Please note that I said I "will do my best to be as positive, helpful, and ungrumpy as I can be" — whole lotta wiggle room there. And wiggle I did, because man oh man, did I get it from every angle. Some highlights:
- Page at 9 pm, while at a party, with HellBoy clinging to my leg and weeping: "My husband saw Dr. Z the other day for a cough and stuffy head and a low-grade fever, and I'm not sure he's getting better as fast as he should ... he coughs a little more at night but also during the day and his temperature is 99.8 and his nose is stuffy, not clogged stuffy but hard to breathe a little but it's a little better if he takes decongestant but not all the way better and his throat hurt but it doesn't anymore and ..." I finally got her to stop and told her it sounded like they were doing all the right things, and she says, "That's what Dr. Z said too — here, I'll have him tell you!" Before I could say "Oh, I don't think that's necessary!" her husband got on and said, "I saw Dr. Z the other day for a cough and stuffy head and a low-grade fever, and I'm not sure I'm getting better as fast as I should ... I cough a little more at night but also during the day and my temperature is 99.8 and my nose is stuffy, not clogged stuffy but hard to breathe a little but it's a little better if I takes decongestant but not all the way better and my throat hurt but it doesn't anymore and ..." At which point I cracked and said, "I'm sorry, but I have a crying baby here and I'll have to go, sounds like you're doing ALL THE RIGHT THINGS! BYE NOW!"
- Page at 9:30 pm, still at the party,* HB now with his dad in the other room howling "Mama! Mama!": "I'm a patient of Dr. C's, and he told me I shouldn't go to the emergency room anymore, because I could just pick up an infection there. But tonight I have a headache. Do you think I should go to the ER?"
- Page at 10 pm: "I just took a shower? And I'm itching? You know, down there? It's the same soap I always use and I don't notice any discharge? And ..." I closed my eyes, remembered my resolution, and sweetly suggested she go the drugstore to get something over the counter.
- Page at 10:30 pm: "I'm here in the drugstore? And I notice that it says on the box to ask your doctor if you're pregnant? And I'm not pregnant, but we're trying? And ..." I admit I was much less sweet on the second call.
- Page at 4 am: "I've been having pain in my shoulder for weeks and I saw the doctor and all she gave me was 20 Perc0cets. Now how am I supposed to deal with pain like this if they only give me 20 Perc0cets? I went to the ER and they gave me ibuprofen. That's like taking nothing. I want you to do something about this pain." "Well, I'm just the doctor on call for emergencies, and I'm afraid I can't do much for you because I'm HOME IN BED." Which is always the wrong thing to say. She said, "Well, I'm sorry I woke you up, but I'm awake too, because I'm IN PAIN." When I told her I wouldn't prescribe narcotics over the phone at night she said, "Well you doctors just all stick together, don't you?" and slammed down the phone.
Then I got twice the usual number of patients dumped on me to cover at the hospital, which wouldn't have been too awful except that the damn pager Would. Not. Stop. Beeping. I think every nursing home resident in the state slid out of their wheelchair this past weekend, and the staff was required to report every single one to me. The poor house staff got essentially no help from me, and heard a lot of bitching and moaning.
But they did get donuts.
*Yes, we tried to go to a party while I was on call, and we took HB with us, and kept him up past his bedtime. I know, what was I thinking? Well, what I was thinking was, god dammit, I never get a chance to go to parties, and I don't want to leave HB with a babysitter when I won't see him during the day the whole weekend. He did take a late nap, which we figured would hold him over. And in fact it did — he refused to go to sleep until midnight. It was a fun party, or so TrophyHusband told me later. I spent most of it on the phone.