7 quick takes vol 29

7 quick (venting) takes
--- Warning: this is mostly a venting post, "woe-to-me" edition of 7qt... Feel free to bypass 1-6 and go straight to the 7th one as it is a treat (pix of my kids as usual!)

1. I was in denial.
Emails from February, March and April - disregarded. Emails with "research", "send your poster questions to", "deadline".
I was in total denial.

As part of our residency requirement, we need to produce some sort of research work. It's a 2-3 year project in the making. I started with my project during my first year of neurology that was in 2011. But serious work didn't start right away. I didn't receive IRB approval until October 2012 during a much freer rotation (an elective month). So why, oh why, don't I have anything to present?
Here's the equation:

Procrastination + more procrastination + pregnancy with Baby #2 + maternity leave + some postpartum depression and anxiety mixed in there that stopped me from doing anything! = I am a resident lagging behind on my research project.

2. Don't assume.
My fault, totally my fault, for thinking I would be excused just because I have extension of residency that therefore I have extension of this said project.
Well, well, well.

Said project is still due for research symposium on June 12th and poster due in a week! Talk about return of anxiety and stress....

And I know, I don't deserve sympathy. As my wonderful understanding husband said this week: weren't you given months to work on this project?
Me: Yes, Hun you're right.... and I gave him the look that said: don't rub it in.

3. Too distracted. meaning LIFE just happened.
What happened to the lady who finished research work ON TIME, the one who finished whatever left over from work AT home? That woman is gone. I come home and all I want to do is NOT think of work. My kids are very good distractions. I love to play with them. I just cannot work on things at home anymore.

---> No more dictations done at home. I tried it before and kids were yelling/fighting in the background. I don't recommend it.
---> No more working on research data unless kids are asleep. When they're asleep that pretty much means bedtime for me as well, so forget research at home.

I just finish everything I can at work. Notes, dictations, labs to follow up, patients to call etc.
Unfortunately, extra requirements such as research projects don't have allotted time slot per se during work hours. Some residents are lucky to have elective months as research months. I don't have a research month.

So when there is an afternoon free of clinic, free of dictations etc, I venture to my desk at the resident work room and do as much "research". Those afternoons are few and far between.

Forget working on your research during inpatient rotations! Being at the hospital from 8a-6p (sometimes 7p) is all I can take. I go home and no research done..... Why would there be?

If residents are expected to have a "well balanced life" then it's definitely hard to find that extra time to fulfill an extra requirement. Especially something on top of the important clinical work, readings we have to do, conferences we have to attend, evaluations we have to finish. And we still need to take care of ourselves: sleep, exercise, cook, bathe, take care of our children. There's not enough time in a day.

I know there is NO excuse. Requirements are requirements. Research is not so pressing like a patient to be seen, or a consult note to finish, or lab result to give to families. And unfortunately it was placed on the sidelines.

4. But I'm almost done!
As one colleague pointed out, get it done, finish it and forget it! You're almost done! Just 6 months of residency and that's it!
She made it sound so easy!
And she's right!
It's the light at the end of the tunnel and I am almost at the end of residency!

5. So might as well look at the brighter side of things eh?
By my next 7qt edition (i.e. next Friday)
- I'm done with the poster.
- it's sent to the visual arts media center and waiting to be printed.
- no worries about my research till July.

Wait... What?

Since my data is incomplete, I'm still required to present my "half-way done" work during the research symposium. And because I value working with my mentor, and I am NOT the type of person to quit in a middle of a project no matter how I behind I am: I'm still gonna see the project to its end.....

And remember my assumption above: my residency is extended because of three maternity leaves (yikes!) so I'll use the rest of the year to finish the work. Well...... Not the entire year. It better be done before baby D3 is born! Because there'll be no work done while I'm on maternity leave!
Let's just be real here!

6. Big holla to my sister and brother-in-law who celebrated their 5th year wedding anniversary yesterday!
Look at their anniversary dinner:

I'm drooling!

7. And as promised: here's your reward if you read 1-6 or just 6 or just scrolled straight down to these cuties:

I see them and their smiles and work stress is wiped away!
They empower me......

Now no more breaks for me. I need to produce a decent (half-done research) poster.

Head to Jen for more 7qt Friday!

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