Monday, October 26, 2009

My Results Are Out And...


Can you see me hopping up and down from the sheer joy? No? OK, use your imagination, then.

Anyway, since I AM A DOCTOR!!! now, does it make sense to continue to use "A Medico's Diary" as the blog's name? I have no idea. I mean, I AM DOCTOR!!! but I know next to nothing about actually being one. And it will take many more years before I go solo and do DOCTOR-ly stuff by myself.

So I've made it all easier, and I'm letting you guys decide! Aren't I magnanimous? (Say yes, or else...)

I am not sure when I'll be able to post here again, because internship begins next week. On Sunday, to be exact, to drive home the fact that I shall no longer have any more holidays, being a DOCTOR and all. Talk about mixed blessings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

World Travel, Part I

Remember the trip I told you about in the last post? It was great. I left on a Tuesday, and was home on Monday, so yay! I am a time traveller. Take that, entropy.

I was ten when they renamed Madras to Chennai. I thought it was a funny name for a city. It took me a while to learn it was pronounced Chen-nai, not chenn-aai.

Not Chennai

This was my first time there in seventeen years. The train was on time, thanks to the hundred and one coconuts I had broken at the Ganapathy temple that afternoon. My cousin, who/whom (Grammar nerds, some help here!) we were accompanying, and I had the upper berths, and my Mom had one of the side berths. The lower berths were occupied by an elderly Tamil couple, who went to sleep as soon as the train left and showed no signs of life until the train reached Chennai central. (I wanted to poke them to see if they were alive, but my Mom is not a humanitarian.)

From another trip

We stayed with Mom's good friend (who is known far and wide as Maami). After Maama Uncle (I called him that, he was plain Maama to everyone else) died, Maami's son (Thengenta Maram Chettan) insisted she move in with him, and they have all been living in Chennai from before it became Chennai.

The first thing that hit me was the heat. No, it was the second thing. The first thing was the bag the idiot behind me rammed into my leg. About the heat. It As if the fires of hell burnt under the roads. I could feel my skin shrivelling and peeling, forcing me to invest in a bottle of sunscreen lotion. Unlike here in Kerala, the heat was not accompanied by sticky humidity, making my hair less frizzy for the few days I was there.

My hair after a shampoo

We did a lot of shopping, mostly at Saravana Stores, the reason for which can be described in one word. Bargain. We finally bought a huge bag to carry home all the stuff we had bought. And most of it consisted of clothes. For me. Because my Mom lurves me. But being the genius that I am, I left my new shoes back in Chennai. If that isn't an epic fail, then, the Kauravas' failure is.

TM Chettan's wife teaches French, and she inspired me to learn French again. I haven't actually begun to re-learn French because je suis lazy, mais je serai soon.

The kids were great. The Brainiac Cricketer is thirteen, and the Drama Queen is eight. We had sword fights with real fake swords, and I ruthlessly killed both of them with my cunning moves, despite sustaining serious injuries, including the loss of a limb. This should come as no surprise to those of you who know that I have a mental age of twelve.


I also met this wonderful guy. He is very charming and handsome. He has the most wonderful brown eyes. He actually listens when I talk, and stayed by my side the entire time I was ill. And when he's feeling particularly happy, we play games! He is absolutely perfect. We would have gotten engaged, except for one little deterrent. He is only nine months old. And also, the fact that Linnaeus would call him Canis familiaris.

If you really loved me, you'd share some of that chocolate with me.

Now if you know any humans who fit the above description, and is at least as old as me, drop me a line.

Finally, though we had to tear ourselves away, we were on the train back home. Since I hadn't sacrificed any coconuts to Ganapathy for the return trip, the train reached home two hours late. But not before another adventure. I'm a regular Nancy Drew.

The couple in the berths next to ours seemed to have forgotten one of their shopping bags after they disembarked. When we noticed the bag, we decided to find their address somehow and return their stuff to them. They had been very helpful during the night, helping us get safer berths and all. As we were going through the contents, finding plenty of shirts but no address, discussing how we could trace them through the railway authorities, one guy pokes his head in, and says, "Hey! That's mine!" Lots of embarrassment all around, but, as we consoled ourselves, it was in a good cause.

That was my trip to Chennai. Don't hold your breath waiting for the next part. Hypoxia isn't good for you.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bye Bye Birdie

Onam is over. It was like one of those "all you can eat" fests, only, all you can eat are vegetables. Bleh. But the payasam (a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and other traditional Indian savouries, says a reliable source) partly made up for the lack of animal protein, but it took a long evening session with the psychiatrist living in our fridge, Dr. Fried Chicken, before I got over my disappointment.

My Mom and I are starting on our "travelling around the world" thingy next week. We travel a whopping 950 kilometres (590 miles) from home. (If this does not, for some strange reason, seem that long a distance to you, you should remember that my Mom considers the trip to our local supermarket a journey around the country.) And we shall get back only after a very long time (two days). That means, I... Won't be missed here at the blog. *sigh*

You know what is the funnier than having no more exams? Thinking you have more exams. Five years of medical college (synonymous with "exams") does that to you. During those rare moments when reality sinks in, I start grinning like the loon that my college bears full responsibility for creating.

