Regardless of how negative my last post sounds, I really learned a lot in this department. I came to some realizations and such. Nope, not study related. I just love observing things that’s happening inside the ward itself. And I love observing the parents the most. There’s this patient called E with hydrocephalus, pneumonia, sepsis, respiratory failure, and God knows what else, that’s been inside UPI (intensive care unit) for quiet some time. She’s only 2 and I’ve watched her being intubated, put on ventilator and stuff. Her parents, I can tell that they’re young. But I love seeing them putting strong face, working together to take care of their only child. I love their routine. They take turn just like we-DM do. In the morning the dad will come along, smile so big my heart hurts, talk to E as if she could hear and understand him, give her face few gent strokes, bid her goodbye, then off to work he goes. Her mum begins the day by changing her diaper, bathing her, putting some moisturizer on her, reciting Qur’an on each step of the work, you know, like singing it to her, in a way. And when E’s nice and clean she’ll sit beside the bed and start talking, like real talk, like asking her how’s her day been, telling her to be strong and that her mum and dad are always around. And in the afternoon the dad takes turn. And he does pretty much the same thing. Watching his kid fighting for life yet still manage to try and talk to her like it’s all just a regular sunny day. No matter how hard I try, I always fail to play my empathy card on. My heart crumbles as I watch this kind of scene.
Tough parents are my weakness. They practically watch their kids being put into scary procedure, they hear their kids screaming and crying for help, in pain, yet they have to counter all the urge to just grab them, leave the place and hug the pain away. They wish the could hug the pain away. They have to let their kids being woken up in the middle of the night for something as worthless as vital sign and work hard to put them back to sleep again. No matter how grim the prognosis look, they can’t fall off. Yet. And that’s heartbreaking you know, being strong when you least feel like it. I remember there was this dad in the emergency room, hugging his daughter tight, comforting her as the nurse tried to draw some blood off her. He then whispered, “It’s okay don’t look, don’t look, it’s only a minute away. Sorry daddy’s not a doctor. I’m sorry...” And he looked genuinely sorry that he wasn’t a doctor. Like all of her suffering was all because he wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor and fix his own child.
God, did I cry…
The way they give out empty promises is also interesting thing to observe. In seriously ill patients usually the parents will start making empty promises like taking their kids to see robots, dinos; basically taking them to places, promising them that they could eat as many candy as they please, all those in one condition; they have to get better, or at least open their eyes. These empty promises, they hold onto ’em so tight. Like it’s the last line, the only thing that keeps them from giving up. They’re scared. The more impossible the promise goes, the more they hold onto it, because deep inside they’re looking for miracles, anything. Like the only purpose they have is to keep being strong and go on with life cause what if their kids wake up? They have promises to fulfill.
I learned to be eternally grateful. Out of lots of awful things that could possibly happen, from the moment of conception, intrauterine-growth, up until the day I was born, I thank the God above that I was normal. You look at these poor kids and then it’d dawn on you that you should be grateful. You have four complete limbs, properly working lungs, even well-shaped skull to cover your brain, mostly, you have amazing parents who love you dearly. There was this 17 yo girl who accidentally got pregnant and refused to even take a little peek at her kid right after he was born. Her husband –if that– was nowhere to be seen. Said she didn’t know his whereabouts and that she didn’t care. I was like are you for real? Any mother would kill for a chance to hold her baby as soon as humanly possible. They probably wouldn’t care if they’re bleeding to death down there. Speaking of bleeding and giving birth, it really is a scary thing to witness. Med-student’s logic aside, I honestly didn’t think that it was possible to get a baby out from down under. I mean theoretically it’s possible but seeing it with your own eyes is just wow. It’s such a priceless experience. Few moms need hours to push the baby out, til their faces turn red and they run out of breath, the baby won’t budge. But there’s also a few who manage to get it out in one go. Easy as breathing. I was like whaaat?
I also learned to appreciate home and my mum even more. Whenever I came home from night shift duty I’d hug my mum and spent hours of sleep on my mum’s room. Then I’d wake up to twilight sky and the good good smell of my mum’s cooking. I’d drag my heavy limbs to the dining room and felt my eyes water as I watched a table of feast in front of me. It gave -and still gives me the warmest feeling in the world, you know, coming home. At that moment I made a promise to myself to do whatever it takes to make my future kids feel the same way I did. Such a sap I know. Like I previously stated, Pediatric department gave me uneasy feeling. It’s not home at all. That’s why coming home was one of the things that I looked forward to every day.
I really want to post medical-stuff-related topics like normal medstudents do if they ever have blogs. But I just. Can’t. I’m more amused by the bedside stories. Stories that you’d discover only if you observed nicely. And quietly.
God knows I wouldn’t take it for granted.