I HATE teenagers! Almost as much as I hate medical students.
Yesterday I saw a teenage girl in my ward. She was 15. She was admitted because she had started bleeding during her pregnancy. Turns out she can't even stop having sex for 1 day, whilst being 34 weeks pregnant and now has post coital bleeding.
I ended up discharging her, but she had to wait for her medication.
Might I add, she was chewing pink bubblegum, and continuously popping it in my face.
Annoying Teenager: So Doc, when can I go home?
Little Miss Medic: I told you __________, that you need to wait for your meds from pharmacy.
AT: *pops giant pink bubble* Well my Mom's waiting for me.
LMM: Well you'll just have to be patient and wait, because the medication is important.
AT: *under her breath* well I'm not going to take it anyway
*I am now busy seeing another patient in the bed next to her and all I can hear is this irritating popping noise*
AT: *says to her friend* I don't see why this nurse wants me to wait even longer. I'm gonna be here the whole day.
*I leave the ward to do an emergency caesar and come back a while later to check some results*
AT: Doc, why can't you go to the pharmacy and fetch my pills, speed the whole thing up?
LMM: Well. my dear, inbetween operating on patients and looking after my ward patients, I do not have the time to go down to the pharmacy to fetch your medication. That is a porters job and as you can see I am busy.
AT: *pop* Busy my ass!
I have noticed lately that there are a lot of Moms, who come to hospital and are admitted without warning, are induced early or simply are not prepared. They do not have baby clothes, nappies, maternity pads or any of the simple things that are needed to make their stay more comfortable and keep their new bundle of joy warm and dry. Babies will be lying in hospital towels, in their own excrement and mothers will use toilet paper as a pad substitute.
I have enlisted the help of friends and family to raise money and gather donated items to try and help these new moms. People have been amazing and I am am happy to say, I have wrapped up my first few care packages today, which will be in the labour ward by tomorrow morning.
Baby Girl Package
Baby Boy Package
New Mom Package
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far!!!
This PH I was at work. It was awful. It was busy. But it was the first time I have EVER gotten a perk, freebie, call it what you like, through work (besides those panados that I once nicked). I suddenly noticed that there was not a nurse, sister or even a porter to be found. Rumour had it that Link Pharmacy was coming to give out gift bags. Unfortunately a labour ward is not a place that you can leave completely unstaffed, and so I remained behind to hold down the fort. When there is something up for grabs, nursing staff will be there in a flash. And who can blame them, as they never get much recognition, let along a goodie bag. The amazing people of Link Pharmacy gave every single patient of ours, every staff member, including the doctors, one of these bags.
Thank you to Link Pharmacy, for making us feel special!
I must say I have really loved watching the Olympics this time around. There was the drama of the Russian gymnast, who fell during her floor routine, dashing the team's chances of gold; the controversy surrounding the Badminton "match fixing", the heartbreak for the South Korean fencer Shin A Lam and the joy we all experienced as South Africans received medals. I have spent many hours on the couch, curled up under a blanket, watching the gymnastics (my personal favourite), athletics, hockey and even synchronised swimming. I will miss the Olympics :(
The organisation seemed flawless and the facilities astounding. The only thing that I can fault them on is...
Did no-one look at this and think it looked odd? Did no-one see what millions of others have seen? Lisa Simpson in a compromising position with her brother Bart. What would the Olympics be without a bit of a sex scandal?
Happy Women's Day for tomorrow everybody! I will be in the throes of the Labour Ward, enjoying being at work on a PB. Fuck that sucks. A. Lot!
Anyway, enough complaining... I hope you all celebrate women and appreciate how far we have come from those days where women had no say, no education and were pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen. Oh wait. That still happens in Saudi!
Tomorrow is my first call being in charge of my colleagues, who I have worked with for the last 6 months. I will rally the troops. Be firm, yet approachable. Create an environment of focused discipline in which we all excel. Whatever! I just hope that everyone listens to me. Doesn't disappear and go to sleep at 3am and leave me holding the fort (enough with the army talk). And that I don't fuck up!
Wish me luck!
Today it snowed somewhere in all 9 provinces.
This is a lion at the JHB Zoo....cool hey. Either global warming has arrived or this is the Winter Fairy's idea of a sick joke. Anyway, all I know is that I'm cold.
In other news...I have been feeling super tired and am trying to fit everything into a normal day. Am working with a new crowd at school. They are not as nice as the old bunch, actually pretty bitchy. I miss my old colleagues!
