8.24.2006

not quite here or there

today's doomsday.. my self-proclaimed one. i expected to come home to the dreaded email revealing what the outcome of my appeal would be. i went through the day with a heavy heart and my face dragged 4 feet behind me. was too scared to come home and face the email, yet i didn't want to check my mail in the wards so i ended up gathering supplies to bake mini apple strudles and picked up two half cakes at the cheesecake shop in case the apple studles flopped. i decided that if it was gonna be a horrible night full of tears and angst with no power to resolve it til the next morning, i might as well have something to keep me busy with. after all, tomorrow's my last day of this rotation and i had wanted to bring in some baked goodies as a thank you gesture for the staff.

kudos to a certain patient down in ED today for making me laugh til my tummy hurt tho. my registrar got such a kick from seeing me nearly piss myself laughing. actually, we had a lot of funny patients. funny in the sense that it it was so sad it became funny.

this patient in ED was ruddy, obese and would qualify for gynocomastia on inspection. he came with a thick accent that wasn't helped with his oxygen mask whooshing 8L of O2 at him per minute. taking the history was a hoot - he spent 5 mins telling us about this man in a wheelchair whom he helped 3 weeks ago. very important to save him, you know. if he fall in elevator shaft, he die, you know. we nodded with perplexed smiles - after 10 mins, we still couldn't get a presenting complaint out of him. by that time, he had told us his GP diagnosed a hernia in his chest (he meant pneumonia) and he had his balls removed (he had said bowels but his accent said otherwise). best i've heard so far. beats the usual patient complaining about his prostrate even when your next questions include the word prostate in it. he also announced that he'd like to pee, could we take out his catheter because it feels like it's fishing him down there and nipping. "we'll take it out. we wouldn't want it to nip you there" my reg told him. don't worry, i've been nipped before. 0.0 oh dear, i don't wanna know. he failed to mention all his 18 wives but he had told us of his Maori wife he married as a silent protest against aparthied. the stories continue =)

another patient of ours.. decompensated alcoholic liver disease. the one we drained 14L of ascitic fluid over 3 hours from yesterday. that had me worried all of last night. he didn't crash in the horrible sense, phew. in my registrar's words, he looks 52 months pregnant again today. he also got aggressive and tried to run after his 85 year old mother for money "to get home" despite being told free hospital transport had been arranged. we all knew he wanted the money for when he makes a pit stop on the way home for more booze. i guess he remembered he had legs to walk with after that incident. a few hours later, he had the patient next to him in tears. he was up walking for some reason, tripped over her drip stand and fell smack on top of the poor little old lady. she cried for the next half hour out of pure shock. i would too if i awoke to a strange man reeking of alcohol flopped on top of me.

and then there's dear ol' mrs m who has dementia but somehow covers it up so well you wouldn't have expected a mini-mental score of 15/30 on cursory conversation. "can you tell me what you get if u take 7 away from 100?" you ask her.. she scrunches up her face and concentrates real hard in silence for the next minute before she suddenly lights up and says 100 and 7? 100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 91, 90! is that right? *faints* i can only muster a smile and ask her the next question.. what can you do for her? nothing but to keep her happy =( like i said, sometimes all i want to do is to hug a patient or their family members and tell them it'll be all ok. i need to find some faeriedust =(

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