Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sjoe! What a day(and night!)

I was on call on Monday in the nursery i.e. Neonatal ICU/High Care - boy was it hectic! This was my 1st call in nursery and the 1st time I worked in nursery as an intern. I'm glad I didn't know beforehand how hectic it would be otherwise my whole (free) weekend would have been spoilt! Ja so anyway it ended up being a 27hr call and I  literally didn't sit at all except for 20mins around 5am this morning because I really thought I'm gonna collapse!(There was no time for supper either!)

Inserting IV lines on little babies is really no joke:( It actually gets quite depressing. I spent like almost 90mins with some babies, poking them like a hundred times, constantly reading Allahumma La Sahla Illah Ma Ja Altahu Sahla and I still failed in some of the prems - they soooo tiny, some weighed just more than 1kg! I had to call my senior to help me out with quite a few of them because I just... failed! I know this sounds dumb but I was kinda happy, you know in weird sort of way, when she also failed with 2 babies! So at least I felt these 2 babies could be described as 'un-dripable' and my self-esteem was restored a tiny bit:) But seriously it is torture to be standing and trying to insert an IV line (alone mind you because the sisters - who only work 12hr shifts btw - are sleeping at the nurse's station!) and having to eventually give up - because you just can't. I was almost wondering if I've just forgotten how to insert an IV line. I almost felt like running to some adult and trying to put up and IV Line on them just to boost my self-confidence ;)

Besides this 'ward-work' I also had to go to theater for C-sections to 'catch' the babies and resus if necessary. We've done a whole neonatal resus course so I know basically how to resus but I just didn't want to be in that situation, so while they were cutting each c-section, I was busy making dua that the baby doesn't come out 'flat'. Alhamdullillah all the babies came out crying loudly Yay:)

Oh ja and then the walk to the lab....don't know if I've described this before, but the walk to the lab is absolutely dreary at night:( The lab is situated on the 1st floor but it's sort of out of the main hospital building and you have to walk down this long corridor that's enclosed with I think it's called corrugated iron? There's places it's broken, so you feel the cold wind and can see the bats flying around (or they may be birds I'm not sure but they make a lot of noise!) Anyway its dimly lit and there's another 2 entrances to this corridor from outside the hospital - 1 near the lab entrance and 1 on the opposite end. It is so scary! I constantly read Haa Meem La Yunsaroon while walking down there and keep checking behind me every few steps until I reach the lab safely and thank Allah for keeping me safe and then the process gets repeated on the way back. (I have tried running but then my footsteps on the cemented floor just adds to the eeriness!) Really wish they'd make it safer.

(Drove home in a bit of a daze - I was just too tired. There was a huge truck in front of me so I took a few side roads in an attempt to overtake it and then when I got to the place I had to join the main road again... yah... the same truck passed just before me!)

[Sorry just realised my post seems to be overpowered with exclamation marks!!!!}

Monday, May 23, 2011


funny sleeping pics
I'm so totally exhausted! It's like every joint in my body's sore:( Think it's because of going up and down the stairs, coz the ward's on the 7th floor and the lab and outpatients is on ground floor. But really three 25hour shifts in 6days is not cool! Summary of my life in the past few days: On Call, Post Call, Pre-Call, On Call, Post Call, On Call and finally Post Call today:)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book Review: The House of the Mosque

Please Note: Everything here is just my personal opinion!

Title: The House of the Mosque
Author: Kader Abdolah

Overall I was not tremendously impressed with this highly acclaimed "International Bestseller". The book was purchased in a rush and I did not realise it would be focusing exclusively on Shias - my bad - the book is set in Iran after all (really don't know what I was thinking!).

