rewritethepast: (resignation)
[personal profile] rewritethepast
I saw a tumor almost as big as my head last Wednesday.

Turn back now if your stomach is extremely weak.


Walking and walking and I turn the corner and there I am, entering Ward 3. I wait forlornly, not seeing any of my classmates, looking like a lost little girl with long hair wearing a white shirt and jeans.

Then I see them enter the ward and I smile and wave.

We were prepared for the worst, you know. We had made Christmas decorations and my classmates cut forms while I was absent and the last time... well, we did do some respirating for around 20 minutes before the patient decided forcefully to escape us (and we thinking oh goodness, we've half-killed him) and then we spent the rest of our duty studying for various tests with the study aids we had in our bags. We walked up to the nursing station and looked innocent, and we looked for the head nurse and smiled.

And heaven must have been smiling down on us because we were finally noticed and actually were given something to do that was related to our chosen course in life. :)

We shadowed nurses as they went around doing their duties. :) My nurse's first job was to do some nasal feeding (the patient had liver cirrhosis), so I gamely went and watched (and helped a little). He was being fed nasally because he was getting his air through his mouth (manually, using a nurse, an air bag, and strong hands - what we did the week before).

It's funny, nasal feeding. Tubes are inserted in the nostrils of the patient and there's this funnel-like thing at the tip of the major tube. Here, the liquid used to feed the patient is placed. My nurse buddy informed me with a smile that they used Carnation milk for feeding. I've never been nasal fed before (or seen anyone be nasal fed), so I watched raptly as the creamy liquid flowed through the tube and into the patient's nostrils. And then I was asked to pass the nurse a tumbler of water, because water needs to be poured into the tube so that the patient's system can be flushed (and I suspect, so that no Carnation milk need be wasted). The water poured down, and the nurse pulled out a thing that looked like a rubber doorknob (with one side cut open). He then placed the rubber doorknob over the tube and squeezed it, making the mixture go down faster (sort of like how one uses the rubber aspirator on a pipette in Chem experiments). He then stopped, advising me that this would speed up nasal feeding but should be stopped as soon as the liquid is very near the patient's body lest air bubbles enter the nostrils.

The next thing we did was to check a person's blood sugar. The patient had his own erm, pricking implement and a drop of blood was placed on the handheld machine which immediately started flashing and eventually displayed the patient's blood sugar.

My nurse buddy was then asked to examine a patient with a foot wound and we gathered up some cleaning supplies (gauze, sodium sulfate(?), a basin, gauze tape). We then walked to the patient, passing by a bed with dividers placed around it.

Do you know that diapers can be used as bandages?

Well, they can.

The patient was a man who had a mysterious wound that covered most of his foot. The nurse asked for some Clorox (which the patient’s companion gave up) and mixed some of it with the sodium sulfate (again, I’m not sure exactly what it was but I’m sure it’s not hydrogen peroxide) in a basin. He then asked me to soak some gauze bundles in it and I did happily.

The wound was very large. Almost the whole of the foot was covered (even the back) and there was a lot of pus there. The nurse took the gauze pads I had soaked and cleaned the mess and then placed the remaining gauze pads on the wound until most of it was covered. He then wrapped part of the foot in some more gauze (the area with the gauze pads). He then asked for a diaper, which the patient’s companion handed over. He then said, “Next time, kailangan adult size na” and he placed the diaper around the heel of the wound. I then helped him secure the makeshift wrappings by cutting the gauze tape.

The nurse asked the patient when he got the wound, and the patient replied that it had appeared out of nowhere on January 1. I think our faces looked blank because we thought maybe the patient was a casualty of fireworks gone awry, but the patient’s companion explained that it had just popped out when the patient relaxed at his father’s house. My nurse buddy nodded and mentioned that it might be a symptom of diabetes.

We then walked back to the nurse station to return the stuff we used, and the head nurse touched my nurse buddy on the shoulder. “No. 6’s bleeding.”

We then walked to bed number 6 (which was the bed I saw earlier with the dividers around it). There were a lot of nurses around, but then they moved back and I saw it.

There was a large mass on the patient’s neck, red and like a huge head of cauliflower with blood dripping slightly from it. The mass was the size of my head (if measured sideways) and nurses were cleaning it gently. My nurse buddy told me to stay there (because he needed to get something) and left me there, looking questioningly at it. A doctor next to me then told me (and some nurses-in-training) to take a good look at it because it’s a once in a lifetime thing. She then explained that there had been maggots on/in the tumor. She also told me that the patient would be moved to the Cancer Institute that day, and they could only wrap it up in new bandages if it bled. I wondered then what size bandages/gauze they’d have to use to wrap it up, but then she pulled out an adult-size diaper and handed it to the nurses around the patient. This time, it was deemed too big, so only half of the diaper was used. The doctor said to the nurses, “Next time, dapat baby-size nalang.”

