Friday, October 23, 2009

More Fucking Dramatics!!!

The entry “Too Much Drama” proved to be such a raving success and elicited a HUGE amount of responses (grand total of…3, two from the same person under different names—eh, Mexican Devil Alanis Whore?) that The Great Crematorium has reminded me of some more dramatic moments in my two-year stay here. These are things that I’ve never expected real people to say in real life, but then again, we are not real people, we are alien mutant androids. Some are pure drama, some are pure karindihan, so ladies and gents (in Rod Serling voice) I hereby present to you… More Fucking Dramatics/Maximum Karindihan.

“Mheff, naging mabuti naman akong senior sa ‘yo at naging mabuting junior ka sa kin at malalim ang pinagsamahan natin, so if one day you decide to throw me in a box where you keep people you would never talk to again, at least give me a sign, a warning, a portent.”

“Mheff and Dawn (junior residents), you are the primary motivation why I always want to wake up in the morning and run to the hospital and work. You make me excited to come to the wards and look at the patients, because I know you have shown great care to and managed our patients wonderfully.”

“Cover? Cover na naman?! Blablablablablablablabla cover na naman? Unfair! Huh? Bakit ako? Cover? Bakit ngayon lang sinabi?!? Uuuuuuunfair!!!! Blather-blather-blather! Uuuuunfair!!! Blag!!!”

“Chit chat! Chit chat! Chit chat! Puro na lang chit chat! Tama na ang chit chat!!!”

"Tinatamaaad na ko. Ayoko nang mag rooooounds. Lur tayo."

Cheeezums!

This is how cheezums are translated in this hospital. A few months back during the AH1N1 scare Bubble was on her leave and she went to Italy where she ate pizza, drank wine, and rode a gondola. At that same moment Ernielou was on his Neurology rotation, and he suddenly fell ill with colds and had to take a sick leave. At that time Bubble was still in Italy. Versions of these two stories went rampant, but this is my favorite so far c/o Faciphaga Emasculata, a high rank person in Neurology who (whom?) I overheard narrate this to a consultant excitedly complete with hand gestures and alar flaring.

Faciphaga Emasculata: “Grabe, ang dami nang may H1N1. Si Ernielou, absent tuloy ngayon sa Neuro, confeeeermed H1N1. Nakuha nya to dun sa batchmate nya na galing sa America… si Pebbles.”

I don’t know why, but the incoherence of this entire anecdote suddenly reminds me of an encounter with a super anemic patient (SAP), with a hemoglobin of 28.
Me: “Taga-saan po kayo?”
SAP: “Baboy.”
Me: “Hindi. Tinatanong ko kung tiga saan kayo. Sinong kasama nyo?”
SAP: “Baboy.”
Me: “Lekat. Nahihilo ba kayo?”
SAP: “Baboy.”

I’ve never really thought of it before, but SAP might not have been encephalopathic—he could, indeed, have been calling me baboy. Well, SAP, you didn’t look so good yourself. And you kinda stink! And remember when I told you that your mother was just out to buy you lunch? Well she wasn’t! She was making tsismis with the other bantays! She was making tsismis that you are already in your forties yet you haven’t kissed a girl yet! What do you say now, SAP, huh? What do you say now?!?!

More Ritalin!

Atrocitus

Ran last night to Comic Odyssey not expecting I'd find it, I ran, ran, ran, crapping in my pants. Until I realized it was unnecessary, because hanging in the pegs are two figures of... Atrocitus The Red Lantern!!! Atrocitus is a Red Lantern of Rage, with blood-like vomitus forever spilling from his mouth!!! I clutched it like Orange Lantern Larfleeze, crying Mine! Mine! Mine!!! as a Chinese dad dashed in and threatened to buy the last Atrocitus! Chinese dad immediately pulled the remaining Atrocitus and hugged it like the Orange Lantern of Avarice that he is. "I want I want I want!" he cried. But my Atrocitus is better I hissed, because the red lantern accessory of his Atrocitus has chipped paint on its handle. Chipped paint I tells you!

I paid for my better Atrocitus and life went on.

The New Chief Resident---Revealed! (Spoilers!)

A few days ago the list of the newest batch of residents has finally been released, much to the thrill of some. We had our own personal bets, and a few weeks ago JD-Lu, HIV, Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Mexican Devil Alanis Whore, and I have constructed our own list. We got 15 out of 21 right. As we looked at the list we discovered that the successful applicants could be divided into 3—those who were shoo-ins and are therefore boring, those whose appearance in the list is quite a surprise, and those whom we haven’t heard of before.

