August 19th, 2003

Nescafe rabbit

Where to begin...

Business first: Welcome clipdude who apparently discovered that I'd randomly added him via the wonderful magic of clicking on the lj-user tag and added me back. Hope it suits your standards. :)

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My new paediatrics clerkship:
As far as the doctor's office went today, Drs D&D are positively marvellous. I had a wonderful time, with mini-lectures between every patient it seemed. I learned about neonatal jaundice, about well child checks, about occult fractures of the elbow (quick quiz, ishotkenney: what is a fat pad sign?), and about the importance of reading charts (oh, you mean he was previously suspected of GERD but not medicated?). I saw a six-year-old gymnast do one-handed cartwheels without taking her other thumb out of her mouth. I played with six-day-old twins who were now only yellow down to about the chest, did yearly physicals and poked at a four-year-old whose only words were "thank you" after she got the grape-flavoured tongue depressor. She was interesting. I talked to a boy who's entering sixth grade but looks like fourth, who said very little and was most certainly unnervingly withdrawn. That might be because he was the second-oldest of seven children. It might be because of a complicated family situation. It was most interesting, however, to watch his twin sisters demand that I examine them as well. Three pairs of ears, three mouths and throats, three hearts, three sets of lungs, three scoliosis checks. It was most intriguing.

Got home, picked Quinby up, and went to Curves. It was weigh-day. And every measurement she took she made good noises. Since last month, I've lost four pounds and two point five inches. The inches - those can be attributed to any number of things. But the pounds...that's halfway back to what I weighed when I started. I can do that; I can keep doing that. One pound a week. Not so bad.

And the personal:
Got a page, and a call tonight. It's her story to tell and I'll let her tell it when it's time, but waifofthenorth needs your prayers and your good thoughts.

I finished watching Patch Adams now, finally, because I've been told too many times to count that I should watch it. The most recently being tonight, after I told my Chavaling that "Part of being a doctor is treating all of the patient, not just the disease present." Apparently, as I learned not too long after that, it's almost a direct quote from the movie.
There's a spoiler here in my thoughts; I'll maybe go into it more later. It's late now, and I want to let Patch Adams percolate for a while. I'm not that unorthodox; I neither need to be nor have the temperament to be. But it hit close to home...very close.

This is a long post, perilously close to rambling at this point. Perilously close, because it's late and my mind is full of a jumble of things. I'm reminded of something I wrote a while ago, something I keep thinking I should send in to the MS-JAMA for their creative writing, and I think I'll close with that. It's behind the second cut, O Best Beloved, an old piece of poetry because I have yet to find words in my heart that better express my thoughts than those I wrote not long after my first anatomy lab:
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And the really personal:
I hear once in a while, O Best Beloved, that what I say touches you. I hope it does. I hope so fervently that it does. Because if I didn't mean it to touch you, make you laugh and cry and feel a little bit of what I feel, I wouldn't leave these entries public. I wouldn't stop during the day and look at a patient and think to myself "you have something to teach people, more than just me," and make a little note in my notebook. Sometimes, it's just an initial, and a symptom or a quote. Sometimes it's a sentence or two. But it makes everything so much more real, to know that I'm not the only one experiencing it. So thank you for listening, for putting up with my long-winded soliloquies, and for being part of me and what I'm learning and what I'm doing. Because we really are all doctors, in a way, and all patients. And that really does mean something great.
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