Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Operation 1.0.1

'I've lived though sh*t, I can survive this Inshalla ' I thought this morning when I was in the passenger seat of what supposed 'but turned out not' to be a taxi…
'Where the hell is my visa card?' I thought ' Is it in my purse or in my pocket  ...wait I'm not wearing jeans I have no pockets ' gosh it's in my purse …ok ok it's your safety first just give him the purse and the visa ..Or maybe I should hit him with the purse, get out of the car and run …think quick danya ..Gosh hmm…ok plan A…..
'So are you Jordanian?'
'Great I love Iraqi people'
'That’s …err good'
'I won't hurt you don’t worry  ...I'm just gonna drive to where you want '
'You know I really want you to take me back to the UK embassy I forgot to submit some documents..'
'Oh  ...ok then …'
'I think we should take that route' I don’t know if it was obvious but my voice was all shaky at this point.
'Nooo I know better .this is my country, the way we're taking is a shortcut .you know this is a Christian area and the western part of Beirut is Sunni, the southern is goes back to civil war time when …. Btw Have you ever been to Lebanon before?'
'Err yea '
'And you are Shiite or Sunni?'
'Sunni' sh't sh't sh't I shouldn’t say that now I'm officially dead…So I quickly added
'My mom is Shiite though 'this is true  ...well at least partly!
To be honest the man was so polite but he was clearly unstable .His reactions were unpredictable and I just wanted to get out of the car.
'I'll wait for you'
'No need sir  ...thank you I'm fine'
'I'll wait anyways'
'Sir don’t you have work?'
'I'm self employed …here is my card'
'You know it will take probably 2 hours maybe more because hmm you know security stuff'
'What have you done with my card?'
I wasn’t paying attention but because my hands were so sweaty the card almost melted in 'm
'Ok then  ...what do you have at 7 this evening?'
'I have to go to the university to meet my professors'
'7 pm at the university??'
'Yes …it is is a late meeting'
'What about coffee at 8:00?'
'sounds good. I have your number now I'll call you ' and I could've added pigs can fly
'How did it go with the visa application?'
'Mom it was horrible  ...I'm telling you it's going to take 2 weeks to be processed and they took my passport. Mom I'm stuck in Lebanon'
'Pray hunny'
'I will…but you tell grandma to pray for me'  

Friday, September 16, 2011

September resolutions !!

never heard of it ?! me neither :P but I figured its never too late to get a hold over the upcoming months especially when it comes to puttin oneself back on track...
well the truth is it came after a rather shocking conversation I had with my dad yesterday ;
'you know people support an entire family with your salary and you're're ..where do you spend your salary?'
'well lets see between transportation , fast food and  travel ..DAD, tickets are expensive !!'
'I know but I covered most of your expenses there'
'I wasn't exactly alone !! plus mom told me.......see it wasnt ma fault and...' apparently he didn't buy it
'Habibi here's whats going to happen're on your own should learn to be independent...we will still be helping you ,sure, but only when you absolutely need it'
I was speechless.. now ,out of the blue, I'm financially independent ..unfair !
to be honest , this has a good side after all makes me think of having one more job ,not just volunteering.. yea lets see how good I am with this 'new' concept 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

there's nothing like a mama-hug !

Location: Medical ER
Time: 10 pm
A woman was staring at me from a distance …I saw  her by chance ,turned back to what I was doing then it clicked …..what the heck?! Is that my Mom?!!  Why is she in the ER !..for a second ,countless thoughts  crossed my mind but then I looked at her closely….she was  smiling at me … her looks gave me reassurance, after all if something bad had happened she wouldn’t be letting me  finish managing the case I was handling.
'What are you doing here?'
'I brought you Suhur '
'Seriously mom I'm not exactly in the desert you know'
'Have you had Iftar ?'
'Are you serious? Did you come to ask me if I had eaten or not?'
'I'm so worried about you …'
'Doctor the result s..'
'Let me see, we are going to cover anti- ischemic for her and repeat the ECG half an hour later ' I said that to the patient's husband
'What does that mean?'
Of course he didn’t understand …I usually explain things in layperson's terms but I was so distracted by my mom, I couldn’t work!
'Ok I'm sorry… it means not enough blood is reaching her heart muscle and we gonna give her medicine and see what happens'
then I turned back to her 'Umm mom, are you alone?'
'Are you her mother?'  Guess what that was the patient's relative again.. 'She had treated my dad too…you have an excellent daughter. God bless her'
It was getting so awkward at this point … and I really had to go back to work
'Did you come by yourself?'
'No your dad is waiting outside  ...are you coming tonight?'
'NO…hunny, I'm not a kid anymore mom please…'
'Ok ok I'm leaving  ...'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A very democratic chit chat!

