The supposed re-opening of the clinics is getting closer and I am dreading it. I predict that I would always be afraid of flicking one viral particle from one patient to another, and would constantly wonder if the delicious, irresistible red velvet cheesecake given by the febrile and coughing patient is teeming with them critters. In the olden days as soon as a patient leaves I would grab a handful of any food given to me and stuff it in my face like a total patay-gutom, but now I won’t be able to do that. As consolation prize, I should expect to lose some weight from stress and the physical inability to feed.
I’m also not sure how I would do physical examination. In the spirit of poverty and attempts at avoiding intricate imaging tests I usually palpate nooks, crevices, and nether regions in search of a mass. I already feel like quarter of a battle is won whenever I discover a hard scrotal mass like the one Mr. John Doggett felt important to leave out, but now every touch would throw me into paranoia. The archetypal lola patient would also pose some problems, as they are the ones who usually just grab your hand or hug you or beso/kiss/sniff your neck. For now the neck sniffing would be the safest—but STILL!
In my solitary, reflective state I am now bewildered at how remiss I was when it came to certain sanitary practices that I didn’t consider to be clinically significant. I’m lucky I didn’t get anything from the many, many intubations I did as a resident without a protective mask or goggles.While in a conference in Makati one night Dr. Eclair had asked around if we disinfect our luggage after a trip. Everyone just laughed—apparently Dr. Eclair was the only one doing it, and now in hindsight who knows what alien fungi-viral hybrid mutant we could have been carrying across continents!
I’ve learned a lot from Dr. Eclair, specially that one time when we got to room together in a trip out of the country. He was already known for being well-kempt and clean, but I was definitely impressed when I saw how organized his things were and how neatly he would use the hotel room shower. I got so insecure and embarrassed when I saw my clothes strewn on my bed that I tried to cover them all with the duvet. It looked quite horrible, so I ended up folding them properly after all.
One afternoon we were informed that it was the designated free time (aka time to shop), so everyone in the group went insane and got dispersed. I asked to be left behind in the hotel, telling them I would just follow after a brief online meeting, but in truth I found it to be the perfect opportunity to poop in the hotel room liberally. It was indeed a fantastic, majestic, grand defecation, finally expelling the horrific products of gluttony and excesses of the past few days.
After multiple flushes, though, to my horror,
stool smudges were still malignantly stuck on the toilet bowl walls! I sprayed the smudges with the bidet, which only succeeded in disseminating drops of fecaloid water on the floor. I couldn’t leave it like this, I couldn’t let Dr. Eclair of all people
see this monstrosity, so I reached for the disposable hotel toothbrush, knelt down, and manually brushed the nefariously adherent poop smudges off, nervously laughing like a total idiot. I then opened the door and the windows and sprayed perfume all over, trying to cover up the evidence of my crime.
|Emotion-assessing GARAHE outside the hotel.