Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I won an award!

You got that right. I won an award.

Um, my blog did. Po-tay-to. Po-tah-to. I won an award!


"I would like to thank my mom, for all her support and encouragement, my dad, for his unconditional love, my brother, for generally being a pain in the neck, my friends, for lending me money, my cat, for meowing, my neighbour, for playing his crappy music too loud, my teachers, for all that they taught me, and last but not the least, myself, for being so brilliant, gorgeous, funny, gifted, and all around wonderful ."

What? This seemed to call for a cheesy "I would like to thank" speech.

Oh, I would also like to thank Tys on Ice for considering me worthy of this award. I nearly forgot him.

Who said that? "How did an idiot like you win an award?" You are just jealous, mister. I won it because I am a kidu. It says so on the award.

"This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

See? I am an 'exceedingly charming' and 'kind' blogger who deserves more attention. Ha!

Since I am all for the aggrandizement of others too, and also because the rules state so, I pass on the award to the following eight people:

1. Tangled- Because she thinks I am nice.
2. Silverine- Because I think she is nice.
3. Sayesha- Because she makes me laugh.
4. Tea N. Crumpet- Because she likes me.
5. The Monk- Because he is one of my best-est friends ever.
6. Somebody Else- Because I like her writing.
7. Quietly Amused- Because he is a brain surgeon. Curtsy, fools.
8. Prats- Because she deserves an award.

In other news, I tried to kill myself, and failed. Unintentionally, of course. I ate some shellfish that had eaten some algae that makes toxins in its spare time. Then I spent the night blogging (observe my dedication, and also, cheap shot at getting you to read my post) before ruining everyone's sleep by clutching my tummy and screaming "Appendix! Appendix! My appendix has ruptured and perforated! Get me to a hospital, stat, before I develop peritonitis." I spent a day in the ICU, with people hovering over me watching for signs of respiratory paralysis. On the plus side, I did not have appendicitis.

That was my first time as an in-patient, and I didn't care much for it. I hope I will remember that the next time I see a patient. I have a huge thrombosed vein running down the back of my hand, and it still hurts when I flex my wrist.

My Dad's second home is the ICU, and I now know why he hated it. It comes back to him all the time, doesn't it? I think I'll stop now.

Here's a cheerful thought. It's Christmas day tomorrow! And I have a gift for you all! Because Santa does not.

My gift for you is in the upper left hand side. There. See a green box titled 'Twitter updates'? That is the it. You can thank me in the comments. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Uvula

I miss Surgery. All of you who read my whiny "Surgery is a pile of blood stained shit" post, please retrieve your eyeballs from the screen, and proceed to the next paragraph.

I had an epiphany while watching a patient having his cancerous pancreas removed. (Fitting, don't you think?) However, it was soon clear that the disease had spread to the rest of his body, and the procedure was abandoned. He has six months left, possibly less. It was all very depressing, but the patient was symptomatic, and his last days should be made as comfortable as possible. So they decided to connect his intestine to his gall bladder to relieve his jaundice (which was what brought him to the hospital in the first place). And would you believe it, I got this warm fuzzy feeling inside as the gall bladder was being emptied of its enviable collection of stamps bile, and long story short, I fell in love with Surgery. *gazes dreamily into the distance*

Naturally, I did not go back home and read up every Surgery textbook I have. That would have killed the luurve in my heart. I managed to pass the Surgery end posting exam (a minor miracle), and I now haunt the "Mothers, Old & New" section of the Mother & Baby Hospital. Luckily, I have forgotten everything that I have ever learnt about Ob-G, so uphill task, it is not. Of course, I never knew much, so the vacuum should shorten the second stage of my education. I am so punny today. Please, laugh. A child loses a marble every time you don't, and those of you who don't are responsible for all the insanity in the world. Yes, feel guilty. And laugh.

Do you know what a prolapsed uterus looks like? I do, and I wish to God I did not. Seeda!

My niece is now one, and is the cleverest baby on earth. Of course she would be, she takes after me. Everybody says she looks like me when I was her age. And she can walk, and talk, and pull my hair when she is irritated. She hates bananas, and loves my mom. The cat becomes a mere speck on the horizon when he hears her, and she has single handedly tried to destroy the car even when she was not behind the wheel. Also, her laugh sounds like the call of a hyena being slowly strangled.

Look at that. I am a Mallampati class 1 too! On the plus side, sleep apnoea cannot touch us.

I don't really have a lot else to say. Life is boring, with no knights in distress, no rich patients leaving a fortune to an impoverished medico who held his/her hand while being given an injection and later dies of "unknown causes", no sudden useful inspirations regarding the cure for AIDS (apparently, mine were all idiotic), no winning the lottery (probably because I don't buy lottery tickets, but still, tedious), no sky falling on my head (tomorrow never comes). I did have a crow fall on my head a couple of years ago, but that was worse than having it crap on my head, because the ungrateful beast pecked me for saving it from an ignominious death. It was better than the time a bat crapped on my head. Excuse me for throwing up twice while washing that shit off my hair.

It has been six months since my Dad divorced his body. Visitors are always (tactlessly) enquiring why we do not have a huge framed and garlanded picture of the pater placed prominently in every room. What are we supposed to say? That he is not dead inside our minds? Or that we would have had him stuffed and mounted to show our grief, only he was cremated before we thought of it? Those people make me want to kick them hard. I did not mean to end on this note, but it's his birthday today, and I miss his "I am NOT old" speech.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Matrimonials Mitral Valve

My unit mate is getting married. The wedding isn’t for another ten months, but her formal engagement party is to be held next month.

You could have knocked me down with the proverbial feather (provided it was made of lead) when she dropped the bombshell. I was so shocked, I didn’t even see a hot guy walk past me. Skoda was so surprised to witness that, she promptly fainted, and Arch thought it was because Skoda too was shocked by the news.

Arch is the first of us to succumb. The rest of us are going to start dropping like flies soon. Help! I am too young to die!

That line of thought got me so depressed, I needed something really ridiculous to even marginally cheer me up. And what better place than the Google search terms that sent people to my blog?

the skin on my finger is not my nail

I didn’t know my finger was deformed. The skin on my finger is not my nail either! Oh, I am so going to die…

“proteus vulgaris” pregnancy

Obstetricians everywhere, please take note, we have a woman pregnant with bacteria. Is it some kind of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? An infected foetus? A pregnant bacterium? If it’s the last one, bacteriologists? We have a net savvy pregnant bacterium on our hands.

frightened wrist surgery

I would advice you not to go ahead with the surgery. Your wrist seems terribly frightened, and probably won’t work too well during the procedure. You will probably have a lot of trouble making incisions and things with an uncooperative wrist.

