OR Day 6

Breakfast starts at 6 a.m. and I’m on the first bus to the hospital at 7 a.m. Patients are waiting outside for us and I check to see that they’ve fasted the proper amount of time and that no one’s health has changed since we saw them last week. Then the patients file upstairs to change for surgery and I try and catch the tail end of morning rounds. Then it’s get ready for the cases to come out of the three OR rooms. Today we had three kids under each under a year of age come out simulaneously. One a little croupy, one who was fine and one with an iffy IV I had to replace.

I’ve been sticking to bananas and yogurt for the last two days, but today there were pan dulces again, and well worth it. Some had pineapple, others apple. The store where our quartermaster has been getting our bananas was out today, so he got them from someone selling them in the median. There’s nothing I’ve needed that they haven’t been able to find: a measuring tape, chewing gum, and urine pregnancy tests (for all female patients over ten). It’s faster to just run our own instead of sending them through the hospital lab, and the local pharmacy must have their explanation for why the same guy keeps coming back to buy them four at a time.

The doctors usually get the second or third bus back to our rooms where we find out about the next day and figure out dinner. Then it’s time to check email, call home, and catch some zzzs.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
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