Saturday, September 15, 2007

Performing my IADLs

When I started internship, I knew that posting would be intermittent, but the longer it had been since I posted, the more pressure I felt to write something especially insightful. The days turned into weeks, and here we are at a whole month since my last post! I've read about this happening to other physicians-in-training with blogs, and I decided just to post about whatever comes into my head. Here we go!

The last month was fantastic! I was on an outpatient rotation, which entailed seminars and clinical experiences aimed at residents interested in primary care. While I should probably write about my excellent clinical and didactic experiences, the best part of the last month was having time for what physicians call "Instrumental Activities of Daily Living" or "IADLs". During a geriatrics conference, IADLs were jokingly referred to as "Things interns don't have time to do." It's funny but sadly true. IADLs include the following:
  • Using a telephone. During my last wards month, I had many voice mails from my mother, and at one point, she called my husband to make sure nothing had happened to me. Well, internship happened to me, but during the last month, my whole family came to town to visit. Plus, I was able to chat with some old friends I hadn't spoken to in a few months.

  • Grocery shopping and cooking meals. After burning myself on the oven my first month, I've not been as keen to cook. I do have a few recipes that I can throw together in a few minutes, such as fried rice or spaghetti, but after two years of marriage, my husband is now learning how to cook basically out of necessity. Plus, my stomach wasn't adjusting well to our greasy take-out diet. Over the last few weeks, I was able to indulge in one of my favorite hobbies--trying new recipes. Yesterday, I made my own pizza dough, and I put some in the freezer for the upcoming wards month along with some frozen vegetables.

  • Housekeeping. During this month, my husband and I actually bought some furniture and finished unpacking our boxes from our move over three months ago. Yay!

  • Laundry. If my husband didn't wash my clothes for me, I probably would be wearing scrubs daily because the hospital launders them. I hate wearing scrubs mostly because they don't fit and drag on the ground behind me, making me look like a kid playing doctor, but if my husband goes on strike, I'd wear them.

  • Paying bills. Credit cards would never get paid without the automatic payment feature.

IADLs contrast with another scale used by physicians describing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). They are things that interns (hopefully) still do regardless how busy they are, including bathing, brushing teeth, feeding themselves, dressing, and using the toilet. However, I've been known to be driving home at 9 pm realizing I hadn't been to the bathroom since the morning, and there are days when I would have starved had it not been for the granola bars in my pockets.

I really do want to write about some of my other experiences during this month, including giving a talk in front of my fellow interns and residents and learning about outpatient pain management. However, I'm basking in my last two consecutive days off until January.