous mornings when I switch to a service with less crappy hours. But after that, I have four weeks on another service which will start just as early, if not earlier.

So, six weeks. I can do this. Six weeks of getting up in the dark (but I can see the sun come up on my way to work!) and dry heaving when I brush my teeth (maybe I can lose a few pounds!) and being dressed and in the hospital a full three hours before I would normally even consider opening my eyes (but I get to wear scrubs sometimes, which is just like pajamas!!). As you can see, I'm trying to listen to that little, positive voice in my head, but at this hour, it doesn't always make a lot of sense (breakdancing chicken!).

I will try to post a short update after my first few days, but you might not hear from me for a little while. My schedule is packed with pushing my snooze button.


heidi said...

You can do this!!!! Put it this way. All you have to do in third year is be friendly, fake being interested, and then not kill anyone. Also, it isn't a bad idea to brush up on how to create on-the-go playlists on an iPod, for those difficult tasks that some docs may give you to do...

Pretend that you're getting up each day and that maybe Jim Halpert or Logan Echolls will need surgery today. At your hospital.

Hey, it could happen.

docmama said...

yes dr. vonb - i FEEL you on the early rising. it's amazing how much has been going on every day in the world while i'm usually still working hard on my fourth or fifth REM cycle.
on monday as i was driving over to capital city hospital for my first day of OB i was looking around at all the other cars on the highway thinking - what the hell are this many people doing up and driving at this hour?!
there was one 6-week long stint in grad school when I had to get up pretty early (but still nothing in the 4:00 hour!) just to check mouse vaginas every day for timed pregnancies, so I guess this does happen rarely in lab, but believe me I was bitter about it!

oh, and p.s. - nausea from toothbrushing is a very common morning symptom of something else entirely, so you had me thinking crazy things were happening a bit ahead of schedule when I first read your title!