Tuesday, 4 October 2016

6. Aftermath

Air. I needed air. And food. And a good wash.

I lugged my limbs and unshowered arse back home, stepped into the bathroom only to be welcomed by a zombified stupor in the mirror. That was the aftermath of spending 24 hours within the confines of a hospital.

I'm (finally) entering the clinical phase of my medschool journey, and I just started my first day on hospital placement yesterday. Funny thing, I was also put on an on call rotation on that same night. First day at the hospital, and on call straight away after. Came for my first day at 8am, only allowed to leave at 8am the following day. How did that feel like, you ask? Like being thrown in the deep end. 

I literally had no clue what was going on and how everything works in the system. Years of studying & regurgitating notes have not prepared myself for the tough life that was ungainly trying to put on a cannula, having blood leaking everywhere while trying to take some samples, enduring patients' stares that bore right through me, running up & down the stairs sending the samples to the pathology lab, trying to get a history out of a patient but ended up knowing his/her entire life story, praying to God that my eyes don't fail on me (I'm a baby, remember?), feeling downright stupid when a(n) consultant/registrar/SHO threw a question I couldn't answer, keeping a tally of my surviving black pens*, getting goosebumps from the eerie quietness of the night. But I didn't have a choice, haha. The only way out was through, so I powered myself through the night. My moment of solace came when an F1 doctor showed me an empty room where I lodged myself on a tiny sofa to get a shut eye for about 2 hours.


To say it was challenging, would be a complete understatement, when as of right now I can relate to this meme on a deep spiritual level :

BUT IT WAS FUN!! Everyone I met was kind, helpful, encouraging, and always welcoming questions. And they explained things well too. I'm pretty slow at grasping things, but I gotta commend them for not making their irritation visibly obvious when it came to dealing with my obtuseness haha. Sure I felt stupid when I couldn't get things right the first time (and the second time, hewhew), but it was the kind of stupid that was humbling, the kind of stupid that served as a reminder that it's important to recognise my own abilities & limitations and that it's okay to say I Don't Know instead of acting smart. I could let the whole experience incapacitate my spirit, or set it ablaze.

Pictured here is myself at 5pm-ish, before my eye luggages made an appearance

Pray for me and wish me luck, guys!! :)

*Legends have it that no medical student comes out of a hospital placement without first having his/her black pens cheekily 'borrowed' by the consultants, registrars, SHOs, or whoever.

"Do you have a pen?" the SHO asked when we were in the liver outpatients clinic.

In my naivety, I nodded and handed him my black pen (that I brought all the way from Malaysia, mind you, because I find pens here in the UK very crappy). Only a fraction of a second later did it hit me, "Ahh... People have warned me that I'll lose my black pens to people like you,"

"Yeah. Big time. I'm having this one," he said with a smile, and also a matter-of-fact cadence, to seal the deal. The pen is now his, case closed.

The myth of medical students' black pens, as it turns out, rests in truth and not just folklore, unfortunately haha.

No comments:

Post a Comment