Tomorrow is my first day as a Registrar....aka slave to the academic world of preggers and postmenopausal women. Tonight is the last night of my free life. I am drinking red wine. A lot of it :)
Wish me luck!
I am loving Season 8 of Idols SA. There is just SO much talent and I love waiting each week to see what my favourites will sing.
Khaya Mthethwa is definitely a strong front runner and my absolute best! He has such an honest face and a humility that is astounding. I want to keep a mini version of him in my pocket to cheer me up with his songs. This rendition of Nicki Minaj Superbass is phenomenal! Seems like everybody's doing it! (Remember Sophia Grace and her sidekick)
I am back! Life has been a whirlwind these last few weeks. So many things have happened...
The most exciting news is that I got a post to start specialising in August. This means I am a bitch slave to O+G for the next four years, at least. Am so thrilled, excited, could-pee-in-my-pants happy :)
In not so good news, my puppy, Max, fractured his ulna. Luckily it can be treated conservatively and he's on the mend.
Anyway, sorry for being gone so long...
I can't get enough of Die Antwoord's latest music video. It's almost like having to look at a car crash, you can't stop yourself. The more I watch it the more I like it...
My favourite part is when she sings the lyrics "a techno beat" and this overweight black girl dances in the periphery, flipping hilarious.
The lyrics are some thing else, "you know me, but ek ken jou nie", "oh jere, God se Jesus" and "bly maar motherfu*%ers".
There are many different words for this female organ...
Many of the patient's I see like to use a particular word that I am not particularly fond of......poes
I looked up this word and came up with this funny site.
whispering eye (euphemistic)
And in the world of the cellphones...
Descriptions relating to the vagina...
twat - vaginal idiot
flange - undesirable vagina
I have been MIA the last few days at work. It feels like everything has been work related :(
In the early hours of Monday morning, a woman came into the hospital in labour. She was promptly examined and then put on the CTG (cardiotocography) machine, which measures the baby's heart rate. The CTG looked terrible! It was a pre-terminal trace, which means that the baby is about to die and is in severe fetal distress. I phoned the anaethetist and paediatrician, and we had the patient in theatre, ready for a caesar, in under 5 minutes.
As I was scrubbing for the operation, I asked the scrub sister to start scrubbing too. She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language and walked away. She needed to open the instrument pack and get everything ready so we could start. I was gowned and gloved up, and STILL waiting for her.
Little Miss Medic: Sister X, can we please get started? This is a fetal distress!
Sister X: ...............
LMM: Please can you bring in the trays so we can start!
Sr X: I neeed to count the instruments first Doctor.
LMM: By the time you count everything, the baby will be dead!
Sr X: .........................
LMM: Scalpel please?
Sr X: I am still counting...
I was literally standing over the patient, listening to the seconds tick by as this baby was being deprived of oxygen. I eventually ran and grabbed the scalpel from the setting room and started incising the abdomen. Unfortunately I had to cut through all the layers, straight down to the uterus. I had the baby out in seconds and luckily it gave a gusty first cry! I clamped my hand around the cord, waiting for Sister Retard to appear out of her instrument cave.
I had to spend the last hour of my horrific call, filing a complaint against her.
We adopted our second furkid almost 2 weeks ago. She is a daschund, jack russell cross and too cute for words.
Am I not the cutest?
Max and Bella
I love my brother!
These two munchkins have been keeping me on my toes. From a destroyed bathroom to poo in every crevice, stay tuned for the adventures of The Furkids!
Anyone who works in a Government hospital, hates going to the "clinic". The clinic is the place where you see outpatients and there are usually about a million of them, who have been queued up since 6 am to see you. Each discipline has a clinic and we all feel the same why about the clinic.
This week I have been in the clinic.
Little Miss Medic: Hello. I'm Little Miss Medic. How are you today?
Pregnant Mommy 1: Fine thank you.
LMM: *looks at file* So you aren't sure how pregnant you are. We will need to do a scan to see how far you are.
PM1: Will you be able to tell me the colour of the baby's eyes?
LMM: So when was your last period?
Pregnant Mommy 2: I don't know.
LMM: OK. Let's feel your tummy then.... You must be very early. Your tummy is very flat still......OK let's do a scan to see how far you are.
LMM: *stares blankly at screen*
LMM: You aren't pregnant. How did you even get into this clinic?
PM2: I have a cough.
LMM: Good morning. How are you today?