It didn't spare my brain.

Because of the frequency with which my professors threw around the E-word, all of my previous trips in the last few years involved my lugging around twice my weight in textbooks. I don't have to this time. Yay! *more grinning*


Can you tell that I'm super excited? Because I am. I can't wait until next week, but, SURPRISE! I have to. Because that is how time works, apparently. Join me, people, in booing and throwing rotten eggs at Entropy's smug face.


I promise to write about my trip, but you are not allowed to hold me to it. Because I am lazy. And will not start packing until an hour before we leave. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where this is going, does it? But as any rocket scientists (hello there!) reading this will know, I will by now have acquired 'quick packing skillz' and I will merely spend all my shopping money on toothbrushes and bath towels. I am guessing that only Douglas Adams will want to know about my towels, and he is, well, dead.

Adieu, my friends. And no, I won't panic.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Onam!

Just a week into my vacation, and I miss (in moderation) those crazy days back when I was studying for some exam or the other. Turns out the TV and the Internet lose a lot of their charm when you are not supposed to be buried beneath a textbook. Also, I am not able to use the classic "I have exams!" excuse to get out of social commitments. Weddings, funerals, births, housewarming parties, random visiting of people, you can find me at all of these events now. And elderly relatives rejoice at having obtained yet another victim to play guessing games with. "No, Aunty, I have no idea who you are."

Anyway, tomorrow is Onam. Have a great one!

Thinking of the sadya (feast) now...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Unbearable Joy of Being Free

Guess who?

A/an (Microsoft ClipArt) image of (what Bill Gates thinks is) a doctor, of course!

The good news is that ALL of my exams are over and I am free to do as I like until my results are announced, and that will not happen for at least six weeks.

The bad news is that there is no bad news. For me, that is. In your case, you might have to read a lot more stuff from me, since I have all this time on my hands.

My Mom and I are planning to go around the world (read '500 km max'), which means that lucky, lucky you will get to read about my Indian Railway Adventures, AKA How to Pee While Holding Your Nose With One Hand and Keeping the Door Shut With the Other. Then again, being us, making plans and actually executing them are light years apart, so all you might have to put up with may be thrilling tales of How My Mom Resisted Temptation at the Supermarket.


Wait a minute.

I did not give a blow-by-blow account of Ze Exams, did I?

The theory papers were all pretty shitty. Just thinking about the Surgery one makes me want to go cower in a dark corner.


The practical exams were all right. Except for the Paediatrics one, which was great.

So yeah. I am done. Five years of medical education has given me an appreciation for free time like nothing else on earth could have. I am off to enjoy it.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Say You'll Miss Me

This is it.

If I live to tell the tell of how I got through the final exams in my final year of study, you shall hear about it. If not, a short prayer for my eternal soul will be appreciated. Amen!

Why do I have such a lamb to the slaughter feeling about the exams?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eggs and Jams

I have to wear my glasses all the time now. All the reading I do gives me headaches. Which automatically implies that I am doing a lot of reading, but no, that would be untrue. I try to get a lot of work done, and end up watching TV with the Bailey, the Love of life, on my tummy to make me feel the 'weight' of my actions. And also give me mesenteric ischaemia, but don't you worry about that.

Now, some of you might remember how I had exams a few weeks ago, and how, we got the wrong question paper on one of them, but had to take the exam anyway. I figured this happened because the department screwed up, but nope, the University screws up, too. The same thing happened during the final exams at one of the medical colleges in Kerala (says the Malayala Manoharama, which is better off being rolled up for use in your toilet than being read). But they cancelled the exam, so it was not quite as bad as our situation.

Anyway, the results of that caper are out, and well, I managed to do quite well. From this episode, I have learnt a valuable lesson, not to study for exams. All the ones I work my rear off for earn me the bare minimum, but the one I did not read for gives me stellar marks. Our education system is funny.

Speaking of the education system, I believe the country is going to the dogs, with the class X board exams about to be made optional. I understand the bit about the pressure on students and families, having gone through it myself, multiple times, with the boards and the entrance, but hoo boy, those were nothing compared to what I am going through now. And that is just my personal life. I am just glad I had the practice.

I just recovered from yet another respiratory infection. My lungs were probably bored with oxygenating my blood, day in and day out. They made a heroic bid for escape, but the antibiotics (for which I paid through the nose) and the cough medication made them change their mind. Drug companies should start offering me discounts, I am their best customer in this area.

Our teachers are on strike, hopefully, this will end before our exams. The sooner they begin, the sooner they get over, and the sooner I am free. Exams kill my appetite, ulcerate large areas of the epithelial lining of my mouth, and make me lose my hair in clumps (with a small contribution from my side, by tearing them out whenever I go crazy, which is often).

For those who like their mouths full of words, here is what I was reading: Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephitis.

It looks pretty, but does dastardly things to your kidney.

All right, the break took longer than I expected, and I need to go to the library today, to read some Orthopaedics with my friend Eli.

