>May 08 2002

>I often get asked questions about how tough it is to be in medical school with a wife and kids and most of the time the answer is, “not to bad, really,” but this week has been one of those where it definitely takes some juggling. On Tuesday, eleven-month-old McKenzie Rose had an appointment to get ear tubes put in on an outpatient basis. We were first on the docket and supposed to be at the hospital (not my school’s facility) where the procedure was to be done at 6:30 a.m. Of course, somebody had to be at home with the older girls. Their usual ride to school arrives at about 7:20. And once they are off, somebody had to stay with Manning. And as an addition twist, my four-year-old nephew, Parker, is normally dropped off at my house around 7:30 and watches cartoons until Angie’s dad, his grandpa, arrives about 7:50 to take him to his pre-school. This maneuver is required for Parker’s mom to get to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Okay, no problem. I arranged for my Dad to come over at 6:00, I got the girls up and watching SportsCenter, and made sure they had lunch money. Angie tried to get McKenzie out to the car without waking her, as she had not eaten since 8:00 Monday night and could not have any food or drink due to the general anesthesia. Parker’s mom made sure that he would not be upset about having to stay with a relative stranger for his few minutes. Uh oh! Just as we were about to leave, my oldest, Morgan says she does not feel to well and when I try to give her some Children’s Tylenol, she starts retching. We’ve got to get going, so my Dad says he can handle the kids and we head for the hospital.
By 7:15, we have met the anesthesiologist and seen our ENT doc. McKenzie was pulled from Mom and taken screaming and crying to her unknown fate. By this time, Angie’s mother has joined us at the hospital. Her grandmotherly instinct brings her out for even the most minor of hospital visits. The whole thing lasted less than 30 minutes and an already awake McKenzie was returned to her mother. Once I saw she had done fine under the anesthesia, I returned home, leaving Angie and her Mom to wait out the hour’s worth of observation that the docs require. I came home, found that both older girls had been deemed to ill for school, by their grandpa and were basking in the glow of attention. I got Manning’s pump feeding started and headed to school. I had made arrangements for a friend to pick up my handouts but I actually made it to my first 9:00 class. It was a wild morning, but thanks to a great support system of family, we made it all work.

Only two more days of physiology lecture are left. After this week comes a two-week gauntlet of exams that will end a whirlwind M-1 year. It has been a great ride and I am sure that I will look back on it as one of the best years of my life, but I am looking forward to a summer of rest and relaxation!

About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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