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After this long in the business, there are no memorable patients... - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
After this long in the business, there are no memorable patients...
"Excuse me," she says, sizing me up in the way that only a career nurse can size up a person, "but who are you?" I explain, for the hundredth time, that my name is Nykki and I am a fourth-year medical student, and this is my clerkship and I am not an extern. You need a scrub shirt or something. You look like a patient. So she calls down to CSR and she orders me a scrub shirt so that I can look professional, and not so much like a patient.
Patients, O Best Beloved, know more about the ER than I do sometimes.

I saw a barely-legal-to-drink youth whose habit is to go through a case of beer and a half a fifth of whiskey a night. He stunk of alcohol. He wasn't lying according to our drug screen when he said just alcohol and pot, but that was hardly a comfort. He vaguely remembered getting into some kind of argument. And then he remembered his friend wrapping up his bleeding head and taking him to the friend's house, where he passed out. And then he called his mother, who took him to the emergency room. CT of the head and orbit. X-rays of his aching jaw (no blood, no loose teeth). We assessed the probable source of the 5-centimeter laceration through his eyebrow. At 1600, the PA told me to leave. "This will take forever to stitch up. No point in you waiting around." I'd only be waiting around all day.

A litte baby boy, one day of congestion, no fever, eating well and making wet diapers. Patient is a playful, interactive, smiling and cooperative infant boy. Worried mother. I wonder if I explained too much, that it was good to bring him in when she was worried but that he wasn't sick enough to warrant any treatment at all.

Chest pain, in old and young. Three quick sets of cardiac markers an hour apart and a stress test, then home.

Back pain, chest pain, abdominal pain, a pelvic exam for spotty vaginal bleeding (all she wanted was a pregnancy test - negative), suturing on the man who accidentally stabbed himself in the shin with a box cutter. Half the day staring into space and unsure what I was supposed to be doing, the other half running around with a chart in my hand, unsure of what I was supposed to be doing. But I did do a "good job" of suturing and the wound looked nice when I was done. I like to suture. It reminds me of making Barbie clothing.
Is that so very wrong, O Best Beloved?

Moral dilemmas today: none, really. Although I overheard a lot of talk, and I am still disturbed, as I ever am, by the sterile environment of the hospital, the warren of corridors, the way that one can never tell if it is dark or light or stormy or clear. It is a womb of ceramic and linoleum, its amnion scented with alcohol scrubs and the aroma of freshly-sterilized air, cool in its embrace instead of warm, the outside sounds drowned by the heartbeat of monitors. It is unshakable and unchanging. It frightens me, as I journey through it, wondering how my protoplasm is formed and nourished. What will I be birthed as, when it comes at last to an end?

now feeling:: content content

7 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
turnberryknkn From: turnberryknkn Date: September 8th, 2004 10:31 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
I like to suture. It reminds me of making Barbie clothing. Is that so very wrong, O Best Beloved?

I don't think so --certainly isn't anywhere near what my four-man anatomy group, myself included, talked often in lab about, namely barbeque and cuisine...
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: September 9th, 2004 12:17 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
We had a no-butter rule at our lab table. No mentioning butter. What -is- it about dead people that makes kids talk about food?
mdrnprometheus From: mdrnprometheus Date: September 9th, 2004 04:05 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Coping mechanism. What else?

Around here, they say you've truly acclimated to med school once you start getting hungry in anatomy lab.
attickah From: attickah Date: September 8th, 2004 11:04 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
I think, in some strange way, I'd have been really disturbed if the guy who sewed my finger back together a couple months back would have told me it reminded him of making Barbie clothes. Coming from you, however, it's cute.

I'm not sure if the difference is a) age b) gender or c) that you're not on the pain-inducing end of a needle from me, at present.
buggrit From: buggrit Date: September 9th, 2004 04:26 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
I love reading you, when I have time, energy and motivation to read anything that isn't "Look! Piccies of my CAT!" You should've been a writer.

Actually, you still could... there are many good novelists who are also doctors. They usually write murder mysteries... hmmmmmm...
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: September 9th, 2004 09:36 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Someday, maybe I'll write a Real Book.
waifofthenorth From: waifofthenorth Date: September 9th, 2004 09:59 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Speaking of mysteries...If you ran a DNA test on the blood of a BMT patient and their donor, would their blood have the same DNA? *thinks of really random surprise ending to mystery.

7 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word