As they say in mangled Italian, chow!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TTFN, Exams!

So my internal exams are done with, and I have no need to set foot in college for another month. Which should make me sad, but, for some reason, I am glad. I badly need a break. I am sick of studying.

My final exams start next month, and my study holidays have begun. But I need to relax for a while before I attack my books once again. And while I'm off doing that, you guys take a look at some random pcitures on hard drive.

The surgeons' best friend, the haemostat, affectionately referred to as the artery forceps

My hand

A pretty bug

The beach in the rain

A pond. Really.

Some railway station

The view

The bane of my existence

I haven't been feeling entirely sane these last few weeks. Can you tell?

Monday, June 15, 2009

These Exams Are Killing Me (In More Ways Than One)

Some day, I will figure out the secret of not whining about how medicos have exams all the time. That will be the day I get a certificate saying that Dr. Adorable Pancreas is now a real doctor and look, she has a D.M. to prove it. Since you need an M.D. before getting a D.M., and they do not hand out M.D's to people who are not even M.B.,B.S. doctors, you will have to wait for about a decade for that.


The last few days have been very difficult. I have not seen my Dad in more than 365 days. At any rate, not in the flesh. He must miss me at least as much as I miss him, because every other day, we get together in my dreams to argue, and have Mom intervene only to have us both toss her out and continue to yell at each other. Just like old times.

The practical exams have started. These are just like the finals, only all the examiners are our own teachers.

For those of you who have not been following me on Twitter, this is what happened to me on my Ob-G exam. (Was that too obvious? Nah, subtlety is my middle name.)

Oh, remember Ob-G? My favourite subject? The blood and amniotic fluid fest? The sleepless nights in the labour room? Well, they conducted an exam. I get two patients, one pregnant (Ob), one *gasp* not pregnant (Gyn).

(If I had to see that, so did you. You are welcome. And I am guessing he really is pregnant. Dr. Google said so.)

I was getting the pregnant patient's history. You know, whether she had any bleeding (blood) or leaking (amniotic fluid), whether she drinks like a fish or smokes like a chimney, whether her grandfather had ingrowing toenails or not, the usual stuff. After a while, I noticed that she was acting oddly. She winced every time I asked her a question! Now, normally, people wince after I answer their questions, so I found this behaviour quite unusual.

Well, folks, on questioning her, she had these 'tummy aches that appeared on and off every few minutes' which was probably 'her breakfast, it tasted funny' and it was 'nothing'. Long story short, she was in labour, getting regular contractions. We packed her off to the labour room. And to all those smart alecks who might accuse me of worrying her to the point that she went into labour, she had had the pain for a few hours already, but 'the idli worsened it'. I do not blame her for that, those idlis are potent. It's our secret weapon which we will unleash on an unsuspecting enemy in the next war.

The Gyn patient, she was fun. She was admitted in a Gynaecology ward for 'aching knees'. Her friendly neighbourhood doctor had ordered an abdominal scan (WHY?) when she showed him her knee, and found a fibroid in her uterus. Don't try to make sense of this, I merely made up her history from scratch. Because that is the kind of amazing brain I have.

During my case presentation, I mentioned in passing that the patient's breasts and thyroid gland were normal, and the examiner grilled for an hour about the 'causes of galactorrhoea in pregnancy'. This is pretty technical, so I will not bore you with the details, but she got me to establish that milk secretion during pregnancy can even kill the foetus. Yes, it sounded absurd to me, too, but it's true.

We have to identify surgical specimens pickled in glass bottles, just like the good ol' days in Pathology. I was the lucky recipent of a specimen I had never before seen in a human being. Small wonder, because it was an inverted uterus.

I am pretty sure that the Universe hates me. Well, it has plenty of ammo left, the exams are not yet done with me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Wanted A Thesaurus During My Exam

I have exams now.

No, not my finals.

These are internals, but they are like the finals. So that we get a feel of things, and all.

First up was Internal Medicine.

You know, the toughest subject there is. It's quite a handful (the smallest textbook has 1500 pages), and most people who do not clear final year attribute it to Medicine. So it's very important.

I like to think that I know my basics well (this just might be my imagination at work), but for an exam, it's not enough. You need to be topic oriented, and to be able to memorise a lot of points to core well. The grading of lupus nephritis, the extra articular manifestations of ankylosing spondylitis, the complications of, oh, I don't know, something with a suitably impressive name? Like Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy? Things my brain could retain for 24 hours, max. So I tend to study the most the day before an exam, like a lot of my friends.

We have two papers in Medicine. One about all the general stuff (infections, intensive care, immune disorders, stuff like that) and diseases of the respiratory system. And the other one is all about the cool aspects (cardiology, neurology, nephrology, gastroenterology, etc.).

And you know what happens for the first exam? They gave out the wrong question paper. I got punched in the face by pulmonology when I was filled to the brim with the causes of seizures in the elderly.

The invigilators were very reassuring.
"You have been learning Medicine for five years. Stop talking and start writing."

