Sunday, November 27, 2011

Duty Notes: Late nights/early mornings

It’s nearly one AM, and I just got back up here in the call room, after having admitted a patient from the ER.
In the still hours of pre-dawn (my favorite time for writing), I don’t feel sleep at all. No hint of the need for somnolence has come to me, so far.
(It helps to have a huge mug of 3-in-1 instant coffee handy.)
My friend Anne, who came over for a visit, is currently snoozing on one of the bunk beds, and I can’t help but smile. I am amused at her story of the lack of sleep from work making her all cranky and stuff. Bless her heart, I think about my sleeping habits, and I thank my lucky stars that I haven’t gotten to that point yet…
Anyway, how was my day?
Well, it’s not over yet, that’s for sure… there’s a patient waiting for me at the ER, but the intern gets first dibs with the interview. As the “more senior” person on the hospital totem pole, I get to wait and do some work while she gets her learning done.
(In this case, that “work” would be blogging.)
I got myself this duty schedule because I wanted to attend my cousin’s birthday party at their new condo unit in Pasig later today. This will be a veritable gathering of the Miaco clan in these parts of Luzon, and therefore, something that should not be missed. Smile He said I should get my voice ready because it’s going to be a videoke party all the way ‘til night. Open-mouthed smile  Definitely something to look forward to. Kuya Ick and his family have always been really nice to me, and they called me saying I specifically had to come. I ‘m looking forward to it. I love parties.
I haven’t gotten him a present, though.
My day started with an ER consult. Needless to say, I can’t talk about the patient, but this I can say, the intricate artwork of his tattoos were amazing. There were names and roses, and a lot of other things. I wasn’t able to interview him thoroughly though, because at that time, he was in pain. I was thus drawn to the fine details of his skin art, made more clear by the tautness of his muscles…
This afternoon, I realized how hard it is to help people who don’t know (or refuse to know about) what is wrong with them. What makes it much worse is if their caregivers don’t even believe in the same. In the usual sense, a problem can only be dealt with the moment it is identified as such. So when it came to that point, where insight could not be had, I had to exhaust all my efforts in helping them learn how important it is to take medication.
As in, I hammered the “psychoeducational” truth into them…in Tagalog.
Smile (Aren’t you proud of me?)
Also, one of my patients asked if I did facebook, because he wanted to add me. I politely refused and informed him that being facebook friends was going to be overstepping physician-patient relationship ethics, and I’d rather we focused on his treatment. (Oh, and he asked if I had a boyfriend, whether he and I were on good terms…the usual. To these “probing” questions, I usually ask why they wanted to know. Usually, I just say yes…so that’s the end of the discussion.)
A patient’s mother hugged me today. I’m not really big on hugging in the hospital, so I kind of held back a little. (Is this ok?)
Tonight, I saw what “pain” looked like, in the face of a patient. It was heart-wrenching, yes, but I preferred not to show it.
A friend of mine said that talking to me was like a breath of fresh air. (I took that as a compliment.Smile) So did a patient earlier, but hey, I hope they meant that in a general sense.
Usually, I just let them talk. I just listen and say things, and that makes them feel better. One of my favorite psychiatrists in one lecture said that, maybe, what people really needed was not advice, but just to be listened to. That is, in itself, part of psychotherapy.
I usually like listening to people and their stories, but at the end of the day, I think I’d like it if someone wanted to just sit and listen to me.
(Which is probably why I’m writing this one out.)
All in all, a good day. Thank heavens.
P.S. For some reason, I felt invincible enough to go out of the hospital to buy that camera I’ve had my eye on for the past months…and not get caught. LOL. I eventually decided not to follow my flight of fancy and opted instead to wait a few more days, until I was really “ready”. I’m already in love with the damn camera.
The low point of the day? hmm…I shouldn’t overthink it, but I do dislike (very much) if I don’t get SMS courtesy. By courtesy, I mean that if I ask a question, I fully expect an answer because it would only be right. It’s a pet peeve of mine to be ignored when I ask a question, just because the person on the other line is done getting what they want from you.
It annoys me very much.
And the worst part about it is I can’t do anything about this annoyance, I’m not the type who engages in hysterics if she doesn’t get what she wants. I usually let it simmer, and forget it eventually.
Still, I don’t need the effing aggravation.


  1. haLo steph!
    ^_^ I am proud of you - sa imong 'pagTinagaLOg' whiLe doing psychotherapy - ang hirap kaya nun!

    and I second you sa kung magtxt ta tapos diLi ta repLyan.

    by the way, I do hope the patambok project is working.

    Ingat, steph!

  2. haha...thanks doc. :-) I try my very best, even in "unconventional" tagalog. Lapit ka na lang matapos, graduation na!!

    :-)It's almost annoying kung indi magreply ang gintext nimo, di ba?



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