“ent sucks”

It sure does.

leg muscle weakness, after falling, one leg useless

If it’s useless, I recommend that you chop it off. We don’t want to be stuck with useless things, least of all legs, do we?

mc dreamy photos

I don’t know why, I feel real happy all of a sudden. Extremely happy. I am even beginning to think that I wouldn’t mind getting married.

 medicos cloth collection

He’s looking right into my eyes. I know he is. Be still, my heart, I’m hardly breathing.


spm mneumonics for medical students

Medicos contribute a lot of new words to English. Note the simplicity of this one. It’s obviously a harassed medico looking for mnemonics about pneumonia. The poor guy obviously didn’t hear that my Park is now worm food.

why does it feel like my fingernail is stabbing my skin?

I am afraid I have bad news. You have a terrible disease, and you are going to die from it. It’s called “stupidity”, and there is a good chance your children are going to get it too.

why i have loads of saliva when i wake up

You were dreaming of McDreamy in your sleep. Sacrilege! Think of George Clooney next time, please.

appendicitis mcburney sigh

It’s McDreamy sigh. You get McBurney sign in appendicitis.

german shepherd growth graphs

I don’t know much about these things, but I’m betting they are huge.

mallu urinarry track

This is a Mallu, with UTI. Oh, yes, it is.

pathologist kangaroo caterpillar

I'll tell you after you return from your acid trip.

matrimonials mitral valve

Mitral valve, 25, seeks good looking, God fearing, homely mitral valve who is not stenosed or regurgitant. Contact Chordae Tendineae, Left Ventricle with Echocardiogram report and ECG.

I should be getting back to my textbooks. Final year, and all that, you know. Blogging is pretty tough these days, because even though I have lots to say, I don't find the time. I would love to share depressing stories about patients dying of cancer, the complete lack of compassion in many medicos, the terrible "Surgery hates ObG" jokes, the theatre theatrics, but my nose is too busy being buried alive in some book that weighs more than me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Five, Episode One

Surgery is not very nice. Lots of unspeakable things happening in unmentionable places. You know, like, haemorrhoids. I don't want to talk about it. I hate surgery. And then I realised my life sucks, because I have nothing else to talk about. Other than about haemorrhoids. Obviously. And rectal prolapse. You don't want to hear about the others, trust me.

This leaves me with a blog (that nobody reads), and nothing to say. But fear not, for here comes Friday Five to the rescue! Here we go.

1. Could you live without your phone for 1 week for $500?
Of course I could. Especially since I use my mom's phone most of the time. Easiest 500 I ever made, given that I make about $0 a year.

That reminds me. Have you heard this joke about a man with four sons? He was talking to his friend about them, and he said he was very proud of the first three, because they were all doctors. The friend wanted to know what the fourth one did, and he replied that he (number 4) was a useless guy working as a barber, but he (the father) couldn't get rid of him because he was the only son who earned.


If you made it this far, you are probably sitting next to me with a gun at your temple. Carry on reading, or I pull the trigger.

2. Whom do you talk to on the phone the most?
This honour goes to R (also known as R). Most of our conversations go like this.
Me: How am I ever going to pass final year?
R: I was wondering the same thing.
R: How am I ever going to pass final year?
Me: Yeah. I haven't touched my book today.
R: Neither have I.
Me: Why are we like this?
R: How are we ever going to pass final year?
It takes us a long time to conclude that we are 'like this' because we spend all our time on the phone moaning about how we don't study when we should be hitting the books. How are we ever going to pass final year? Why are we like this?

3. Whom do you no longer talk to on the phone but wish you still did?
Nobody. Really.

4. If you could get ahold of one celebrity phone number, whose digits would you want?

No one in particular. The picture is intended to make my blog look less boring.

5. Do you talk on the phone more or less than you used to?
Of course I'll assist you with the astrocytoma. I love surgery. It's my favourite subject, and I have always dreamed of becoming a neurosurgeon at least half as good as you. I can't believe y- Whuh? What's going on?

I think I fell asleep and had a wonderf-, I mean, weird dream. About the question, I talk less on the phone these days. After spending half the day (that's 12 hours, for those of you who live on other planets) at the hospital, I don't have the energy to even chew, let alone talk. And neither does R. Final year? Sucks. Big time. Let me go look at the picture again, so that I can slobber all over the keyboard calm myself. You guys can get back to whatever you were doing.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Entire Respiratory Tract

Er, hi. I did not die. But I came pretty close to it. And that statement is not just to make you feel sorry for me, it's almost true. Let us review the events of the last couple of weeks.

1. Medicine end posting exam
You know what that means, don't you? My posting in Internal Medicine is done with, and they wanted to find out how much I'd learnt in the 2 months I spent with them, not having seen anything about my posting on my blog. Ha ha. They don't read my blog, of course. Or they wold have known that I didn't know the causes of massive splenomegaly, and failed me without wasting time conducting exams.

The exam was weird. It's a practical exam, and we're given a real! live! patient and asked to figure out what disease he/she has. If it sound easy to you, **** you. Here's what happened.
Me: Good morning, I am Doctor (cough) AP.
Patient's daughter (PD): Student-aa? Which year?
Me: Final year.
PD: My dad is too sick to be poked and prodded by you stupid students. Go away.
Me (almost in tears): No, no. I have an exam.
PD: OK, on one condition. You don't touch him.
Me (thinks that as long as she does not have a gastrointestinal disease, this should go fine.): What trouble brought you to the hospital?
PD: Vomiting blood. Doctor Saar said my Appa has liver disease.
Me: I am so screwed.

I passed the exam (yay!), but only because the patient's daughter called my examiner a murderer when he palpated for the liver, and he realised why I had commented on the patient's enlarged liver as "liver not palpable."

2. New house
My mom and I have moved to another home, one that didn't feel like my Dad was going to walk in any moment. That reason for the move was stupid, because we can't wait for him to see this house and give it his seal of approval.

It's a tiny place, and the first week here was really hard, because THE STUPID INTERNET PEOPLE TOOK THEIR SWEET TIME WITH MY CONNECTION. As did the idiot cable people and the morons at the telephone department.

3. -itises
So while we were packing up all our stuff to be moved into the new house, I discovered that things? Collect dust. Like magnets. And this gave me allergic rhinitis, which got infected, and the next thing I knew, I was trying to cough up my lungs. The cough was so bad I got laryngitis and everything I said came out as a croak. And while I was getting over the bronchitis, the infection spread to my sinuses and I would spend hours in front of a steamer (not the kind that float on water). Then I found out my antibiotic was not working, and everything came back, so now I have rhinitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, laryngitis and sinusitis. I haven't attended class for a week.

I have a date with my steamer now. See you next week.

P.S. I love getting "get well soon" cards and flowers. Just saying...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Glow, Siree

Do you know the 12 causes of massive splenomegaly? The 7 radiological findings in a patient with long-standing mitral stenosis? The differential diagnoses in a patient with hepatic bruit?

You don't? Well, your life isn't worth living anymore. At least, that was what I was told when they found out I didn't know what albuminocytological dissociation was.

