Halfway through rounds the medical students were asking me if I was all right. There was nothing wrong, just the insanity of the trauma unit, and my dysfunctional method of communicating with the chief and the attending. The chief and I have a very strange interaction; we like each other, and it’s certainly better when he’s around and responsible for things instead of me, but somehow he makes a day in the trauma unit even more complicated.

So the students are trying to help me, and I don’t even have the energy to be polite to them. All I can remember is the resident I knew when I was a student, trapped in the unit for months on end. He didn’t talk to students much either, although in my memory he was still more helpful than I’m being. That’s bad, because he had it even worse than I do – unless someone takes it into their head to schedule me into the unit some month in the near future. At this point, I can’t even finish my sentences; it feels like wading through molasses to get anywhere, and talking to people just takes too much effort; so I don’t talk.

I can’t believe it’s only halfway through the month. This seems to have been going on forever.

The attending for the next several days is another one with whom I clash constantly. The only good thing is that he’s predictable in his own unbearable way. (You may be asking whether there are any trauma attendings I get along with. There are two, and they’re sane only because they spend as little time in the unit as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not an option for me.)