Wednesday, March 30, 2011

welcome to heaven

After a long day at the hospital ,and in a cruel attack as devastating as it was efficient, a bomb unleashed in his car yesterday afternoon  just as he stepped in  it ….
Name: Mohammed Alwan
Sex: male
Age: 47
Profession: surgeon at x hospital (the one I'm workin in )
Chief complaint: dead on arrival
There's nothing unusual about the whole scene ….well except it's been awhile since I can say that a person  I really  know has been killed this way ,his daughter is my sister's best friend. And  being  final year med students they are studyin at our home most of the time and when she is not at our home then my sis must be at theirs! …I have lots of memory with this family …..The whole hospital was in black today (not because it’s a custom here, it's not) but he was simply an active caring doctor and people here really feel the loss...May Allah bless his soul
There nothing else I want to say actually, blogging about it was a good idea …I finally stopped crying J

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Uncertain Future !

'Why don’t you just leave the country?'
Is he seriously saying that, am I hearing that right!? …'Ahh, leave?!!! Where to?'  That’s the only thing I managed to say at that point
My bewilderment was all over the place, so he added quickly 'Young lady, have you ever thought of studying and working abroad?'
This was the dean of the medical college I graduated from in an interview I had few weeks back. He's been in his post since last year – after some political/ethnic battles –
You know, if anyone else had said it, it won't be a big deal but it was the dean of the university for god sake!
'I don’t want to leave; I wanna study and work here in Baghdad... I was one of your top students and according to the current regulations of the ministry of higher education MHE I have the right to…..  '
'Ok ok you wont give up, will you? Here's the thing I don’t care about  what the MHE has to say..…'
Seriously!! What! What kinda dean is that?
He went on saying '…the uni won't accept new entries for the next 3 years (aka his years at office)'
'But... I mean I was assigned by the ministry all I need is your agreement'
'And you're not gonna get that' …this just …this crashed me, crashed me hard
'I'm telling you, we don’t have any offers'
'Even for the top 5%'
So he said affirmatively' Even for the top 5%'
I would totally buy that if I didn’t know that out of 54 med graduates last year, only 3 places were to be filled (nothing unusual about such highly competitive posts)…the weird thing however is that no.54 and no.50 got assigned and I know those people personally and I wish them all best, they are my colleagues after all …but they just not good enough and by that I don’t only  mean scientifically ….anyways
'What can I say thank you for your time'
'Think about it …UK is a great place to start'
'?!!??'I was literally speechless
According to the UN, Iraq is ranked 2 in governmental corruption (only after Somalia which means my country is no.1 because, well, Somalia is not even a country! not yet at least)
S**t, I know why ….it's my d**m surname ….  so now what ! change my surname ?or just leave the d**m place? But I didn’t leave even when things were escalating in a monumental scale  …. I don’t know …..for a while  this was the only thing I was thinking about…anyways I 'm not willing to give up Baghdad , not yet at least  

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Blast Free Month

Finally no more blasts for me  ..not because a miracle happened and they actually stopped but I was transfered to the GYN/OB department ; all about pregnant ladies and delivaries ...I'm still in the emergency section but its kinda different here a good way ; up till now :)

'how old are you ?'
'can you please relax ,lady, n let me examine you'
'you  look too young for a doctor you're born in which year?'  she is not gonna give up that easy I thought

'dont worry I'm old enough to know whats wrong with you'

'you know doc , let me tell you something ,  dont you ever have children birth is just beyond horrible'

'thats a really interesting advice' I was trying to be as supportive and reassuring as I could but I think it gave the wrong msg ...for the next 10 min she kept on talking non stop !! which I would've taken fairly ok only if it wasnt my 9th hour in the ER  ' 9 hours straight' and I had tons of work ..she was not my only patient !!

'you know what.. I think I won't have any afterall '
' good really good '
ah finally she stopped talking I should've said that from the start !

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Go ladies go …allez allez allez !

