“Excuse Me, Doctor, can I speak to you for a moment?” One of the other attending physicians asked me while I was visiting a patient of mine in the ICU this afternoon. Since I was the consulting endocrinologist working the hospital floors this week, I assumed he wanted to discuss the particulars of this case with me. Instead, once I excused myself and we were both out of earshot of the patient, he smiled at me and said, “I have a close friend who is an avid runner and blogger and he told me to say hi to the ‘Running Laminator’. I assume that is you, is it not?” I waited a while before confirming his suspicions with a sheepish nod. And with that, after thirteen months of anonymity within the walls of this hospital, my secret identity outside of the professional workplace was revealed.
To be honest, I fully prepared that I’d be ‘discovered’ one day. After all, in today’s cosmopolitan society where we are more closely tied to our e-mail addresses than our real addresses and everyone we work and associate with seem to have some connection to everyone else, it is impossible to maintain a virtual identity that is distinct and separate from the real-life counterpart for any length of time. (Didn’t someone famous once say that ‘you can fool all people some of the time, and some people all of the time, but you can’t fool all people all the time?) I just didn’t expect to be so blatantly exposed while I was on the job, in the middle of the pediatric intensive care unit!
It’s been a full twelve hours now, but I still haven’t figured out the proper reaction to this latest development. Am I supposed to be relieved now that the news is out and I no longer have to purposely hide the fact that I’m a decent runner and blogger from all my workmates or should I be frightened that I’m now more transparent to those that work with me than I’ve ever been? Should I be more cautious in my postings about what I see and what I do so as not to be politically or professionally ”incorrect” or should I keep my integrity as a responsible blogger and just write what feels right, to me?
I think I’m starting to feel a bit intimidated that my virtual ‘me’ has become somewhat more successful and more infamous than the real ‘me’. It is crazy to think that more people know of me as a running blogger with a hospital gig on the side than a professional kid’s doctor with a crazy running blog on the side. How weird is that?! I think I’ll need more than one long run this week to figure things out.