Post-release aches and pains are a tradition in the software/hardware world I come from .You work your puttola off for a few months, each day getting progressively more stressful as achieving the release objectives becomes increasingly unlikely. The hours get longer, the pressures get higher, and the bugs get more intractable until the day of the release. On that fine day you build the damn thing one more time and throw it up online, releasing it to a vulnerable, patient and unsuspecting public. Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, a low grade head ache starts to take hold. By the time the product is out the door, everyone in the room wants nothing more than 72 hours of sleep, hot Theraflu, and a back rub.
Instead we go drinking. This is what the family did Friday evening. We've been prepping for the practice closing since January 2005 but somehow there were still approximately five million things to do on that one day. All day Friday, I put out fires, fed people, and assisted in the transport of 10,000 folders. I can assure you that the move was not HIPAA compliant. We just tossed the patient records into boxes and the boxes into a van and shlepped them from one building to another.
I asked DrC Thursday if he was releived to finally see his last patient as a solo practioner. He admitted, “I'm a slow learner. I don't feel any different.” And I didn't either until Friday night. As I strolled out of the back door, letting it slam behind me with a satisfying thud, I felt like someone had lifted a zebra off my shoulders. Maybe an entire herd of zebras. I still have a two really enormous elephants, mind you: collecting the money from all the patients DrC has seen over the last six months and selling everything we own. But it felt good. It felt big.
And Saturday, it felt like those zebras had thrown one last party before their departure because my body was beaten. I ached in every bone, sinew, and nerve ending. I spent the majority of the day curled in a fetal ball in my cabin nearly buried in blankets and with only my nose popped into the sub zero air. DrC was tremendously nuturing. He made Noregian leek and potato soup, and administered hot tea, analgesics, and crusty sour dough bread at regular intervals. He also discovered the secret to really amazing hot chocolate is a bar of the real stuff, sugar free vanilla syrup and a half cube of butter. I love this man.