The next object of thrill (yes, we derive thrill from these things) would be the result of the race for the chief residency. Everyone’s licking their chops in anticipation, but everyone is told to wait. I asked Cloydie what he would say if he were being interviewed for chief residency, and he said that obviously, all he would say, in the spirit of Thimes, would be, “You mean, you’re just considering me for the position because of my… looks?”

In the hurly burly no one bothered to ask me who would win, thinking that all I know about are drugs and porn, unaware that I am chummy with the powers that be, and that with just a single text they have all told me who has been the ONLY genuine consideration all this time. Apparently, all the other, hee-hee, “contenders” were just, how do I say this nicely… props. That the “interviews” were just… hee-hee… how do I put it properly… a show. Because really, the only person being considered, and that the only deciding factor is if he would accept—and he WOULD accept—is ME. Yes, you got that right, I’M your next chief resident!!! And as soon as I take over there will be NO EXAMS!!! There will be no REQUIRED TRP PERFORMANCES!!! There will be NO GENERAL MEETINGS!!! NO AUDITS!!!! Occasionally to spice things up I would have to call surprise meetings… and give a SURPRISE QUIZ!!!! On comic book history!!!! And in the wards, there will be… 20 General Medicine Services!!!! That means… only one patient per resident!!!! But don’t get too comfortable, you spoiled first year residents, because you will be required to include in your daily charting… GENOGRAMS!!!! And SCREEEEEM evaluations!!!! And I will check them!!!! Daily!!!! Are you liking me yet?!?!?

There, now that I have adequately ridiculed myself maybe I have now sufficiently disqualified myself from the chief residency race for next year, because really, I think some of my other batchmates may be more qualified than me. Wait, are you saying that I will not be a consideration at all anyway? That even if all my 20 batchmates turn the job down they will still not offer it to me?!?! But what if I say that I really really want it and that I’ll try my very very best? Wait can I sing another song?!?! Can I just sing another song, please, I really really want this! All my friends say I’m a good singer and now you’re saying that I am not qualified for your stupid little show?!? Can I just have another try?!?!? What if I do an interpretative dance?!? Screw you! Screw you all!!!!

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn. Dawn.

While reading some ECGs in the ECG room who should come in but a bevy of students—an entire ward service at that. Now the ECG room is that tiny, tiny room where we are required to do an official reading of ECG’s. The entire exercise of reading ECG’s is actually far more boring than it already sounds, but the room does have its benefits. Early last year I had a patient who was all of a sudden for operation the next day, it was already 8 pm when this decision was made, and a superior person has been calling and texting me to the point of MK—Maximum Karindihan (term originated by Uni-horned Beef Jerky Mexican Devil Alanis Whore). I would be receiving text messages on top of text messages and long calls for hours on end, so I ran to the ECG room where there is absolutely no cellphone signal. The patient got operated on the next day without a glitch so see, there is really no need for MK to facilitate things.

So the students came rushing in, and apparently they were herded in by Dawn. As they all sat down I caught Dawn doing an intense teaching rounds with the students. This last sentence probably reflects my decrepit value system—malicious deeds are marveled at and blogged about with delight, while good deeds and acts of diligence and academic excellence are “caught”. I pretended to put on my iPod earphones but secretly I was listening in on the intense teaching rounds. It was, indeed, intense. Granted it doesn’t take much to impress my metamphetamine-shrivelled brain and all around stupidity, but I still “oooohed” and “aaaaahed” in my head as Dawn narrated complicated ECG stuff with ease, exhibiting genuine expertise at this heart thing.

I immediately told this to Smoketh who has been Dawn’s senior a few months back. Smoketh could only marvel at Dawn’s expert hand. In a line worthy of being in More Fucking Dramatics, Smoketh could only say: “Para sakin pinaka-grabe ang learning curve ni Dawn. Like, from nothing, to something. From no one to someone. From nobody, to somebody. From zero… to hero.”
More Fucking Dramatics!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Too Much Drama

Indeed, there is. Too much drama. If this were Survivor that would be one of the reasons why a particular castaway might get voted out—if he is full of too much fucking drama. But then again, we should always think of the ratings, and drama rakes in millions of viewership. And in the hospital setting there is a lot of venue for Infernal Dramatics—everyone always feels that they are the most toxic, or the most abused, or the most overworked; everyone feels like they are not properly compensated, or that the emergency room is too hot, or that there is too much poverty. And poverty—oooh, that opens up doors and doors of opportunity for endless drama. That you have to shell out your own money—lots of dramatic potential there. That the patient comes to the emergency room with only his clothes on and nothing else, that the patient acts all snooty, that the patient is totally evil—infinite drama at its best. And of course when I talk about the dramatics I pertain merely to the complaining and whining and groaning and dramatic pronouncements that go with the situation, and the tendency to create a huge story about everything. And with that, let me quote the most dramatic quotations of the various hospital personalities of the past months.

