Blog Photos

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cruel Discussion and Modern Medicine

Overheard at the OPD Pediatrics Clinic between physician and a patient's mother.

Mother: What can we do Dr. N?
Dr. N: There is a new and effective drug for what your son has. But it's too expensive. Neither you nor I can afford it.
Mother: So what's the solution?
Dr. N: ..........................................

P.S. I will elaborate on the case soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Snail

Shweifat, Lebanon - March 2010
"The snail he lives in his hard round house,

In the orchard, under the tree:

Says he, "I have but a single room;

But it's large enough for me."

The snail in his little house doth dwell

All the week from end to end,

You're at home, Master Snail;

that's all very well.

But you never receive a friend."
- Anonymous

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Late Rite of Passage

Walking on Bliss street had never been such a complicated task, what with all the 10-year old –or less- mendicants and lottery ticket ‘agents’ or shoe cleaners. For the longest time I felt annoyance at the heavy task of brushing off these pesky and persistent solicitors that seemed to be after nothing other than your money. The annoyance not circling around the money itself, but about the ethics and principles of discouraging the presence of alms-askers and the associated child abuse and whatnot; let me not digress and wander off into these treacherous discussions for now.

So one of my tricky walks along the famous street, while I was looking for that after lunch cup of coffee, got me to Epi D’Or. -Don’t let the name “Epi D’Or” fool you. Fancy name for a place that’s affectionately and more commonly called “Abou Naji”, the little store across the street from the AUB main gate-. Waiting for my coffee, I get elbow-tugged outside by an as-yet unknown figure who turned out to be one of Bliss’ seasoned shoe cleaners


. “Here we go”, I thought to myself. But then, all thought processes angled at getting rid of that annoyance were instantly stopped by the cleaner’s marketing skills… “Eza ma 3ajabak ma tedfa3 wala lira!” Translation “If you don’t like my work don’t pay a dime!”

Said in a convincing and confident tone, these words made me think ok what the hell? My shoes were dirty, hadn’t been cleaned in a while and a good buff would do no harm! So I told the guy to do a good job and he got to work. I have not seen hands move so fast. The sound of swishing as his run down piece of tissue carved through the air and onto the now polished leather told the tale of a shoe cleaning veteran with years of training!

All done, shoes shining, and face smiling as M. took a few snapshots of the event, I was thinking about the going rate on a premium job like this! So I thought 3,000 LBP. M. frowned in disagreement and so I gave him 5,000 LBP.

In retrospect, seeing how his face lit up as he tugged on that bill and all the good wishes for prosperity and long life I got at that time, I know I overpaid! But I would do it again and pay the same price!

But hey. An honest living, a job well done, make me rethink my stance on the good shoe cleaners out there! This is one rite of shoe-cleaning passage not to be soon forgotten!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Drafts from the Past

For a few days now, I'd been wondering how to get back on the blogging track. For me it's one of those times when you have a lot to write, but not enough time. So much to write you can't just cram it into one post and expect it to make sense... So I thought why not see what I had been up to before my unjustified hiatus...
Here's to fishing a few drafts from the past, a few posts that were never posted. Figured we'd go from there!

August 22, 2009 - A Med Student's First Patient Crush
"Well here it is. It finally happened... It had to, I guess it was only a matter of time. I guess it's always only a matter of time before any med student gets infatuated with one of his patients. I had to check on a total of 6 patients yesterday, and these include two patients from my previous post.
So after a long on-call day at the hospital, I get beeped for my last admission of the day. I thought to myself, "here we go. One more intestinal obstruction or jaundiced patient and I'll be on my way..." And so I got to 7 South. I saw Dr. K (one of our residents) and R. (a visiting student from Syria) at the end of the long hallway leading to the desk. As I got closer, I started hearing tidbits of what they were saying, and the little that I could put together was "She's status post whipple procedure in 2007".
When I heard this, I tought "ok, here comes another 90 year-old... [end of draft]"

September 26, 2009 - Enraged Med Student Slays Many in Elevator Frenzy.
"What is wrong with people? What is wrong with Lebanese literacy? what is wrong with normal psychomotor and cognitive development?
You're probably wondering why I'm asking these questions... Well let's see. In order of appearance and respectively, here's what they... [end of draft]"

November 6, 2009 - Some Will Never Learn...
"Ever wonder why you seem to keep making the same mistakes... [end of draft]"

December 24, 2009 - Wandering Attention, You're Welcome
It's 2 am and I'm awake, wondering what it is that drives the seemingly coincidental encounters, the apparently arbitrary events, large and small, that seem to just explode in apparent randomness until they inevitably crash back together and make up that mess that we call life... [end of draft]

I had been thinking about a few of these posts, the few worth posting, that is, and wishing I had posted them when I remembered more of what made them worth writing. But I have to say that while a bunch of fine-script details are lost to hazy recall, some memories are tenacious and come out vividly as soon as they are elicited.

Like L., my 26 year-old patient with not only the most intriguing and sorrow-inspiring medical history and problems, but also with the most unforgettable face and big blue eyes and out of this world sweetness one could imagine. One of the many patients I will never forget.

Or that insane feeling I get everytime I get in the elevator at AUH and people start pushing and shoving to get in before anyone has a chance to get out. When they look in at some of us 'elevator insiders' and ask: "Going up?" with that bewildered look on their faces! And finally, when stuck in a packed elevator for 10 floors with a stop at each and every single floor with agonizing slowness and the same sketch of pushing, shoving, and moronic questions, the nice feel of less-than perfect hygiene: the 9 out of 10 people with breath odors prompting the eloquent question: "WTF???" and let's not forget the 8 out of 10 people with body odors worthy of wildebeest! I used to think about that frenzy every day! "LOOK OUTSIDE YOU MORON! THERE'S A LARGE ARROW POINTING EITHER UP OR DOWN! AND GUESS WHERE THAT !@@#$% ELEVATOR'S GOING!! AND TAKE A GOD!@#$ SHOWER AND BRUSH YOUR GOD AWFUL TEETH!" Oh that felt good!
As for the last two drafts, I can't seem to remember what I was on about. I'm sure it would have been interesting though!

Ok so there was my flashback. My way of dotting the i's and crossing the t's paving the way for a few more memories fished from the past as I catch up.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back after a long absence!

It has been a long time since my last post. And to my few interested readers I apologize :)
Stay tuned for updates on my Gynecology and Pediatrics rotations.

Lots to catch up on! Coming soon