and when she speaks
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I loved my Palliative Care team.
Loved the friends I made there, the people who have hearts of gold for our patients.
They showed me what true compassion is. What a real doctor should be like. What the human touch can do. What love for the human spirit can achieve.
I lost two patients on my very last day...
The moment we stepped out from this room, about 10 seconds later, my social worker was pulled away by one of the nurses to be informed that that patient we just saw had passed.
The mother who arrived about an hour later, was hysterical. As we approached that room, she ran out screaming with tears streaming down her cheeks, 'THANK YOU. THANK YOU all. Thank YOU for Taking Care of my DAUGHTER. Thank U."
in between were sobs and sniffs...
I saw her face and cannot imagine how she felt.
My heart went out for her.
But I put up a barrier because I didn't want the emotions flooding and overwhelming me. It would have brought back memories of mum crying when grandpa's hearse came out.
The tears that were shed during those hard weeks- that was an emotional roller coaster ride but the family stayed strong throughout that journey.
Her other social worker held her tight against his chest and she sobbed. Her eldest daughter stood stoic and held her emotions in control... She didn't once burst out and I could see she was being very very strong for her mom. I knew exactly how she felt.
Thankfully, the patient passed away comfortably.
The interview this morning went very well.
I slept early, MUM phoned me up at 4.55am!! Thinking I was already up getting ready to travel for my interview.
I went back to sleep only to be awaken for the interview an hour later.
INterview went very well.
I think I cinched it as well, because after the tour, my interviewer,a nephrologist attending staff saw me from afar and waved HI enthusiastically. I was very happy when he did that :) That goes to show at least I was remembered out of the 100 plus applicants :)
He asked me to clarify how old I was , right at the start of the interview.
I didn't know they were THAT observant.
I made a couple of nice friends, a PhD researcher from Yale and a New Yorkian medical student who studied in the Carribean.
I clicked straight away with Steve. Here he was, at the start of the interview, he whipped out his laptop and started typing away. I teased him 'Do you always bring your laptop to interviews?'
He laughed... and said 'I know I looked ostentacious, don't I?'
We clicked the whole way through. And I had company during my subway ride home :)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
My mum is so sick of me saying this but I can't help it. LoL
I am blardyyyy brilliant ( in the sexy, British drawl...) ;)
I'm kidding, kidding.
It's sunk in, but no feelings of overzealous celebration...
My parents weren't even THAT excited. HOW CAn ah??
They said the whole family sort of expected it wor.
Woah, LUCKILY I scored a 99. If I didn;t get that 99, I don't know how their reaction would be if they hardly reacted to my 99 -.-
No element of surprise there, I sure don't think that's fun to feel. LoL.
Anyway, tomorrow's my half an hour presentation.
I love the topic I chose for palliative care.
It speaks about 'In their own time: The family experience during the process of withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy'
There are moments when the tears feel like coming out when you're on this rotation which is expected because you're dealing with death and dying. But there are also moments when it brings a smile to your face especially when you see how love brings people together and it's so so sweet to see that...
This old guy I have is 89 dying from a re-occurrence of colon cancer said to us "Please do everything you can to help me live past my 90th birthday which falls in 1.5 months' time. My wife says her wish is to be married to a 90 year ol' man" he joked.
The wife came in exactly at the time she told him. Sharp at 3.15pm.
He remarked, 'I missed you'
She replied lovingly 'I missed you too'
and they smooched.
It was so sweet. So sweet.
My gut feeling tells me love is going to make sure he lives through his 90th birthday.
Love makes you do silly things but it also keeps your spirit strong and performs miracles in ways science cannot explain, I feel.
Just like how my grandpa stayed waiting for me. It was unfinished business then.
Love you lots.
This is what I said to my dear girlfriend Lauren who is going through a tough patch here.
'This is only going to make you a better social worker'
... and then she quipped in return;
'Just like how your grandpa's experience is going to make you a better doctor.'
and we both smiled, understanding each other's experience.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Hi Guys =)
I just got my USMLE Step 2 CK score.
And it's a 99 :)
*claps hand* It must be the hot dog buns ;)
My sister checked it out for me. The results came out at midnight sharp. Someone called me a 'coward' ...
but I guess it was worth it after all.
After all, my previous USMLE step 1 score was also checked by my mum ;)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I stroked a dying 39 year old male patient today.
He's dying from anal cancer and AIDS.
His cancer causes him unbearable pain so bad that we overload him with pain meds just to help take the edge away - with the side effect of him being drowsy and not very cognizant.
He is too tired to answer our questions.
'How's your pain?'
He takes 2 minutes to slowly gather the strength to process that question and answer with all his might, in the softest whisper 'It's ........... ....... manageable' ...
I can barely hear him, so I squat beside him and hold his hands.
His eyes cringes every few seconds when the pain strikes every once in awhile when he shifts position ever so slightly.
We laughed when he mentioned about 'pastry'... because that's a very good sign of his recovering appetite. Just a few days ago, we thought he would have slipped away as he looked the color of a ghostly white.
That said, he is on his death bed. There is no chance of recovery. He will likely die anytime soon.
His family is making his funeral arrangements and planning to fly him back to his home country; Italy.
Tears well up in his eyes... for whatever reason I don't know. When I laughed, his lips crinkled into a smile.
And I stroked his forehead and the sides of his face.
A touch he welcomed wholeheartedly.
And then, we parted.
Give me the wisdom to understand.
And give me the courage to dare.
Try new things.
That said, I stand by all my principles and have never forgotten them. And my boundaries are set.
Sometimes I wish life were simpler.
Life were easier.
Sometimes I wish I can fly free and have no fear.
And throw caution to the harbor lines and experience.
I wish my own loved ones can have more faith in my judgements and in my capabilities.
Time after time, I've proven myself.
I have grown up faster than peers my age, succeeded in pursuing one of the most rigorous course and establishing a name for myself everywhere I go, professionally.
But, why do I still sometimes feel entrapped?
I just wish.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Don't ever let yourself fall below the standards or expectations that you set for yourself.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The happy memories in Canada...
=) with wonderful friends.
And lots of love.
Desmond will so kill me for putting that up.
He's one of my best buds here in NYC.
My makan buddy. Also my tell-me-not-to-eat-so-much reminder buddy ;)
I love watching Gray's Anatomy.
I love it.
I can't wait to play the real intern.
Though I know Gray's Anatomy by no means mirrors the real life of an intern in any way.
Even the booty call is a bit too much... lol
Then again, that makes for a great show.
With the exciting sleeping together. (it depends on how you wanna look at it la... That's not my style though :p) and the crying and then the emotional consolation and comfort given by the male counterparts. That's the part I like. *laughs*
Whenever I cry watching movies, I find the tears come out much easier when I'm alone... with friends around I always feel a bit "malu"... and then I quickly wipe them away...
And keep silent for a bit.
*laughs* so silly of me.