Monthly Archives: July 2015

Judgemental

This time around, I do not have any short stories to share, but this post is going to be rather emotional. I find it very hard for one not to be judgemental. We always start to think from our own perspective. I am one of that kind, although I’m not proud of it, yes, I’m still practicing it, irony.  Yesterday, I passed by bed 28 in male ward. It felt so weird because the middle age gentleman who was admitted there for months is no longer in it. He had gone towards a better place. This gentleman is in his terminal stage of illness. Nostalgic, because all you can see is a transition of alive person walking towards his end of life. I can still recalled he walks in for his elective surgery, I was setting up the intravenous cananulla for him, all he talked about was his glorious day. He asked, what do you think about my surgery? It’s going to be a successful one isn’t it? Well, I’m skeptical about it but I remained silence, all I could afford to give is reassurance. I apologize because I will not mentioned much in details regarding his illness and his operation. So this gentleman underwent his surgery and unfortunately he had to deal with the complications. Amazingly, he pull it through but he lost one of his lower limb. Days in intensive care unit, finally he was back to ward. Well, life is not a bed of roses for him. And again, he had to face with wound breakdowns and bouts of infection. All I could see is another Kübler Ross grief cycle right in front of my eyes. Not everyone can handle the devastation of losing a limb well, especially for a male chauvinist like him. I had to say, he has strong determination to live because he never call for a suicide, never heave any sigh of sadness. We can only paid him a few visits, trying our best to cheer him up. It was until one week ago, he was literally drowning with the fast accumulation of fluids in lung due to his cancer. The last I went to see him, he was already frail and fragile, a shell without a soul. Subsequently, he passed away few days later at home.  That few months of his life, it was all in misery. We thought the surgery would buy him some time, a better quality of life and yet it was proven not. I was frustrated, it reminded me of the lady I saw during my gyne oncology posting, purely heart wrenching. Has he not decided for the surgery in such a strong determination, he will not put himself in such misery, but then again, I know he won’t give up if there’s any chance of buying him some time. Sometimes what we think is good for a person might not turn out to be one. Because we are all judgemental. This episode might cause an enormous sufferings to him but it did brought him closer to his family.  We always take things for granted. We thought we have so little that we forgot what we have is too much to be remembered and appreciate. We thought things that we have will always be there, ought to be there, the truth is nothing last forever. We will not appreciate until we lost it. It’s the ugly side of human nature.  May he rest in peace, may he found himself in a land with no sorrows but only happiness.

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Short story 2

How is everyone doing? I hope everyone is fine 🙂 This will be the second short stories for the week

It’s going to be quite a short one. I heard it from my folks that recently there’s one gentleman, at his mid 50, has a swelling over his neck region. It has been there for some time and he just got some investigations done. From the presentation and results of investigations, I’m guessing it’s most likely a NPC. He was suggested for radiotherapy. Unfortunately, he refused and opted for traditional way of healing. Instead of accepting the option of treatment suggested by the doctors, he chooses to believe that he is alright because his God said so via some rituals ceremony. I’m not trying to say it sounds ridiculous, of course I respect the diversity in culture. I just felt sad because knowing this will delay the treatment, knowing that NPC is curable. Perhaps health education has not been carried out sufficiently, or perhaps public education in the rural areas is insufficient. This gentleman is just one out of the thousands or millions people out there who is misled by others. There are many more examples and many more people who could have been missing the boat of proper treatment and leading to death.

I’m not sure whether this gentleman is going through the Koehler model of grief that he refused for treatment. He was compensated by the insurance company. Despite advises from his friends, he still insist on his own decision. To my surprise, his family members, his spouse supported his decision. Today I came across the picture of him and his spouse in a gathering with my folks. I can’t help but to feel sad. As a medical practitioner it’s very distress seeing this because you can predict the outcome.

It’s painful to lose someone you love, it’s painful to let the people who love you dearly to go through the pain of losing you. You may be gone, but they are still there mourning, grieving every single day. At this point of time, I recalled a though put from my friend, she said those people who is going to be intubated, should be given a chance, a word to their close one, because no one know what’s going to happen next. I agreed.

I can only pray for them for I can’t any further to make a difference.

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Short stories 1

I would like to call these posts as short stories. It’s almost a quarter to the end of my housemanship. I still remember I started from scratch about a year and half ago. Pediatric posting taught me to be born normal is a gift of life rather than being the prettiest child in town. Obstetrics and gynecology posting taught me being a mother is not an easy task and it takes a lot of sacrifices. Medical posting tells me that we can never breach the poverty gap, the sicks one from rural areas can never gain assess to health care system as easy as we thought of. I’m currently in orthopedic posting, the dreadful posting that I loath the most. I don’t really favor orthopedic since my medical school years. Nevertheless, orthopedics reminds me family support in the journey of healing. This post is about a young gentleman, who lost both of his right upper and lower limb. It’s about a month from now, this gentleman had an alleged motor vehicle accidents. Half of his body was trapped inside the car. When he reached the hospital, he was in bad shape, with both upper and lower limbs crush. He underwent few operations and was admitted to ICU. The orthopedic team tried as best as they could to salvage his limbs. The crush injuries were so bad that his kidneys started to shut down, rendered him on dialysis. The team had no choice but to counsel the family members for amputation. They could not make up their mind, after all taking away limbs was not an easy choice that anyone could ever imagine, he is just a 23 years old young gentleman, waiting to get marry in about few months time. Few days of struggle, they finally decided for amputations because this gentleman was in such a bad shape that he developed 1 episode of cardiac arrest. 
He woke up to realize he lost both right upper and lower limbs. When I first saw him in the ward, he was look depressed, so much that he refused to be communicative, he was basically a shell without any soul in it. And then I saw his family members, his parents, an old man with hunchbacked together with his wife, accompanied this gentleman days and night, waking up in the middle of night from time to time to feed him through his nasogastric tubes. I have the habit of walking around in the ward in the middle of the night to check on patients when I’m on duty. The figures of them, sleeping on a chair, tiring face and yet still smile each time when I tried to take the morning bloods. They told me he is a cheerful child, tough child that never fear of pain. The pain in his heart right now, is something we can hardly imagine.
One week later, he finally open up, started his first sentence, waving to me. I am so touched. It’s the family support that do all the healing. I know the journey ahead will not be a bed of roses to him, but at least he is casting his first step. 
I’m really grateful for what I have. At times, I get so frustrated, but to stop and look, to feel with your heart, I am so lucky and that little bit of frustration in life evaporated instantly. There are so many questions popping up when I look at this gentleman. His fiancé is always beside him during his stays in hospital. If you are the fiancé, what will you do? There’s no right or wrong, in choosing to leave or stay. I guess we will never be able to give an answer because we are not in her shoes. 
Vow~ a promise for better, for worse, in sickness and in health

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