Greetings, gentle readers, after more than a month of silence, and sparse blogging before that. Not much time today, either - but just enough for a quick update. :) The past four weeks were hectic... many things going on... some nice, some nasty.
- My blog turned one year old last April. And I didn't even notice, till early July and couldn't blog about it till now. Happy Birthday Angel - my alter ego, my stress buster, and the only means I have of actually putting my thoughts down.
- Darling and I got a place of our own - sort of. We've officially moved from the nest, taking clothes, furniture and the 3 rice cookers we got (each a different size, as you never know when or how many guests you'll have to dinner). To be honest, it's not that much of a change, except that now I have to think up of innovative dinner ideas. So far we've been alternating between noodles and pasta. And bread, when I don't feel like boiling the said noodles / pasta. promises to darling of Darwin like cooking have not been fullfilled, yet!
- I started the dreaded internship... eeek! Day after day I question why the heck I'm in this field of work. I'm in the ward by 6.30am, sometimes don't get home till past 10pm. I feel constantly sleep deprived. My feet developed blisters, which cracked and bled, in spite of me wearing what I thought were my most comfortable shoes.
It's not that the work's not enjoyable... it is. But it's different from a clinical problem in a textbook that can be leisurely analyzed and solved. We work with living, breathing human beings, in a dynamic state of flux, who develop different, unique and occasionally mind boggling problems every day. It's also coupled with the horrible feeling knowing that you're responsible for someone else's life. Being responsible for one's own is bad enough. To be honest, it's not really a happy job. the "oh but you're making people better" argument is inherently weak as people who get better will do so anyway (natural history), and the people who don't, suffer unbelievably and then die. :(
I did my first solo casualty last week and got through it safely (with all patients alive and ticking, phew!) It doesn't seem so scary now, but still do feel apprehensive as the next one looms up.
The last 24 hours were like a scene from ER... with about half the staff and none of the fancy equipment. Three (three!!) emergency laparotomies, and rushing a patient to a theatre to be ventilated because there were no ICU beds available. Hours of running around organising blood and plasma and platelets and fancy drugs. The emotionless announcement that there had been a death at one ICU and that we had first booking for that bed. How pathetic. One man's death opens the door to life for another. One family's bereavement is the source of relief to another family.
- Theatre. The surgical type. At least 10 days of the 28 spent in icy cold, sterile surroundings, wearing draughty green scrubs, face hidden behind a mask that smells a little weird. The stench of the diathermy device as it cuts through tissue and fat. This is why I don't like BBQs... the smell reminds me of burning human flesh. Yech!
- Bad news. Something I hate to deliver. Over the last 4 weeks I had to tell 5 families that the situation of their loved one was serious and that while we were doing our best, chances are slim. I watched their eyes tear up, watched grown men cry and rant and rave. I had a lady 15 years older than me kneel at my feet and beg me to somehow save her father. I felt like yelling "there's nothing I can do... I'm only a house officer, the most ignorant and incompetent of the team... even the seniors have done all they can, I cannot do anything more, I am not God!". I felt like kneeling on the floor next to her with my my arms around her shaking shoulders and reassuring her, however untrue and hollow those reassurances would be. I didn't do either. Just followed the protocol we had been trained to follow : asked her kindly, yet clinically, to calm down, wash her face and not to let the patient see her distress.
I wrote out a death certificate for the first time that week. Not a nice experience.
- Off day. Much anticipated opportunity to put feet up and consider something other than bread and an omlette for dinner. Darling convinced me that Kung Fu Panda was worth the effort of dragging self out of bed. Totally loved the movie... cuteness re-defined! Cheese kottu from Pilawoo's and early to bed. Bliss!
I guess I can't complain that my life is uneventful... stay tuned for more rants... and take care, all!