I was livid. Which is how I almost ended up becoming explicit in my answer paper.
"...and eventually, the thermoregulatory mechanisms of the body get fucked up, and the patient develops..."

I was also scared, which is why I wasted two whole minutes thinking of a more suitable, medical sounding alternative for fucked up. Other than screwed up. Or messed up.

A lot of my answers can be attributed to my being an exponent in the art form known as dummy idal. The term is derived from a Mallu movie from the 80s, where the 'CIDs' would drop a dummy from the roof, no matter how the victim died. (One of my favourite movies, ever!)

No matter what the question is about, we write about the things we know. So I wrote pages on fulminant hepatic failure when asked about Paracetamol poisoning (which is one of the causes for FHF), about Lambert-Easton myasthenic syndrome for the non-metastatic manifestations of bronchial carcinoma, the causes for splenomegaly since I did not know much about tropical splenomegaly... You get the idea.

I had worked rather hard for the exam, and having it all go waste killed something inside me, and the next exam (which was about FHF et al) went down the drain, too.

Two down, five more to go.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


My classes are over.

Exams start next week.

These are internal exams, but they count.

I need to get a certificate saying I have no outstanding dues in any department. Now that I have it, I thought I would embark on vandalising spree. Then I realised, the beds are broken, there are no lights, the fans do not work (and neither do half the nurses, but that's another story), I can't break any of the instruments because they are already, you guessed it, broken. Welcome to chaos a government hospital.

I am going to miss this crap.

That is the college, not the hospital.

That is from the hospital.


Monday, May 4, 2009


The final week of my final year. The week I will remember for the rest of my life. And I can do nothing but worry about my Medicine end of posting exam later this week. And the freaking practical record. As a result of these foreseen circumstances, you are going to suffer. Or have your prayers answered. Depends on the way you look at it. This is a very brief post. No, not pictures of underwear. Sorry, Google searchers, nothing to see here, move along.

That's us.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Two. Rhymes with boohoo. Two weeks before I bid goodbye to classes. I am too busy with the stupid practical record to care.

We went to Kodaikanal, Mysore and Coorg in our third year. That was when The A tried to drown herself in the Cauvery. Third year, that was so much fun. The honeymoon of our undergraduate life. You guys take a look at the picture while I reminisce.

Everybody who goes to Mysore goes to this place, and gets their pictures taken with the monks. We got the monks to take our picture. There we are, squinting at the sun.

Mysore zoo was where I had a crow do its thing on the tip of my finger. The exact tip. Of my finger. That I'd just lifted to point out an ape. Shitty timing, the crow had.

We all agreed that African elephants are larger, and have bigger tusks, and that's all very well, but Indian elephants are smarter and more beautiful.

A friend had a weird encounter at a market in Mysore. One of the vendors recognised him as a Mallu (do we wear a sign on our foreheads? How do they know?) and wanted to know if Mallu men were generally, get this, gay! Where do people get such notions from? How can we have a population problem if our men are gay? Maybe that is the answer to our troubles.

Here is a picture of the Cauvery.

See how I cleverly left out the river in the picture? I am amazing. In reality, this is some place called Nisargadhama, which boasts of many kinds of entertainment for tourists, including a toilet that smells of fresh flowers. And old urine.

We had so much fun (this is getting boring, innit?). I will not bore you with the details of the one other trip I went on, you can read it here if you feel so inclined. It's got lots of pictures and less of my writing, so that is one point in favour all of you clicking here and leaving me to my tragic life.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Let us not dwell on the mere three weeks for which I am still a medico. That path eventually leads to Prozac.

This week's picture features a bunch of Verry Spechul Peeples. (And my friends. And I. But this is not about us.) Peeples who have known me for a long time, and still like me as much as they did before. OK, they are probably not right in the head, but, they are Veryy Spechul, like I said. Behold!

I know it's not very clear. (Why are you surprised?) Do you have any idea how long it took me to make it that way?*

When we first entered the clinics, we were bewildered by the sight of the wards. Patients on the beds, on the floor between the beds, under the beds, in the corridors, everywhere. We had no idea what to do with our shiny new Littmanns and tendon hammers. And then we saw a bunch of harassed looking house surgeons. And the rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

It has been three years now. Some of them are married, all of them are doing their post graduation, some are not even in the country. But things are still the same between us. We still talk about 'our house surgeons' to anyone who will listen, and there aren't many who haven't heard about them yet.

I know this post does not make much sense. I am a final year medical student, you know, even though I don't act like it. Here is an actual incident to prove it.
Professor (during rounds): Do you remember this patient with pleural effusion?
Medico: No, sir. But I remember his X-ray film.
I did not make that up. Honest. And also, the medico in question was not me. I had completely forgotten what his X-ray film looked like.

* Two minutes, in case you are still wondering.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My review in Internal Medicine began this week. The last posting of my undergraduate life. And I get to spend it tearing my hair out because I have to complete my practical record. I think I am going to cry.

Wait, don't go. You do not want to see this week's picture?

