a Pediatric Ophthalmologist/Working Mom/Administrator.
As a working Mom, I wear many hats, just as many of my colleagues do. So, for today’s post, I decided to chart down what I did for a full day from the time I woke up to coming home. People always ask me how I can manage working with 3 kids and it’s a juggling act. We’re also super blessed with terrific babysitters who we can really depend upon when we have late days.
5:45 am: Arya is awake. She likes to reach over from her crib and turn the light on and then calls to us “Mommeeee, Daddeeee”. Her brother, Taj, who is a very light sleeper, will wake up then and run into her room “I’m coming Arya!”. It’s very sweet.
Then, get ready, make my bed (I read somewhere it’s part of starting the day right). Man, I need some coffee. I look longingly at my Nespresso.
Since it’s a surgery day, I don’t drink caffeine, just to make sure I don’t have any jitters when operating. But, I miss the routine of my coffee. Gotta remember to buy some decaf pods. Help get the kids ready for school, etc. Show the nanny where the stuff for dinner is, so she can prepare it (tacos for kids tonight)
6:45 am: Leave the house.
Jeff usually drives and I take care of admin emails. It gives me time to eat my yogurt. It’s nice having a chauffeur !
7:05 am: Drop Jeff off at the office and I drive over to the Eye Surgery Center.
7:15 am: Arrive at Eye Surgery Center, greeted by friendly smiling nurses. I love this place.
7:20 am: Say hello to my patient, mark above his eye with a large S (don’t want to operate on the wrong eye! – don’t worry, I always print a large photo of the patient and place it on the wall in the operating room to remind which muscles I am operating upon), and sign the necessary paperwork.
Change into my scrubs and head into the operating room.
8:45 am : Surgery is finished. My second surgery canceled at the last minute, so there was no time to move up another patient. So, now it’s coffee time! Yes! I always go to Padovani’s. It’s a cute little shop 2 doors down from the surgical center in Dole. They have wonderful hand made gourmet chocolates, delicious cappuccinos and fresh muffins (my favorites are the pineapple and and mango)
Now, I usually wait about 45 minutes to an hour for the patient to be awake enough to perform suture adjustment on him. So, I grab my usual bench and get to finalizing some charts on our electronic medical record system, EMA. Paper charts are still way faster than electronic charting, but at least I don’t have to carry 25 charts with me in my bag. It’s all on the iPad. I am WAY behind, as usual
9:45am-10: Perform suture adjustment. I’ll do a separate post on this next month, but this is basically when I can fine tune the eye muscle surgery to make sure the eye is aligned exactly where I want it to be post-operatively. My surgical coordinator in the office, Ronnie, is my scrub assistant in the OR when I operate at Eye Surgery Center and she is fantastic. A real joy to work alongside. And, the patients adore her as well. She assists me with the suture adjustment as well. I am lucky to have her as part of our team!
I change and drive Ronnie and I back to the office.
10:30-12 pm. All the fun, sexy stuff that goes into being a physician and administrator (that’s sarcasm, in case you can’t read into that). Finish my charting, sign all the paperwork for the company 401K, talk to our financial adviser at Morgan Stanley about the conversion from Nationwide to Mass Mutual, decide upon profit sharing contributions. Fun, fun, fun!
12-12:45 pm: Reconcile bank statement for July. Try to locate a missing payroll report from that time period. Did I mention how much fun this stuff is? Oops – forgot to bring leftovers from dinner to eat. Thank goodness, one of my staff, Brandi, was kind enough to grab food for me so I can eat while at my desk. I have the best staff. But, quickbooks is still not working and syncing with my bank, even after spending 1 hour 38 minutes with them on the phone on my day off. I’m not in a good mood.
I’m a very neat person, but my desk at the office is always cluttered. I think I’m just mid-project all the time. I remember when they were filming the Hawaii National Bank commercial and they wanted to shoot an action shot of me working at my desk. I started cleaning my desk and they said “No, no, keep it. It’s more authentic”. OK, so now, it’s out there, I have a messy desk.
12:45: First patient is ready for me to see. Steady stream of patients until 3:45.
3:45 pm: My gorgeous girlfriend, Amelia, arrives for our cosmetic event we are having that, yikes, starts in 15 minutes! We’re having a high tea party with stations for colored contact lenses, Botox, and hair/make-up by Amelia. And, I have to help get everything set up pronto, though my office manager, Sara, has already done a ton. I kind of fell into doing Botox about 7 years ago. I was meeting with Thomas, the rep for Botox to ask about purchasing Botox for medical purposes (strabismus surgery) and he asked if I considered doing cosmetic Botox. My training in cosmetic Botox was injecting my attendings with the leftover Botox that we had used for medical reasons (since it has to be thrown away anyway). And, I do enjoy it – I don’t ever want to be a primary cosmetic surgeon, but it does help people feel happier with how they look. Most of my patients, are moms of the kids I examine for their eyes!
4-6 pm: Cosmetic event. It’s a great turnout and all of the guests have a blast.
6:10 pm: Yowser, I was supposed to leave 10 minutes ago for my son’s 1st grade orientation, which got rescheduled at the last minute. I stuff some sandwiches on a plate and eat while I drive.
6:30-7:10: 1st Grade Orientation. I’m an hour late. It started at 5:30, but at least my husband made it there on time. The kids each drew a picture for us. Here’s my son’s.
“Do not feel bad if you come late ” Uggh. The guilt of being a working Mom!
7:30 pm: Back at home. My oldest and youngest are asleep. But, my middle child takes forever to fall asleep. He comes out when we get home and asks for a massage. He’s such a high energy boy, so I started doing nightly massages with essential oil to help calm him down. Now, he expects it and chooses his scent. Sorry, future daughter-in-law!
8:00 pm: All kids asleep! I settle in on the couch to do some Netflix binge watching while I do, what else?, finish charts!