Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's with these women...?

Hi, y'all!

OK... it's been a very long time. Needless to say, I've overworked, underslept and been in a generally foul mood for the last two months. Many thanks to all of you who dropped by to see if the blog was updated... and to those who sent kind wishes during the Avurudu season, which alas, I spent in hospital.

Ah well, 41 weeks down... 11 more weeks to go...

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I work these days in a female ward... the one and only house officer. The complaint rate is generally higher than in a male ward, but then, when males are sick, they are really really sick. Most of my patients are wheeled in on trolleys and chairs, looking like death warmed over... A bottle of saline and a night in an uncomfortable bed later, they're just begging to go home. They remember the kids, the washing and the shopping. Sometimes all they need is a break... one sweet old aachchi actually admitted that she came to hospital for a nice rest away from her chaotic household and I didn't have the heart to boot her out until the following morning.

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A recent admission to my was was a 19 year old girl who worked in a small shop at Pettah. She complained of fever for 6 months (mind you, 6 months of feeling unwell and she turns up at 12.45am - go figure). This is what we call "fever of unknown origin" a clinical mystery to which both myself and my registrar delved into with great interest. Blood tests, ECGs, x-rays - and then we find she has very high blood pressure and that her kidney function is miserably poor. Is the high pressure the cause or the effect, we mused, and ordered more x-rays and gave several different types of drugs in order to control the BP. Finally, a scan was done and what that report said freaked me out like nothing else... 16 week single live fetus seen in the uterine cavity.

Holy shit! That little idiot was pregnant!! And she lied to me about her period!! And the pregnancy test was negative because it was an advanced pregnancy!! AND I had taken 3 x-rays and given her a bunch of drugs that are virtually guaranteed to harm the baby!!! I was so mad that I actually slapped her across the arm and and yelled at her, asking whom she was trying to fool!!! Turns out that the guy who was responsible is married to someone else and has two kids from that marriage and all he wanted was an abortion. She wanted the kid - more I think because she couldn't contemplate the thought of abortion.

Cue Angel calling up her sister (both parents had passed away) breaking the news, stopping the sister from committing physical assault, arranging for counselling and finally transferring her to a specialist maternity unit that would take care of both the kidney problem and the baby. Sigh... I swear that whole episode took years off my life!

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A friend of mine works in the adjoining ward and she has a far more suspicious nature and more experience, having worked in a maternity unit on her first 6 months. The very next day she points out a new patient to her side, a rather chubby young girl, and said "Angel, she's complaining of body swelling for 6 months... can you make a spot diagnosis?" The girl is 22, unmarried and looks thoroughly bemused. I hazard guesses of hormonal problems and connective tissue disorders. My friends shakes her head... "can't you see the pigmentation on her face?? She's definitely pregnant." Examination of the tummy shows a wriggling baby, scan confirms a baby and girl continues to deny that she has had sexual contract, or a boyfriend or has even seen a man before... Her parents are equally skeptical. "No no, our daughter is a good girl. there's no way she can be pregnant, she never even talks to boys, you are educated people, why do you lie to us??" etc. etc.

She delivered a bouncing baby girl 2 days later.

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Such incidents never fail to surprise the continuously naive Angel, but my friend says that 6 months in a maternity ward and nothing would make her so much as raise an eyebrow. She told me of how she was called to the ward one night to see a heavily made up young woman who was complaining of abdominal pain. A closer look confirmed that the said young lady was in her bridal outfit and - you guessed it - in labour. Apparently it was some shiny puffy garment that was swathed around to hide the bulging belly and she had come straight from the reception when the pains had got too hard to bear.

So the blushing bride was rushed into the labour room and gave birth within two hours. By dawn the next morning, she had signed herself out of hospital, saying that she needed to be on her honeymoon, and that anyway the homecoming outfit would now need adjustment. Her mother was left in charge of the kid and later took the kid home once all the vaccines were given. It was all my friend could do to stop tearing her hair out - and since nothing was actually illegal (only very fishy) there was nothing much she could do about it.

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Now, I too have cultivated a suspicious nature. All women are sharply questioned about their period... a stock of pregnancy tests are kept on the emergency trolley (easy access, heh!) and tummies are poked more often than ever. And I recall with great fondness the words of wisdom quoted by an old Prof. 4 years ago "every woman between 5-75 years is pregnant until proven otherwise".

Grin!

17 comments:

DeeCee said...

LOL....I missed your posts! Good stuff! :)

Passionatelypatient said...

Thank you for your kind comment Angel ... xxxx Thank you!

Jane Doe said...

Hilarious angel!!
you were definitely missed

~ lo$t $oul ~ said...

LOL, guilty until proven innocent i suppose!!

hahaha.. goood come back post, would prefer if the DOC came with more post often.. :)

Lady divine said...

OMG! strange happenings.... and ofcourse, I missed all these interesting posts of yours..:)

good to have ya back!

surani said...

Me too. i missed your posts and glad to see you back. Wow Sri Lankan maternity ward dramas are more dramatic than an episode of ER!

Nefarious said...

OMG. the drama!!
how stupid can these women get?

Scrumpulicious said...

I'm so glad you're back! You sound like an awesome doctor! Glad you're feeling better too! :)

Jack Point said...

Welcome back, I never suspected that medical practice could be so hilarious.

The Single Couple said...

seriously missed your posts.. very very interesting :)

Anonymous said...

I like your style. If I was a lesbian, I'd ask you out. but I'm not so you're free to go. My brother's a doctor too but he's still struggling in 'quack' intern stage. Not half as funny as you, either.

If i ever become pregnant I want you to be my doctor, please. I promise I'll tell you everything, too.

santhoshi said...

Interesting post... welcome back..

Knatolee said...

Glad to see you posting again. The stories are just amazing!! Boggles the mind sometimes...

Angel said...

Wow... thanks everyone... didn't realise I was missed so much! (Big cheesy grin spreading from ear to ear!)

Yup, maternity wards are a hotbed of scandal and notorious activities... it helps if your sense of humour is intact!

Harumi said...

Glad I found this blog. Didn't know that medical profession was packed with this much of drama and comic relief..! =D

oh and your writing style is very interesting, amusing and animated. Keep up the great work! ^__^

Mahisshi said...

This is hilarious!!

Gypsy said...

Haha I've missed your blog. I haven't read it in a while but been doing some catching up. Love the way you write. I am your groupie right back!