Thursday, August 20, 2009


Note - Debbie Downer is filling in for Shannon in today's post - so sorry.

Hello all (if anyone is left that still reads my blog)

It's been a long time since I rock and rol.....oops, that's the song....since I've been blogging. I don't know what my deal has been lately, but I'm just...just...bored. Yea, bored...I think that's the best way to describe it. I've lost my zest (be it orange or lemon) passion....even a majority of my humor. I'll apologise not for all the "...." - that's just my way of thinking.

Why am I bored? I dunno.

Let's start with work. I've been doing Ultrasound for over 10 years now. I do love it, really I do, but I'm bored. I just scanned 8 patients in 3 hours ( a pretty good clip - I'm known for my speed and beautiful studies - hey, a little pat on my own back never hurt {grin}) and here I sit waiting for the rest of my 5 hours to go by with only 3 more to scan. Long day indeed, but not as bad as tomorrow. I only have 3 scheduled for the entire day. I'm bored.

The ultrasounds themselves are not that terrible, but I'm bored. I do the same exams over and over. Liver, Renal, Aorta....repeat. Occasionally I'll get a pelvic or thyroid or something else thrown in there for a real treat, but all in all, I'm bored. I miss doing vascular exams, I did a lot of those while I was in Minnesota. They have a separate vascular lab here, so I don't do I miss the Carotid studies, the bypass grafts, even the DVT (looking for blood clots in legs) studies on the 400 lb, very smelly, challenge-to-get-in-their-groin type patients. Yep - I'm THAT bored.

I've lost my humor and light heartiness for the ever famous "so is it a boy or a girl?" type questions. Mind you that after the 100th time I heard that come from a 60 year old MALE patient - it was plenty old. Now after 10 years of it - I've lost my ability to give a convincing chuckle and say "twins - one of each". In fact they other day, I responded too quickly to the question, and I was busted by the patient. He said " you must hear that one a lot since you answered so fast. Here I thought I was the first one to think of it". It took everything in me to not throw out a few sarcastic remarks, but I gave him a smile and said "well, maybe just once or twice" and went on my way about scanning. I'm sure we all have these type of routine quips that every person thinks they are the first possible person to think this up. Barbers - please tell me you've had more than your share of bald guys come in and say "just a little off the top". As much as it pains me to hear the same old questions/comments, I am in no way ever mean to a patient, I do casually nod and acknowledge their quick wit, sometimes let out a little laugh, but my head is saying "really?....again?"

Along the lines of repeat comments, another thing that bothers me is when I ask a patient when the last time they had anything to EAT or DRINK (when they are to be fasting for the exam), they respond with such and such time last night - good. THEN when I change the question around a little "have you had any coffee or juice this morning?" they say "well yea, I had coffee" like I was an idiot for asking. I immediately want to slap my forehead and fall backwards onto the floor, but again I nod and say "ok". So let me ask a silly little question. If you haven't had anything to EAT or DRINK since whatever time last night? How the heck are you taking your coffee these days? Hmmm? It drives me nutty. Now - let me remind you that the main purpose of my job is to see inside patients. So...I can see INSIDE you. Usually the reason I'm asking these questions is because I have already seen that you are not fasting and you in fact have a stomach FULL of fluid and other items. Yes...I can see inside you...and yes I can tell that you have NOT been fasting. Tricky little thing I am asking such sneaky questions when I already know the answer. It's just like when you've been busted by your parents for sneaking out or something - like when they are standing in your room when you enter back through the window. They LIE. Seriously, just like when you make up some excuse how you were sleep walking and were about to fall out of the window to your death when you woke up and climbed back in. They lie about eating. I ask once, they say no. I reword it then it starts to leak out. My favorite is when they'll say "oh...yea. I had a SIP of coffee" "oh wait...I also had a BITE of a banana" really? who makes a pot of coffee in the morning and only takes a sip? and on top of it who opens a banana (which turns brown in like 5 min after opening) and only takes a single bite? Am I crazy for thinking these things? If this is the case they should weigh only about 80 pound's and must fell STUFFED. After the "sip and bite" comments I get one of two results. Either the patient will get really defensive and say they were not told or it didn't say anything about it on THEIR letter (because the printer left it off of their letter on purpose to get them in trouble) OR it will lead to them listing everything they have possibly eaten in the last 24 hours. "I had 2 pancakes, a piece of toast with butter, peanut butter and jelly on it, 2/3 cup of OJ, a half of piece of bacon because my dog took the rest off my plate when I wasn't looking. Before that I got up at 2:13 in the morning for my midnight snack (which is why they were 2 hours late to their appointment...another story) I pored a cup of milk but it was old so I threw the rest out, but not after I tasted it first to make sure it really was bad. I had 4 chocolate chip cookies, 2 oreos and a fig newton...mama loves the fig newtons so I can only have them when she's asleep so I don't tempt her with the treats...she's diabetic you know......blah, blah, blah....oh, and then a tic tac just before you called me in here." By this time I'm already done with the study and completely forgot that I asked any questions to begin with. As fun as all that sounds. I'm bored.

