Saturday, August 25, 2012

Becoming a Doctor

I was in the middle of re-reading Haruki Murakami's best seller Norwegian Wood, when my touch screen phone get vibrated, and I read:
We got sudden IUFD (Intra Uterine Fetal Death) here.
I was shocked, but I kept silent. I sent my prayers to baby's mother, still hoped the residents could manage its mess and the baby got survived. Few minutes later, I received,
I sit next to a mother crying over her loss. :( 

I just couldn't be able to imagine how that mother feels. She's been expecting the baby for nine months, and today, she lost her/him with no one knows the baby stopped breathing and beating inside the womb. 
That was not a drama. Not a play, either. It's death and birth, we face every minute as a (soon to be) doctor.

Soon after that, another text came in.
Another patient with shock (hypovolemic, too much blood loss). Wait!

Running in a rush on morning and night shifts at emergency rooms has been daily routines. Emergency patients admitted every minute, causing the doctors, residents and interns lack of sleep. An extreme sleep deprivation. In teaching hospital, they don't get paid. So how the hard works are being paid off?

Me, as a medical student in final year of school (hopefully, amen!), have to serve community without getting paid salary. It makes me wondering why every single thing about medics is so close to money-related discussions. As I have asked on the previous paragraph and if I'm questioned the same thing, how the hard works are being paid off, I'll certainly answer,
Our highest honour comes from appreciation from patients. :)

One day, I worked morning shift on UPI (Unit Perawatan Intensif, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), suctioning every fifteen minutes a (about) nine year old boy with renal failure. Be honest, it's tiring to look up to him every few minutes, to prevent the asphyxia that can caused airway obstruction (which will lead to death), but I'm not that heartless to see him gargling. Everytime I visited him, his mother, who always stood up beside, always gave me strongest smile, asking about the progress of her son. I only could answer that we would give the best medical services, and please pray for the son to get better.
Few hours after, I found him suddenly stop breathing. I run, calling the pediatric residents. His mom looked shocked and cried hysterically. I heard Allahuakbar (God is the greatest), and ya Allah said many, many times. We performed the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, few ampuls of adrenaline injected, hoping the little boy coming back. But we failed. He's already gone.
It was a truly heartbreaking scene. After his body's carried out of the room, his parents came to me.
"Thank you for taking care my son, mbak DM, I'm sorry that I'd been annoying to call you every few minutes. I and my husband really thank you. May all your kindness and care come back to you and a thousand fold ya mbak DM."
I tried my best to hold back the tears at that time. A doctor should give empathy, not simpathy. :')

At first year of serving community, first grade of being an intern, I often complained about this profession. I sighed and I regret becoming a doctor. I lost my youth (Hahaha it sounds too much ya? But it's true!), and had to accept that holiday never existed here (the longer holiday, the more shifts await).

But now, Alhamdulillahirobbil alamin, I am thankful for this opportunity becoming a physician. Not everyone in this whooooole world gets this big chance, to provide health care and practice the profession of medicine. I really am. These experiences open my eyes a little wider to as to what really matters. The proverty, the ill-health issues... Problems that a developing country usually faces. Although I'm not going to politics, I understand little that what problems we have to fight. Tell me leaders, have you ever been truly and wholeheartedly thinking about the poor people, to prioritize and respond to the needs of them, esp in health services?

My parents are not medical doctors, and no one in family runs this profession. It grows curiousity in me, and when I asked daddy the reason he wants me to go to medical school, he simply answered,
Doing good makes you feel good. And this job offers greater opportunities than others.
Help people as much as you can, you'll feel better.

I said, doctor is a half social worker. We often work for humanity. I may say too high, but somehow it's true. My teachers at school like story-telling about their experiences volunteering to help after major disasters like tsunami and earthquake. They told us how hard at that time to survive, to help giving best medical cares with limited resources even further. To cope with natural disasters, you will not understand until you take parts in it. You have to be split up with your family for a while to give hands to others who need your help. To be remembered, there must be poor signals in after disaster area, and being not able to communicate with your family for few days is not easy. One another hard work remains. :)

Dating a doctor (even intern) becomes problem too when you give up on their very limited spare time. I also still feel hard doing this. I still hate it when he is being out of reach, standing between patients and giving them cares. The sweetest thing you can do, is to bring him lunch or dinner during the shift. Simplest way to show him that you really care, because most of the times, doctors/interns forget to have their meals because of the hecticness of emergency room/wards: patients that will not stop coming. To anyone who's dating a doctor/intern, esp if you're not physician/soon to be physician, be patient waiting for a date appointment, for a text reply, for a call during shift. They will make time for you, no matter what. It takes none selfish person to handle the life of a medical personnel. They need your support. Show them you care and support their job, no matter how much you hate not seeing them often. :)

All the hard work and all the hard schooling are put into place right now. I sometimes feel like... My senior high school friends have succeed, while I'm still stuck here, in school years that seems not having the edge of end. But listen. Your friends may finish school and graduate much earlier than you, and start making money and receiving income before you. Don't worry. Don't feel inferior, because it's worth in the end!

