Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Doc meets Dorf" Day 4 (or continuation of 3?) -- 4 of 41 is not a high percentage.

Well hello world. I hope you can excuse the tardiness of this post. Yesterday, well, yesterday and the day before, 41 hours, I only slept 4. I was not capable of thinking last night, let alone write a post. But here it is in all its glory and now you have a little something to read on a Saturday :)

The rest of the night was good. My patient only tried leaving his bed multiple times but for the most part, I was able to get work done.

Once done with me shift, I took a shower and had breakfast at home and was off to the train station again. I had survived the night with out coffee or energy drinks so I thought the red bull shot I took in the train would definitely get me through the day feeling good. (Wrong)

I was working with Dr.W again. I tried to find a good way to inform him that I hadn't slept except for two hours the day before at 5pm. We started seeing patients at 8:30 again. The first ones went fine and I wasn't feeling too bad but definitely not awake. After some patient, I said I finally felt the tiredness kicking in. What did Dr.W say? "Too much partying last night, Ms. Hasselhof?" .........ugh.....No! I was working for gods sake! I really think I need to start partying again because apparently everybody just assumes that's what I'm doing anyways.

Patients just kept coming in without appointments. Get all the problems dealt with before the weekend I guess. 

It started getting really tough to pay attention or answer questions. I was surprised just how well my brain actually was still working when it came to questions. But sitting there was the worst. My eyelids kept wanting to fall shut. But even if they were closed for a sec, I was in danger of falling into a full on deep sleep. There were points in some of the conversations where I am pretty sure my brain shut off for a few seconds because I found myself following the conversation again and being confused as to how we got to that point.

I was banking on the doctor having a bit of sympathy for me and letting me go after the appointments and walk ins. No chance. To be fair, once we were over the point of sitting and examining patients, I was quite awake again. The doctor's helper even made me a cappuccino. We then headed to do some house visits and a postmortem examination.

The appointments went as usual. Interesting mix of things, a few things having to be treated and a lot of psychological things. Dr.W (being the chatter he is) always gave me a summary of the patients life and the interesting connections to other people. 

(While writing this, I thought, oh dear, people reading this that aren't in the field probably think we are a bunch of gossipers and go around telling everyone everybody's deepest secrets. No, this is not the case. Yea, we doctors know a lot about the patients lives, especially general practitioners, but the things Dr.W tells me are actually relevant even if it isn't a lab result or x ray image. The details of the patient's life, social life and surroundings are very relevant to the treatment options involved. The GP will be the best doctor to be able to say if his patient is able to handle a certain treatment plan or if certain circumstances in treatment work with the patient's life style. To add to all of this, whatever Dr.W tells me falls under doctor patient confidentiality and I can't tell anyone else. So don't worry about telling your doctor something and don't think it could end up on some blog of some med student some won't. Unless someone wants to go to jail.)

Our first stop out of the office was at one of the nursing homes to do a postmortem examination. Dr.W had told me a little about an older man who hadn't been doing well lately and how he also treated other family members. My brain must have been off at the point he told me the man had died and we were off to do the postmortem exam. In the ca,r I asked him how the patient was doing now. He was like, "he's dead". Oh. Oops. I told him my brain must have missed that vital piece of information. 

In the nursing home, we went to the room. It was locked. (Understandable. With all the confused older people there, I don't think it would be uncommon for them to walk into the wrong room and no one wants to walk in and see a dead man there. We did the exam and filled out the papers. Dr.W had said I could take the train an hour earlier than usual. We didn't start filling out the papers until 5 minutes before my train would have left though. He just looked at his watch and looked surprised. I told him at this point, an hour more or less wasn't going to make a difference and I would just leave as usual.

We visited two more ladies. So sweet but they also complained to Dr.W that he hasn't come to visit in a long time. One lady was 98 years old and sassy as hell. Dr.W already warned me before entering that she would probably complain about him having not visited. And so it was, after greeting him, that was her first complaint. She also had a beautiful glamor shot of herself on her wall. Along with pictures of what I assume were her husband in the military and her family. I can only hope that I am as sassy as she is when I'm 98. Doc did the routine exams. She asked me if I'd be so kind to help her get all her shirts tucked back in when he was done. Of course I helped the lovely lady. I love how old woman still make sure they look good. 

The other lady was also very sweet. She offered me to sit (as most of the others do as well but I usually say I'm fine standing because I feel weird chillin on the couch while doctor works and the patient is usually in their wheel chair.) All of these people probably have the coolest stories to tell about their lives. I could easily spend the afternoon just listening to their life stories. Younger kids usually think they are so cool and don't have the time for their grandparents. Out of routine living we often don't take the time to really listen to them because they require so much help often that our mind puts them into the same category as children. But the elders have lived such a long life, made mistakes, learned a lot and have had so many experiences that I can only advise you to take the time (while they are still amongst us) and ask them about their lives and the things they experienced. It's so much more real than any film that takes place in that time. 

I can speak from experience. I lived with my grandparents for two years in Germany to attend school and learn the language some more. During that time they were my parents, the summer visits after that the atmosphere felt the same. Nowadays, sadly my grandfather is no longer alive. When I do visit my grandma though, I often ask her about her life. I only know her as my grandma and the setting she lives in now, but there is obviously so much more life she lived before I was here. She fled during the war. The boat they fled on almost went down with them on it. There is so much to be told. It's interesting to hear how they lived in comparison to how they are now. So I urge you to pick up the phone, call your grandmum or papi and ask them what they were up to this time of the year 50 years ago and see what they have to say.

We stopped at one more place before I jumped on the train. The house was located right across from the train station. It looked lovely from the outside and it most definitely was from the inside. High ceilings, large windows, a porch. It was such a beautiful atmosphere. The decorating included what looked like expensive paintings and sculptures. We were there to look at the mans wound on his feet. He was a very friendly man who offered me a spot to sit and was chatty as well. I know I keep writing how everyone is so nice but I really do get along with these complete strangers off the bat. I think it's because they get along with Dr.W and Dr.D so well and since I get along with the docs, the patients accept me into their home as well.

I had to leave before doc was done though because my train was leaving and I was not about to wait an hour for a later one.

I slept for two hours before heading to a friend's house for dinner. I had said I would come and I try to stick to my social commitments as much as possible. I don't think I was legally allowed to ride my bike in the sleepless state I was in but I made it. I even ended up staying until 11:30PM, stopped by another friend's real quick to drop off some food and was in bed by 12:05am. This morning I got up and drove to hamburg to visit me mom and grandma. I can sleep when I'm dead...right?!

Baci, V

P.S. I REALLY love sleeping. It's become a hobby I've sadly been having to neglect lately.

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