Cases that make you say ‘huh?’

“Life it too short to deal with crazy people.”  

    Karen E. Quinones Miller

The longer I stayed in the Emergency Department (ED), the more I find myself thinking of how important it is for everybody to

  1. Have common sense
  2. Grasp some form of medical & health knowledge in order to understand on which circumstances do they have to come to hospital for help. One does not need to know in depth as to how a medical doctor should, just enough to recognise the red flags to a certain condition.
  3. Not misuse the ED for medical check up services and medicine top up just because you couldnt be bothered to wait in line and the polyclinic and yet refuse to throw a dime for a private consult. Boleh blah…

Having being oncall from 8AM to 8AM in an ED setting (despite being in a district hospital) is super tiring and when you’re presented with ridiculous cases, it just gets on your nerves. I had my fair share of cases too.

  1. Case 1 : Young man slept on his hand. Woke up. Hand felt numb. Went straight to ED. By the time he was seen, the numbness (obviously) disappeared. When asked why he had to come to ED for a straightforward problem (yalah.. ko tido atas tgn dirikpun.. mestilah ada kebas mula2.. kakya ko releklah dolok nak nunggunya ilang) he couldnt answer why. Pfft.
  2. Case 2 : Mother came to ED bringing her 7 year old sick child for every new complaint. Fever with cough came – fine, its ok, appropriate. Fever + cough + runny nose = came again. Fever + cough + runny nose + itchy  nose = came again. Fever + cough + runny nose + itchy nose + vomit purge after swallowing tablet meds x 1 episode = came again. I suggested admission, mother refuse. Just wanted an IVD for her child. LIke hellloooooo.. why would you subject your child to being pricked again and again for drip. Pffft.
  3. Case 3 : Itchy neck wanting Medical Certificate. Working as a clerk.
  4. Case 4 : Lose prescription script. Came to ED hoping for us to remember the meds she had as a patient in the hospital 2 months ago. I dont even take care of the wards. This is not a computerised hospital. And it doesnt help that the patient first dont know why they’re on treatment and secondly giving descriptions of ‘pil putih bulat2’. Pffft.
  5. Case 5 : Patient who complaint of so much pain and ailments but when we suggest for blood investigation and possible admission if it really is that bad.. refuses any form of intervention. All he/she wants is yup.. an MC.

Hmph. kepak nyawa. ntah apa jak kes esok di ED.


The Drunkards of Mordor

“A drunk driver is very dangerous. So is a drunk backseat driver if he’s persuasive”
Demetri Martin

On a quiet night in ED as my nurses are having their Nurses Day celebration nearby and my MAs gladly taking over their duties for a while.. a call came in :

Requesting for 3 ambulance!

I was super excited. The fire brigade teams were already despatched at the scene of accident and after assessing the severity of the condition had requested for medical team help. When the patients came , I was a tad disappointed. They were 4 big, drunkard , attention seeking men who were honestly not seriously injured.

This means:

  • the whole village would come and think they sustain serious injuries. Most common problem is a lung contusion to which the patient would have difficulty to breath (common ). While we  will give them pain relief thay would blindly insist on an ambulance service to the tertiary hospital for further treatment. this is the time when even the most macho men would become sissies. pondan.
  • security guards become useless. unable to handle the crowd of relatives thus endangering the safety of doctors and staff
  • answering the same question again and again from the same family but different people. apa lah yang susah gilak nak faham. mok diulang byk2 kali. sidak eksiden tok satu hal juak. dah tauk mabuk.. gago mok nereb.
  • having uncooperative patients. ‘kenapa mau ambik darah saya?’ ‘saya tidak mau xray’ ‘sakit!! sakit!!’ cuci lukak kau ngan spirit bok tauk,
  • other patients waiting time is increased, they’ll get upset or angry

All in all, as mentioned earlier. NO one sustained serious injury but boy do they exaggerate their pain. Most importantly, not one of the four drunkards who came in admitted to being the driver. Everyone was in the passenger seat! Morons.

The Diving Midwife

“I am in no mood to be deceived any longer by the crafty devil and false character whose greatest pleasure is to take advantage of everyone”
Camille Claudel

Or as how its correctly put in Bahasa Melayu , ‘Bidan Terjun’.

I wonder if its written on my face literally, the phrase ‘Bidan Terjun Available’ for some people seem to think that its okay to

  • change my shift to the least favourable time on the last minute
  • ask me to cover the clinic on the last minute
  • ask me to cover the wards on the last minute
  • be on call on the dot on the last minute

Thank God as of now I havent been told to like give a presentation on the last minute. Id totally axe the person.

Perhaps I should tattoo my forehead with ‘Not Single Anymore. I Now have commitments!’. Mind you, I am not asking for a lee-way or special treatment. Im not asking for less calls per month. Im not asking to be on the morning shift at all times. Im just asking for some form of consideration. Time to prepare. To plan on;

  • who will babysit my child whilst Im gone for the sudden night shift or oncall
  • when and how I am to carry my other Wifely and Motherly errands
  • personal study time
  • my own sleep time so I could still function as a human being
  • preparing meals (though now is less significant as beloved MIL prepares em all.. he he)
  • what to wear the next day!!

For I totally understand that being a doctor and a mother/wife at the same time is demanding and needs proper time management. As of now, Im hoping that if I become good in one aspect of my life, Id become better in the other. I wish the latter would rest on the responsibilities as a wife/mother.

The Graveyard Shift

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence”

I have never done ED (Emergency Department) in my Housemanship posting. Instead I was absorbed into the Anaesthetic department and later stayed on to work as their MO. It was a good department, almost like a family and I hope to continue serving in the department even at another place. [read: mok masuk Anaes at GHM!!!]

Anyway, until that time comes.. I still have to serve in the district. This means seeing cases from the very little to the very old. And of course doing my time in ED.

For the past few days I have been doing the graveyard shift. From 4PM to 12MN. Imagine having to drive back from Jasin to Peringgit at night!. The road seems so scary sometimes that the mind too feel that it has to jump in the fun and make me see things. LOL.

One thing for sure is that ED is far more interesting than staying in the wards. What I despise however is when it comes to dispensing MCs. My gawd these people are freaking lazy going to work. Even the kids are spoilt. And their parents are not doing a good job at enforcing discipline on them as well. Ada kah diencourage nya miak ya sak sik sekolah. Like excuse me… mun menar lah aku rasa ko sik boleh keja atay skola.. nang aku merik MC bah..

Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work.
Al Capp

Then theres those who frequent the ED like its a shopping complex. Coming in for all sorts of lame yet bizarre complaints sometimes. Usually they’re not aggressive. They’ll talk to you in the most gentle tone and wonderful choice of words but theres just an inkling that something aint right. As you try to gather more history, you’d notice a piece of note written by your MA (Medical Assistant) that read, “Just give her some medicine, she’s ‘drunk'”. And the MA s are right. These group of patients will come back in another day or two with the SAME illness although its happening for the first time, saying that they’ve never sought medical treatment before. Like hello.. memori ikan emas kah apa?

ED oh ED.

Well, its only the 1st week. I have another 3 weeks to explore.