Yet another high resolution image, proving how much fun I had at college. That is how we (my friends and I) decorated a blackboard before the arm wrestling match for our first batch social. As soon as we had finished the masterpiece, we held a practice session between ourselves.

The results of the practice session.

Champion: The A.
Winner's comments: Hahaha, my hand hurts. I hope it isn't going to be rheumatoid arthritis, or something. Ah, who cares? I WON! Hahaha.

First runner up: Twin.
Comments: I would like to thank my parents, my sister, and God for believing in me. Without them, this would just not have been possible. And lastly, I would like to thank my dog, for being so supportive. *sniff* You know, my wrist kinda hurts. Could it be CTS?

Second runner-up: The R.
Comments: Ow, A, did you have to push so hard? My forearm hurts. This is probably compartment syndrome, you brainless...COW!
(The A's reply: Nyah-nyah-nyah. Who is a 'sore' loser? Nyah-nyah-nyah.)

Chump of the day: Me.
Comments: My pectoralis major is on fire!
(The Cruel Others: HAHAHA! The pain went staright to her pec major! She has no muscles in her arm! HAHAHA! HAHAHA!
Me: Major Peccy, don't die!)

That's all for this week, folks. Sorry this is up so late. The net was down for a couple of days. I had MAJOR withdrawal symptoms, I tell you.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Yes, it's a countdown to the number of weeks I have left in college. Completely depressing.

The picture this week is taken from outside our Department of Community Medicine. Yes, that is what the SPM people call themselves now.

That is our college garden. The tree in the foreground obstructs the view of Hippocrates sitting on his dog. One of the best things about our college is that we have lots of trees, and a good many of them are older than our parents.

More pictures next time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


And the countdown begins. Six weeks left...

Unfortunately, apart from marking the end of my college life, *boohoo* at the end of the fateful six weeks, I also have a lot of exams on the agenda. As if that were not wonderful enough, I have to submit my practical records before that time, and well, I have some two hundred pages of writing to do.

Great way to spend my last days as a medico, I know.

It's going to be pictures, the next few posts, I'm afraid.

There. A blurry picture taken on my phone when the unit bunked a day of ROME posting to go to the beach. I don't have a higher resolution (I wish I did), but, guess which one is me and you win a prize*.

*Conditions apply. There is no prize.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Late Lament

I have 7 weeks left in college.

I realise that this is highly unoriginal, but where did my five years go? It was only last week that we placed our brains inside buckets of formalin, how can I be on the brink of doctor-hood? I don't know where the origin of the pectoralis major is, and that was the very first thing I learnt. What am I doing here?

I didn't know anyone when I joined, and now they are the people I'll be the happiest to run into in the future.
Reminds me of that terrible joke that was doing the rounds in my third year.
Joe: Meet my wife.
Sam: I know her.
Joe: How?
Sam: I've slept with her.
Joe: WHAT?
Sam: Ten years ago. In pathology class.

I could cry oceans.


Because I could have been spent more time with my books?
Because the library could have been more than a quiet dormitory?
Because I could have poked at more patients?
Because I could have stayed awake in class?

Jeez, who cares about all that? There are plenty of people who do that, and they wear the same harassed expression that I do.

Could I have had more fun?

I remember all of us taking down notes diligently in classes when even the hardiest souls were in NREM sleep. Notes of the lecturer's atrocious grammar and pronunciation.

Once The R and I decided to explore the corners of the campus ordinarily hidden to good, law-abiding medicos and came up on a swing. It so happened that we were both just five years old that day.

The A was watching the river Cauvery (en route to Coorg, on a batch trip) flow by gently, and decided to wade in it. Later that evening, The R and I had a time trying to prevent The A from coming down with pneumonia.

All of us setting out for a lecture five minutes before it began, to reach the class late and breathless, only to find out it had been cancelled.

I remember Eli screaming when her pithed frog showed signs of being un-pithed.

All of us arriving well in time for a class: the lecturer was young and handsome. :)

Singing loud, off-key versions of Chhalak Dhikla Jaa along with the blasting TV enough to disturb the rest of the floor at the hotel in Mysore, and then have the management ring up the guys in the next room to turn down the volume, who had just switched on the telly to 'drown out the unholy din'. Take that, chauvinistic hotel manager.

Grinning across a crowded ward at each other in the middle of yet another night.

Survived the labour room together, with our sanities intact. Or as intact as they were prior to the internment.

Collectively developing vasovagal attacks in the middle of watching autopsies.

Catching the late show of Guru while at Hyderabad, and squeezing each other's hands when Madhavan (ooo, HOTNESS!) kissed Vidya Balan (the BITCH!).

Having nothing to talk about, and sitting around silently like characters from an art movie, and bristling with stories the moment exams are announced, with the peak occurring just outside the exam hall. Always.

Man, I LOVE college! Damn you, for being only five years long.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Foul Mouthed

Bad things have been happening inside my oral cavity. My childhood disdain for toothbrushes has wreaked havoc in my dental enamel, and let's just summarise the results in one word, cavity. Not just any old cavity off the street looking for a sweet tooth, we are talking infected, painful, so-huge-my-voice-echoes-when-I-speak cavity. Combine this with a horizontally impacted wisdom tooth, and another wisdom tooth that chose to become impacted vertically, all of which become complicated at the same time, and you have a fun fest.

