bright as a button

February 5, 2008

this delighful picture from here

it’s barely 2 days into my paeds rotation and i’m feeling the stress: 730am ward rounds, admissions to do, discharge summaries to type up, clinics to attend and lots and lots of readings to complete. oh my. i think reality has finally set in. i’m really in 4th year med. i’m almost there!

i love being in the paediatric wards. granted, there’s a whole lot of stuff we have to know and learn (since dealing with kids is not the same as with adults) and lots of detail and greater sensitivity involved, but there is something about a little child that makes my heart go softer than usual, and the cheery decorations in the wards that make my days brighter than normal. there is also a lot more screaming and bawling to get used to, and most of it is particularly heart-wrenching. i met one of the paed registrars today. he was really nice despite being sleep-deprived and overworked …but he babytalked from time to time. i’m sure he was just being friendly but it seemed as though he was going to coochi coo me, or the rest of the paeds team, for that matter. still, he was a sweetie, and i respect doctors who treat medical students nicely.

today i listened to my first infant heartbeat- she was 10 weeks old and had a congenital heart defect- so i heard a murmur. the wee child never cried the whole time i was examining her, and she smiled so sweetly and had the most lovely ash-coloured eyes i’d ever seen. babies are so fragile, i realised. i was trying as hard as possible to be really gentle with her; her anterior fontanelle (unformed part of an infant’s skull) was still soft and i sort of ‘oohed!‘ in surprise when i felt the little depression on her head.

then i clerked a patient, M, a boy of fifteen with cystic fibrosis (a lung-damaging, genetically- inherited condition). it was a little awkward trying to chat with bub- he was more engrossed with his movie- my super ex-girlfriend, and being an avid tennis player he was going on and on about the australian open, which i know close to nothing about. gosh i am so uncool. it’s okay i will start learning how to play some decent tennis and get to know some of the more famous tennis stars. and possibly watch a few movies that involve superhumans. i was going to redeem myself by contacting his dietician for a discussion, but then i learnt that she was on strike(!) today. really.

oh yes and i have two new clinical buddies on this rotation- louise and suzanne. they’re both lovely lovely girls from melbourne and sydney respectively. in a bit of randomness, louise has the same middle name as i do, and suzanne is with me in the exact same rotations for the year! i’m pretty pleased with my group this year; everyone seems to be really driven and enthusiastic. i feel very much challenged now that i’m the only international student in the group, but i enjoy being challenged, plus it’s definitely an improvement over last year’s grouping.

in other news, i think i may be addicted to cheerios. so. so. yummy! and now i need to go and write up my case presentation and squeeze in some research. the busy-ness is just beginning to escalate and i expect it will increase exponentially by the time my rotation is over. the lunar new year is just around the corner and with luck, i’ll be able to finally sit down to enjoy a nice celebratory dinner with friends [ since family is farfaraway 😦 ] GONG XI FA CAI everyone, have yourself a merry merry ang pow-filled new year!

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