Tuesday, February 22, 2005

An Ebb

Today was one of those days when having the energy to do anything more than the minimum required was beyond consideration. Aside from making it to the gym in the basement of the hospital for a 30-minute sweating session on the elliptical cross-trainer before work, it was energetically a time of taking care of that which was right in front of me, without any proactive movement on my part in terms of seeking out additional tasks.

While for some this might be a modus operandi---doing what's minimally expected and nothing more---for me this type of day is a rarity, one in which I feel I cannot possibly tackle or accomplish anything beyond the absolutely necessary. Whether it is the effect of the long weekend, a night off from teaching at the community college tonight, or what seems to be a never-ending winter, impetus for extra action was at an ebb today. While I didn't ignore or neglect any patient in need, I also didn't make those extra calls that I might be moved to make on a more energetic day. I didn't write those letters that needed to be written or review those charts that are waiting in a pile on my desk. Those will have to wait.

That said, if a crisis or dire situation had arisen in the course of the day, I'm certain that I would have equally risen to the challenge, boosted by adrenaline and the sympathetic nervous system. Fortunately, the phone was mercifully quiet with only a modicum of calls, the beeper was mostly silent, and overhead pages from the waiting room announcing the arrival of unexpected patients seeking my assistance were never heard from 9 to 5 today. My few home visits were uneventful--one to a patient with a new colostomy who is doing well after being discharged from the hospital, the other to a patient to simply deliver a prefilled med box and insulin syringes, a ten-minute chat not resulting in any acute needs.

It was a day when my nervous system needed rest and a respite from the often break-neck speed of my office landscape. I cannot keep up my usual pace without an occasional day like today. I don't dare dream that tomorrow might also be so tranquil, but I give thanks for day that was a gift to my tired brain and body.
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