I am way too depressed to be writing about my misadventures in the Medicine clinics. You, my favouritest people on Earth (after my mom and Superman), are going to be treated to a glossary of terms used by the average mallu medico. Yes, things are that bad.

1. Desp
Who doesn't know this one? Short for despondent, it covers everything from pre-exam blues to alimentary failure. Often prefixed by vann, katta, bhayankara, regardless of its appropriateness.
e.g.: Desp exam, dude.

2. Horror
This encompasses that complex range of emotions that assault you upon running into The Vampire when you sneak off to the canteen for a cup of tea.
e.g.: Horror exam, dude.

3. Waste
Garbage, of the performance kind.
e.g.: Waste exam, dude.

4. Kalippu
Trouble, I guess. One if those words that defy the English language.

5. Keeri ottichu
Literally, torn and stuck (onto some surface). What the examiner does to a student on the orals.
e.g.: Dude, how did your ENT viva go?
Keeri ottichu, man.

6. Vann/Katta
Adjectives, meaning very.
e.g.: Vann/Katta desp/horror/waste exam, dude.
AP, that was a katta presentation. :D (They really did say that. Without threats or bribes.)

7. Coople
A derogatory term for couple, used by chronically single medicos.

8. Kidu/Kidilam/Katta
e.g.: "Have you seen that katta hottie in Surgery?"
"Oh, yesss..." *drools*

9. I am the happy.
The medico's comment on running into the aforementioned hottie.

10. Sasi (pronounced sha-shi)
A mallu male. The same guy who saved up for 3 months to buy the best pair of jeans ever made, and wore it for a week and raved about its fit, only to find out later that his sister owned the exact same pair.

11. Chronics
Medicos who have not been seen in class since the first day back in first year. Most of them are sleeping or watching movies, some of them drive taxis.

12. SP
A medico (or a doctor) who cannot stop singing his own praises.
e.g.: "I can transplant a liver in less than 10 minutes."
"Yeah, I am a vann kidu."

13. PCP
In use only among my friends. Stands for paapi chellunnidam pathalam, which means that hell is where the sinner is. And the sinner is yours truly. Here is a typical day in the life of a PCP.
"I was late getting up, and had to skip breakfast. I missed my bus, and the auto I managed to get could be outrun by a turtle. And then he charged me twice the actual rate, and I had to pay him, because arguing with him would make me late for class. I broke all speed records on my way to the classroom, only to find the door being shut as the teacher was 5 seconds ahead of me. I was yelled at, marked absent, and then had to sit through the most boring class of the century. In the middle of which, my cell phone rang, and I was severely reprimanded for disrupting the class. (It was my mom calling to ask if I had the plumber's number.) I found out I had forgotten to bring my homework, the one that had taken me the whole of last night to write, because it was kept next to my breakfast. Which I didn't eat, because I had woken up late. Because I was up the whole night doing my homework."
This, peoples, is PCP.

14. Chori
A very irritating person, more or less. More, actually.
e.g.: That narcoleptic in SPM is a horror chori.

15. Chalu
A joke that can cause bodily harm to the teller.
e.g.: What is haste cuisine?
Fast French food.

I think there are more. In fact, I know there are more, but I can't think of any right now. I'll leave you with these now, and go complete my assignment. I have to submit it tomorrow morning.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Drinking Saliva and Other Stuff

Classy title, don't you think?
I went to bed the other night, and when I woke up in the morning (it being a working day, natch, my wake up time on any other day cannot be called 'morning' with any amount of imagination, unless you live in, say, Botswana), my salivary glands had started secreting acid instead of saliva. At least, that was what my throat told me.

Being me, I had to get a look at that lying slime of a throat (I have never known the parotids to secrete acid before), which was why my mom found me standing in front of the mirror with my mouth wide open, and a flashlight in my tonsils. (The flashlight was not in my tonsils, it only looked that way to my mom.)

Do you know what an inflamed pharynx looks like? More to the point, do you know what my inflamed pharynx looks like? If you don't, count yourself out of that unlucky class of people known as my friends. They are also intimately familiar with every crypt on my tonsils, the number of papillae on my tongue, and other stuff they did not really want to know, like the number of teeth in my mouth.

The most disturbing comment about my pharynx came from The Star, who said, "You have a big mouth."
Point taken. :(

P. S. For those of you who are worried about me, it was only a slight pharyngitis (although it felt like I was dying), and I am loads better now.
P. S. 2. My posting is going well, I promise blog about it 'soon'.
P. S. 3. No one but my ENT will get to see my pharynx again.
P.S. 4. This is my 50th blog post. Thank you, all of you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Onam

I take a few days, all right, a month, off, and the Big Brother, of all people, tells me to get back to blogging. He even suggested a topic, a heinous crime committed by a person who gave us half our chromosomes. Since this is now a family blog (the Big Brother is very proud of the Baby Sister and sent the link to all our cousins), I am forced to cut down on the grotesque details of hosital life. On the upside, I now have a vast readership*. A special hi to Miyumon, for saying all that nice stuff about my writing, which proves that you did not read it, but I won't hold it against you. :)

My mother 'misplaced' my blue umbrella. The pretty one that looked like it was made of denim and was lighter than half a positron, and is not available any more in any of the umbrella stores. She will pay for it. By taking care of me when I fall ill from getting drenched in the rain.

Oh, by the way, final year is nice. I have nine textbooks for one subject alone. And that's the nicest part.

Happy Onam, all of you. You'll get a new post soon. Very soon.

*I have a family jungle that would put the Amazon forest to shame.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Move Over, Rembrandt

SPM is finished, so hallelujah! hip hip hurray! and all the rest.

The exams were not a cakewalk, and the qwerty* who set the ENT question paper ought to be taken bungee jumping. Without a rope. The less said about those painful two hours trying to answer (the operative word being 'trying') questions about the treatment for CSF rhinorrhoea (when cerebrospinal fluid leaks out through the nose, usually due to an injury) and resorting to my imagination for the answer (I actually wrote “endoscopic cauterization of the leaky area”. Don’t try this at home, kids.), the better.

Nothing very funny happened during the practical exams this time. Last year, I dutifully enumerated the names of inhalational steroids when asked about inhalational anaesthetics, and named the drugs used for MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) when I misheard the question as the drugs used for MDP (manic depressive psychosis). I suppose we are all becoming old and dignified now. Even me. What a horrible thought.

Oh, no, wait. I did goof up in the Ophthalmology case presentation. I proudly defined astigmatism as the refractive error in which a point source of light cannot be made to produce a punctuate image upon the retina by any spherical correcting lens, and promptly proceeded to assert that the type of lens used to correct astigmatism was spherical. But this was the only incident. Oh, and proclaiming that menstruation is a contraindication for adenoid surgery. (Adenoiditis is seen only in young children, in case you didn’t know.) Yeah, that is all. The incident during the SPM viva does not count. The one where I rattled on about the treatment of tuberculosis patients and did not hear the examiner ask the next question. Three times. But that could happen to anyone, right? RIGHT?

