I know I am not alone along my resident friends in envying the patient's we care for. I remember very distinctly on my general surgery rotation wishing for appendicitis. How would it be to crawl into bed with that patient, whose only responsibilities include four walks a day around the ward, using the incentive spirometer (the breathing whirly-gig), and documenting your bathroom visits, in the overarching goal of getting better?
Or better yet, changing places with the patient.
How very tired one must be to wish a surgical scar and the pain of recovery upon oneself for a few days of boredom and Oprah daytime TV overload!
I admit I haven't wished an appendectomy upon myself for quite some time. But I do have fleeting moments of jealousy of the thought of sick days.
And then I learned my lesson of the be careful what you wish for variety.
Luckily it didn't take appendicitis to teach me.
I ironically spent much of MLK Day (yay for my first holiday off in months--after making it through almost the entire holiday season on-call) lounging around, watching TV. I had been coveting the snow days my friends who work in the schools have been enjoying and really wished for some extra time off. I woke up Tuesday vomiting. I thought I made a pretty good recovery until I was mid-tooth extraction in the operating room and suddenly felt quite off. I called for a replacement and spent some time recovering, only to feel worse and worse.
I don't remember taking a sick day in the past 4.5 years of residency. I may have been sent home a time or two but don't really remember. I felt very awkward but realizing I wasn't really needed that afternoon, asked to go home. I didn't make it back until Thursday (almost a 5 day weekend).
And being home sicker than sick, I remembered that maybe it is better to be the one on the healer's side. Being sick isn't fun. I would have rather been at work.