Sunday, November 27, 2011

10 reasons why i’m still here

every month/week/day, i say i can’t take it anymore. yet, i never walk out, i always show up the next day, i end up finishing the month’s rotation. why? ten reasons.

1. family. you feed me. you nurse me back to health. you help me do literature searches. you fit party schedules around my duty schedule. you wait for me patiently while i finish my rounds. you listen when i whine. you cheer when i succeed. you hold me while i cry. whatever happens, come hell or high water, i know i can always come home to you. i will never disappoint you.

2. peanut. i will give you your shots as your pediatrician even if i have to crawl through fire to get my DPPS.

3. batch mates. i love you guys too much to leave you with one less member. it sucks that we slowly get whittled down as the year goes by. it would be so easy to follow suit – to just leave one day and never look back, except it’s not.

4. batch friends (you know who you are). you almost make brp-ing fun. almost.

5. barkada. you never see me, but you’re always there when i need you. i am selfish. you are selfless. thank you.

6. seniors. i know the older batches keep telling you that you’re too nice. it’s not a bad thing. you encourage us to stay. you inspire us to take the higher road when we’re tried and frustrated . you make us want to be nice just like you. thanks for an awesome year. you will be missed.

7. patients. it is my duty to make you better. learning from you is an honor. i will not leave you in another’s hands.

8. PGH. the system sucks. the human/material resources are severely lacking. i can make it better. i know i can. and for that, i’m staying.

9. character. i am not a quitter.

10. my Father. Your will be done.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

happiness is

"i was admitted in the hospital for three days because of a high-grade fever that just won't go away. there's no way i'm going to subic."

my dear batchmate replies with a gentle scolding for my not sleeping and not eating, hence, my illness. it's the same old song since ward 9, NICU and pay, and i'm still not sleeping, still not eating.

and surprise, i'm still not happy.

it's been 4 months since i hopped on the pedia train, but i've been standing in line for a ticket since i was ten. why pedia? because i love kids! wrong. because kids love me! wrong again. why pedia? correct answer. I. HAVE. NO. IDEA.

so am i happy? no. will i ever be happy? i hope so. the people in the department are terrific. the patients inspire me to stay. but the feeling of being miserable, trapped, scared, frustrated doesn't go away. it sometimes hides behind that feeling of accomplishment when you send a once toxic patient home, when your senior praises you for something, when you pass a difficult exam, when your patient's mother comes to see you and thanks you profusely for simply doing your job.

but at the end of the day, as i look back on everything wonderful that has happened, the sadness returns. and it gets harder and harder to overcome as the days go on.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the twilight zone

write down room number, case number, name, age... waitaminute, she's 30? check birthdate. 1980. yep, that checks out. which doesn't really help the situation. i'm a damn pediatrician (or training to be one sigh). why do i have a 30-year-old patient? "she's 30?" i ask the nurse in confusion. she nods as if everything is right in the world. bewildered (and maybe a bit suspicious), i check for any people toting video cameras, ready to pop out screaming, "you've been punkd!" nope. i confirm the age again, as if asking repeatedly would remedy the situation. yes, m'dear, she's still 30, you're still a pediatrician, and SHE'S STILL BEING REFERRED TO YOU. so i did the most logical thing, i asked for the weight.

because even though she's 30, i'm still a damn pediatrician.

i knock on the patient's door, and request an interview because this peculiar referral must be explained. justified. "she's eating," the friend says apologetically. "maybe we can postpone it until after lunch?" i comply. i exit, still confused. i see the tcvs fellow. i confirm the referral, and he's just as confused. i ask about the case. he hasn't interviewed her yet. stuck, i head back to the callroom just in time to run into my senior and tell him about this reallyreallyreally weird referral. he gives me this strange look and asks me if i misread/misheard the age. i do my best not to look insulted. (i think i failed)

so after explaining everything, and checking the chart, the situation sinks in. an adult with an unknown heart disease for a possible cardiac-related procedure was referred to the pediatric service. "do i have to do a pediatric history on her?" i ask my senior. "what if her mom's not there? she probably won't know if she was born via SVD or CS. would she know if she was breastfed?" "how do you dose aspirin in adults again?" he shoots back. "clopidogrel? what about the developmental history? mommy... what can you do? run up and down the stairs? stack three blocks? ride a bicycle?" we're collapsing in laughter by this time. the nurses are looking at us like we're nuts, but the stuff keeps pouring out. "what about HEADSSS?" and we start running down the questions when my senior freezes and goes, "what's her murmur?" "no idea," i answer. "i haven't even talked to her yet." i won't hear it!" he panics. "my steth is too small!" we laugh some more until i feel the familiar breathlessness associated with an asthma exacerbation. "fluids at full maintenance?" "one liter to run for 8 hours," he answers. "it's easier for them." "but we're pedia," i whine like a brat. "i joined pedia because i don't want to manage adults. adults annoy me." i whine some more. we guffaw at more pedia jokes. in the end, we inform our consultant about the referral, and i go on duty.