You might assume, on reading this report of my ‘stellar’ performance in the exams, that my passing the exams with air travelling hues is a given. You could not be more wrong. The bane of my existence continues to be, well, the bane of my existence. As in, SPM may not be done with me. Take a look at some of the diagrams in my practical record book.

I hear you, peoples. And that the fuck is a head louse, female. As the actual thing looks like this, on the right, you can rest assured that it does not live on people's heads. This is why we should be worried about nuclear bombs. You can never tell about those mutations.

You didn’t need my helpful little label to identify him, did you? This is the bad guy that spreads bubonic plague, among other things. Look at him closely. If you ever see anything resembling the thing in that picture, contact your nearest Pest Alien Control Centre. I shall not object to your using that image to scare your kids who don’t eat their vegetables. Or even adults, for that matter. Just send me lots of money every time you do. I shall soon be rich. *rubs hands in anticipation*

And now, for the gem of the collection. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome

Cuuuulex larva! Observe the graceful little tufts of hair(?) on its head! The eyes open wide in innocence and wonder! The cute little respiratory siphon at the bottom! All it lacks are a few pairs of arms and a bazooka.

The only point in my favour is that the record books carry only 1 mark, out of the 200 allotted for SPM. But this being SPM, you never know. Those Parkists are weird.

The classes for final year should start soon. THE final year. It feels like yesterday that I was a scared little first year, thinking 4.5 years was a LOT of time and the future was far away. *sigh*

About my dad, I still miss him terribly, and I still can’t believe he’s gone, just like that, but somehow, sleeping is a little easier now. It’s been 8 whole weeks without him, and somehow, wherever he is, he must be missing his little baby too. I hate getting preachy, but I would just like to remind you smokers that someday, it might be your little girl grieving for you. Acha quit smoking with his first heart attack 15 years ago, and it still got him in the end. We never even got to say goodbye…

I was wrong. It still hurts as much as it did.

*If you are not a QC fan, click here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm Back. Sort of.

It's been more than a month since my dad left us, and it still feels like yesterday. I want to tell you about him. About how he loved potatoes, Louis L'Amour's books, silly Chinese martial arts movies, and me. About how he would make disgusted noises every time I gave him a hug, and grin from ear to ear while pretending to push me away. About his silly quirks, like counting the number of greys in his chest hair. I wish I could go on, but the screen looks really blurred now. I can't talk about my Acha yet. I'm putting it off until some other day, when it doesn't hurt quite so much.
Thank you, all of you, for being so supportive, even though you don't know me or my family.

I have been having exams from the week he died, and it was loads of fun, I tell you. < /sarcasm> I have two more exams to go, and three practical exams, and then I'm done with fourth year. I'm all set to chuck my Park into the fire. That reminds me, I found another excellent Parkist quote the other day while reading for my exam.
"River: A direct connection between the alimentary tract of those living upstream and the mouths of those living downstream."
That's when I found out that I hadn't forgotten how to laugh, I just thought I had.

I'll see you all after the exams.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Horriblest Post Ever

I hate it break it you people this way, but I don't have the energy to write more than a couple of words.

My dad passed away last week.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pyar, Pregnancy Aur Ghar. Are you listening, Bollywood?

We had our last batch social last week. The whole class gets together, and everyone who wants to can perform on stage. For a bunch of medicos who only need an excuse to enjoy themselves, this was heaven. My class is fucking awesome. Every single one of us is good at at least one thing, and most have multiple talents. (I, for one, specialise in bad puns.) The details of the feasty fest will have to wait for some other time, when my brain is not threatening to implode.

Now, since I am all busy with exams and stuff (ha!), it’s still pictures for you. There, there, don’t cry. No horrible pictures this time. Smile!

Our first batch social, which, sadly, went by the corny name of Redemption*, was loads of fun. Even I danced. Stop looking so horrified, I wasn't that bad**. But being backstage getting into costume was a pain, since I missed a lot of the fun, such as the movie spoof, shown above. So, this time, I swore I wouldn't miss a minute of the show, and refused to participate in the events. The whole thing was so mind blowingly fantastic that I felt like an idiot, sitting there in an uncomfortable chair, sweating it out in a sari underneath a fan that refused to work. (Yes, I promise to write about Redemption 2.) We are fucking fantastic. And I shall sing for our convocation. Oh, yes, I shall.

Fleas, ticks, mites, lice, mosquitoes, tapeworms, flies. The SPM department owns all of these, and their eggs, larvae, pupae, nymphs, and more. We, of course, are expected to know each of them (being certified entomologists) and identify them for our exams. This looks a lot like the mosquito I killed yesterday night. Maybe they were cousins.

Class trip, again. This one is from when we went to Hyderabad, last year. A friend of mine owed me a biryani for some reason he said was too trivial for a biryani, but I stood firm. He had his revenge- instead of buying me one when all of us went out to eat, he brought it to my room a few hours later, when everyone was starving. The battle was mercifully short, and the biryani stood no chance against seasoned veterans like us. I got two mouthfuls, I think. :D

Can you read it? No? All right, I'll tell you. From left to right, it reads "RAMBHA Ne Hrithik se Pyar kiya" (Rambha loved Hrithik), "DCH GHAR" (DCH Home), and "HCG Found in MAMATA's Pregnancy." My apologies if it sounds like the plot of Yash Raj's new "family entertainer", but it isn't. Those, lovely reader, are mnemonics in (what else?) SPM. Don't ask. I have no idea.

Isn't it pretty? Say it's pretty.

What with people throwing up and being scared off my blog forever, I am now putting up nice pictures. (I could have used a tapeworm instead of my room mate, but I didn't. See how nice I am?) This shows a culture plate in which Proteus is flourishing, and that, beloved reader, is called swarming growth.
Pretty Proteus sat on a wall
Pretty Proteus saw a urinary tract
And immediately caused an infection.
The guy couldn't pee for a week.
Ah, poetry. *wipes eyes*
Small wonder, then, that this is called Proteus vulgaris.

The water supply to the entire district has got cut off (some brilliant bureaucrat probably broke open a major pipe when he dug for a telephone wire), and we have no classes until further notice. I can hope that it won't get fixed tomorrow, but I mistrust Mondays. Anything can happen.

I am enjoying ENT, although every single doctor there seems to be as crazy as they are brilliant. I won't be bored, and I'll learn some ENT in the meantime.