So - besides me whining and venting a little - ok a lot. What do you think? I think I'm bored with where I'm at. I do love the actual scanning portion of my job, but it hasn't felt like a challenge for me lately. I'm sure it's because I'm not as busy as I'm used to , but it may also be the fact that even the exams that I do scan, I'm doing the same patient every 6 months or so. We have A LOT of repeat patients. There are certain things that need to be followed frequently to help with treatment and prevention (ie Hepatitis C patients get Liver Ultrasound every 6 months or so to correspond with their medications, people with AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms - a weakening in the wall that makes them bulge) need to be followed in intervals to make sure it doesn't grow - eventually needing surgery before they rupture) so not only am I doing the same type of exams, I'm seeing the same exam over and over. So...I'm bored.

I like the branch of hospitals that I work for. I don't scan any babies (which I don't want to - for various reasons) so I'm limited on other places I could go. There's the thought of moving back to Minnesota and working at my previous hospital. I'd be busier which I would like and I'd have more of a variety, but there are still a couple people that work there that I don't get along with - and were one of the reasons I left. Plus, I'd have to take call again and I really enjoy not having to go back to work when I'm just sitting down to dinner with my family.


I'm bored. There are other areas that I feel "bored" in, but I'll have to save that for another post since this one is longer than I had intended it to be. Sorry for the down and out post. This is just something that's been on my mind. I'm not really upset or angry about it by any means, I'm just kind of....well.....bored.

Thanks for listening.


One Pretty Girl and Her Mama said...

UGH! No fun! That really is a dillema... Well me being selfish I would say move back to MN of course!:) I think Michelle is also getting tired of her current job (which she has been for a while) but also doesn't know where to go now. I will definitely pray that God helps you to turn in the right direction. On a similar note I was just wondering how Jason turned out with his job dilemma.

Ace said...

I'd say that was a pretty good post for being gone for so long!

I'm sorry you're bored. I don't really have any advice, unless there is a dr's office that offers ultrasound instead of hospital? Just pray, my dear. That always helps!

shannonjason said...

H - I've tossed around the idea of MN again. It's pretty even in the pros and cons department (which I'm sure will be a whole other post soon to come). I can't tell if my recent longing for MN is just because I'm homesick for it and the poeple there or if it's where we are being called to be for the next stage of our lives. I really need to just push aside my feelings and thoughts about it and listen to Him, but sometimes that is hard to do. As far as Jason's situation, I guess I forgot to update that - sorry. He has stayed with the same company. It came down to the winter work and feeling secure that he'll have work during that time. We went one winter without him working and it really hurt us. Things have been good there for him. A little rough around the edges at times, but nothing that he wouldn't have anywhere he'd be working. I think we're happy with that decision for now.

shannonjason said...

Thanks Ace. I think I've started this post several different times already, but just couldn't get my thoughts together. That's one reason I've been away from blog land for so long. Thanks for the thoughts. I've considered clinics and even the new hospital that is going up about 3 blocks from my house, but there seems to be more negatives than positives in those options. Clinics are MUCH slower than I already am. Though I'd probably have more variety, the patient load would be considerably less. The new hospital would be great - closer and more variety. But...I'd be starting from scratch. I've been with this particular branch of hospitals since I graduated High School. I did my training there, did a year of X-ray and then Ultrasound. So I technically been with them for over 13 years. That is hard to walk away from (benifits, retirement, seniority, etc). I also would then need to scan babies. That is something that has weighed heavy on my heart since I started doing Ultrasound. I'm sure I'll do a post in this subject too, but basically as fun as babies are to scan, not all babies are healthy. Infact, it's the troublesome ones that return time after time and that is something I just don't think I could handle on a routine basis. OK, I don't think the responses are supposed to be longer than the post, so I'll end here. Thanks for throwing ideas out there and believe me, I've been praying for answers for some time now. I'm more or less just sorting out my thoughts. I probably already have my answer and I don't like it or am not ready for it yet so I'm not seeing it, who knows.