The patient was so young, you know. (In his twenties, I think.) And the tumor was so big and we wondered how hard it must be for him to walk around. And then the doctor told me that it was a good thing that he (the patient) was strong since he's lost so much blood already.

After that, things sort of settled down. We were given some tips by my nurse buddy about the patient files and how to interpret some of the charts, and we noticed how he used a personalized stamp on the reports he wrote. We then looked at it and (well, other than finding out his full name) decided we’d need to get our own someday (since all the patient files were written/analyzed by doctors and nurses with their own personalized stamps).

All in all, it was a nice day. A very informative day.

And you know? We were unprepared because we thought we wouldn’t be doing much so we didn’t bring masks. Thus, we bought cloth masks, the ones lots of nurses were using in the wards. Hee, made us feel a little closer to our eventual dream. 

Even funnier? My classmate took pictures of us wearing the masks, and while we posed for the picture we were smiling even though the masks hid our lips. ^^ But then again, my friend said, smiling under the mask helped in making our eyes happy too.

***

Happy birthday Fria-san :) And Sir Vlad (as if he knows about this blog, lol)!

***

I have finally done one of the eight things I wanted to do before I died :)

I finally found a shrimp stuffed toy :) :) And it's sitting on my table right now, sort of encouraging me to finish up my Chem Formal Lab Report with its smile. (Wait, do shrimps even smile? Lol.)

Granted, it is a cheesy one (bought from a famous restaurant chain) but still :)

Now it can join my jellyfish, octopus, mollusk, spider, caterpillar, and two lobsters in my invertebrate collection :)

Cheers :)

***

I hate writer’s block.

But do you know what I hate more than writer’s block?

I hate knowing exactly what I want to write and not being able to write it because I lack time to commit it to paper, Livejournal, or even a Microsoft Word file.

Bah.

***

My teacher likes to make pronouncements that shock the populace (I mean, Intarmed 2013).

After getting our results of the last departmental exam, he then said this: “Lahat ng 85 and above ay may plus 10.” Shocked and some happy gasps were heard. “Pero, lahat ng 60 and below ay may minus 10.” Outraged gasps were then heard. (I’m not sure if this holds for all the tests or if it’s on a test-to-test basis.)

I am not affected by either as of now, but it’s very very disturbing.

Then again, my brother (from Ateneo) tells me that there’s this teacher there who has this grading curve where the people with the lowest grades in a class will automatically fail. The teacher taught this class with Management Eng and Management Honors and the lowest grades there was around 80%. Sure enough, those with 80% failed.

Eep. Hopefully there are no teachers like that here.

***

I didn’t massacre search for the ganglia and other parts of the nervous system of our frog last Friday (my groupmates did), so Vinni-san can rest easy because I won’t be describing it so intensely. (Joan and I studied slides of the frog and human spinal cord and took pictures of it using Dingdong’s cameraphone.)

But I did see how the frog’s head was brutally separated from its body, its spinal column with its inordinately long tenth vertebra (urostyle) being cut through to expose the spinal cord hiding within. I saw how muscles were picked and prodded and somewhat destroyed and blood vessels were brutally removed to expose the frog’s ganglia, which were white strands that looked deceivingly fragile. I saw the frog’s tongue, curled up in its closed mouth which we had to pry open with our special frog mouth opening apparatus (included in most basic dissecting kits). We then saw the frog’s brain, white and looking like a three leaf clover and basically whole (it should have been disintegrated when my classmate inserted his metal probe in the frog’s head the week earlier). It’s so small in one’s palm, like one of those little painted plastic characters in Polly Pocket that had their own little houses.

I remember how the formalin brought me to tears while I observed my groupmates expose the ganglia like masters and I had to go out of the room and breathe and rest my eyes a little. I remember how Joan and I were taking pictures of the frog’s spinal cord slide and suddenly a man comes and drops a large rice sack on the floor near us and suddenly an unsavory smell is recognized by our brains and we see the bag move a little and we think “are those frogs in there?”

I remember my groupmates really getting into the dissection and looking for the other vital organs of the poor headless frog and they find the heart and oh, it’s so small (smaller than the brain) and two questionable organs (which we have dubbed liver one and liver two, although liver one has two lobes so maybe those are the lungs?). They then clean up the frog, severed head and skinned body and all, and it’s funny and sad and I realize that there’s so much more to learn and there’s a test on Tuesday and it’s…

Well. I don’t like the memorization and identification, but it’s all very interesting.