*It should have been called ATRO-pine, like I suggested. Nobody listens to me. Except you guys, of course. I love you all. (Atro is a word we medicos use a lot. Like, say, "The food at the hostel was atro today. Nothing new.")
**I am lying. I was terrible.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Through the Years

You know what’s unfair? I’ll tell you what’s unfair. Having an exam every week, that’s what’s unfair. You know what’s even more unfair? Having an exam in SPM every week. Can you think of anything worse? No? Our department of SPM could, and did. They are going to send our marks in these rotten exams to the University, so if we do really badly on these, we will not eligible to take our final exams. If you can think of worse stuff to torture medicos with, send your résumé to "The Department of Community Medicine, Some Medical College, Anywhere in India."

In other news, I have passed both my Ophthalmology and (surprise!) SPM end posting exams. The drinks are on me, folks.

Now, since I have a lot of free time coming up, thanks to the lovely exams, I shall be blogging more often now. And my posts will not contain any pictures.* There, you have been warned.

A fan of mine, and a classmate. Has attended exactly one class in these last four years, and that was because he followed me (and my friends) into one. He disappeared shortly after this picture was taken, and has not been seen or heard of since. Anyone possessing information about him, please let me know. You shall be rewarded for your efforts.

"Ha, a poet! Know him by
The ecstasy-dilated eye,
Not uncharged with tears that ran
Upwards from his heart of man."

Our class went to Kodaikanal, Mysore and Coorg a couple of years ago. She carried a notebook and pen at all times, and wrote poetry throughout the entire trip. Oh, the agony. Here you can see her composing an ode to the red flowers that match her clothes. The flowers died as soon as she began reading out her monstrosity to them, and then the security guards came and kicked us all out of the park for committing unspeakable atrocities on flowers. She probably wrote about the pulverisation of tender emotion by the unloving hand of man on the way home.

The Pharmacology people have a lot of charts like this. We are supposed to "explain the graph" and answer the questions on a piece of paper, and when called up, to read it to the examiner, who will then indulge in chori ask us more questions. A friend of mine got this chart, and she started with, "This is a graph showing the effects of different drugs on a dog's blood pressure. A baseline recording-" to be interrupted by the terrifying examiner asking her, "What dog?" Luckily, if she had said the first thing that came to her mind, she would have failed the exam then and there, but after racking her brain for a couple of hours (or what seemed like a couple of hours to her), she managed to hit on the right answer- an anaesthetised dog. In case you were wondering, her instincts told her that it was a German Shepherd. I would have answered that it was one of the stray dogs living in our campus. Now you know what happened to my friend.

This was the last specimen for my Pathology practical exam. The examiner was surrounded by uteri, and she picked this up, and told me I could leave as soon as I answered this last one (having screwed up on all her previous questions). All those uteri sitting on her left side had misled me, and I told her that this was a specimen of uterus containing a vesicular mole (which, in my defence, is also a feathery looking thingy in a hollow cavity). Imagine my surprise when I found out later that I had indeed passed my Path labs. :)

My mom spends most of her free time taking embarrassing pictures of our cat (and also pictures of her daughter staring at a candle flame, and worse) on her cell phone camera. STAY CALM! DO NOT PANIC! This fierce warrior is asleep and will not attack you. I repeat, HE WILL NOT ATTACK YOU! Unless the sound of your running feet wakes him up, of course.

More pictures next time, if there is one. There always remains the possibility of the Park sucking into the void.

*Sarcasm: raw and scornful use of apparent approval to express disapproval. And no, not the meaning I was looking for.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Remember how the PG students went on strike during our labour room posting? Ans the house surgeons joined them? When I discovered my latent surgical skills when I scrubbed in as the first (and only) assistant for a Caesarean section? When I delivered a baby and gave an amnioinfusion? No? Chhe. It’s over here.

This time, it is the doctors who are on strike. Both teaching (the ones in medical colleges) and the non-teaching (the ones practising in other hospitals) followers of Hippocrates employed by the Government of Kerala have refused to work for the measly salary they are currently given. Biased and unbiased reports can be read here and here.

You know what this means, don’t you? No classes! This rarer-than-an-honest politician event was heralded by a great deal of applause and laughter until we learnt that we get extensions at the end of the strike. Now, the cud chewing baboons at the University of Kerala have already given a six month lag due to their zeal in postponing exams and the lack of it in announcing our results. While my friends who prudently decided to study in medical colleges outside Kerala are in the middle of their final year, I am still in fourth year. Yay. Not.

We are all totally in support of the strike, of course. At least some of us will practice in government run hospitals in the future, and we would really enjoy earning slightly more than a lower division clerk.

I don’t understand why the government has such a pathological dislike of doctors. House surgeons, whose absence would paralyse the hospital, are given peanuts. PG students, who actually look after the patients, get slightly more than the housies. Medical officers, who run the show, the ones with lots of training and plenty of experience, are paid a fraction of their worth. And then they act all indignant when nobody wants to work in a government hospital. Until last year, housies did all the blood, urine, sputum, stool, and other body fluid collection and despatching, along with their routine jobs. Now the dearly beloved government has decided nursing students should undergo a period of internment after completion of their course, where they perform the above mentioned activities. The fly in the ointment is, their stipend is higher than that of the medical interns. Government darling, do you even understand how difficult it is for us to go on strike? Contrary to what you think (assuming that you have at least one neuron in your head), our natural instinct is not to increase suffering. Doctors are the one of the most overworked employees on your payroll, and also the most underpaid. I get the feeling that a lot of research is required on brain transplantation, so you can act like something resembling a normal human being.

Anyway, the strike did not prevent my SPM test from being held. *sob*
A large group of professors tried to stop the Parkists, but our SPM prof was adamant. And I was too busy thali-fying about neonatal tetanus in socially handicapped children (or some such) to notice our saviours being ruthlessly struck down.

There is this guy in the department of sleep producing medicine who speaks English with a really weird accent. He is, obviously, not mallu. (All mallus learn to speak Manglish at their mother’s knees.) Let’s call him Romancer, because, well, that is our nickname for him. The SPM echhis do not print question papers for our tests, they just have the Romancer read it out. It took me three whole minutes, and a hushed discussion with Twin to establish that epizemolzigal dryad was not a hitherto unknown species of mosquito that spreads Kyasanoor forest disease, and also that KFD was not transmitted by mosquito bites. All of the Parkists have booming voices to prevent attacks of sleep apnoea among the students during class. Why the Romancer is made to dictate questions at every single exam is beyond me.

One more month, a couple of exams, and I’m in final year. It seems like yesterday that I was a scared first year, who carried around an inhaler of Salbutamol to get out of ragging on the grounds that stress precipitated my ‘asthma’. It’s been fun, even the exams, after the ulcers have healed. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Four Eyed

I am posted in ENT next month. If this Ophthalmology posting is any indication, I will be wearing a hearing aid by the end of next month. I got glasses, people. Glasses! Me. Adorable “6/6 vision” Pancreas. Damn.