It’s the 8th of March, the international woman's day. I woke up at 2 am to fine tune my speech, and send some last min emails .All nighter is my way of working things out..and guess what it works every time ilhamdullaJ
'Good job with the panel'
'Thanks…We could've done better you know if we had more time'  I replied
'The UN stepped in the last few days that’s why things were not fully organized with the other tell me what do you think about working with us?'
'I'm already volunteering in….' but she didn’t let me finish
'No I meant a job not volunteer work…would you give up medicine for it ?'
'Uhhhh …I don’t think I have to choose at this point .. I'm doing well with both'
'So you would take a job if offered to you ?'
'Right… yea sure …I'd love to (ok that’s when I went too far !)…as long as its youth related'
I wasn’t fully honest with the lady …I'm not sure why didn’t I just say what I really thought…I've already given up a lot for the sake of  medicine  and I wont  give it up anytime soon…..anyways
It was 2 pm now 'I still can catch my French class …superb' I thought
'Bonjouuur , ca va ?' said my tutor with an extreme niceness!
'Ca va bien et toi?'
'You know that we don’t have a class today'
Gosh not again
'We did send you a notification email 3 hours ago'
3 hours  ? Seriously but to be honest 3 hours is enough in the Iraqi standard .last min changes and clumsiness are way too familiar when you deal with my people…
'You know its IWD …happy anniversary by the way and we're cutting the ribbon for an art gallery of Iraqi female artists… its about time now …have an idea …why don’t  you join us ?'
'Don’t you have a guest list?' I asked
'Never mind it '
….2 hours later
'Mom I'm at the hospital I'll have to call you later ok'
'Wait your bro passed his finals'
'Really great news'
'Thanks a lot ' she said
'Listen you tell him that he's on his own this semester , he should start attending lectures .I don’t have time to be his private tutor'
'I have to go mom seriously I'm busy …byes'
What a day ! Happy anniversary ladies J  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My love, I'll die for you

To be quite honest , after more than 2 months in the ER, I don’t have much trouble treating patients with deadly injuries  or breaking bad news to their families …I don’t know why  , I guess I'm starting to feel kinda immune emotionally  which ironically makes me do my job more efficiently ….but yesterday was different …
A couple of blasts, no big news... Deadly injuries, again no big news but children that was  just too much for me to bear …too innocent  to deserve anything of such scale ,it was just too much  . Nevertheless, I do think that I did a good job but the scene got into me …
The last thing I needed was a 20 something guy to crash into the ER with a suicidal attempt  and guess what he did a very impressive job damaging 2 of his major wrist arteries , cutting  major nerve supply to his hand and almost all his hand tendons …well It was beyond my expertise the guy was dying and he didn't want me to help him …
So here I'm dealing with a big crying child ….
'Don’t worry, we stopped the bleeding but you have to be admitted to the hospital'
'I wanna die'
'You are going to be ok'
'My hand is numb , I can't feel my fingers ..I'm losing my hand …please I'd rather die'
'Everything can be fixed don’t worry'
'Let me die'
Keeping a firm reassuring voice was starting to get harder and harder even with all my seniors present around me.. I knew I wasn’t alone but I really wanted to leave him and go home I just couldn’t bear it any longer  
'How did that happen?'
'While cleaning the fish tank ' his brother quickly replied … yea right at midnight I thought  but I didn’t say a thing … the pattern of the wound was against this version of the story … I , and all other ER doctors who examined him thought otherwise …
'Hussein, I need to know how that happened?'
'I cut it myself …sob …I love her so much…sob sob sob … I can't live without Iqbal …I love her doctor' He said it with such intensity that for a split of a second I did actually think that he did the right thing!
'uhhhhh !! You gonna  be ok once you  get  the blood the dizziness will go away…' what a lame answer ! But I couldn’t think of anything else to say at that moment
Finally my substitute doctor arrived 'What happened to your apron?'

'It’s a new fashion" red zebra" '
'There's an apron at …'
'No need my shift is over'
'Doctor I'm allergic to penicillin and I didn’t …'
'Madam, see if the this doctor can help you … '
'But you did see her first' her son said like if treating his mom is my constitutional duty
'But now my shift is over …'' sigh''  ok tell me what happened then?'  
'Dr.Ziyad take it from here, would you?'
'He likes you'
'Who man? him?'
'He wouldn’t let me take the case'
'Gosh Ziyad I'm not in the mood for your stupid jokes..ur mean man you know that !?'
'I'll take it as compliment  ...thank you doc.. See you tomorrow' he said it sarcastically as usual