Monday, 14 January 2013

I'm fine.

I realise I've been M.I.A. through the last chunk of 2012, and for that I'm soooo sowwy! (Although I'm not sure how many of you actually cared or noticed :p)

I'm in the 8th week of Ob/Gyn, which means I only have 2 remaining weeks before Forensics. Ob/Gyn was never my favourite subject during pre-clinicals, and this apparently does not change even now. This is complicated by the rather strange environment I'm working in.

[Warning! Rants ahead] In Ob/Gyn, med students are expected to do everything. When I say everything, I really do mean everything, to the point that  this department is sure to shut down if there's no med students. We do all things from the purely medical like following up on patients, Doppler-ing, assisting in surgery and labours, making presentations, consulting attendings during night shift; to the downright technical like registering outpatients, writing pre-op consultation letters to different specialties, and undressing and re-dressing patients for surgery. And not to mention that we will be blamed for doing things incorrectly (because, see, there are things that are hospital-specific or even department-specific, things that you will never know unless you are there yourself). Starting from day 1 of our 10-week duration, we were already expected to work as efficiently as someone who has worked there for years.

My friend even had herself told to feed a patient once by one of the midwives. Another friend had to suffer angry complaints from nurses because he abandoned writing discharge notes in order to attend an academic lecture (we were reminded from the beginning that we must always prioritise academic activities). The attending who delivered that lecture reminded us, blatantly, that we need to remember our place, that we're going to be future doctors, not future nurses or future midwives, let alone future friggin secretaries. That we should not let ourselves be bossed around by nurses and midwives, especially when we clearly have other academic activities that we need to attend to.

Easy to say, sir. Tell them that yourself.

Spiritually speaking, this condition is a golden opportunity to grow in humility. It is SO wrong at almost every corner. But sometimes (okay, often) I get tired. I get frustrated. I want to stand up for the correct thing. I want to tell them that it's their FRICKEN job. That it would be ridiculous if we finish our Ob/Gyn rotation not with Ob/Gyn knowledge and skills but with paperwork knowledge and skills.

Deep in my heart, I still believe Ob/Gyn was supposed to be fun. But in my case, it does not turn out as well as it could have been. Sigh. At least I got plenty of chance to do my own ultrasound and tocography, and to see abnormal pregnancies like ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, and blighted ovum, which is pretty cool. And I get an excuse to do some research on NFP, although it is difficult to share what I found because most doctors and people would just dismiss it as one and the same with the unreliable rhythm method. [Waaahh I need backup!!!]

[Rants end]

My Christmas, on the other hand, was beautiful. I'm not sure why though. Was it because I got to celebrate with my family? But I almost always do. Was it because we managed to grab the good seats inside the cathedral? Probably, but it didn't amount to the level of peace and joy I felt. Was it due to the Christmas gift by a special person all the way from the Dark Continent? It certainly added to the whole effect. Was it because I did a good preparation during Advent? Well it could've been a lot better, but maybe.

I still have a hard time trying to pinpoint a single tangible factor as the cause of this peace and joy. But perhaps they were not worldly peace and joy after all. They were not the kinds that send you jumping all around, clapping your hands, and shouting: "Praise the Lord my awesome God!" No. These were the kinds that make you fall silent. You close your eyes and you close your mouth, you try to shut out any external sensations because you can't afford losing those heavenly feelings in your soul.

Which was why I didn't get too excited about New Year. Of course I joined the barbeque and firework fiesta that my parents set up. Yet my cup was already brimming with Christmas. Everything else became much less important.


Today is the fourteenth day of the first month of the thirteenth year of the twenty-first century.

The sun still rises. I'm still breathing. Jesus is still my Saviour. Mary is still my mother. I'm fine :)

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