You’ll never forget a patient like me

So today, I went on an extra ED shift. I’ve been on Ward Call for the past 4 weeks, but decided on one of my days off, I’d pick up an extra ED shift for some extra pocket money (really helpful when you’re about to go on a date soon).

With the large amount of patient’s you see in ED, one is bound to find a few crazies in there. And today, I found a crazy. Not violent crazy, but pleasant crazy in a way that is just entertaining.

So I see a woman in her mid 30’s present due to a laceration of the right knee. Chased some kids up an escalator, and had a tumble, gashing it open. Why was she chasing the children? I don’t know. But she told me she had some alcohol prior, so maybe it’s alcohol induced laceration.

Anyway, I knew she was slightly crazy when she asked for something stronger than paracetamol.

“Doctor, this is the most interesting thing medically that has happened to me. Can you please give me something strong? Something like pethidine, or some knock out gas would do.”

“Erm…. No. We don’t even use pethidine anymore here in hospital. I can give you some paracetamol and ibuprofen.”

“But, but, I’ve made a massive gash in my knee! Surely it warrants something stronger than paracetamol and ibuprofen!”

“Well, I’ll be putting local anaesthetic in, so that should numb the pain when I stitch it up.”

“Can you please put in like twice the amount usual for your other patients?”

“We’ll see how things go as I inject.”

She later on reminded me a further 2 times about how pethidine or something “strong” would be great for her knee.

And so afterwards, with the laceration exposed after unwrapping bandages, I asked my registrar to cast an eye on it to decide best which stitch pattern to use (I thought I might have needed a vertical mattress, but turns out all simple interrupted sutures were all that were needed).

After my registrar left, the patient said “wow, that doctor looks grumpy. I wouldn’t want him to be doing this procedure.”

Later on as I’m stitching “Geez, that other doctor, is he always that grumpy? He looks permanently angry. He’s actually kind of cute though. Is he single, is he married?”

“By the way, are you single or married?”

Good grief…..

After putting in 8 stitches, the patient thought that falling on an escalator to make the gash in the knee was too boring of a story. So I suggested to her that maybe she could tell people that after having some alcohol, she decided she needed to do battle with the evil escalator, and in the end, knee vs escalator left her knee smashed up at the end.

“Hahaha. I bet you’ll never forget me as your patient. I’m so interesting, and you’ll remember me forever!”

Ha. Yes, she was right. I won’t forget her. But you’ll remembered as that “crazy lady with right knee gash from escalator”. And she gets to be memorialized in my blog as well.

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Deja Vu

Wow, it has certainly been too long since I wrote in my blog. Christmas came and went, as did new years, yet I hadn’t written a thing in my blogs.

These past few weeks have been both relaxing and busy. On my medical rotation, the consultant was busy admitting a lot of patients, so I was kept busy. Ridiculous hours ensued, with me leaving on most days around 6-7 pm. It didn’t matter; I felt I learned a bit, and the work wasn’t very stressful, so I felt ok with it.

Today felt like I was coming back from a long break. I had a total of 6 days off work, before going back into ED. And what deja vu I got. I felt like I was repeating things from 4 months ago – same environment, same senior ED doctors. Except now I was writing JHO at the end of my name. Yeap, it’s officially the first day that I’m no longer an intern anymore. I’m a fully registered doctor. But I’m scared. Scared that I still don’t know enough about medicine. Scared of the night shifts that I will be doing in about a weeks time, where there will only be me, another resident and a PHO managing all the patients from 10pm until the next morning. I don’t feel ready. I don’t feel ready at all to be managing a large patient work load.

The other deja vu feeling, was walking into the kitchen area and toilets. Reminiscing the feeling of feeling extremely lost close to 6 months ago. Lost in the work I was doing (because I had no clue what I was doing) and feeling lost personally (due to breakup with girlfriend). Walking into the toilets gave me a momentary feeling of feeling lost again, and I realized how lost I felt half a year ago. Dread would fill me up at work, and I couldn’t help but feel despair on some days, and hopelessness. The only hope I held out, was that the pain of heart break would be temporary, and the suffering of the nature of my work would soon be ending as well. They were tough times I remember.

I still don’t know how tough round 2 of ED will be, but I feel more confident in myself. Perhaps it’s the experience in the past year?

My aim for this year, would be to write more regularly in this blog (at least twice per week). It will give me relief from the stresses of work, let me speak my mind, and let me see things from a new perspective.

I guess it helps that on ED, at least I get to go home on time 🙂