I've ever read Jenny Rowland's post on here. Beautiful words were written.
"The road to becoming a doctor has been long and hard. There were times I only slept a couple hours.
And yet, as graduation nears, the road has been worth it. When I hear my daughters acknowledge their own future career paths, they often say: “I want to be a princess, a doctor, and a Mom.” And what I love about their response is not that they might follow in my footsteps one day, but rather, that they already know that all roads are possible."

Be proud, docs. You may not cure, but you can help save lifes.
Don't be afraid of medical malpractice as long as you walk in the right paths. :)

Note: I'm amazed by one intern that well prepared for emergency cases. He brings the handscoen, mask, needle and everything in his car. I only have two things I mentioned first. Why needle? "To perform emergency cricothyroidotomy and needle thoracocentesis, just in case patients need it. Our priority is to support life basically, to save patients." I was moved by his sayings. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Started with Marie Regal biscuit...

And glued to by the chocolate ice cream cup. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Just Do Not Listen

Gossip kills not.

You can't avoid people talking and mocking about you. You'll never ever ever ever. Gossiping has no end. They enjoy hours spent talking about you and your imperfections. Haters gonna hate. Why do you have to spend time worrying?

When you have to fight against the world, always remember there will be someone who is staying beside you. You have never been alone. :)

Close your ears, not heart. Keep your head up. Smile. Tell the world, "I'm proud of being my self."
And "What others think about me never been my business!" :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Obgyn Rotation: A Lesson in Witnessing Birth

I actually finished my Obstetric and Gynecology rotation last week... But never been late to post something interesting about the daily activities, right? :)

At first, before I go explaining about what we did here, I'd like to introduce our small group members. I was really grateful to be in the same group with them. We had same vision and mission, we scored same level of pathologic changes. (Hahahaha!) They were easy to deal and discuss with. I really love them!

L to R: Reza, Bobby, me, Dhinta, Ricky, Bagus, Putu

But we were never called with the real names. :p

L to R: Kak Eja, Kak Raisa, Pak Chief, Mamah Dhinta, Papa Ricky, Kak Utup and Cepi
One more member, Mama Melisa, unfortunately couldn't make the photo with us :(

Friends who had finished this rotation always said spending time in this Department was fun. I second that. That two months was really tiring, yet still enjoyable. Witnessing and helping a mom giving birth, also seeing a baby opening their eyes for the first time, you know, that's priceless! :)

Beside the delivery process, we also learned woman's health here. Still today, cervical cancer is the most prevalent cancer that attacks woman. On one night shift, I listened to story of one patient with advanced grade of cervical cancer that receiving chemotherapy. "I only want to live few weeks longer, nak," she said. "So I can go home and celebrate Idul Fitri at home with my family." Soon you'll be home, mam. Be strong lil bit more, will you please? :')

And I really like to visit patients and listen to their stories. After finishing their stories, they always sent me good prayers:
"Semoga jadi dokter yang sukses ya nak... Ibu doakan cepet lulus, lancar sekolah dan jodohnya. Juga selalu ingat sama orang miskin seperti Ibu."
(May you be a successful doctor... I'll pray for you to graduate soon, your co-assistant programs go smooth, and be closer to your life partner. And always remember the poor like me.") This simple thing pays off every hard work! :)

L to R: Pandu, Iti, Bobby, Iji, Dani, me, Windra, Jemmy, Eja, Syahrir, Popo, Zia, Mul, Shinta

I am really thankful for having groupmates like them. Bach of 2007 and 2008 that mixing well together into one small group. I'm actually having difficulties in getting involved with new people. But that noon, I remembered the first time I met one of them, as night shift partner, and he came late. 
"Maaf ya mbak aku telat.... Aku tersesat dan tak tahu arah jalan pulang.." 
("I am sorry for being late... I got lost and couldn't find the way back home." It's a line from Butiran Debu. Hahaha. Since that, he, and they always left me laughing out loud!) :)

At last, I wish Cepi, Dhinta, Ricky and Utup to succeed their upcoming Obgyn OSCE exams.
And bach 2007, me, Eja, Bobby and Melisa also passed the exams!

I thank Obgyn department for the greatest experiences. And congratulations to all mummies who gave births in a safe and sound way. To all cancer patients, be strong and tough, because Allah never puts us through anything that we can't handle. :)

"To witness the birth of a child is our best opportunity to experience the meaning of the world miracle." 
-Paul Carvel

Saturday, August 11, 2012

She is

These last days, many people, friends I mean, have asked me about my latest post on blog. They'd  thought that 'she' written below was me, then they asked me whether I was okay. I giggled. I have explained on its post that it's not about me I wrote. But five people or more gave me free pukpuk to lift my spirit up. I'm out of words somehow. :')

She's (trying to be) okay, she's alright now because she feels... loved. :)