Pregnant Mommy 3: I'm fine. But I have this pain in my head and in my toes. The pain is there all the time and then when I sneeze, my left nipple hurts.
PM3: Do you have any of that porridge they give to the TB patients?
PM3: You know. The porridge the TB patients get for free?
LMM: No. We don't............................Do you by any chance use Tik?
LMM: When did you last use?
PM3: This morning. So do you have any of that free TB porridge?
LMM: Hello, how are you feeling today?
Pregnant Mommy 4: Doctor, my shit is black.
I haven't done a book post for a while and it's probably because I haven't been reading a lot lately. Living in London, one spends a large portion of the day commuting to and from work. I used this time to listen to my iPod and whizzed through loads of books. Now that I am back in Cape Town; driving to work, coming home to two adorable puppies, who need loads of love and attention, the books have fallen by the wayside.
A colleague told me about this book and I absolutely HAD to read it.
This true story follows Lawrence Anthony as he inherits a herd of rogue, violent elephants. He has no choice but to take them, saving them from death. His game reserve, Thula Thula, becomes their home, as he fights for their survival, their trust, and finally their friendship.
Lawrence with Nana, the Matriarch. source
Think this would make a brilliant movie, except for the impossibility of having an elephant as the main lead.
All I can say is thank goodness the weekend is over! Strange for most people, but after working this weekend, I am longing for a mundane Monday of 8-4.
This weekend I:
- started reading 13 Hours by Deon Meyer, seems brilliant so far
- had to tell a patient she was HIV positive. Never an easy thing.
- cuddled with my two furkids on the couch. Yes, we got another one. Bella. Pics to follow
- worked 30 hours with no sleep
- watched the Comrades Marathon in a comatose sleep deprived state (always inspires me to vow to do it one day and then I realise how that will probably never happen).
Sleep tight! I know I will.
Ever had an epic faux pas? I have had many. I think it goes with being blonde. My latest one involved telling a new mother with HIV over and over again how to give her baby antiretrovirals. She kept telling me she was negative. Bless. Denial. Until...I realised I had the wrong folder. EISH!
Read about my funniest one here...
The Boyf has his own little faux pas yesterday at work. He is also a doctor, working in Orthopaedics, but he does some casualty locum work too.This is the BBM I got...
THE BOYF: Just asked a Mom if her child was Down Syndrome.
LITTLE MISS MEDIC: And?
TB: She said "No."
LMM: Did the child look Down Syndrome?
Shame. It happens to the best of us. But there are a lot of people out there who do look DS and aren't!
I am on call again today and had a quick break in the day to come home for lunch, a rare treat. I am hoping for a particularly quiet night as I am feeling quite run down and tired.
Medicine can at times be quite scary. Whether you are facing an aggressive patient who wants to turn you into mince meat or are doing a procedure that you haven't been trained to do, but are winging it, to try and save a life, things are definitely scary!
A few weeks ago, whilst I was on call, I was summoned to the ward at 3am. A patient had miscarried at 4 months and the fetus needs to be examined by a doctor. I went up to the ward and found a little package waiting for me in the sluice room. This is the part that I hate. A baby at this gestation, is fully formed, but looks like a little alien. I unwrapped the plastic and something moved in my hands. I shrieked loudly and one of the nurses came running to see what was the matter.
NURSE: Doctor are you OK?
LITTLE MISS MEDIC: Yes but the baby moved.
NURSE: Ha, ha Doctor. You are funny! It can't move, it is dead!
LMM: But I swear I felt it touch my arm.
After much convincing and hand holding the nurse finally examined the fetus with me. Its little limp arm had flopped over and that was what I had been so afraid of. It was a perfectly formed baby girl, with the cutest little fingers and toes. So sad. I weighed it and documented all my findings.
I wrapped it up again and took it with me to Labour Ward to deposit it in the chest freezer. This freezer looks like a normal freezer that you would keep extra meat in, perfectly harmless. I lifted the lid and pulled back a paper covering...
Lying underneath the covering where 4 little frozen babies. Just lying there. In a row. Definitely the freakiest way to keep the fetuses. I mean c'mon. Wrap them up. In dark plastic. Or something. That is horror film material right there!
A week later I was on call again and could not prevent myself from having another peek in the freezer...
There were only frozen placentas this time, not so exciting!
This is now my favourite trick to play on the medical students...hee hee.
Let's hope no mini corpses tonight!!!