It all started with a headache. Which, according to the Park (you know, our SPM textbook. Go read this post if you have not. It got published and all, so it should be better than my usual nonsense. It's better than this one, at any rate.) is also known as cephalalgia. Cephalalgia! I kid you not. So, with this cephalalgia that has been bothering me for sometime, I chopped a perfectly healthy tree in my garden, dug up the root, continued digging for another 12 feet, and retrieved my spectacle case from where it had been buried. It was undamaged (it would be, just my luck) and the cephalalgia disappeared like magic when I put them on. This would have to happen. And my mom gave a yell of joy and rushed me to an optometrist, who made her cough up a lot of money and gave me new glasses because the axis had changed or something. I am now the proud owner of a pair of glasses. Yeesh. Anyway, bye bye headache cephalalgia. Don’t bother to send any postcards.

I have two tests this week. Both SPM. Because, you know, I have nothing to do. Ah, how much better can life get?

A lot of my classmates (to say nothing about the kids from our junior batch) have been attending PG entrance coaching classes. I know that the competition is tough-- most people take the entrance a number of times before they get through. What I don’t see is me joining them. It’s not that I am content with just a degree or that I am not ambitious (Dr. Adorable Pancreas, MBBS, MD, DM, MRCP, FRCP, Woohoo!), I just can’t see myself keeping my nose to the grindstone for the next 3 years. I burn up. Fast. It happened with the premedical entrance exams, it happened during the first year exams, it happened during the second third* year exams, and I think I’m heading for one now that the exams are just a couple of months away. I do not even want to think about the hell that is final year. And then the internment. And don’t get me started on the rural posting. I don’t know where my life is going. I am afraid I won’t get to be a cardiologist if I don’t. attend. those. classes. NOW. And right now, I can’t bring myself to care. The heart is the only organ in the body whose anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and pathology I can recite in my sleep. The only reason I did well on my Pathology exam was because the long question (which carried a lot of marks) was about rheumatic heart disease. I think I’ll die (probably of a heart attack) if I don’t become a cardiologist.

I wish I was in my control of my life. Instead, people who do not even know that I exist are laying the foundations of my future. I am scared stiff. I really need to get my life back on track. Taking it easy is not an option any more.
Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.

Now just how do I go about reforming myself?

*We have no second year. We jump into third year at the end of our first year. Don't ask. Loooong story.

PS: The whole thing sounds disjointed and unconnected, no? Welcome to the randomness that is the inside of my head.

PPS: Better post next time. Maa kasam.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eye Am Back

It is time, folks.

Ophthalmology review posting.

And yes, that is hordeolum internum. I can distinguish it from a chalazion, so yay.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pissed Happy Children

“These children know nothing about PHCs!”
“You are right, they think it stands for Personal Holding Company.”

“Let’s show them!”

And thus it came to be, that the Pancreas and her friends were released from the torture chamber at the Department of Community Medicine, and sent to live in a village.

The Pancreas, having experienced rustic village life previously, knew exactly what to do. She packed her whole room into a bag, and added the kitchen sink too, for good measure. There wasn’t much space left for clothes, but this did not worry her. She had been informed that the most she would be able to do at the end of the day would be to crawl into bed with a prayer of thanks.
“3 days, 2 dresses, and the one I’m wearing. This will be more than adequate.”
In retrospect, that was an extremely stupid notion.

The Pancreas could not lift her bag. But her friends could, and did. (She loves them all very much, and will be eternally grateful to Skoda, the A and Scarhead.)

The Pancreas was bewildered. Was this the village? The rural village on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere that they were posted in? But it had a shop that actually sold shampoo. Real shampoo, with Sunsilk written on the bottle in big, bold letters.

The Pancreas went to the PHC. She was surprised to see actual, honest-to-goodness patients there, and her eyeballs popped out and did a tango when she saw in-patients.

The Pancreas met some of the villagers. She went into their homes, and saw old ladies watching Ente Manasa Puthri [My Insane Daughter] on Asianet.
“Shampoo and mega serials on cable, this must be a city.”

The Pancreas made her way back to the convent they were going to stay in. This time, the tiles on the floor did not raise her eyebrows, but the toilet did. She nearly wept with joy when she saw that the toilet was better equipped than her own toilet back home.

The Pancreas flourished under the excellent food provided by the nuns. She was very happy, and decided to stay there forever.

The Pancreas had a teacher, known as Dr. Wick. Dr. Wick wanted the Pancreas and all her friends to become experts in SPM. Dr. Wick was loads of fun, and they all loved him, and so they decided to work. And how they worked! They conducted surveys among the people of the ‘village’, they interviewed patients in the PHC, they talked to doctors and nurses and pharmacists and drivers, they formulated health programmes and held discussions about the merits and demerits of immunisation programmes; they ate, slept and thought SPM. And it was fun. For the first time in their lives, they realised how SPM worked, and they were happy.

We had joy, we had fun
We held surveys in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
Were so steep I had a fall*.

The Pancreas and her friends worked hard, and Dr. Wick was pleased with them.
“I shall take you to a lion safari park on our way back,” he said, and there was much rejoicing.

The Pancreas saw a lion, and four lionesses. The lion saw the Pancreas, and he smiled at her. The lionesses growled, and the lion returned to his den. She told her friends waiting in line about it, and they laughed at her.
“You checked the sex too?” and there was much guffawing. They returned subdued, because they hadn’t realised that lions had manes, and lionesses did not.

The Pancreas returned home, tired, but happy, and kissed her cat, and got scratched on her nose.

P.S: Some people think PHC stands for Primary Health Centre.
P.P.S: I hate Medical Entomology. I don't know, or care about, the species of mosquito feeding on my blood. I will zap them all with my AllOut mosquito repellent, and that's it. Gah.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Vishu

I am finally beginning to like SPM. Before the whole lot of you disown me for crimes against medicos, let me tell you the reason. We have one professor (just one, mind you) in the entire department who is genuinely interested in the subject and can successfully impart his enthusiasm to students. SPM can be interesting, provided your teacher has enough imagination to transform something as boring as the national tuberculosis control programme into something a medico in stage IV NREM sleep can relate to. I have enough of gumption to be horrified the thought of specialising in SPM, but that might have something to do with the way internal medicine calls to me, to use a corny phrase.

The Department of Community Medicine is one of the few departments that owns a LCD projector, and so we are now slowly succumbing to that bane of the corporate world- Death by PowerPoint. Every single one of us is required to present a previously assigned topic. This means that in addition to my own, I am also ‘requested’ to make presentations for some of the hosteller girls, since they are ‘not computer literate anyway’, leaving me with plenty of free time. I made at least five presentations for the clinico pathological correlation classes in (duh!) Pathology last year, for people I barely know, and from the look of it, I think history is about to repeat itself. It is a pleasure to help out only people like Eli, who doesn’t wear a gloating smile, thinking “Sucker!” while I agonise over design templates.

Next weekend will be spent at the primary health centre in some rural area. I am so looking forward to SPM lectures at eleven in the night. (Yes, yes, that was sarcastic.) The department has also promised an Exciting! Trip! to apprehend mosquitoes, cultivated in the campus specifically for this purpose. Dengue haemorrhagic fever, here I come!