The story revolves around the lives of the family in-charge of the Mosque beginning pre-revolution and ends post-revolution. I found the pre-revolution part sickening coz it was filled with vivid descriptions of Muta (Temporary Marriage) which was portrayed as something permissible in Islam. [Really, every time I read about this 'temporary form of marriage that is acceptable in Islam', I wanted to shout out "It's only allowed in Shi'ism, Umar (R.A) said it's Prostitution!] Anyway I just shudder to think what non-muslim readers made of this. Besides this, I came across many other practices/beliefs depicted as 'Islamic' without specifying it's exclusive to Shi'ism, as well as some incorrect Islamic History. Don't get me wrong it's not that a book I read has to be Islamically correct or something, it's just it irks me when things are portrayed as Islam, and are in fact not!
Okay, enough ranting! The latter part of the book went at a rapid pace, avidly describing the Iranian Revolution and it's effects on ordinary individuals and their families. It's cruel and heart-wrenching at times and really shows the lowest levels man can stoop down to. 

Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, May 16, 2011

"On Call"

So what does it mean to be "on call"? Basically it means you are covering the night at hospital, in whichever department you are working. The person on call starts the day as everybody else at 7:30/8:00. Then from 16:00 till the next morning, the person on call works in casualty/OPD or the wards - depending where the person is allocated. If you lucky (usually not!) and it's quiet you can get some sleep. The next morning the on-call person does normal duties until 12. After 12 you can leave and it's now your post-call day :)

I don't know how the timetable was planned coz I didn't have any calls the past 2 weeks and now I'm on call Tuesday, Friday and Sunday!

The call rooms here are not that grand (and there's been a rumour of a rat in the surgery intern call room!) so I just use a couch in the doctor's lounge. For me, the worst part about a call is having to use the bathroom! I can never ever use a public toilet so using the doctors's toilets at the hospital is just pure torture:( It's such a procedure for me - I have to using seat covers and wipes - ag I just hate it:(

Anyway enough complaining - think of me tomorrow!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just about my day

Had to attend a tutorial today on Paediatric Resus. Yep on a Saturday:( Anyway glad I attended - it's pretty important stuff!  I was so annoyed though, coz it was scheduled to start at 8am but from the 30 interns who were supposed to attend, there were only 12 and so they waited until 8:40 just in case the others were late!

We got to practice inserting an intra-osseous line on a chicken drumstick - real cool :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Paeds Week 2

2nd week in Paeds and going well so far Alhamdulillah. Well actually I'm in a 'step-down/chronic' kind-of-ward so I guess it's not that hectic, plus I haven't had a call yet (1st call on 17th).

The language barrier is quite a problem for me and it's really difficult to explain something or to console a kid. I really wish my Zulu wasn't so limited! At least in Pretoria I could get away with Afrikaans.

Many of the kids in the ward have defaulted their TB treatment and are now on the re-treatment regime so they have to stay in hospital for 56days to receive IM injections. The very little one's don't understand why they have to stay in hospital because they feel fine and so everyday it's like "Dr, funa discharg-ga"

The ward looks a bit dreary but overall the kids I'm responsible for are really cute. But why are kids so touchy??   It's really something I'll have to TRY and get used to. Don't think I ever will. It's not that I'm a cold person, it's just that I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness and uhm don't really appreciate a hug from a child with a porridge-smeared face, snotty nose and some unidentifiable wetness on his sleeves!! Seriously people I've witnessed it - these kids put there hands everywhere! It's really gross!!

Well enough about the gross stuff - I cant believe the 2nd week is almost over. Next week's gna be real hectic with 3 calls....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Doctor's Lounge Chat 1 ;)

Topic: The strike last year

Doctor1: "The military had to come in to assist at the hospital I was working at last year. I must say the military nursing staff were quite good but some of the military doctors seemed a bit dodgey!"

Doctor2: "Well I guess that's because they only know how to manage gun-shot wounds!"

Doctor3: "Gun-shot wounds? I don't think so. They probably specialists in treating STI's (Sexually Transmitted Infections)!"


So today was my 2nd day in Paediatrics and it's not going too badly! I'm finding it nice working with kids (except when I need to draw blood or put up an IV line!) but it is also quite depressing. 7 of the 9 children I'm responsible for, have HIV and TB and almost everything else that goes with being immune-compromised:( It just seems so unfair that these little one's have to suffer because of their parents.
It's also frightening for me because it's really easy to get a needle stick or splash injury. May Allah protect me and every other doctor.