First Flatline

After my day off yesterday, I am welcomed by a critical patient needing continuous monitoring. We divided the patient load and I was assigned to one critical patient alongside three others requiring moderate care. It was 2 o’clock.

I knew the patient since I was the one who received her for admission the other day. She was stable then. But now, she is on assisted ventilation. tsk. This would be a hard day (or afternoon)  I should say.

After 2 hours, the patient had respiratory arrest, but was revived. Thankfully, the CPR and the medications given worked their way and kept the baby alive. Monitoring was every 15 minutes.

After an hour or so, comes the second. CPR was done again and more meds were given. The doctors were exhausted this time. The mother was breaking down. She was the only one there. Her husband was still at work and have just been informed about it. She started to cry. With each round of chest compressions, the baby is slipping slowly to death.

More medications were loaded and the baby showed signs of life.

It was around 8 when the baby had another arrest. The baby received her last allowable dose of the medicine. It was slowly dawning on me. We are loosing the Baby. It was at that moment, when the doctor decided it’s over. The mother broke into a scream and caressed her first born.

Time of death: 8:10pm.

It is of these times that it comes to me that we are never owners of our lives. Yes, take care of our body, but it is He who decides when will we die.

As for me, I just started the post mortem care. Good thing the baby have been baptised this afternoon as a lay minister came. It was heart breaking to see a mother hugging her baby never letting go. I gave her time. Till then, I slowly removed the IV lines, and all other attachments, changed the baby’s clothes, and cleaned her body. All the while, trying to separate the thought that I was nearly teary-eyed.

After we wrapped the baby in cloth, with ties on the head, hands and feet, wearing an elegant white baby dress, the mother carried her to the morgue. All I could give her is a pat in the back.

And that’s my first time after 3 weeks, to have a patient die.

God bless you baby ______!  There’s one more angel in heaven now.

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The Carabao Whisperer

Yesterday was Church Worker’s Sunday and I am really hit by an anecdote shared by our Pastor. Some of you might probably heard this but I just wanted it to take a space in my blog. It’s worth sharing. 🙂

During a fiesta celebration of a certain town, there was a contest tagged The Carabao Challenge. People lined up to participate. They were from various walks of life. Some are doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers, and businessmen.

Carabao, a water buffalo. Philippine’s National Animal.

 

The first round of the challenge was to make the Carabao cry without touching it. The doctor tried to use all his medical knowledge but failed. The teacher tried to teach the carabao to cry but also failed. Not even the lawyers’ speech, nor the engineer and businessman’s antics were effective. So the announcer called out, “Is there any other participant who’s willing to join?

I’ll give it a try.” A pastor in the audience volunteered. The pastor went near the carabao and whispered something in his ear. The crowd was amazed as tears flowed from the carabao’s eyes.

OOOOOOooooongaaaaaa!” the carabao wept loudly.

The announcer of the contest immediately declared the pastor as the winner. Confused and amazed how the pastor did it, he asked. “What did you whispered to the carabao to make it cry?”

The pastor answered:

 

“I just told him how much was my salary.”

___________

Most church workers, particularly pastors, can definitely be listed as one of the most underpaid jobs. It is not that they are unappreciated, they are just less paid. I knew lots of pastors earning only a minimum amount; not even enough for the whole family or even to send someone to college. The thing is, the financial support from most small churches in far flung areas in the country  are just above the lifeline. However, these church workers are still doing their mission as spokespersons of God, sent and chosen to spread His word. And they do it with sacrifice. Lots of it. However, ultimately, (let me borrow again from what our pastor stated),

When God chooses, he equips.

When God sends, he provides.

____________

For the second round of the Carabao Challenge, the objective was to make the Carabao run. The doctor, teacher, and all others tried their best but again failed. The carabao didn’t nudge. So, everyone was cheering for the wildcard contestant, and the pastor walked toward the carabao and again whispered something.

The carabao ran wildly straight away from the crowd and into the far away mountains without even turning back. The crowd went wild and applauded happily. The announcer, as curious as everyone was (including you too, my dear reader I guess), asked the pastor what he whispered.

“I told the carabao,” the pastor said calmly,

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“do you want to be a churchworker?”

____________

Many are called, few are chosen.

But even fewer have responded.

_____________________

Photocredits: projectnoah.org

 

Ang Bigat ng Pasasalamat

 

“Ang laki ng utang na loob ko sa ‘yo.”

Sabi ng isa sa mga pasyente ko.

Sa puntong iyon, hindi ko alam kung ano ang itutugon. “You’re welcome” sana pero parang naasiwa ako. Galawgaw siya ng konti, lalaking tinedyer o early 2o’s pa yata. Ewan ko kung seryoso talaga o nantitrip lang.

Isa pa, nasa isip ko: Wala kang dapat ipagpasalamat. Ginagawa ko lang ang trabaho ko. Ito ang pinatutunguhan ng sahod / expense ng kompanya sa akin.

Medyo natawa ako. Sa tono kasi ng pagkakasabi niya, para bang kung anong ‘life-changing’ event na ang nagawa ko.

Nasabi ko na ba ano lang naman ang ginawa ko sa kanya?

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Wound dressing. Simple as that.

Nagka-injury kasi yung kanang paa nya dahil sa pagbabasketball. Mga 1 inch ang laki nung sugat. Pumupunta siya sa clinic kada araw (pangatlong araw na ngayon) para magpapalit ng dressing sa sugat. Ayun, distorbo siya sa pagko-computer ko dito. 😀

Siguro nga ay appreciative na tao lang talaga yung batang yun. O di naman kaya’y walang ibang tao ang nagbigay ng concern.

Naaalala ko tuloy yung kwento ng kaibigan ko tungkol sa pasyente niyang napaluha talaga. Sa simpleng pagputol ng kuko!

Oo. Ang drama ni Lolo. Teary-eyed dahil sa nailcutting event na ginawa sa kanya ng kaibigan ko.

“Kahit sino kasi sa mga tagabantay ko dito, walang nakaalalang putulin ang mga kuko ko.”

Naku!  Kung alam lang ni Lolo, bagot lang talaga si Jkob nun. At para na rin may maisulat sa chart na intervention. Dagdag puntos na din sa clinical instructor. 🙂

On a serious note, parang hindi yun lang din pala ang pakay ng kaibigan kong ito, umiyak ang mokong!

“Naalala ko ang lolo ko.”

Ipa-MMK nyo na to! Hulaan ko title ng episode na ito: Nailcutter.

________________

Aaminin ko na nga. Sa totoo lang, affected na din ako.

Ganito pala. Ang bigat ng taos-pusong pasasalamat. Tagos.