The impacted wisdoms will "probably require surgery soon". The cavity needs root canal treatment. ASAP. *gulp*

The only funny (the haha variety) was when the dentist wanted to wait until I was "21 or 22 years old" before yanking out my last claim to wisdom. The lack of wisdom teeth imparts to my face the appearance of a teenager, I guess. Which may be a good thing, because I HATE GROWING OLDER. Gah at you, birthday next month. (Not very subtle, was that? Let's just pretend it was, and say "Let's all gift Pancreas a new cellphone next month, because that is what she desires the most, and we love her.")

The title *ahem* does not mean that I am channelling YELLING BIRD. Nor is it supposed to imply that I suffer from halitosis. It represents the evil-ness inside my oral cavity that is making my life living hell.

I return to Ob-G this week, and I will soon have heart warming stories about old women getting their uteri ripped out by clawed forceps for your reading pleasure. Until then, please, resist the temptation. DO NOT confide your tales of root canal treatment horrors with me, I beg you.

P. S. : My tooth hurts. :(

UPDATE: The deed has been done, and there was no pain AT ALL! and I am doing fine. I have to go back next week to 'crown' it, whatever that is.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Goodbye, Sir Jerry

I am on the review for one of my favourite subjects ever, Orthopaedics. Let's all turn cartwheels for the sheer joy of fractured bones, shall we?

Although I am afraid of a jinx, I will say this, I have been rather happy at college these last few days. I like Surgery, and I enjoyed the review posting. Occasionally, I even got the feeling that I actually knew what I was talking about, because I did not feel blank when my teacher talked about the Bormann's system of classification for carcinoma of the stomach. And also, my current, uh, objet d'affection, knows I exist because I stood up to answer a question in class, and I got that right! So yeah, it's been great.

But things at home have not been wonderful, to balance out the good. My Mom was diagnosed with periarthritis of the shoulder joint, which has been giving her a lot of pain. She might need surgery, because her response to drugs and physiotherapy is not as satisfactory as it should have been. And my cat died. He disappeared one day, and a couple of days later, there was a terrible stink from somewhere outside the house that is too overgrown to explore. We put two and two together, and got four. I miss him.

Rest in peace, buddy.

Now that I am in a melancholy mood, I will probably start talking about my Dad, and then I will start to cry, and my Mom will want to know what's wrong, and then we will both end up using a lot of tissues, and be depressed enough to skip dinner. And since I am trying to gain weight (an exercise in futility, a more accurate description would be 'trying not to lose any more weight'), skipping dinner is inadvisable. Therefore, TTFN, before I start blubbering.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Exam Fundae

I ought to be all "My exams are over! Yay!" but I actually am "Damn! It's back to class again."

Now, I can hear a lot of excited voices ask me, "How were your exams? We want every little detail." I realise I am hallucinating, but I have a feeling that the the voices have got to be answered, or the Universe will implode. On the other hand, if I do that I will lose all my readers (namely, me, my cat, and uh, me. I am not sure if my cat can read, but he stares at the screen for long periods.) So there will be only a few details about my exams. Very few.




Before that.

I have some good news.

No, it's awesome news.

It's the best news I have heard in a year.

I came second on the Paediatrics end posting exam.

< pause for applause, and letters of congratulation >

Come on, you stupid cat, clap your paws.


< /pause >

Anyway, that was old news, because the end posting was a couple of weeks ago.

So, the theory exams. The very important ones that contribute 20% marks to my final total. They sucked.

The Paed people, you know what they did? They announced that the portions included were the first ten chapters of O P G hai (which is Mr. Cow's* book is known as in certain circles), and then proceeded to set a question paper based on chapters 11 through 20. I would have boiled them in oil if I hadn't come out second on the end posting exam.

I don't think I have said this before, but ObG is my favourite subject**. Not a word of what I read got implanted in my head. Except for that bit about 'multiple sexual partners' being a risk factor for carcinoma of the uterine cervix. As you might have guessed by now, there wasn't a single question about risk factors for carcinoma of the cervix.

During the Surgery exam, I got a full blast of the tropical sun RIGHT IN MY EYES and I don't really remember much else about the day.

Medicine was not any better, either. I did not know most of the answers, but I couldn't finish writing them out by the end of three hours and they had to forcibly eject me from the exam hall.

Although you are going to find this hard to believe, I did learn a lot of new things.

That's good, right? Please say yes.

Here they are.

No, I am not going to talk about Lyme disease, which is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by the bite of Ixodid ticks. It has three stages- early localised infection, early disseminated infection, and late persistent infection. Whew!

