Thursday, July 27, 2006

He Makes a Way

I am tired and from duty. Before i go to the dreamworld though to rest my tired mind and body, let me first post this blog. I just would like to thank the Great Architect up there for making ways for me. Well, i have a lot of things to be thankful for just for today. Once again, He reminded me to remain a grace under pressure. When things wouldnt turn out the way im expecting them to be, i just have to look up to Him and give Him a wink. Yep! Everything's under control ma'am. For today, this i was reassured of.

Scene 1: Yesterday, a day before my Thursday presentation, the sponsor for the breakfast still wasnt able to commit that she's going to make it the next day. Was quite disturbed for if the consultants would have nothing to eat, i might be their breakfast meal the next day. We asked for another sponsor and he responded to the call. What's surprising however is that, today, the food was overflowing during my presentation. The previous sponsor who wasnt able to commit, sent food unexpectedly. In short, we had two sponsors for the breakfast today!

Scene 2: I needed an lcd for my presentation. The secretary of the hospital confirmed that it was already reserved for my presentation for today. A few minutes prior to my presentation however, the lcd wasnt available. She forgot that it was reserved by another group for the next 3 days. I was about to lose my temper. I gave her a little of my mind for the negligence actually. Was about to lose my poise until i remembered a dear friend who happens to own an lcd. Guess what? I called her up and to my surprise, she brought her lcd along with her in the hospital! She's going to use it for her afternoon presentation and what a timing! I was able to borrow an lcd for my presentation! Pretty cool eh!

Scene 3: I am from duty. As usual, my hypothesis was again supported that everytime i am from duty, it would also be the time that we will be given our salaries. I am a few thousand bucks richer today. Well, not until i distribute my salary for my bills.

Scene 4: After several nights of reading and preparing for my slides, i was able to give my audience the presentation that they deserve. Everything just paid off. I didnt just receive praises, i was also able to save myself from being grilled and be eaten alive in front by our consultants.

Well, before i retire and finally give myself a break it deserves, i really couldnt help but smile for everything that has happened today. The Great Architect truly doesnt want to see me stressed or disturbed. I might have almost snapped out today because of the mishaps, but He remains to be faithful to His promises for me. He really does make way when there seems to be no way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

5:30 Habit...Relived

Forget the gastritis, i missed Bo's cafe's mocha froccino that for two consecutive days, i gulped down two grande size of it. I had a grande of mocha froccino yesterday after our oral exams at the hospital. I was just wondering though why it didnt taste good. Actually, it wasnt just me who commented about its different taste. The Bo's Cafe trio all wondered why our fave drinks were no longer satisfying. It has been quite some time since our last 5:30 habit session that this afternoon, we found ourselves seated in our favorite place at Bo's. We just wanted to prove that it's the ambiance at Bo's that makes our drinks taste better.

Bringing along our props (our bible in the department that is), we planned to study at Bo' know, read a little for another oral exam. We found ourselves however talking about anything under the sun. Our books left untouched, lying cold on one of the empty chairs. Truly, mocha froccino tasted better there. Why? The talks, the ambiance, made it taste better. Added to that, Blue mexican's nachos spiced up the conversations. Spending some time there allowed us to unload all our toxicities from work. Some of our topics redirected our paths, realigned our plans and made us feel better about our work. It's just, after a hard day's work, spending time with some friends over coffee makes me love my work even more. Yep! No pun intended.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Outside Looking In

I love the feeling of a "from-duty." The fact that my 24-hour duty was over and that i'll be in an on-call status the next day is comforting. Also, i love the feeling of being from duty watching my colleagues doing their stuffs inside the ER.

Everytime i am from a 24-hr duty, my dad fetches me from work. I usually fall asleep when i take a puj that i might find myself somewhere when i wake up that's why. My favorite place to hang around at the hospital while waiting for my dad is the ER lobby. With my duty bag filled with soiled clothes and my harrassed look, i sit with the patients' watchers at the lobby. I love the feeling of being with them. Not a doctor, but an ordinary individual like the people around me. I love to hear conversations and commentaries from lay people. I may not join their conversations, but at least i get to hear non-medical people talking about other things than sickness. I sometimes let out a grin or two when i hear them talk with conviction about their patient's cases. Or if they make a comment about the doctors i know who are currently on duty inside the emergency room.

It's really destressing to be an ordinary human being. Being a doctor seems to be a super hero job for me. You have this signature stethoscope complete with a white coat signifying power and responsibility. Power over your patient's sickness and responsibility over your patient. This job is usually draining. Sometimes, you just wanted to feel at your weakest, wanting to throw away the stethoscope and remove the coat. In my casual clothes, sitting with the patients' folks at the ER lobby, i feel so free. Freed from responsibilities, freed from the yoke that my profession has laid upon my shoulders.

Watching my colleagues runnng to and fro attending to the patients at the ER, i tend to appreciate our profession. We may be burning out but when on the call of duty, amazing how we could perform our jobs and responsibilities. Collegues my age or younger than i am by a year or two show authority over the emergency room. It seems like being inside the emergency room and being on duty would require an additional decade for our current age. You can however observe the transition of an ordinary human being (like me when i am from duty), to a superhero who gets to save lives inside the ER.

It's destressing to be an ordinary human being alright, but being a doctor is more rewarding and challenging. The adrenaline rush of resuscitating someone who's dying brings out the best in you. The maximum tolerance over difficult patients and folks would usually test your patience and character. The time-bound decisions that you have to make in order to save a life sharpens your mind. The criticisms of seniors and consultants would usually strengthen your spirit. These can only be felt in this profession that i chose to take. Being a doctor is really draining but sometimes, all we need is a little rest and a little time to look at our job from another perspective in order to appreciate it and be thankful for it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Two Kinds of Evil

There are two kinds of evil. The ones who do evil things and the ones who allowed these evil things to happen.