***

[I said three days, and I extend by one. Maybe I was attacked by an eleventh-hour cowardly bug, but better late than never. I'm sorry to be so erm, mad in this entry but this has been a long time coming. And if you don't understand a thing, it's definitely not directed at you :)]

Forgiveness makes one's heart swell, they say, but I wonder. Maybe it's all an old wives' tale, or maybe the old wives never encountered a relationship as fucked up as the one we have.

Two words. Two simple words that you speak blithely, it rolls off your tongue like candy and leaves me wondering if you really mean anything more than just that. Or if it even means that.

Actually, you don't even speak them. It passes through different cables and gives me a burst of radiation exposure and I read it, and I'm dizzy and feel worse than I originally felt.

"I'm sorry," you type and I wonder what brought this on. It's been months since I saw you and honestly, I've been hoping that it'd extend to years, decades, the proverbial forever. I wanted you out of my life, you with your grabbing hands and schizophrenic personality, you who everyone believed even though you were in the wrong and I in the right. And I was happy with you gone from it. Well, at least I was content. I don't deal with happy endings, I just want contentment. And I had it to some degree, until you came in and reminded me of your sins, of what you did, indirectly because you don't even know them. But you entered my life again, and with one peso (unless you have unlimited text activated, that is) you made it shatter once again.

It's funny. You told me you didn't know what you were saying sorry for. So why say sorry? It's all just pretty words that mean nothing, words that'll disintegrate in the wind when it comes and swirls around us.

I don't think I want to go back to that girl I was in fourth year, third year, second year, first year, wondering what kind of symbiotic relationship we have. Probably parasitic, with me as the host and you as the organism sucking up my essential nutrients and leaving me for dead. Maybe it was mutualism for a while (you did help me with some of my academic and emotional problems and I yours), but in the end when all the pretenses are dropped we're left with you, the engorged parasite who got a free ride, and me, who almost fainted from exhaustion before my 18th birthday.

I'm not exaggerating, and you know it. I think I'm being too kind, actually.

It's been too long, you know. Too long since you showed me how much of a jerk you could be with your "being sorry just so no one will hate you," too long since you used me and left me hanging so you could... I don't actually know what you did back then. Played DOTA, no doubt. And had fun. And don't get me started on your thinking you could just erase everything you did with one 'hello' how many months ago. I'm not one of your fangirls or fanboys or even fangays who'll just squeal and forget all the abuse you gave me just because you deigned to talk to me. I'm not that forgetful, nor am I that shallow. Maybe you are, but I'm not.

When I chose to take my current path, I will not flatter you by saying that you were a major factor in my deciding to go here and not there. You weren't. But your not being here was definitely one of the better fringe benefits I received, and I relished it for how many months until that fateful message I received a few days ago.

I doubt you. I don't believe in your pretty words, those that fill up my cellphone's inbox and whirl around in my mind.

Honestly, what's the point of attempting to mend broken bridges (which should be burned and the ashes produced used for compost)? It's not like I'll see you again, unless I want to go visit my friends at your school again and even that isn't a guarantee that I'll see you since your school is large and anyone can be a stranger there even if he or she was once a friend. What will you get from this, I wonder? Maybe your friend's disappointment in you will be lifted. Maybe you'll get 'pogi' points. Maybe you'll get peace of mind.

All well and good for you, maybe. But not for me. I just want to forget this; I want to go back to my life again. I want to smile again.

I remember them, the times when I thought we were friends. The times when you were kind and I was kind and I thought that we had some things in common and sectional destiny didn’t seem so bad. But now I look back at them and wonder if all those times you acted like a friend does were premeditated, planned so that you could lure me into being your slave, your biological host, your whipping girl.

I told you a few months ago that I'd be willing to try to salvage this farce of a relationship we had if you also wanted to. But honestly, time makes one forget the promises one makes, makes them pale and brittle and weak. These months in my new life have been nasty, brutish, and short but they tell me one thing: I'm better off without you in my life. And of course, you never made any overtures before this. I know your reasoning, but honestly, I was at Homecoming. I was at Diliman. If you had asked when I was free, I would have found time. I’d sacrifice a class in Intarmed for this. At least then.

I don't trust you anymore, you know. (So all your pretty words proclaiming "di na mauulit" and the like mean nothing to me.) And even if we tried to be friends again I think I wouldn't be able to trust you either.