'I can't understand… why not? Come on mom, You can't do that to me'
'Please mom'
'I said NO…I won't host this French friend of yours in my house'
'She's so cute'
'And I bet she's so French too'
'You know I never thought you gonna say something like that'
'Its Baghdad darling wake up ..we gonna get ourselves  killed if we host her '
'What if ..what if we hide her ,please mom its gonna be an awesome experience'
'But then you're busy all the time ,you can't host her even if I say its ok'
'Don’t worry I'll manage '  
'You are as idiot as your friend … I don’t know anyone in her right mind who would  leave Paris and spend her summer here in Baghdad  '
'She works as a human right …'
'I don’t care ..human right …waste of time...That only adds to her stupidity ..listen it’s a NO and that’s final '
I haven't given up completely yet.My dad is next ,he's an easier target :P I should've tried with him first ...but my hand is full with something else right now ..I'll let you know what's gonna happen next :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

An other summer day ..has come and gone away :)

'what do you mean you dont know when you're coming back ? what kinda program doesnt have a preset closure date ??'
'no no just listen its not a program I'm migrating'
'no way ,ur kidding right ?!'
'I'm not'
'yes you are'
'no I'm not'
'walla ' although my friend's Christian but walla is kinda universal here !!
'that's ...hmmmm thats great which state?'
he has three aunts and an uncle there
'listen we need to meet before I go'
'September , 7th'
'and you decided to tell me just now !!!'
'the IOM sent me the email yesterday I promise entire family applied 5 years ago I actually kinda forgot about it '
'I cant make it , wont be in Iraq'
then there was a pause, a rather long one for a mobile conversation :P
'you dont seem so excited by the way ?'
'you know my family is pushing me to go for it but I'm so worried ..I've already started something work and I'm leaving my master'
'get a master degree from Chicago you idiot '
'you know my parents told me that too, they're paying btw'
'of course man they have to'
we laughed alot at that... I actually pity Iraqi parents sometimes.. they're doomed with their children until death do them apart :P
'its the right move'
'yea it is.... but  life there will be difficult right? '
I couldn't say no because for him that's the truth.. his life in Iraq is so comfortable ..his parents held  influential positions at the government and with the way things are working here ,this means alot..
'but you're smart can do it'
'I'm leaving for good '
'and it is for your own good '

Sunday, August 14, 2011

He is a She

No matter how much I try , I dont think that I can put my feelings into words ..yes he doesn't have a girlfriend, yes he is a weirdo but I always thought that maybe he thinks he's still too young to be committed or something I dont know... I never actually linger on these thoughts  .. you might say so what?well,this is me we're talking about ...I find it really hard to digest let alone react appropriately to ...
I treat homos,  I dont befriend with them or at least that's what I used to think ..I felt so sick when he told me , I still do actually,thanks Allah I managed to hide it from him ... I'm so sorry for him ...he's so depressed and wants my help ...MY HELP!!?? I'm a doctor yes but not a psychiatrist I cant help him or should I say her..I'm totally overwhelmed ,tired and exhausted, working alot and studying too ..I have my own troubles ..for god sake ,out of all his friends why on earth did he choose to tell me?!! I can't take care of other people's problems ...not now

Saturday, July 30, 2011

the glass half full...

It's been exactly a year since I graduated from med school … It is a pleasure to end July this year with a day which is really a new beginning …
Ever since I started working, I've been concentrated on what can I bring to the patient …but something happened which let me turn to what the patient brings to me .All too often, time and events lead me, and quite a few of my colleagues, to view the patients as tireless killers   of our energy, and that for all practical purposes we must go on giving until we die, or give up this unequal struggle with nature and her diseases. This is to negate the view of patients as food not just in the sense of giving me my daily bread and butter, but also in the sense of nourishing my personality.
They do so by telling you about yourself...see, I sometimes totally into the idea that I'm nice and brilliant then there are times when I am absolutely sure that I'm clumsy and inadequate, but it takes my patients to shatter these illusions, and to show me that simply some days I'm good and some days I'm bad .Thanks to them, I never stay the same. After practicing medicine for a little less than a year now, my mind has already become occupied by ghosts of former patients, counseling me, reminding me of all the things I can not control ….
I don’t know if I will always think this way but for now I truly believe that I'm lucky to work in a profession in which experience counts more than knowledge ,and it is to boost  my experience that I've decided to turn away from learning by rote  …Its been exactly a year since I graduated and for this anniversary I have few resolutions to stick to hopefully;  read  novels , make some real friends , travel far and try to keep forever curious ,for then ,If I'm lucky I'll stand to gain what I think every doctor wish to have : a rich and compassionate personality and I will hopefully be  motivated enough to see  this tiresome and inconvenient patient  ,who challenges me now, into a lovable series of imperfections, which  reflects my own imperfections… 

