Saturday, November 19, 2011

Master of Cough and Cold


I deleted the last post just because I feel like it didn’t seem so real. So, if you didn’t have the chance to read it, good job. I believe, no one was meant to have read it anyway.

Today reminded me, just when I needed it the most, why I’m here. In med school, having a support group or at least having something or someone to remind you that you’re smart enough or at least strong enough to carry on with school is a huge huge must. Otherwise, med students find themselves getting so lost and end up quitting, only because they didn’t hear a lot of their friends or their families continuously reminding these students na kayang-kaya nila to pass a Biochem quiz or a Histology grand pracs. I’ve always felt grateful for having my mom and my sister as my cheerleaders in med school. I probably would’ve gone to my tipping point early on if it weren’t for them.

But as I said, there really are times when no matter how much prodding people around me do, their words just don’t seem to suffice. I talk as if I’ve been in med school when really, I’ve only finished a half of one-fourth of med school. But believe me, med school goes by so slowly that it actually feels like I’ve been here for years! And during the time that I’ve been here, I admit it has never been a smooth ride when it comes to dealing with the stress.

I entered this semester looking for that support group, for that something that would tell me that I am where I should be. I’ve entered a brief somehow reckless phase of trying different things and saying yes to things without even thinking. But I’m done with that, because today, I felt the connection that I needed, and the” intercession” that I have been looking for.

I was never really the sorority girl. I honestly can’t imagine myself being so lovey-dovey with my “sisters” and getting too girly. I think I’ve already discovered who I was when I joined Kythe in college. I was that kind of person who’s supposedly humanity-oriented. You know that kind of person who thinks she’s born to serve humanity, thaaat’s me! Heck, that’s the same line I’ve said in almost all of my interviews for med school. Not that I don’t mean it when I say it, it just somehow amazes me how I’ve carried on with this view of life or of humanity when chose an organization in med school. Is it practical to think this way? Hell no. My parents expressed their greatest concern (and probably refusal) when I told them I want to go to Mindanao or in Batanes and be a community doctor there. For one, the only thing I’ll be rich of when I actually go through that crazy plan would be farm animals or their eggs or babies. And, as my dad would always argue, I really don’t have enough money to provide or give for my future barrio patients’ medicine. That’s true, and since I assume my parents won’t really let me pursue this plan of mine, the next best thing would be to do it now, when I still don’t have my license and have the school’s money to fund for my barrio patients’ needs.
With other members of Medical Missions Inc. (MMI), I went to San Juan Del Monte, Bulacan for my first ever medical mission. I joined this mission, mainly because of the aforementioned deep longing to be of help to humanity and probably because I wanted to gain more experience. Actually, to use the word “more” would be wrong since I have ZERO experience prior to this mission. I only learned how to take pulse rate and BP a few days ago (YAY though for finally learning). What I expected from this mission was a bit of training in getting Vital Signs and more of observing the higher batches and the residents do more of the clinical or medical things. I really wanted to just stay in the background and observe for the rest of the day.
To my surprise, I was practically training myself to be a pediatrician the whole day! And not just the secretary or the nurse who’s responsible for taking the VS and the history ha, I was actually prescribing medicine to my patients! Patients with an S pa! Yes, I’m not entirely allowed to write a prescription and sign my name on a prescription pad, but the very kind consultant said it’s about time I learn how to do it. By the end of the day, I’d consider myself the master of cough and cold. Haha.

2 out of 3 patients I’ve seen today had the simple cough and cold, but it was very interesting to listen to the few histories with very very peculiar cases. The things I’ve heard during Clinical Anatomy lecture actually do exist and are experienced by my pediatric patients. It’s cool in a non-creepy way. And for some reason, I’m thinking if it was fate that brought me to the Pedia department on my first mission. It couldn’t possibly be a sign that pediatrics is the way to go. I’m still undecided, but today definitely made this specialization part of my top 3 choices. Kids are just so fun to talk to and even played around with. For a while, it felt like I was just in a Kythe visit sans my stethoscope, history-taking responsibilities and prescription pads.

It’s empowering, as what I’ve told my friend when he asked me how the mission went. And it really is. I’ve learned so many things even before they were taught in class. I met so many good people who were there, maybe because they share the same passion I have or maybe because it has been part of their lifestyle. 

Either way, it feels good to be around people who seem to understand me. And more importantly, it really feels great to be part of this organization whose purpose for existence coincides the point of view I have of myself and of the things around me. Our consultant told us that we are privileged enough to join this mission. And I believe, I do feel honored and privileged that I get to be part of something really great. This won’t be the last.  

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