1. “I’m so hating poverty na!!!”

2. “You’re giving me all the bad schedules just because I’m the single, uninteresting, boring guy in the batch!!!”

3. “Ganun naman talaga eh. Ano ba ang silbi ko sa batch na ito kundi maging isang hamak na punch-liner.”

4. “Don’t you dare!!!”

5. “Hindi ko titignan ang patient just because kilala ko sya. That’s nepotism.”

6. “Mumurahin ko sya. Mumurahin ko sya! Sanay ako magmura dahil bata pa lang ako nagmumura na ako!!!”

7. “Ngayong gabi ako ang pinakamakapangyarihang doktor sa ospital na ito!!!”

8. “Hindi ko alam ang diagnosis nya dahil ang silbi ko lang dito ay mag vital signs!!! Mag VITAL SIGNS!!!”

9. “Ngayong magaling na ang pagkalason mo, gagamutin naman natin ang kabaliwan mo.”

10. “Until she apologizes, I vow never to talk to her ever again!!!”

11. “You mean for all my kebs-ness and total detachment to the department and everything I am still being considered for the position of chief resident? You mean I am just being considered for my… intelligence?!?”

12. “Mommy!!! Ano na lang ang sasabihin ng baby mo pag nagkita kayo sa langit? Na nilaglag mo sya???”

Keep those dramatics coming. We love them.

Beware JJL's Wrath

One night back when we were in the 1st year’s callroom I was positioned snugly in the most coveted bed. The others in the room with me that night were JJL, Dondee, and Lloydie. The 1st year’s quarters is a nice place to sleep in because there is enough room for everyone to move around. But no amount of space could buffer Dondee and Lloydie’s deafening snores.

JJL couldn’t sleep because of the infernal snoring. She tried the prone position and covered her head with a pillow but to no avail—Dondee and Lloydie’s snores which were of varying pitch but of competing intensity could penetrate her flimsy pillow. Finally JJL couldn’t take it anymore. She let out one high-pitched, annoyed whine:

“Dondee and Lloydie ang ingay ingay nyo!!!!” she cried.

Dondee and Lloydie’s snoring instantly stopped. JJL got her sleep.

Beware JJL’s wrath—It can cross the REM barrier.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whining About Whinification

Lately there has been a resurgence of the culture of whinification. Whinification is of course as old as the Sumerian tribes before they were abducted by aliens, because everybody whines. You whine. I whine. A lot. But mostly in this blog. Patients whine. Co-residents whine. Even Len-Len and Marth V whine (only on one or two occasions in the past many years, at most). It is all well and good, and we enjoy hearing whines. We stop enjoying hearing whines, however, when they are unfunny. And when they are high-pitched. Because really, whining in itself by definition is high-pitched, but a high-pitched whine can break through the time-space continuum. Also, whining in a very crowded, moist, fetid, noisy, place, ie, the emergency room, can make everyone within earshot go nuts, because it’s difficult to work with tinnitus. In Survivor, one of the indications for getting voted out is if you whine a lot. In residency, whining should be an indication to get kicked in the ass, physically. Write a blog or smoke a cigarette in ambs, damn it, and stop whining.

P.T.N.

Some people accuse me of being nice. There is nothing worse than getting accused of being nice. Actually there are much worse things, like being called unfunny, whiny, studious, etc, but permit the hyperbole. Eyebrows are probably shooting up in space at this pronouncement, conversely accusing me of not being nice at all, saying that I am, in fact a mean person. I may be generally mean, but the niceness people accuse me of having is within the context of work. That I don’t make toxic anyone. That I will take someone’s patient or work without complaining. That you can switch schedules with me anytime. That I don’t turn down referrals in the middle of the night, even the really stupid ones. That you can coerce me to see your referrals for you and all I can respond with is, “what bed?”