It's funny. I defended you when my classmates and I talked about certain circumstances that you were involved in. I tried my best to explain your behavior (which should be commented on, you should be up there on the cutting block too, you know). I tried and tried but you know something? What's the point anyway?

Why do I need to protect someone who deserves to have his head cut off?

I know our mutual friend means well. But I'll tell you that my relationship with him is another nail in the coffin containing our relationship. He helped me when I was at a low point in my life, you know; he didn't pour salt and grind it into my wound like you did.

It's all a game to you, and you're trying to find that happy ending with a wife by your side and two kids popping up and riches and friends at your side.

It's not a game for me, because for me happy endings don't exist. I'm just trying to find a place in this world for me, one that might not make me deliriously happy but one that'll make me feel content.

And I'm not about to jeopardize my chance at contentment just to give you 'peace of mind.'

Give me a better reason and maybe I might listen. But now, with all the time that has passed, I don't see a point.

I can’t believe that I ever wanted to be your friend. That I was worried about you for so long because of your questionable company, your sometimes failing health, your convoluted love life, and your revised way of doing schoolwork. I can’t believe that I wasted my time thinking about you and wondering what I could do to help you. I doubt you ever worried about me because to you, I’m Supergirl, the girl who’ll do her schoolwork and whatever’s asked of her even if she has a 40 degree fever (Celsius). I try, but my cells just give up sometimes. Yours do too, I know, and I’m a human too. Or maybe you were convinced that I was a robot or some machine at times, since you’re inclined towards that area of science.

You're like a poison, you know. You entered my life innocently, worming your way in with conversations and groupwork. And as we found out more about each other, you started changing my life in ways that were wrong without my notice under the pretense of friendship. I befriended the poison that would eventually destroy my belief in friendship, trust, all those things that made me something more than just an academic robot. And now I’ve been trying to purge you from my system and you come waltzing in, hoping to be welcomed back with open arms?

I’m not that kind. I’m not that naïve.

I’m not that trusting anymore.

And if you have any complaints about my lack of trust, know that it’s you who made me this way.

[Note 1: I don’t care anymore. Think of this as my last move in our twisted game. Besides, I think you still won anyway because it’s you after all. Let me go down with readable prose, at least.]

[Note 2: And I think this wins the longest post in my lj award (not counting Contest or memorial posts). Thank you for reading, if you did, even if you skipped parts of it.]

[Note 3: Hey, mutual friend? I'm not mad at you. I won't be mad at you either if you go tell him about this entry either.]





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Date: 2007-01-22 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whirlingstorm06.livejournal.com
diapers make sense... they are absorbents after all and the bigger the wound they cover, the bigger the size...

we decapitated froggy kanina to get his brain... yes "his" lalaki siya eh...

Date: 2007-01-22 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Yeah, the diapers make sense and they're probably cheaper than the gauze (cover more area for a minimum price)... I don't know if any other hospitals use them as such though...

Hee, poor frog. I think it's better for a frog (that will be massacred for science) to be male. No gender issues, I just felt sorry for Poch who accidentally broke the egg sac of his pregnant female and had to clean up hundreds of black eggs. >_< Ours was male also, I think. ;)

Date: 2007-01-22 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uno-animo.livejournal.com
salamat! :D

Date: 2007-01-22 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Hee, no problem :) I hope your birthday was nice (or at least nothing really bad happened >_<) :)

Date: 2007-01-22 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ballisticgal.livejournal.com
wow! cool tumor! i wish i could have seen that >.<

Today, we had an extra lab class in biology, so our botany lab teacher decided to let us get advanced lessons on the frog anatomy. I named our frog Greggy, and i paralyzed him and it was so sad. :(

I am grieving for Greggy.

Date: 2007-01-24 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Hee, it's burned in my brain... it's sort of like someone with an enlarged thyroid gland, but think of the protruding mass as very red and larger...

We didn't name our frog. It would have been harder to kill him. :( My friend named his frog after Joanne-san. >_< All in the name of science, I bet. :|

Date: 2007-01-26 07:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes it is harder to kill a toad when you know it. :(

Hmm, Im thinking this friend of yours is kinda mad at Joanne? hahahaha kidding :D

Date: 2007-01-22 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ballisticgal.livejournal.com
Hey, where dyou get the jellyfish stufftoy? I want one! :)

Date: 2007-01-24 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
I bought it in the US... it's a multi-colored one with plastic beans inside.

I'll take a picture of it when I get back home. :)

Date: 2007-01-26 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ballisticgal.livejournal.com
yey! me likey! :D can i have it? hahahaha kidding

Date: 2007-01-22 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twisted-rebel06.livejournal.com
oooh med stuff. hehe. =P

January 2008

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