hours later, the cardio fellow tells me that the patient's asthma might be acting up. she suggests a referral to a pulmo consultant.

a pedia pulmo consultant.

i start cracking up again. this day was just too weird.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

one week

sunday: half-day! serendra! fully booked! cupcakes! sleep! why can't all weekends be like this?

monday: er audit missed. hurricane rounds. alone. duty. intubation threat? deferred, thank God. admissions. dinner at freakin' one-thirty am. toxic?

tuesday: sleep? not. don't remember much.

wednesday: wore cute dress because i'm pre and i can. the dawn on ipod on the way to work. (hey, i'm typing longer stuff) rounds rounds rounds. *did not* sedate my patient. sigh. skipped lunch. (what's new?) last minute admission. fell asleep on the couch.

thursday: duty. the clash this time. and xtc. senior's back. yay! sick of pain. asked for help. iv insertion rounds. (one shot, one shot, three. damn.) shrimpless chinese food for dinner (food tastes better when it's free).

friday: no rounds. (sorry!) percutaneous pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty. 2 hours. tried not to fall asleep because interventional cardio is cool. late lunch, but s'cool. baby tolerates feeding, yay! went shopping.

saturday: dressed up (again) because 1. it's saturday, 2. i'm pre, and 3. because i freaking can. note to self: ditch the white coat. it works. headaches and seizures. donations (thanksverymuchweluvyoulikewhoa). eastwood. saw cousins, yay! ate tons, boo! now reading juliet, naked. and wasting your time with this.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

my life according to the eraserheads

Instructions: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat song titles. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "My Life According to (BAND NAME)"

so much fun, though i was actually forced to use my brain to recall a few choice lines. i think i came up with a healthy mix of popular and not-quite. kaso yun lang, it's still ely-dominated because he did write the most number of songs. (excuses… i know, but i insist i like all of them equally, except buddy <3) anyway, eheads fans out there (and i know there's a lot of you), which of these songs do you know?

Are you male or female?
kananete (kasi uh... hindi ako kaliwete, if you know what i mean)
sino sino sino ba ang nagsabing tao ka?

Describe yourself:
julie tearjerky
nothing stays the same. nothing stays the same.
no happiness, no loveliness, no emptiness.
it wasn't here before.

How do you feel?
maselang bahaghari
akala ko ay cool ako, may ulap na sa ulo.

Describe where you currently live:
anywhere is a twenty-minute ride, on and on in the sea of feedback.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
wishing wells
where everything starts out once upon a time long, long ago,
and ends happily ever after.

Your favorite form of transportation:
magda-drive ako buong taon. magda-drive ako habang buhay.
magda-drive ako hanggang… eeeeeeooowrrrrrrrrr…
buwan. ;)

Your best friends are:
milk n' money. lolz. no wait, i'm kidding.
doesn't really matter where you are. it always seems so very far.
it's like you're lightyears away, you're lightyears away,
from me.

Your favorite color is:
pula (walang asul eh :()
wag nang isipin. wag nang ipitin. wag nang ulitin.
makakalimutan ba ang mga alaala
dala ng araw na pula?

What's the weather like?
i'll wait for the sun to shine on the one
who never disagrees.

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?
kahit ano
o walang alam sa sayaw ng panahon.
di pa rin masakyan ang kwento.

What is life to you?
fine time
why not swim in someone's pool.
jump a crane twelve stories high.
have picnic in my room.
stay outside and watch the moon.

Your current relationship:
huwag mo nang itanong
parang sweepstakes, ang hirap manalo.
isang mahabang pilang mabagal, at walang katuturan.
ewan ko.

Breaking up:
game, tama na!
tama na ang malian. tama na ang pintuan.
just forget it about it. i'm so sick and tired of it.
ang nakalipas, it's over na.

Looking for:
ilang ulit pa ba ang uulitin?

Wouldn’t mind:
lumiliwanag, dumidilim, bumabait, tumatapang.
umiikot ang tingin,
utak mo'y kinakalawang.

Your fear:
pumikit lang nang sandali,
abril na nung ako'y magising.

What is the best advice you have to give?
peace it together
basag ipagdikit-dikit, pusong punit-punit.

