Saturday, October 25, 2008

Service Rounds

One of my residents delivered via an unexpected caesarian section this week. I had terribly missed directly handling patients, residents and students so I gladly took over her post as service senior. This meant making daily service rounds, doing ER rounds and again supervising residents and teaching interns and clerks. These additional responsibilities took away a huge chunk of my already limited time. But I don't mind. I'd rather spend sleepless nights doing the dirty work than staying an entire day in the office doing paper work.

This week, my old stethoscope was again put to use. I had once again taught students (outside of the usual morning endorsements) and seeing them gain more confidence enough to speak up and question my own diagnosis inspires me. These are the perks of this job. You get to see these brilliant minds develop and you become part of it. You look in their inquisitive eyes hungry for learning and see how you were 5 years ago.

Make sure the charts are ready before service rounds.

Still in my usual contemplative state, I derived several new insights from my recently revived direct contact with patients. Though tacky and sentimental they may be, I would like to share them in this entry:

1. Somebody has to wipe our own ass when we're sick. I have an intimacy problem. It's easy for me to take care of sick people. I can soak in other people's sweat, blood, pus, urine and feces without batting an eyelash. But I don't trust anyone enough to do the same for me. Perhaps this is one of the things I have to work on. Hence, this is my definition of love. Love is being able to wipe someone else's ass without feeling disgust or pity towards that person and having that someone wipe your own ass without you feeling guilty or sorry for yourself.

2. Something is wrong with the English language. The term "broken heart" is a misnomer. Patients with myocardial infarction or severe heart failure we just send home. They can still expect a long life as long as they maintain their medications. Somehow we can still offer some bit of hope. They can even undergo heart transplant and live healthy lives. Patients with gangrene from diabetes, well, they have to be sent home with one limb less. I think this is worse - having to live the rest of your life knowing that a part of you is missing and can never be recovered. Yes, healing can happen, but there will always be a part of you that will be lost forever. You may get prosthetic limbs, but you never walk the same way. You don't recover from a lost arm or a lost leg. You just have to learn to live your life without it. I have to say that those who would have to live with unrequited love do not deal with broken hearts. A broken heart is so easy to treat. I think the better term is an "amputated limb" - the stump may heal after some time but you would have to move around with a limp for the rest of your life.

These insights sound ridiculous. I'd have to shake off these blues and call my students for service rounds.

Should you be in wards 1 or wards 3 while I'm rounding this morning, find me. I do quite stand out. I'm that big girl with a huge smile on her face, teaching medical students and obviously loving it, but walking with a bit of a limp.

Then perhaps you can lend me a cane.


Sidney Erwin said...

Why the limp? Maybe you should consult one of the rheumas - it would help a lot if you went about your duties with minimal discomfort.

Walking on Water said...

sir naman...=)

Sidney Erwin said...

Jean . . . you're life is so "eventful" Parang you never run out of things to blog about. =) Ganyan pa rin kaya after December?

Walking on Water said...

i certainly hope so, sir. i certainly hope so.

examine your life closely sir. it's eventful too. every patient you talk to, every object you see, every thought you form in your mind, they have their own story.=)