Sunday, April 22, 2007

I Met Superman

I was tired and my shift was almost over. I was doing my Pediatrics ER rotation. I checked the computer for the wait list and saw the next one was a 5 year old male with a chest wound. Room 45.

I dragged myself to the door, straightened my coat and took a deep breath, knocked, opened the door and put on my best smile.

Me: Hi! I'm Dr. Duke, how may i help you ? (trying to sound it wasn't my 20,000th greeting for the day )

I shook the parents' hands and turned to the bed where a 5 year old boy was sitting up with an outstreched hand eagerly waiting for me to shake his hand.

Me: Hey buddy! how are you? My name is Duke. What's yours?

S: Hello. I'm Superman.

Me: Ermmm...ok. Wow, i get to meet superman! How are you today?

And he started to tell me his story...

S: ...and i was fighting them bad guys (breathes) and they run away (breathes) and then i go after them (breathes) and then i fly (breathes) and then the bed (breathes)..i hit the bed.

Me: Awww....

Mom intrudes: he jumped from the floor to the bed and the sharp metallic corner caught his chest. he always hurts himself. he just broke his arm last year. but he still keeps running and jumping around.

Me: Well they're boys. i guess they're bound to have a scratch or two at this age. Hey superman, may i see your chest?

Superman: No. (he pulls the blanket to his neck)

Me: Why not?

Superman: Because (breathes), because it hurts.

Me: Hmm..want a popsicle?

Superman: Yes!

Me: Ok, lemme take a look at your wound first so we can fix you.

Superman: OK. (he shows me his chest with a linear laceration on the sixth intercostal space on the left)

Me: Would you let me touch it? I'm not going to hurt you. I just need to see how deep it is.

Superman: I want two popsicles. (he negotiates)

Me: hehehe. Ok, i'll give you two popsicles.

The wound looked superficial but i wanted to take some xrays to make sure he did not have a puncture wound or fractures.

Me: Hey buddy, let's take a picture of your chest, ok?

Superman: No.

Me: It won't hurt, i promise.

Superman: No.

Me: But how are you going to save the world if you have a wound?

Superman: Hmmmmm (eyes roll up). Ooowkaaay.

After a few minutes and two popsicles...

Me: The xray was fine. We just need to patch you up! (i had the dermabond in my hand)

Superman: No.

Me: I will just glue your skin to close your wound. It's like Superbond! Superman with Superbond. Wouldn't that be cool?

Superman: No.

Me: You can show all your friends your wound after we finish. It will look nice! They will envy you!

Superman: No.

He was living up to his Man Of Steel image. He wouldn't budge.

Me: Oh, i thought superman was brave. I guess i was wrong....he's scared of a little glue.

Superman: Am not!

Me: But you are!

He shows me his wound and turns his head the other way. I bend down to apply the dermabond.


Me: ey, i havent touched you yet.


I take advantage of his bravado. Wound approximated. I give the final instructions and say goodbye.

Superman reappears at the nurses station with a blanket cape around his neck . He finds me on the computer.

Superman: where are my stickers?

Me: Wha..what? I thought you already left.

Superman: You're supposed to give me stickers.

Me: that so? (i searched the drawer for superman stickers). Ok here you go. You're doing a good job saving the world.

He grabs the stickers and gives me a thumbs up sign and flies to the door where his parents were waiting for him.

Reminds me of Little David.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

April 07, 2007

Yesterday i got off at 7PM and was excited to have my day off. I have come to treasure my days off, making sure to do something worthwhile instead of sleeping the day away.

And today was my birthday. I wanted to go fishing.

So last night, i went straight to the sports shop to buy me my fishing rod, hook, line and sinker. I am cluless on anything about fishing but the salesperson was very helpful and picked for me the basic stuff i needed. I headed home and dwindled with the computer a bit and got ready for bed. I wanted to get as much sleep to be early for the fish today.

At twelve midnight, my pager started beeping. I was being asked to see my pregnant patient in the hospital who was in labor. Of all the available dates in the calendar, why did the fetus choose to share the same birthdate with me. I put on my scrubs and drove back to the hospital. Since she was 8cms dilated, i knew it wasn't going to be a long wait. But no, the baby came out at 4am and i got out of the hospital at 5am.

But i did not give up on my plans. I decided to soak in the hot tub. I stayed there for about an hour until my fingers and toes looked likelans. Not on my birthday. Maybe i could catch a few winks then go fishing at 11am as planned.

I woke up at 12noon. i felt cold. i looked out of my bedroom window and it was raining. I checked the temperature and it was in th prunes. When i got out of the bathroom, it was still raining.

Hungry, i went to scavenge for food. My sister, brother in law, and the baby left for Chicago at the start of the month and don't have intentions of coming back til May. So for a week now, i've been eating tv dinners and leftovers. But it's my birthday today, right? Let's see, i have bread, cereal, microwaveable pasta, microwaveable noodles, microwavable veggies, microwaveable gumbo, microwaveable chicken, oreos, milk, and coke, and ice cream. I checked the cupboard and saw something that made my mouth water......LIGO sardines!!!! Wohoooo!! sarap sarap.

i was about to call it a day when my co-intern called me. She asked me to come over her house because she cooked something for me. Yey! I drove up there with my fishing rod, still hoping that the sun will just pop out of the grey sky. But looking at the seawall, i lost all hope.

Anyway, my friend A with her husband O and brother L greeted me at the door. i like these people very much i always feel comfy when i'm with them. We had squash soup and her cheese lasagna for dinner and then she brought out the cheesecake and stuck a candle on it. And they turned on the cd player and started singing clapping Feliz cumpleaƱos (they are from Venezuela). The song was a bit too long but finally it ended and we were all laughing. I pretended to make a wish and blew the candle. Then they said i should shout before slicing the cake to make my wish come true (ok, that's a new one). We talked bout fishing and O promised to become my fishing buddy. The next time i get off from work early or on my next day off, he agreed to bring me along fishing. We capped the night with stories over wine.

In this place where everybody is in a rush and always on a schedule, where most of my dealings with people are of the professional nature, i have just realized that i have found good friends.

I hurried to a baby shower party to drop off my gifts then drove back home to write about the day i turned 29.

narealize ko din na mahirap kumuha ng pichure habang nagdradrayb. ay caramba!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Kape / Kafi

7 years ago, i was having some minor, harmless, irregular heart rhythms. I quit drinking coffee.

Last month i was doing ER with another resident who was manic (yes, diagnosed). And she would always stand there with her hands on her hips. She would also always be on my back....

"who are your patients? what's going on with them? what are your plans? tell me about them. ok, who are we sending out? what happened to your xray? what happened to your labs? have you checked if the results are out yet? ok ok, what's next...ok you wanna see this patient? ok, i'll see this..ok...."

And then she went on a cruise for a week. And there was world peace....


But as all good times must come to an end...she returns...with a vengeance. And she says....

"i feel Energized! i'm so ready for the patients!"

Oh God in heaven, please help me.

Then my other co-resident hands me her starbux coffee..."here, you'll need this."

And i just gulp it down. My first taste of coffee in seven years.

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