People always ask, "How do you stay awake for 30 hours?". With great difficulty, is my answer. Luckily the labour ward is such a high turnover place that there is little time to sit down, let alone pee. I go to work on call days, prepared to go into combat. I have every food type imaginable and am even armed with extra underwear in cases of spillage. My Crocs, unfortunately are a vital part of my armour, much to the dismay of my friends and family. Everyone has call superstitions. I never take a toothbrush or magazines on call, because that implies that I would get to sleep or relax and if you have these items, Murphy's Law, it will be crazy.
Today I got home after a 26 hour call and felt like a bus had ridden over me, reversed and then done a wheel spin over my head. But, I didn't care, because I had the perfect post call treat lined up for myself.
A massage..... :)
The amazing Ingrid came to give me the most heavenly massage known to man. In the comfort of your own home, she comes prepared with a plinth, relaxing music and the hands of an angel. If I can give you one tip: try one of her massages, relaxation like I have never known. I have had a lot of dodgy massages and this rates as a firm number 1!
(Unfortunately only for those in the Cape Town area.)
Now for tea in bed :)
I won some amazing goodies a while back on the lovely Jacci's blog, What Jacci Did Next. Initially I had been given the wrong parcel at the Post Office, ending up with church paraphernalia, but eventually I got my grubby paws on the real deal.
getting parcels always makes me feel like a small, excited kid!
I won yummy Starbucks coffee bags (like a teabag but with coffee) and awesome Cath Kidston stuff (tissues, lip balm, badges and a cute mini purse).
When meeting non medical people at say, a dinner party, the same question always pops up. What is the worst thing you have ever seen? or What is the most hectic? or the Grossest?
I have decided to do a series of "The Most..." and hopefully it satisfies your curiosity.
Most Gross Thing...
I have seen a lot of disgusting things. From pus coming out of every place imaginable, to limbs literally hanging on by a thread. Medicine is also full of weird and wonderful smells, warm placenta being right up there with gangrenous digits. I have quite a strong stomach; I can plan my next meal whilst operating, and enjoy a sandwich whilst in the labour ward. But hands down the grossest thing, the thing that makes me mock charge, or even vomit just a little bit in my mouth has to be The Diabetic Foot.
This belongs to a diabetic patient with poor sugar control. Basically their foot becomes rotten and putrid and often requires amputation. You can smell the patient even before entering a ward. They usually come into the hospital with a checkers packet tied around their offending limb, and you just know what is awaiting you under the wrap of plastic. The absolutely cherry on top, and the gag factor for me is... MAGGOTS! Yip, they often have maggots in the wound. The maggots actually make the wound cleaner as they eat all the dead tissue and leave the tissue that is viable behind.
Warning! If you have a weak stomach, do not scroll down!
And now imagine the smell!
Dear Pregnant Mommies,
Please do not use Tik whilst you are pregnant and especially not before you come to hospital, in labour. It makes my life very difficult when I have to try and urge you to push out your poor, helpless baby, whilst you shriek and perform like a crazy banshee. Please also admit to using Tik straight off the bat. I can spot you a mile away and even though you deny it, you just have that "tikked" up look about you. It would help if you told us when you last used and how often you did. Please do not curse or spit at me, bite or hit me and definitely do not throw faeces at me.
I would greatly appreciate your cooperation.
Little Miss Medic
So it has been a whirlwind month for me and I am sorry that I had to neglect my blog. Besides The Boyf’s prodigal return from London, moving into a new home and applying for a post to start specializing, we acquired the cutest little creature, called Max. He is a wire-haired daschund cross.
We were super keen to get a beagle, it being THE only breed of dog that we could both agree on, but alas, due to the fact that we own zero furniture and have had to buy everything, forking out R6000 for a dog, was not feasible.
And that is how we found Max. I used a website called Furkidz and stumbled upon an amazing organisation called Second Chance. Max and his 7 siblings had been born to wire-haired daschund mommy. The owner, not wanting to deal with the pups, took them to the local vet to be put down. What an absolute retard! There are never a shortage of good homes when it comes to puppies. I think this crazy fuckwit, needs to have his dog confiscated and should be taken to his local GP for a potassium chloride injection!
Max is the absolute cutest thing since Hello Kitty. He has adapted so well to our humble abode and we love him to bits. Needless to say he can be rather cheeky and I will often find a stray ballet pump in the garden or a new hole that he has dug, but besides that, his sweet puppy breath makes up for it!
Knocked out after a long day of playing
Spot the scrub gown as his blanket :)
First visit to the beach
Look at that face!
So I am back for good and the posts will be flowing from now on!