Blog Photos

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Patient Insanities on 10 North... Have a Laugh

Well I figured it was about time I shared some more stories about our dear patients on the surgery rotation. Here are the three cases that spring to mind... Actually there's a fourth one, but she deserves a post of her own so come back soon ;)

The crazed grumpy old man on 10 North.
K.H. has been driving all the floor insane for about a week now. Anxiety attacks, flamboyant claims and accusations that make me wanna scream out in anger... To put things in perspective, one of his latest complaints was having a nurse that smiled too [damn] much!! He even told her that to her face! Hilarious and sad... The poor guy has been one of the most complicated medical cases we've seen so far, with several operations, intestinal leaks and what not... Understandable? Granted. But it is still annoying, and yet funny in a marginally twisted sense, if you see what I mean, to hear him complain about things the world of medicine has never known, like diarrhea caused by walking!!

[Note]: "Patient is not doing very well, complaining of general anxiety and unable to tolerate hospital stay. He is pain free and is refusing to take his anti-hypertensives and anxiolytics by mouth. He refuses to ambulate for fear of diarrhea." Making sense are we? LOL
[Plan]: "Start I.V. Lexotanil"

The nice and healthy middle aged Man on 9 South.
M.D. is A previously very healthy, strong man. After extensive surgery, he seems to be recovering nicely, and is happy to see me every time I walk into his room. Always a good sign to see a patient greet you with a smile. It is so rewarding and puts an inexperienced mini-physician such as yours truly at ease and makes the job that much easier. I walk into the room, M. smiles and brags about how well he's doing, is always anxious to show me how good his breathing is getting, or how comfortable his lazy-boy chair is, with its fancy electric recline and foot support functions. Me, smiling "I wish I had one of those at home, Mr. D!!" It has been a pleasure following this one up. He's staying till the end of the week.
[Note]: "Patient is doing very well, tolerating regular diet, passing stools and flatus, ambulating freely and using incentive spirometer as instructed. Bowel movements normal, no pain or discomfort reported upon defecation. Patient is pain free and has no new complaints. Plan for discharge soon."

The distant old lady on 10 North.
S.D. was a 70-something-year old lady we followed up for about a week, some few weeks ago. I had completely forgotten about her, until I met K.H.
She had her own set of problems, like being too good to look at us med students, or letting us examine her without her attitude, or having not one, but two of her private nurses in her room taking care of her and making our lives miserable... Case in point: M. my colleague was about to draw blood from S.D.'s arm. It was her first time doing that, and she was looking for the vein, taking her time to locate it with some degree of certainty. After all, you don't want to poke her majesty for nothing! Some odd 20 seconds later, S. just lost her patience (bear in mind that M. hadn't even picked up a syringe yet!) and with her face turned away from M., called her nurse and said: "ta3e shoufe hayde shou 3am ta3mel sarla se3a!!" Translation "come here and see what this one is doing, it's been an hour!" Priceless!!
[Note 1 ]: "Patient is pain free as confirmed by private nurse. She is non compliant and refused to be examined, claiming that the nurses already gave her a physical."
[Note 2 ]: "Patient is pain free as confirmed by private nurse. Physical exam not done because patient is sleeping"

And for the record, all that the nurses do is take temperature and blood pressure and stuff like that so...
Difficult patients are a real challenge! I still need to work on that area! Something about them shakes my confidence! But they're funny to tell your friends about!

S.D. and K.H. ? a match made in heaven! We couldn't help but try and imagine what these two would be like living together! Imagine the children!!!
Those of you calling out outrage, relax. We're not making fun of our patients. It's not like that. It's just that these few cases are too entertaining to forget. So we document them! See? it's a noble cause! But seriously, they all get the same respect and standard of care... Rightfully so!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Sunday From Hell

I had been dreading this day for a while. Sunday, July 19, 2009. Bidding farewell to loved ones, saying goodbye to friends. All on one day seemed like torture. And it turned out to be even worse.

This just in: friend and fellow blogger wondering: "Is it true that Lebanon is now nothing more than a pit stop?" This is a question to ask indeed...
I live here, I grew up here, and even for me this is just a pitstop.
For everyone who woke up one day and decided they wanted more from their lives than this place had to offer; For everyone who is contemplating the thought of leaving; nothing more than a pitstop. That Sunday, I said my goodbyes to my aunt in the evening, and to one of my best friends from childhood later that night... Very eloquently, this sucks.

Flashback to Sunday, late afternoon:

It was a long drive to Ballouneh, where my auntie N. lives. LiveD. Mixed emotions flying in the air. There was a distinct feeling, or taste, to that trip. Everytime we went on that noisy drive singing silly music and hopeless songs, there were great times. Barbecues, nargileh, and that sweet feeling of a family reunion every few weeks. Not this time though. This time round, this warm familiar feeling was overshadowed by foreseen grief and heartache. N. is going to Canada. She's taking her incommensurately adorable kids -this from a hardened official kid hater, remember?- and she's going to start a life somewhere else.

Somewhere where she won't have to worry about making ends meet every month, somewhere where people are actually people, somewhere... Don't worry, I'm not gonna start another tirade about our dearly cherished country, if one can call it that. No, I've done that before (read). What matters now is where she's going, and who she's leaving behind. This is the second time that this country has done this to my family. And what's worse is that it's about to do it again. I'm going to have to leave, again, for my residency. And that Sunday, this was always on my mind and I felt like I was suffocating.
My grandmother worse for wear, my grandfather's voice choked out of him as he desperately tried to hold back his tears, my uncles and other aunts in no better shape, and my tears clouding my last sights of N. and her kids, we left Ballouneh for a silent trip back to an insipid Beirut.

Goodbye N. We love you so much. We miss you already.