The bag I carry to college these days can hold an elephant, and still have space left over for the kitchen sink. I am expected to take the Park, and the freakin’ heavy SPM record everyday. My back is going on strike from Thursday. I wonder what they’ll say to that.

My senior, Vanilla Chechi* got engaged last week. She was one of the house surgeons we chummed up with during the third year Medicine postings. There is something about inserting a nasogastric tube at three in the morning into a patient who is screaming at the top of his voice that we are trying to kill him that cannot but make friends of the brave (and sleep-deprived) souls who are involved in the matter. She was radiantly happy, and we got to see many of our seniors we hadn’t met in a long time. And also her husband to be. Who seemed very nice. I hope you’ll be very happy together.

I googled my friend’s name (a long lost one), and I find her picture on the internet IN THE NEWS, people. Jealous Curious, I googled my own name, and found something about Henoch-Schönlein purpura. I didn’t know that I had done a research paper on HSP, or that I had tuberculosis. I eventually concluded (with a heavy heart) that it probably wasn’t me. This highly talented doctor from Delhi also seems to write poetry, and then moonlights as a nuclear physicist in her spare time. Just to cheer myself up, I googled Adorable Pancreas, and found that four of the ten results on the first page were about me. Ah, fame.

This google train of thought led me to the ‘peculiar google searches’ station. It’s been a while since I did that, don’t you think? No? All right, if you don’t want to know about “medico – long underwear” and “perineum impalement torture” (OWWW!) I won’t force you. Still no? Not even for “the technition did not have gloves on while looking for vains”? Perhaps “written sex stories by medicos” will do the trick. That one got me a number of hits. No? Well, your loss, I say.

Happy Vishu, all! I’m off to set the Vishukkani. Which means I will stand around making uselesssuggestions while Amma arranges the vegetables and gold in front of a picture of Krishna. My role cannot be trivialised. And I shall get lots of money tomorrow. Yay!

*It’s considered disrespectful to address older people by their name. Chechi is the term of address for someone old enough to be a sister, and original older sisters. We Indians have strong ideas regarding respect.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Composting. And Also, Happy Birthday To Me.

I got a phone call from Skoda. She's brilliant, you know. She's the "another distinction here, please" type, topped the Ophthalmology exam (I scraped through, and I consider that a major miracle) and all. She wanted me (please note the point, me) to tell her the dose of salbutamol used for nebulisation. I felt like a real doctor then, and was very happy. (And also, a confidence trickster, but don't you worry about that.) And then I used my brain (what? I have one, complete with 2 cerebral hemispheres and a medulla oblongata.) and concluded that she was too upset to think.

Community medicine posting, also known as composting, is what I go through these days, where they do their best to put me into a coma. Apart form trying to kill me from shock (“YOU THERE, SLEEPING GIRL, TELL ME, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RANDOMISED CONTROL TRIAL AND A COHORT STUDY?” directly into my left ear while I *ahem* meditate about life in class), they are also doing their best to show me up as an idiot by making me present seminars (or whatever those things are called) on leptospirosis. It’s on Tuesday*, I think. And I have a zillion pages to fill up in my record, and learn statistics. Logistic regression and standard effing deviation. And I joined medicine because I hated maths. Aargh! SPM, I hate you.

The point of this post, peoples, is to tell you that I am very busy these days. When I am not sleeping in class studying statistics and acting as a senior consultant, I am busy staring at my new dress, which is the BEST DRESS ever. Um, did I mention that I am having a birthday? No? Well, uh, I turn the inconvenient age of twenty two next week. I feel like a septuagenarian staring death in the face. Then again, I get gifts, and I’m pretty sure they won’t be dentures, so I guess it’s not such a bad deal after all.

Like all mallus, I have two birthdays, and they rarely fall on the same day. My nakshathram (star) was last week, and I got payasam and a sadya. I also got one of the best birthday presents ever. If The KGB is reading this, it's you I am talking about. It was awesome! So, tell me about Sharon Stone. ;)

I need to go complete that stupid SPM record now. Damn!

*The D-day. Or B-day, which sounds really stupid.

PS: You can send me gifts if you like. Anything to take the sting out of the two twos. :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Frightened Out of My Skin

When I started my itchy scratchy Dermatology posting, I hoped I could bunk classes and sleep at home, instead of in class. And then they announced that we have an end posting exam, and attendance is compulsory, blah blah blah. Damn!

This unit I am in, SUCKS. I am stuck with some of the most unfriendly kids in my class. They pretend that the rest of the world does not exist, and ignore a lost, lonely, unhappy medico* whose friends were all put in another unit. They are intolerable, and I should not really count this as a loss, but I hate being a stranger in a strange land.

And then one day Bandit (the unit representative) told me it was my turn to present the case. Having absolutely no idea how to examine a examine a patient with skin disease, I objected, but then the words ‘end posting’ and ‘long case’ were casually dropped, and I suddenly found myself eager to broaden my understanding of the most boring subject on earth Dermatology. Bandit led me to the patient, a man completely covered by a blanket, except for his head.

Do you know how pus smells? It has to be the most unbearable smell in the world. This guy’s whole body was covered with ruptured, infected blisters, and the smell would have put the Orthopaedics and Surgery (the gangrene headquarters) wards to shame.

By a superhuman effort, I managed not to wrinkle my nose or display any other external signs of the presence of The Smell, and wrote down the patient’s history, and examined him. His wife removed the blanket covering him, and I’ll just say that the sight more or less scarred me for life.

While I was performing all these trivial activities, the others (my beloved unit, all 22 of them) stood around chatting and giggling. The sound was driving me crazy, I tell you. I still couldn’t come up with a diagnosis, what had caused the blisters in the first place. I was going to go with SJS, but decided to peek into his case record before I committed it to paper. It was actually a variant of pemphigus, an autoimmune condition where the upper layers of the skin become separated from the lower layers. Armed with this information, I confidently proceeded to present the case before teacher. And then, get this, Bandit (the SLIME) had shown me the wrong patient. I wanted to STAB him. I got a ‘poor presentation’ and ‘this is not the way to present a case’ for the first time in my life. Gah.

I bought a Dermatology textbook that very evening. I was looking through the pictures (I do that with all my books- Ophthal is the worst, I think) and I came across a photograph that changed my life. The nail on my little finger has had a small, dark coloured band for about 4 years now, and I never thought much of it. The picture in the book looked exactly like my nail, and it had the highly encouraging caption ‘Subungual melanoma- a rare variant of malignant melanoma’ beneath it. The prognosis is pretty poor, apparently. I will be seeing a doctor on Monday.

I haven’t stopped shaking yet. Oh, God, please, please let it be benign.

*Me, in case you didn't get it.

Considering the alternative, I guess this is just a slap on the wrist.