The Things You Learn During Exams

  • No matter how long the study leave is, you start reading in earnest only the day before the exam.
  • The night before the exam, you will ring up your friends for 'moral support' and end up chatting for an hour.
  • Your appetite increases exponentially while you read, only to disappear when you are at the dinner table.
  • You have to keep your lids propped up by the time it's eight the night before the exam.
  • You can stay up comfortably till two if you watch some TV for a 'wake up break'.
  • The topics you painstakingly spent hours over will not be asked.
  • If they are, you won't remember them.
  • But the areas you skipped will find their way into the question paper.
  • Every time you get stuck for an answer, you will see everyone else around you writing furiously.
  • Nobody else ever gets stuck as much you do.
  • You notice that the exam hall has quite a lot of lights and fans.
  • Your voracious appetite returns.
  • Occasionally, you might write an answer incompletely and then leave some blank space, where you scribble "Think, dummy!" with a pencil.
  • You never remember to erase such comments from your answer sheet until you do the same thing on your next exam.
  • You don't remember to erase those bits in the next exam, either.
  • The cleverest of insights don't enter your mind until the invigilator holds out his hand for your answer sheet.
I am sure there are more, but my tortured brain is still reeling from the effects of the clinical features of viper bites. I never knew that windscreen vipers bit you. See? That's another thing I learnt. Don't you wash your car ever again.

That is the message of this post.


I can already see the Big Brother jumping for joy.

* 'Gai' is the Hindi word for 'Cow'.
** Refer sarcasm.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Being Examinated

So I have good news and I have bad news, like in all those terrible jokes. And to stick to the formula, I'll tell you the good news first.

The good news is that I have completed my Paediatrics posting, and probably even passed the end posting exam because my examiner kept saying "Very Good!" at the end of every answer. But he was a vann kidu who expected me to know the three stages of Lyme Disease, and I was all "Lyme disease has stages?" And then it went downhill from there, and turned uphill after a brief visit to the Underworld, then I was on level ground and then rose and fell so many times I lost count. Hopefully, the highs and lows will balance themselves out and he meant it when he appeared to be impressed by my answers*.

The bad news (get out those tissues, you are going to need them) is that my semester has ended *sob* and what's even worse is that I have exams. And to add insult to injury, I have just one more semester left in college. *bawls*

Think of it as my funeral, and let the tears flow. That probably requires tear gas, but please, oblige a heart broken medico who knows nothing about the stages of Lyme disease.

The exams last a couple of weeks. Until then, it's farewell and adieu to you, sweet readers. If you can manage it, say a short prayer for me. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in God(s), just hint to Hippocrates that some day he's going to be proud of me for being THE expert on Lyme disease, and he will do the rest.

*My head keeps saying "Fat chance!", but I shall ignore it for now. Please, please, God, let me have passed.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Paediatrics still has bawling children and tired medicos carrying chocolates instead of knee hammers. Let's not go there. OK?


The results of the fourth year exams are out, and I have (once again) scraped through. Let's not go there, either. OK?


I have an exam tomorrow. Nope. We don't go there, either.

The semester is almost over. A round of exams, and then, my VERY LAST SEMESTER.*panic attack*

How did I get here? I (still) do not know anything about Anatomy. Or Physiology. Or any of the other twenty-odd subjects we are expected to have a working knowledge of. *hyperventilates*

I am going to miss all those places we used to hang out at.

Ooh, good one! There aren't any places to hang out at college. Except perhaps the library, and let's face it, if I were the type to 'hang out' at the library, I wouldn't be a blogger.

We have this place called the NeuroMuscular Junction (the NMJ). It looks something like this:

Please, roar with laughter at my pathetic attempt at humour.

The NMJ has four arms. One of them leads to the Ladies' Hostel (the neuro- part, for Brains) and the road opposite that leads to the Men's Hostel (the muscular part). This is supposed to be the reason for the name. The other two arms, for the people who are still reading, lead to the hospital and to the college buildings respectively.

The NMJ is not a hangout. It is more like a meeting place. "Drop me at the NMJ," or "I'll see you at the NMJ around ten-thirty."

Another place of note is the Umbilical Cord, one of my favourite names. It is a long corridor connecting the Mother and Baby sections of the Mother and Baby Hospital. It does not consist of the right and left umbilical arteries and an umbilical vein buried in Whaton's jelly. *gasp*

To someone unacquainted with the anatomical geographical structure of our college, our conversations would resemble gibberish.

"Where are you? I am waiting at the distal end of the umbilical cord."
"I just reached the NMJ."
"How lazy can you get? What are you, immotile cilia?"
"Are you implying that I am sterile?"
"No, I know you are not in the OT now."

I can't think of any other places at college with interesting names. The old auditorium is known as the Old Auditorium, the bike stand as the Bike Stand and the office as the Office.

One place that deserves a name is the bust of Hippocrates in front of the hospital.

"Meet me in front of the Hippo at nine."

That should raise a few eyebrows.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Chucky

I am in Smallville.

That is how I think about Paediatrics inside my head. Because children are small.

I can't stand Paediatrics.


But only literally.

My feet hurt. From standing on them. For hours. About five or six of 'em. Hours, that is. Not five or six feet. Because that would be weird. Not to mention shopping nightmares.



A lot of people believe Paeds is all about this:

It is.

