For once I told myself, “I will not make rounds on this patient today”. It just felt so… liberating (arte). Besides, I thought, the patient is in the able hands of Helliza. A few days ago I frantically called up Helliza at around 4:30. “HELLIZA!” I yelled on the phone, “Wag ka mag-thoracentesis ngayon! BUKAS NA! Bukas na lang! Baka may mangyaring komplikasyon! Mahirap mag pneumothorax or edema pag gabi na! Kagaya nang nangyari sa akin dati at nag na-nightmare pa rin ako ngayon pag naaalala ko ito!!!!”
Helliza was already doing thoracentesis while we were on the phone. And the phone was on loud speaker. For the patient and the family to hear. For more panic. How could I have known.
A few days went by with nothing happening, so I said “I will not make rounds on this patient today”. I felt gleeful, sheepish, at the fifteen minutes I would save. It wasn’t like I would be doing anything important, I would probably just spend the fifteen minutes typing whiny blogs, but the vile, vile thought of being nakakalamang was just so cheeri-o. As I was about to go to Rob extremely famished and being generally nega for being salary-less for five straight months now (talagang dapat isingit), I passed by the side of the ward where I would be seen through a huge open window by, of all people, that patient. His wife called me. I immediately felt sad. Minsan na nga lang makalamang I begrudgingly told myself, behind a wide-grinned smile and an enthusiastic, “KAMUSTA PO!”
I was instantaneously snapped back to roundsing mode, ie, generic rehearsed smile, modulated voice, tempered temper, nods and “uhuh” at the proper time. While in my head, a tiny girly whiny self-pitying voice goes: “I am so hungry”.
Surprisingly, they were very few questions about the patient’s disease. Patient’s sister instead just handed me a huge supot of Jollibee through the window. After a token resistance, I got the food and ran…. ran to the callroom.
And skeletonized the Chicken Joy and slurped the spaghetti sauce off the styrofoam in ten seconds, all the while thinking “THANK GOD FOR FREE FOOD! THANK GOD FOR FREE FOOD!!!!” with spaghetti sauce smeared on my mouth and chicken strips stuck in my teeth and shame etched on my forehead like a guilty, soul-less, piece of hungry trash.
You should really make rounds daily.