If you could change your name, you would change it to:
pagkat siya'y simple lamang.

Thought for the Day:
old-fashioned christmas carol
honey, we don't care.
we're here to sing the staples, old-fashioned christmas carols.

here we go again.

How I would like to die:
with a smile
you'll get by if you smile.
you can never be too happy in this life.

My motto:
shake yer head
you should know, you shouldn't take all that dog food that they make.
you'd just as soon as put yourself on a stake and burn.
you'll see it comin' around.
when you see it coming around, you just… yeah,
shake yer head and walk away!

and my geekiness is revealed… song tally coincidentally reflects my album preferences.
natin 99: 4 songs
cutterpillow: 3
circus: 3
ultraelectromagneticpop!: 3
fruitcake: 3
sticker happy: 2
aloha milkyway: 2
carbon stereoxide: 1
except that natin should be in the third spot because the two c's are still my top favorites, though i don't mind all that much. it's a really good album if you listen closely.

thus ends my entry. i encourage you to try this yourself! \m/

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

not-quite ennui

because all work and no play makes tara a very dull girl.

since the boards flew by like a hurricane, i’ve plunged into several time-consuming activities to keep myself from falling over from extreme boredom (which i truly hate with a passion, more than toxicity). 
books: yes, i’ve decided to pick up my original hobby. i just finished this depressing book, the subterraneans. it's classic beat lit – dark themes, rambling sentences (punctuations, what are those?), a whole lot of purple prose. i found the writing style confusing (had to reread a few paragraphs to really get what he meant), but liked the story. it was so sad, so haunting. i felt myself yearning to have my heart broken like him because from his writing, it seemed so beautiful. oo, baliw ako.

music: pop music just doesn’t seem to cut it these days. my playlist has gone back several decades – back when minutes-long instrumentals still made me smile, and the heartfelt lyrics felt just right. i started with 80s/90s hair rock (mr. big, bon jovi, kiss, van halen), then eventually gravitated to british rock/punk with the who, xtc, belle and sebastian, and the clash. i swear i have this ridiculous crush on paul gilbert because his riffs make me cry. yikes, now i really think i've gone mad.

tv: it’s not tv, per se. it’s actually more of tv shows from torrents. glee ended too soon, so i had to find other shows to keep me company. i watched a few avatar eps (and joined the zutara ship, eep) for the movie, but eventually decided to skip it because everyone i asked told me it sucked. it’s okay though, the cartoon was cool. i still watch naruto with the brother. i love the father-son moments! recently, i’ve started this insane gilmore girls marathon (all seven seasons, i hope) because of this girl-crush on alexis bledel. in the middle of season two, i’m again reminded why i *heart* milo ventimiglia. omg, jess is still my favorite out of rory’s boyfriends. i want my own jess!

cooking: yes, i cook now. and i manage not to burn the unit down either. mom has taught me a few dishes like adobo, sinigang, nilaga, stirfry (the easiest), shabu-shabu, and sukiyaki. the skills were put to the test when she and dad flew off to australia for a conference and some site-seeing. wow, i was left in the kitchen in my lonesome. but but but… i successfully fed my brother and myself with delicious (yes, it was good) food for a week. i even experimented on banana and peanut butter pancakes for the heck of it. yum!

writing: the words are coming out easier than they used to. i’ve written so much stuff in such a short amount of time. however, due to the personal tone of most of my stuff, none of it’s coming out for public consumption. it’s fine, though. i mostly write for me, after all. i’m a very selfish person. ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

tara, md

exactly four years ago, i was curled up in the couch of the condo’s lobby, filling my head with a-waves and oxygen dissociation curves when a group of medical graduates ran past me screaming in delight. the medical board results had just been released, and they’d found out via cellphone (ah, technology) that they passed. i can still remember the pang of jealousy i felt as i quietly observed their merry-making . there i was, barely into med school, when these three people had already officially become licensed doctors. the end of med school seemed so far away.

now, four years later, it’s here. i’m in their place, jumping nonstop for 30 minutes while screaming myself hoarse (in the privacy of our unit, of course). after bathing myself in that pungent mixture of formaldehyde and rotting flesh, after slaving away at my desk to make sense of (in vain) hundreds of chapters of textbooks, after not flunking endless exams, after inserting a million intravenous lines, after (im)patiently interviewing and examining every pgh patient assigned to me, after going on duty every freakin’ 3 days (unless i’m forced to slide, or, gulp, go on 48-hr duty), after every stumble, every misadventure, every mistake, it’s over. i graduated. i passed. i'm finally, finally, finally a doctor.

and i’ve never been more terrified in my life.