White-coated ramblings: (2) Doctoring kids, AKA saving the planet!


Source: Google images.

First off, let’s just state the fact that crying kids are my least favorite creatures. Sick-screaming kids, on the other hand, are my personal imagination of an alien master plot to dominate earth.

So basically, my 12 hours at pediatric ER were witnessing vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonias, and the non-ceasing chorus of screeches mingled with the beeping of monitors. Such scenario would be somehow tolerable if it wasn’t in a governmental third-world hospital. Remember when I said it’s kind of like Grey’s Anatomy, except that it’s nothing like it?

Well, for starters, we deal with the lowest possible socioeconomic classes. Most of the patients are impecunious and ignorant (if not even illiterate), that never annoyed me; it’s not their fault and they deserve treatment. The disaster is that we, doctors, have to function with the least infection control measures (if not without any). The floor is dirty, and there are stray cats and cockroaches! I have seen a doctor collecting a blood sample without wearing gloves, the baby’s blood trickling all over her fingers, and when she was done and saw the shock on my face, she told me “don’t do what I just did!” There is a box of gloves sitting on the nurses desk, but few doctors care enough to use any. That sickens me!

Another emotionally devastating thing was how the bed sheets were blood-drenched, urine-stained, and needle-studded! I have been to governmental hospitals in UAE and seen how the sheets were disposable and consistently replaced. What I saw yesterday was just so wrong!

Back to kids, in such an overwhelmingly stressful situation, I tried not to get involved. How could I manage patients I have no sympathy for? The kids seemed like noisy things who needed to shut up! The only kid I sympathized with was 4-year-old who needed calcium gloconate injections to treat his hypocalcimic condition. He looked so harmless and terrified, he persistently begged to go home  and I found myself trying so hard to sooth and lull him to stop him from moving his hand and displacing his cannula. I have no idea how that boy managed to break my heart!

And there I survived my first night shift ever! I’m not looking forward to my next one!

Reality vs. Fiction!


Remembering our childhood dreams may make us laugh … We find it funny, as those dreams were way crazier than our current ones. When I was young, I used to dream of becoming an astronaut, flying to the space, walking on the moon, discovering new planets & even meeting aliens!!

Sometimes I wonder why our dreams change when we grow up… Maybe it’s because we change as well… Maybe it’s our mind that tends to rationalize. Maybe it’s our tendency to change; we get bored of our childish dreams, so we start having new dreams… Perhaps we become aware that childhood dreams are hard to come by, so we start finding easier dreams!

Whatever the reasons, my dreams were suddenly switched to medicine. I found myself dreaming of becoming a doctor instead of that “astronaut” thing!!

I really doubt that watching “ER” had anything to do with this, but I’m pretty sure that being raised in a family of doctors had absolutely something to do with this in one way or another. Maybe it’s genetical!! Or maybe I just wanted to join the club!

So, when I finished the high school, it was time for that dream (being a doctor) to come true. I have to admit that it’s not as easy when it comes to reality. Firstly, it was as if I set the house on fire when I told my parents what I was thinking!! There was a heated debate as they tried to convince me to pick any faculty but the faculty of medicine (they didn’t want me to suffer).

Well, I respected the fact that they had enough experience. I knew I’m not that hard worker and I’d face many obstacles, but that was my dream & I wanted a chance to make it true…

Eventually, I ended up in the school of medicine ON MY OWN RESPONSIBILITY. Of course, I had many difficulties to face at the beginning, but I learned, and still learning, how to cope up with them.

I just want to say that achieving your dreams can be way harder than you expect, yet it doesn’t mean to stop dreaming. You’d make them true if you tried enough. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I started reconsidering that “astronaut” thing again… Indeed, life is just a “Reality vs. Fiction” game, and deciding the winner is up to you! 🙂