Monday came. I had spent a sleepless night tossing and turning in bed, with dreams of my finger getting chopped off and my career ending with a bald me (courtesy of the chemotherapy) saying goodbye to all my friends and then going home to slash my neck (much quicker than the wrist, apparently) when I did manage to sleep. The funereal atmosphere at home did not help much (I couldn't stop myself from crying on my mom's shoulder) and left for the hospital with a feeling of dread. I did not want my parents around when I received my death sentence.

I consulted my Dermatology professor, told him I had had it for four years, and that a couple of other nails have similar dark lines on them. He took one look at the nail, and diagnosed onychymycosis. (Yeesh. I went through all that self torture for a fungal infection? was the only coherent thought I had then.) I was asked to get a nail clipping test done, and to get back to him with the result in two days' time. I looked at the prescription only after I was out of his room. That's when I noticed a question mark against the diagnosis. It could still be melanoma...

Scene 2: The Dermatology laboratory.
"Oh, nail clipping? Come here."

She put on gloves. Her assistant got two bottles ready, and then placed a glass slide on the table. She wiped my nail with saline, and fitted a new blade onto the scalpel, while I watched with increasing apprehension.
She took hold of my finger and placed it on the slide. The blade gleamed in the sunlight streaming in through the window. She was going to chop my nail off! Noooo....

She began to scrape away the nail surface. The shavings fell on the slide. She showed no signs of stopping even when it looked (to me) like there was just a millimetre before she reached the nail bed. Then she stopped, and I heaved a sigh of relief, which I soon learnt was premature, because she immediately put all the 'clippings' into one bottle. I closed my eyes while she began scraping my nail again...

Scene 3: Today
I got the results.
"No fungus found."
I was sweating bullets when I went back to my professor with the result. And then he told me that I probably have nail psoriasis.

I was told that it was not a serious condition, that it usually remains confined to the nails, that I had nothing to worry about and to please stop looking so horrified. All I could think was, "Psoriasis. I am going to end up looking like this." while everyone around me comforted me.

I do not have family history of psoriasis, I have no skin lesions, I have never had an autoimmune disease. It felt unreal, somehow.

I start steroids tonight. Some lotion that I have to cover my nail with after food, twice a day.

Anyway, I feel much better about the whole thing now. It really is rather trivial (I looked it up), and it should go away soon.

SPM exam on Saturday. And ObG on Monday. See y'all after. Thanks for sticking by me. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

At Sixes and Sevens

My friends are back from Delhi. While I sat at home and held heated internal debates over which portion of my anatomy to scratch, they held heated debates over whether to go paragliding or white water rafting. *headdesk* Being a stoic, uncomplaining and dutiful daughter, I did not sit around moping, so my parents took me to our home town in the interest of their sanity as a reward. It had been months since my last visit, and I spent a few days dropping in on my relatives. Really, I don’t have a family tree, I have a family jungle. I won’t go into the family scandals of the last 100 years; my head is still spinning. The highlights of trip include three new pairs of shoes, my aunt’s world famous crab curry, and the train journey. A couple of Italian ladies sat next to us on the train, and they wanted to take my picture because I was “very beautiful.” I swear I am not making this up. And then they proceeded to snap pictures of my hair. Just the hair. So much for my stunning beauty. *sigh*

Since the excitement of excoriation is more than I can handle, I thought I would do a meme. Two, actually. Ziah wanted seven random and/or weird things, and ~nm asked for six non-important quirks. The rules state that I’m supposed to tag other unassuming souls, but I'm feeling rebellious. If you want to take it up, I won’t stop you. Being the Maths genius that I am, you get 6.5 non-important weird things about me. I can see you rubbing your hands in glee. I know I am going to bore you to tears. *muahahaha*

Unlike John Denver, sunshine almost never makes me high. What it does is, make me seriously mad at the world, and give me a raging headache. Two minutes of exposure and my migraine kicks in for the rest of the day. I would live in Noah’s times if I could. I am one of the loons who actually sing in the rain. And dance. And then catch a cold and spend the rest of the day in bed watching the rain from my window. The only season (Kerala has two seasons- hot, and wet) I look forward to is the monsoon.

Touched. Not.
This was discovered by my mother, while she was giving her precious, precious second born a bath. My laughter was not due to the pleasurable sensation of having the grime scrubbed away. Let’s just say my cutaneous nerve endings are hypersensitive to tactile stimuli. Currently this trait is so well developed that it is unnecessary to touch me to make me giggle hysterically. Perhaps because of my ticklish nature, I do not like being touched deliberately, and thus, I refuse to have my eyebrows plucked. (Also: straitjackets are not standard equipment in most places that practice this form of torture.)

Obligate carnivore.
My mother prudently decided to raise me as a vegetarian, and kept me away from meat for months after I was weaned. Unfortunately for her, my ayah was unaware of her intentions and proceeded to feed me fish with my rice, at the tender age of eleven months. And the rest, as they say, is history. Hell would be a place that serves idli and sambar for eternity. The ironic part is that I am mildly allergic to seafood.

We have a strained relationship, at best. My mother introduced us when I was about 4 years old. I took this to be a sign of parental approval, and fell for his pretty golden skin. I was young and innocent, and was captivated by his sweet words. We retired to my room, where he proceeded to show me the wonders of sinning. I did not pay much attention when the swelling began, but soon it got really bad, with me gasping for breath. That put a quick end to any designs he might have had on making me a poster child for childhood obesity. (Yeah, right.) We reconciled after a few years, but he proved that he was indeed as dark as his heart. I was deceived again, and spent the day in bed, vomiting and screaming in pain. These days, the smell of chocolate can induce migraine. Don’t you wish you were me? I still eat lots of chocolate, though.

The Highwayman.

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight, over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding-


The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

I cannot emphasise this enough. I. Hate. Poetry. The sight of a verse is guaranteed to make me run faster than a Ferrari on steroids. That bald guy shaking his spears can beg all he wants, I will not read his ‘stories’ unless he rewrites them in prose. The same goes for that albatross guy. And even the funny guys. Sorry, Ogden.

The Idiot Box.
I am not a big fan of the TV. In fact, I don’t even like the TV. But don’t tell my parents this unless you want to see people die laughing. And I warn you, this can, and has, happened. Remember that episode of South- Uh, never mind.

The Blue Umbrella.
I hate black umbrellas and refuse to use one. They are ugly. Mine is blue- it's pretty! And it weighs next to nothing.

That should make 6.5 points. This is just the tip of the iceberg that the SPM creeps are constantly telling us about. I actually like Apocalyptica. See?

All you Famous Five fans (alliteration!) can now rejoice (not the shampoo). It used to make me angry even then I was a crazy 8 year old who couldn’t get enough of Enid Blyton. Come to think of it, I still like Enid Blyton. Arrested development?

Now all of you head over to and… Just sort of look around. You know, so I can be famous and all.