Today I went to see my Family Doctor. I wanted to talk about my bone scan results… and how I might be depressed, and how I’m not comping well, and to introduce her to the ongoing problem with ED*, and to tell her how I increasingly feel the need to escape from my life…(I know all your Family Med types are cringing at the thought of how this 10min booked appointment went…). It didn’t take me long to break down crying in her office. She listened. And that’s doing a lot more than what most other people in my life have been doing. She asked me if I thought about taking a short medical leave from residency, you know, to get my feet back underneath me.
It sounds like a good idea. I can let myself recover a little bit and give myself a chance to really think clearly about what I need to do for myself. I can sort out the priorities around my family life. I can re-evaluate my career choices while I am better rested. It really does sound like a good idea. I said I would think about it and mentioned that I set up an appointment with the learner advocacy office next week to talk about what a medical leave in residency would look like (and what it would do to my program time frame). She also suggested that maybe I take the rest of the day off today – or even the rest of the week. My short Christmas break starts next week and the thought of having the next 3 days off leading into that sounds quite nice. I accepted the sick note that she wrote for me and tried to compose myself before I walked out of her office.
I got back to work right away – after all, there were unanswered pages piling up on my pager… “I’ll tell my chief that I have to go home sick after I get this stuff done,” I told myself. But now I’m second guessing whether or not I should take the time off. I feel bad about taking 3 sick days off work when I’m not really “sick.” Is 3 days off really going to make a difference to me? But then again, is 3 days of not having a junior resident (aka, general surgery scut monkey) going to make a difference to my team? I don’t know which is worse, the guilt of staying home from work, or the guilt of not taking care of myself?
I really just don’t know what to do…
*I approached my Husband about ED last night. He confirmed my fears. He said he doesn’t think it’s a problem and that he’s not willing to do anything about it. I can’t live with that option. But all the other options don’t seem that appealing to me, either.