I was thinking that the Monday conference this morning would be different from the others. Here was our boss who had a lot of ideas that are overflowing from his gray matter, who talked about his plans in the committee that he was heading. The audience would tend to agree with his ideas and plans...all for the benefit of the hospital especially our patients. I was wrong though. The conference would have been different from the Monday crap conferences we are obliged to attend, if not for one individual who wanted to let it remain as crap as ever. Aside from wasting our time listening to arguments and witnessing emotional outbursts, it started my week on a wrong mood.

Funny how one person who would want everybody be in a win-win situation be scrutinized in front and be questioned of his pure and sincere intentions. He must have hit a sensitive part somewhere. It's like, "bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan wag magalit." The one who stood up and who was very defensive was obviously guilty! His points of argument were out of the topic. If i know, he has just self interests to protect to.

How i hated other people who remained quiet. They all have something to say yet they remained quiet in their seats. I would want to stand and object with what the guilty evil was saying but that would be an insubordination on my part. I, a junior resident, questioning the administrator of the hospital? If consultants who are way older than i am couldnt even speak a single word, what more can a resident like me do? Darn! I got scared!

I was sorry for my boss. I was sorry for my patients. I was sorry for the hospital. Sorry for myself. Here's what you get from speaking your mind and from sharing your purest intentions for the benefit of the patients. People will question you no matter how clear that there's no point of argument. Fact is, their self interests are just endangered. Mediocrity and corruption have never left government institutions. They have become the battle-cry i guess of every government-ran agency. We were even reminded that since we are working in a government institution, we must abide with the rules and regulations of the government. Crap! Plain foolish crap! This is all i could say.

I am just in my 2nd year in this hospital...ok make it three if ill include my internship. I have witnessed two kinds of evil that exist in this institution. Those who do evil - the corrupt and mediocre ones, and those who allowed these evils to exist - the fence-sitters and apathetic ones. As i stay longer here, i try to examine what ive become. Definitely not with the first group. Im afraid though that if i wouldnt speak, ill definitely belong to the latter.

As of now, im learning the talent of diplomacy. Speaking what my gray matter would want to convey and expressing what my heart would want to be a courteous, civil and peaceful way. I'm trying to conceal my identity of being a renegade. When the time is right and there's a need for me to speak up, i know that i will not be just giving justice to myself, but justice to the deprived majority - our patients.

Hell, this is the reason why i am here! If i remain quiet and belong in the 2nd group of evils, i'd better leave this crap institution and rather plant camote.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Wish I Were

I'm from duty...tired...restless...sleepless yet still working overtime. If i'll be given 3 wishes for tonight, i would definitely wish for sleep...precious sleep. Yet, i cant sleep without finishing this thing im working on. Second, i would wish for a whole body relax those tired rest my beaten body. Lastly, i wish i were SUPERMAN! Need not elaborate on this i guess.=P

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Divine Providence

If there's really a place on earth where i could say that i witness divine providence happening everyday, it's the hospital where i currently work...Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital. A tertiary government hospital that's supposed to be just a 400-bed capacity institution. Yet, being the catch basin of all medical and surgical cases from all over Negros Occidental, its alleys can accomodate even twice its expected capacity.

People from all walks of life especially the marginalized flock in our institution. Most of them were sent by district hospitals that couldnt handle their complicated cases (yep! a gastroenteritis with SOME dehydration is quite complicated isnt it?) What's worse however is that these people expect that everything's for free in our institution (better ask the government why things here arent for free). Thus, most of them come with nothing in their wallets, just an empty stomach and the sickness that they have.

As the "welcoming" doctor at the emergency room, i witnessed how hard it is not to have anything with you but sickness. Diagnosing and treating the sick is quite hard. What's harder however is to have nothing in your hand but the "idea" alone on how to treat him/her. When the patient have nothing but sickness, the orders that you make remain in the confines of the chart. Not even the Social Welfare could help much. A little discount in the laboratories is well, acceptable enough. The medications however that are vital in one's survival are so scarce. Much more if we are gifted with the pharmacy that has nothing but intravenous solutions and oral medications! Treating the sick here is like going to war with no arms. It's like everyday, we all have to depend on the miracles that might come down from heaven.

Amazing however how our patients could go home well and improved. Some were provided with intravenous fluids alone and a cold hospital bed yet they become well the next day. Our iv fluids might have some healing powers. Or maybe our beds were contaminated enough with bacteria that they are now capable of producing antibiotics that treats the patient lying on it through skin contact.

Seriously, what's heart warming is that it is in this institution where i witness the goodness of man. This is where divine providence is tangible. A fellow patient for example who's gifted with a little more finances extending help to the patient beside him/her. Or a nurse or a doctor getting something from his/her wallet buying the patient's medication. This is how most of our patients survive sickness. Those who go home improved and have spent nothing are the most blessed. I just hope that they felt how God moved through the people around them and made them well.

That is why no matter how toxic i am or no matter how burnt-out i become, seeing how people help each other is enough to give me the energy to move on and to keep on doing what i have started. I am one of the instruments that God is using in order to let other people feel, no matter how poor or sick they are, how special they are in His heart. I am one of the channels of His divine providence to the sick and less fortunate. I may be overworked, underpaid and restless, but knowing how big the role is that i'm playing in the survival of one patient and his/her family, all of these sacrifices are nothing compared to the fulfillment that i feel. Dont you think it's also divine providence?