Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Eye Am Loving It

I started my 4th year postings today. I'll be in the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology for a month, unless the 3rd year practical exams intervene. I know it's too soon to say this, but I love ophthalmology.

The day started off OK. Made my mom find and iron a clean white coat. The coat and steth had been in hibernation for the past couple of months. Had my usual 'posting breakfast' (a glass of milk with some Horlicks or something thrown in for that 'extra energy') and rushed to college in an auto, listening to the driver ranting about the death of his friend's dad today morning!. The ride ended soon enough, thank God.

The college bus took us to the RIO, and had to put up with the usual teasing, "Sit here, AP, with him. Come on, don't be shy.", inside the bus. I'm gonna kill that K and his friends. I hardly ever speak to the guy in question.

It felt like school reopening day, with the rain and all. We were told we'd have a morning lecture, then be split into groups for posting in different places (OP, wards, clinics) for an hour, and a class again after that. I didn't know much about ophthal, in spite of having a zillion relatives who are ophthalmologists, and was surprised to hear of specialty clinics like 'Cornea Clinic" and "Squint Clinic".

The class a whirlwind through the history and examination in Ophthalmology. I caught a couple of new terms here and there - ectropion, metamorphopsia, pterygium... I found the class interesting, unlike most of my friends.

To cut a long story short, Skoda and I found ourselves in the cornea clinics, losing Arch and Hope on the way, after visiting a couple of other clinics. I loved it! The madam there wasn't the yelling kind, and told us to bring torches the next time, or get kicked out, quite civilly. Neither of us realised that was a tongue lashing until we thought about it. Nice change from the "Get out of my OP, you useless bit of excrement who can't carry even a torch! Don't ever show your worthless face in here again. " bit we've been hearing since the clinical postings started. Frankly, it's insulting to hear that in front of the patients who don't respect you anyway since they always recognise students by the slightly apolegetic air we assume when talking to the patients.

Since it was our first day, and our knowledge of the subject was next to non-existent, we were told to look around at the instruments and charts. Thanks to my chronic headache, I'd been tested for visual problems and knew what some of the instruments were for. The thingy for checking the IOT is placed on the eye, and it looks a little like the compass from geometry class. Scary! But the cornea is anaesthetised, so it won't hurt. Trust me on this, I've had it done.

I was really surprised to see the by-standers (hate that word, personally, I prefer the term relatives) being treated just as nicely as the patients, being told to sit down and all. There was a really funny incident when Madam was telling us that the patient had a little tension after checking the IOT, and the patient's daughter affirming, "Yes, she's a little tensed, Ma'am."

I saw my first case of Down syndrome that's been pointed out to me as a Down. Pretty sad. The kid was really kinda smart, and I couldn't help being sorry for him, standing there with his little hands in his pockets, doing everything he was asked to with alacrity, totally unaware of the significance of the whole thing. I also saw my first Bitot's spots, and described it correctly. Proud moment! Of course, any idiot could do that, but me idiot did it first. :)

We didn't have any class after the clinics ended, and went home (no afternoon lecture today) by ordinary bus after we learned that the college bus wouldn't be coming.


Tys on Ice said...

What you are saying is fascinating..I dont know if you actually see your situation, but I have always wondered abt the thoughts of those people who handle and deal with humanities sick , infirmed and injured on a daily basis...wht goes on it their head? do they deal with pain, death , helplessness? whts their refuge, their philosophy, their stand...

will be closely following your blogs...infact in the chronicles I plan to do a series of encounters, one of them is going to be a heart surgeon..

Adorable Pancreas said...

Thank you, thank you. Do come back. :)

About dealing with all those sick and injured people, well, I hate to say this, but it becomes routine after a while. Even death. After the initial shock wears off, it doesn't bother you. A couple of days in the casualty ought to cure anyone of humanity.

But then, students don't get that involved in patient care. We just have to see them, talk to them, examine, and reach a diagnosis. We aren't the ones treating them, and that's a major factor. I was really upset when a favourite patient, a really friendly old guy, died, so maybe, I still have some Homo sapiens left in me.

Tys on Ice said...

your profession demands such a detachment, otherwise it will be difficult to wake up and go to work every day ...its ironic , dont u think, that people who fight death everyday cant afford to care for it?