The post- call haze and an impromptu “what’s in my bag”!

I gaze at my Fitbit. It shows a series of numerals. 3 1 2 3 4 0 or thereabouts. I see the numbers, they register somewhere in the nether regions of my acutely occupied mind, stowed away for comprehension at a more convenient time (a.k.a. right now).

This was at about the 17 hour mark, there were still seven hours to go before I could could call it a day.

I did not go running that day, nor did I fuss around on the treadmill. I did not eat a meal seated down in one place, but I did drink 3 mocha lattes, 1 espresso shot and one tea with milk and sugar.

I will not comment on the number or type of patients admitted; but I can tell you that I did a LOT of purposeful corridor striding, more than two dozen phone calls (consults), reams of documentation and charting. Hardly any sleeping.

Rewind to the beginning of the day.

I am up at 3:30 AM, getting nursery meals and snacks ready and packed. Then put my most comfortable scrubs into the washer-dryer on the “quick wash” cycle, iron it dry and still wear it slightly damp. I did not realise until then that I had no clean scrubs. Anyhoo…

5 AM and I leave my domestic self behind at home and put my game face on at the wards. Pre- rounds, Grand Rounds, five hours of ‘educational activities (a.k.a mandatory lectures) and on- call from 3 PM to next morning- it is going to be a long, long, long day.

Day. It is over 24 hours after all. Post- call rounds never finish before 11 AM the next day.

Reaching home at 12 noon the next day, gives a small window in which I can wash the germy grime worth 36 hours off me, get some grub in the tummy, partially arrange some scattered stuff around…… And then it’s time for the nursery run, and “baby- story” unfolds from thereon.

Sleep is a luxury that I often covet, but rarely beget.

I have no complaints or regrets. I chose not to. My life may not be all sunshine and daises, but I like it, for now. Heck! talking about sunshine, there are days when I don’t see it at all. Yet, I do not wish to whine. Then why, you may ask, fulmination?

This emesis of text was induced by a silly comment this afternoon, a relative whining about the money his neurosurgeon makes per month.

That neurosurgeon probably did this and much more (depending on the era and area of training), for about 20 years, before the money first started to trickle in and ultimately “flood” (as the lovely gentleman put it) in.

I rest my case.

On a chirpier note, leaving my bag unattended for five minutes with a toddler within 10 feet of it, means I have its contents strewn all over the living room floor. And it gave me an idea.

Any blogger/ vlogger worth his/ her salt, puts up a “what’s in a bag” post/ video. Though I am averse to herd- following and charting the beaten path, I personally find those bag posts to be fun and interesting. I guess we are all voyeuristic to some extent. And ever curious about another’s bearings and being.

Also, this post is dedicated to The Husband who thinks The Bag is unnaturally heavy.


This is the dressier version of my work bag. There is another more “heavy duty” one for theatre days, and presentation days. (This is the Marc by Marc Jacobs Ligero Tote for those who like to know such things- like me.)


It is a sturdy, roomy bag, which on days like this would be packed to the brim. It is a decent- sized tote, with a solid, reliable, zipper. Zippered totes are a rare breed by the way.


And here are the contents. Nothing fancy, or unnecessary in my opinion. The light green pouch is my on- call survival/ emergency kit while the hot pink one has all the absolute essentials (ID, access cards, bleep, stamp, torch….)

A tablet to check patient records, OR scrubs (different from the call scrubs) and a couple of other self- explanatory items.

There you go, most residents and fellows I know carry similar luggage, some a tad more and some a tad less. I have also seen some extreme cases, and a couple of complete nut cases too. Some carry their own towels, blankets, sheets (YES! in the car if you want to know) and then at my old workplace a gentleman came to work with only his bleep on (steth, pen, and everything else can be borrowed you see).

So, that’s it for today folks (and the week perhaps). See you soon, hopefully. And yes, I did log over 35000 steps that day (about par for a call day) and apparently burnt well- over 3500 calories. Not a bad work- out on a full- work day eh? 😉


Till next time.

Dr J.

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