The fact is, all the aforementioned examples are not borne out of niceness at all. I won’t go so far as admit that they are out of stupidity or meekness, but they are, in fact, borne out of laziness. Laziness to argue. Laziness to think. Laziness to think of questions. Laziness to complain. Laziness to whine. Laziness to ruffle the feathers, rock the boat, ripple the water, milk the cow, agitate the aardvark, and other nonsense. It’s just too exhausting to try to seem superior and righteous and think of ways to entoxify (not a real word) someone. This becomes a venue for abuse, so I am now enrolled in the 12-Step Kathy Lei Program To Being Feeerm.

This whole laziness-as-the-operative-concept-in-everything can be traced as far back and is a virtual plagiarism of an old blog entry of Walking On Water. Because indeed, laziness is a pervasive force, but it does give way to doing things fast. In Smoketh’s mantra: PTN—Para Tapos Na.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Groin-Staring at 7-11

A few days ago while in 7-11 two women were staring at my groin.

“Bakit kayo nakatingin sakin?” I asked.

They pointed at the nail cutter dangling from the keychain on my belt.

Since Grade 6 I have always been carrying a nail cutter with me—I just have this weird genetic condition wherein the cuticles around my fingernails always get loose and fucking painful that I would have to cut them off immediately. It is the uncoolest thing ever but I always carry it with me. My mom insists that I developed this condition because I once cut my fingernails on a Good Friday.

“Pwede ba naming hiramin and nail cutter mo,” one of them said. “Ipambubukas namin ng lata ng sterilized milk.” She lifted the can of milk she had bought from 7-11 to illustrate.

I stared at them with total exophthalmos, hissed, and they ran away.

Thank you, Dondee and Extremely Nice Samaritans from Merville!

After hours of running wet the seven of us finally found refuge in a total stranger’s house in Merville. We deserved to be in that predicament because none of us listened—we were too excited to push through with our once-a-year weekend off from the hospital that none of us was rational. We were more like insane. By the time we left PGH there was already a massive downpour, but all we could debate about was: La Luz or Nasugbu? For three seconds we actually thought we could get there unscathed—“Tumigil na ang ulan!!!” I screamed crazily, until we realized we were only under a fly over. We only admitted that total morons we were by the time flood waters were rapidly filling The Great Mutato’s car. We immediately left it and ran through the flood in SLEX opposite the direction of the traffic—yes, it’s Deep Impact or Godzilla or any B-movie minus the rampaging monster. Of course we were all in summer wear—The Great Mutato’s was thin and white, and with a few raindrops it turned in to a transparent magic kamison. “Pohtang pekpek shorts ‘to!” Vampirella screamed out. Of course no one could let that near-drowning opportunity pass—we had to take some peeeekchurs of ourselves on the street. Misery is temporary, but peeeeekchurs are forever.

The 7-11 in Merville was filled with people clawing at each other for that last piece of hotdog in the warmer. Tessieloopagoop crossed the street, ran through the rains and got all of us some doxycyclines. Everyone in 7-11 was calling everyone on their cellphones—some worried about their loved ones, etc etc etc, but most importantly, everyone was trying to one-up each other on who was more miserable.

One of our batchmates, Jondi, who was already in Batangas informed us that he knew someone living in Merville who would let us stay the night. After a season’s worth of reality TV competition misadventures such as getting in the wrong house, staying under the rain for hours, watching a house burn, failing to complete a Road Block since it’s a task only one member of the team may perform, contracting leprosy, and such, we finally found the house. We were afraid the owners would require us to declaim “Alms, alms,” in the rain before letting us in, but they were extremely nice and accommodating. While dining with the extremely nice owners I was trying to assess just how close Jondi was to them. “Ah, si Dondee. Oo mabait na bata yang si Dondee,” extremely nice mom told us.

To our contingent’s credit everyone was still extremely funny and giddy despite the lingering stress. I ran out of punch lines and witty remarks by the time it was dark. "Magpatawa ka," Tempus Fugit demanded. "Wala! Naubusan na ko," I whimpered. At one point I was unaware that my repertoire had already turned to repeat mode. Prior to being fed, in sheer hunger I told Fulet Esplana, “Hey Fulet, napanood mo na ba yung movie na Alive?” I asked. “Nakwento mo na yan 30 minutes ago!” she harrumphed.

During our batch outing last year there was also a massive storm and blackout but we managed to get to Subic. This year we haven’t even gotten past Bicutan. So for our batch outing next year we’re watching a movie. In Robinson’s.