Monday, July 25, 2011

ER Gossip

'This is the medical section …. The surgical section is this way'
'Sir you've just passed it'
'Those people always pass the triage, the surgery and come straight to us!'
'They're led by national guards, god fathers of stupidity, what do u expect?!' I cant help it sometimes , thank god my attending was sunni that day or else I would've really entered a minefield :P..
'I feel lucky that I don’t have to deal with surgical ER anymore'
'Yea but Medical ER has its own challenges for junior doctors'
'As long as no blasts and explosions I'm happy'
'Then how come you want to be a surgeon?'
'That’s different, I …'
Please my father …
'I'll take the case'
That’s the beauty of ER gossip!I can't remember the last time where I actually finished a conversation …not that it was interesting but it is always like this...
'Whats that book ?'
'Its  a review for an exam I want to take'
'With all these duties !!!when are you going to find the time to study.. plus its a difficult test'll fail'
Idiot I will do my best to pass just because he said that  
'It's cheap I can retake it ..'
Doc..She took pills lots of them .she isn’t breathing  please  …
I know this might sound mean to you but this suicide lady came right in time ..she made it by the way ..dont worry   

Monday, July 11, 2011

Something is definitely wrong

'you didnt recognize me, did you ?'
I put down my stethoscope and tried to think harder…she looks like a doctor or a med student  so I took an educated guess ...
'I'm terribly sorry ..let me see we worked together… uhhh maybe in the internship ?'
'No ...we didn’t ' she wasn’t so nice when she said it I have no idea why !
'Ok '
'I knew you didn’t know me from the way you were talking…I'm Nibra we work together at …'some volunteer stuff
'Oh of course Nibra '
Nothing I said next made her feel any better .. not that I said much actually... 
And this was just 5 hours after the beginning of my duty … I was totally worn out ..headache, backache, stomachache  hungry, dehydrated …you name I had it ..I'm not always like that but I was terribly sick that day the last thing I needed is the nurse shouting…
Doc DOC DOC ..he stopped breathing '
'Come on give me a break… not now Hajji I cant do CPR now…I'm too tired'
30 minutes later …
'Announce the time of death ' this happened to be the head of the ER which happened to stick in the ER section I was running for the entire period of ma shift
'Me ?'
 it's not my bloody job… it’s the attending's … you know something by the time I was writing his death note   I wished it was mine…
'You look bit uncomfortable?' my senior just came back from his lunch break
Uncomfortable ? Nooo I'm fine'
No seriously leave…'
How sweet of him, letting me lose a whole 10 minutes before the end of my duty!
I'm so lucky don’t you think ?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

No regrets ...No regrets at all

In an Iraqi Medical ward …
'Thank Allah we now know what caused his death'
This was my attending's way of consoling the family of the deceased just minutes after he announced him dead
I was standing next to him thinking 'bloody hell!  What kinda statement is that? I know I've been practicing for less than a year but its common sense. Ok I do agree that the guy is dead from a medical disease with some fancy name but if you are so happy that u found out about it …his family might not share the same enthusiasm….  right !?'
I keep on hearing how insensitive doctors are but that day I witnessed it myself …. You know what I can't blame him…10 years ago when he was a med student  breaking bad news wasn’t part of the syllabus I guess but again  this doesn’t completely give an excuse for how stupidly he handled it…
A positive thing about this? Well the whole 'you son is dead ' thing is not that easy for me and I dont think I will be anytime soon but that day I felt good about ma least I'm not as bad as him :P
In an Iraqi ER….
'He's bleeding into his brain '
'No he is not'
'Some med talk to prove ma point'
'Some babbling to prove his '
'I still think he needs a CT scan of his brain'
'He's got no indications for it '
Although I thought that he's killing the patient with his treatment …I couldn’t argue  with him more  ..he's not just ma attending he's got enough power to make me suffer …so I stopped
10 min later I just couldn’t I mean I felt so guilty I present the case to  other ER seniors most  agree with me scientifically but no one seems to care about the patient …
Everybody is talking nowadays about 'Managed Care' , i.e you lower your expenses if you can narrow down your differential diagnosis with the least number of tests…well let me tell you ma opinion this is not Managed care its ' Damaged care '
You wanna know what happened next …
I got busy with other patients and my attending discharged the guy…yes he discharged him home ….
Well great ….good for the hospital
In the Medical floors again !...
'Would you leave the books for a sec? Do you know the 'shahroora'
'An old actress??'
'How come they're making an entire series about her she was a s** bag….'.
He kept on talking for about half an hour or so
'Excuse me doctor' this was the 'rescue' nurse :P 'you have a new admission'
'Thank Allah… rescue I thought so I stood up to go see the patient'
'Where are you going?'
'To …lets see M.KALAD'
'He's been already checked at the ER… Let me tell you something …always put yourself above the patients. Take care of your health'
'I'm …fine' seriously I was fine  
Thank god he followed his own advice, he left the ward to sleep on duty!! .. you know he did me and the patients a huge favor the first 6 hours of the duty was horrible  because of him , well at least partly!!!