Little kids are cute. Small babies are adorable. And tiny preemies are... let's be honest here. Scary. They could die any second.

Children are innocent, sweet, endearing, precious, playful, enchanting, talkative... (Yes, I used a thesaurus. So?)

What they also are, are monsters. Tiny monsters, but still, monsters. Allow me to demonstrate.

Picture a room with forty beds. Side by side, in two rows. Imagine each one occupied by the person pictured above, in that pose. Imagine the noise level. Multiply that by your favourite 6 digit number. Here, your imagination needs these. (I am genuinely sorry about the colour.)

You should totally visit our Paediatrics ward after the nurses have finished giving a round of injections. It will broaden your horizons. Trust me.

One day was devoted to Paediatric Surgery. There was this kid, less than two years old. Her grandmother had brought her to the OPD for post surgical follow up. She had had a surgery for a hernia, which is unusual in girl children. Well, it turned out she was not a 'she' after all. They found a pair of 'undescended testes' inside her during the surgery, and studies showed that the child was genetically male. 'She' had something called testicular feminising syndrome (it is as ghastly as it sounds) and externally appeared to be a girl. Now, the difficulty was in deciding whether to raise the child as a girl or a boy. Since 'she' already looked like a girl, it was settled that she would continue to be one. (The testicles would have to be removed, they were no good anyway, and there is a high risk of cancer later on.)

We rarely realise how lucky we are.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pancreas & The Gang

Some day, when I am feeling especially sadistic, I will give you a blow-by-blow account of "How Pancreas Writes a Case Record." Write Right now, I just have this really painful cramp in my right hand. I have been writing from last night, and all I have down is eight pages. It may not seem like much to you, but it is for me. I am a little* lazy, to be honest.

Nothing much happened last week. I went back to college after 'Christmas vacation', which is what we called the week long bunking of classes we undertook because we only had Christmas day off, and you can't enjoy it when you have just one day with all the goodwill in the world. Maybe you can, but there wasn't enough goodwill in this part of the world, at any rate.

Yeah, going back to college. There I was, walking, no, running (I was late for class, as usual), down the corridor of the Mother & Baby Hospital when I see a woman holding this tiny, tiny, baby. And I was all, "Aww!" and thought, "ObG isn't that all that sucky."

You think you know what is coming next, don't you? I am going to be all "God, ObG is the BEST" and "Oh, how I am going to miss it", isn't it? Read on, the suspense is killing me too.

I walk into one of the operating rooms, all smiling and happy, brimming over with this LOVE for mankind, when I see a woman with her uterus hanging out her va-jay-jay and blood all over the place. That is when I remembered the reason I can't stand ObG. ObG consists not only of Obstetrics, but also Gynaecology. And Gynaecology involves LALALALALALA family blog. If you really want to know, drop me an email so I can ignore it.

Also last week, A and I were having lunch at a restaurant close to the hospital, and the people at the table next to ours was making more noise than the both of us, and this annoyed us no end. A mere eight puny human beings getting more dirty looks from the others than us? Really, an unpardonable offence. Reinforcements arrived as quickly as they could, and we spent the rest of our meals making faces at the eight at the next table who were glaring at us. Go, us!

Anyway, this incident made me very sad. Not because we surprisingly did not get kicked out of the restaurant, but because we only have a few more months left in college. And then I realised that my beloved readers (all three of you, including the I) don't know any of my friends. And I felt ashamed, and decided to kill myself. But my Mom convinced that a blog post about The Gang would do instead. You can scream at her for this post, but not too loud, she has a slight fever.

Pancreas & The Gang

Adorable Pancreas: Mysterious, immensely talented, blindingly gorgeous, stupendously clever medico who is loved by all and feared known far and wide for her brilliant wit. Is of a skeletal skinny slim willowy build that is the target of much envy. AKA: Skeletal System, Prevaricator

The A: Cuddly baby in her early twenties. Has a voice which can be heard clearly even at an Iron Maiden concert. Claims to be an excellent cook, victims still not out of hospital. A rock in times of trouble, a pain at other times.
AKA: Hypertrophied Triceps, Accident waiting to happen

Twin: One half of a set of identical twins, separated from the other half for the first time in her life. Claims to be one half of a set of fraternal twins who just happen to look identical. Hates colour, wears black to weddings, funerals, and classes. Has two cell phones both of which are either switched off or beyond coverage area.
AKA: Dog doctor, Vanishing Twin

The R: The most mature and quietest member of The Gang. Has an inexplicable tendency to make friends with the wackiest characters around. Had to haver a cell phone surgically removed from her ear once, but the disease recurred. Addicted to chocolate.
AKA: Silencer, Partner in Crime

These are my four bestest friends in the world. Unlike a lot of people, my best friends list also includes me. The extended Gang would take me an entire day to type out, and contrary to popular belief, I actually have other, more important stuff to do. Such as, uh, important stuff. Dear lord, I have exams next month, and I start Paediatrics tomorrow. And I have four library books to finish. Bye!

*Word used in its b    r    o    a    d    e    s    t sense.