So many things to do today, so I started going on rounds at 7am. Patients were still asleep. I was contemplating on waking one patient up, but he seemed fine. Back in med school we were tasked to get the vital signs of all the patients in the wards, some every 4 hours (“monitor Q4”), some every 1 hour (“monitor Q1”). It was an impossible task given the volume of patients, and sometimes there was a tendency to just do QTingin, ie, just look at the patient, and guess what the vital signs were. Technically it was a bad practice, but in terms of our sense of social justice, it was a way to deal with an injustice. Some of these patients didn’t really need to be monitored that frequently, sometimes the residents would just forget to downgrade their status. The point being, I myself made a QTingin on patient Reinhart this morning.
Patient Talula was also asleep, but I had something important to tell her so I woke her up. On her table was a box of pastries that looked absolutely delicious and fresh. I was hoping she would offer me one. She didn’t. Hopefully she would be able to eat at least one piece, she’s been losing so much weight. I find that some cancer cases, such as Talula’s, are more heartbreaking than others. In particular I’m most saddened by the ones that involve obvious disfigurement, specially among young patients who should be traipsing around the mall, taking selfies and being ridiculous and such, instead of lying in a hospital bed dreading the next complication of cancer.
In the middle of doing chemo there was buzz that the hospital was already giving booster shots for its staff at the Penthouse. I was feeling a bit lazy, particularly at the prospect of having to line up for the hospital elevator to get there. But it’s already the last day, nurse Pam said. I dragged myself to the Penthouse, and was pleasantly surprised that there were only three other people lining up to get the booster shot. A nurse with huge muscles was decked to do the injection, and I was concerned it would hurt. I didn’t feel anything at all.
After such a busy day I went to Rob and rewarded myself with a glass of calorrific Mojito. It tasted more like Mojito concentrate. From my seat I could see the giant red Christmas tree, which would be redecorated for Chinese New Year in two months. So many people were taking pictures in front of the tree. A kid was having his picture taken beside a stand-in of a Korean actor located in a Korean make-up store. Pre-pandemic these things made me roll my eyes, and even during the pandemic last year I would scoff at how careless, and even jej, these people were. But things are different now, and watching them celebrate survival makes me happy.