Masks and #11 Blades


What a dichotomy we working mamas live in. I am running around in blue scrubs putting out fires in the ER and I can’t stop thinking about sausage stuffed pork tenderloin. I’m in the “fast track” which typically means low acuity patients, in and out, treat em’ and street em’. I was looking forward to this shift because I am hosting Christmas Eve dinner for my in laws and I wanted to think about recipes, place settings, presents. Instead I was bombarded by actual sick people that needed my full attention. Fast track, my ass.  Bleeding ulcers, pulmonary emboli, kidney stones did not leave me free to daydream about side dishes.

It is a strange place to be in. Feeling the desire to make a cozy home, raise honest children, browse the internet for a new recipe and the desire to put in a chest tube. How in the heck do we bounce back and forth between these two worlds?

Sometimes I feel like a masked crusader. I am a mom by day, and a physician assistant by night. My husband, kids, and I snuggle up to read a book, and I leave them, making a hole in the puzzle to go suture, put on a splint, or deescalate a psychotic person.  This can be incredibly exhilarating, or incredibly lonesome.

Maybe I am looking at it too grandiosely.  It is, in fact, just a job.  It pays the bills, gets the baby new shoes.  But as a working mama I feel that it is more than this.  The time I spend at work is the time I miss the small moments.  The loosening tooth, the new trick, the skinned knee.  These small, yet monumental moments, are irreplaceable.  And missing them at times is part of choosing to work.   Whether out of necessity or desire, it doesn’t change that in a way we are super heros.  The trick is to remember which mask you are wearing at the moment so that you don’t get caught dissecting the pork tenderloin with an #11 blade.


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