"Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things i would have done but clouds got in my way.
I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions i recall.
I really don't know clouds at all."
- Joni Mitchell
I don't know that I've ever taken the time to explain about clouds in medicine. Specifically white clouds versus black clouds.
I was the proverbial white cloud. A big fat fluffy white cloud. Nothing ever happened when I was on call. I had the "Night of Traumas" when I was a surgical resident, but for the most part, I had relatively easy shifts. As an ED resident, there'd be a trauma here and there... Maybe a code, but not all at the same time.
My good friend in EM residency was the ultimate black cloud. I would have a reasonable shift and then she would show up. Traumas would roll in. Cardiac arrests would roll in. She laughed and said it was toughening her up. We didn't want to be scheduled after her... or, Lord, no, with her.
Since becoming an attending, the RN's tease me and tell me I'm a black cloud. They say the ED has become more busy since I've been working there. They say not only are there more patients, but the patients are sicker... traumas, codes, people needing to be intubated or sent to the ICU. I have to admit I have had some busy shifts. Hmm... wonder if that silver lining is tarnishing just a bit...?