humbling experience

A FRIENDLY REMINDER: if you haven't eaten yet or have just eaten, better defer from reading this...

one of the procedures we do in our department is the barium enema study. it's done when you want to visualize the large intestines by using a contrast, which is barium. it's like an x-ray but with contrast. a catheter is inserted into a patient's rectum and the barium would flow through there until it reaches the last part of the small intestine. but that's not it! after the barium, air would be introduced into the anus by way of the catheter too. if you could just imagine how uncomfortable it seems like, it is and more.

most of the time, the patients are in their 50s who want to rule out colon cancer. i've also had foreigner patients who don't speak any english nor filipino, patients in their 80s or 90s, impatient patients and the perfect patients (walang reklamo). and because of all the air and contrast introduced to them, some of them could not help but defecate even before the procedure was finished. it could be really messy, believe me.

today, i had a young patient who's only in her early 20s. a pretty and sosyal type, she was worried coz she had episodes of bloody stools. she had a colonoscopy (i.e., a scope is inserted into the anus up to the the junction of the small and large intestines to directly see if there's a mass) yesterday but unfortunately, she couldn't stand having the scope so deep inside her that it was discontinued on her request. her AP then referred her to us. i bet she had no idea what she had gotten into. i could see the discomfort in her pretty face as i asked her to follow my directions while trying to control herself from defecating and from farting. i would not be surprised if she was cursing us all throughout the procedure. to make matters worse, she was unable to control herself and made a small mess on the table. nakakaawa sobra.

it struck me that having a barium enema done is a very humbling experience. no matter how pretty you are or rich or powerful, if you have to go, you gotta go.


3-day week

my days of the week: pre-duty, duty, from-duty. the conventional 7-day week doesn't exist for me anymore until i go on solo duty which is not gonna happen in another 3 to 4 months. but i'm not complaining, really. in fact, compared to other training programs in other departments, mine is far better.

i don't go on chart rounds, patient rounds, consultant rounds, sweating and puffing while going from one floor to another, from one end of the building to the other or from building to building. all i do the whole day is look at x-ray plates, use my my x-ray vision, i.e, imagination, then write what i see or can't see.

when i leave the hospital after work, i still feel fresh and even look fresh (well, most of the time). the general feeling is light, somewhat stress-free and not the usual toxicity associated with other fields. just right for me. the only downside i see for now is the callous on my right middle finger which is getting bigger everyday from all the writing i do. even a soft rubber around the pen is of no help for my calloused finger.

today, i am pre-duty so that means, i'm going to be on duty for thirty-something hours tomorrow. and so i end this lousy post...

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