Today I am more than disheartened.
I am exceptionally grumpy.
The day has ended for my staff.
Having already spent much agonizing time on the phone jousting with insurance companies, returning phone calls, reviewing charts, I have now journeyed beyond irritable.
The last EMR entry is complete.
The last prescription written.
If I can remember the alarm code, find my car in the lot and wend my way through side streets, avoiding the heaviest traffic, I should soon be within growling distance of my home.
At last, I find my house. It is still there.
Entering through the kitchen door, my mood darkens further as I survey the disorganization around me
The time has come.
The time to do something.
The time to create order from this chaos.
I muse. If I just spend ten minutes each day, throwing things out . . . only 17 years . . . and I will reside not in a state of entropy, but one of clarity and order.
As if examining a patient, I will begin from the top down. Head to feet. Attic to basement.
Cautiously, I climb the stairway to the attic. Thinking of my new vow, I will only spend ten minutes, no more, no less.
As I grope for the wall switch, I stumble over an old chest.
My normal state of crabbiness returns as I realize that I have probably fractured the first toe of my right foot.
But wait! There is a bright light in this situation!
How can I possibly continue to organize and clean with a fractured toe? I would kiss that toe if I could bend and it didn’t hurt so much.
Time to go downstairs, tape the darn thing, put up my feet, grab some chocolate and glower.
However before I had a chance to glower, I found that the old chest had flipped over and the top had sprung open.
Finding a musty, tattered quilt nearby, I brushed away mold, disgusting critters and centuries of dust.
And there they were: Great-Grandmother Cranky’s diaries!
My glower had not yet settled in place, but my toe had begun to throb, I grabbed volume one, closed the trunk lid and cautiously took my agonizing way downstairs.
After my toe had been iced and buddy-taped to its mates, I settled into my husband’s favorite recliner.
When I was a child, my bedtime stories were not from children’s books, but were stories about the life of my great-grandmother, Dr. Cranky.
I had been told that she was a half-sister to a Dr. Watson, and her favorite patient was a Sherlock Holmes.
Not being a gullible child, I considered these stories to be family myths.
My great-grandmother, Dr. Cranky Wangshaw, was one of the few women physicians in London. She was in practice with her husband, the famous Dr. Yevgeny Vesalius-Steinberger.
I opened the diary and, carefully handling the yellowed paper, I saw in her beautiful handwriting: