Archive for June, 2008

27
Jun
08

Last Night’s Bday Dinner

It was one great evening last night. It was the first time that my flat was filled with people and it was so strange to look at my living room full of guests, when most of the time it was filled by no one but me.

 

People started coming in half past seven. Some came from the morning shifts. Most of my guests were my batch mates – the same people who took the same plane coming here for the first time in UAE. Everybody had their new stories to tell, after having worked in our own respective units for the last three weeks. 

 

My preceptor Jaime came in as well and gave us some info about the in and outs on working in the UAE.

 

I wished there were videoke and some dancing, but I did not have the appliances yet for that. Well, it’s understandable since I have not even worked for a month. I only had my laptop’s media player for the background music of the night.

 

By the way, they loved my world-famous spaghetti! They also liked the buttered veggies! Successful home-cooking!

 

It was a nice evening when my flat was filled with stories, laughters and cheers.

 

After my guests left, I did a quick party “post-mortem” care. 

 

I woke up this morning and made some more cleaning. I’m working three nights starting tonight. Hell, I’m back to reality. 

26
Jun
08

Bday Dinner Preps

It is 530pm and I am still waiting for my guests to come in. I have prepared dinner for my newly-found friends here in UAE. My birthday is actually on the 28th, but I will be working on a night shift on that day so it’s impossible to hold it on the actual day.

 

My preparations started about a week when I started buying stuffs for this evening’s affair. Whenever I did my grocery, I include bits and pieces for my planned dinner. I have already bought some canned goods, pastas, paper plates, spoons, forks, cups etc etc. It’s better than doing the shopping in one time when it will be heavier to carry all the plastic bags.

 

The last major shopping was last night at Carrefour. I bought the last items I needed for tonight – chicken drumsticks, rice, and drinks.

 

I started cooking this morning. I prepared the fruit salad first since I need to chill it the whole day, so that it will be cold and ready by evening.

 

I had limited casseroles so I had to really plan my cooking. I cooked the pasta for the spaghetti, and used the same casserole for the spag sauce. Remyr came in around lunch time and helped me with the chopping of vegetables. After cooking the veggie dish, we had the spaghetti for lunch. Remyr had to leave after because he needed to sleep in preparation for his night duty in the evening. He will actually be missing tonight’s event,

 

Karen came in around 3pm and helped me fry the chicken drumsticks after rolling them in a breaded mix. She left later to go to the gym, and promised to come back for dinner. Meanwhile, I cooked rice while starting to clean out the place. I brushed the living room carpet, and scrubbed the bathroom ceramics.

 

I felt the food might not be enough so I called KFC to post an order for a bucket of chicken. The delivery man came in few minutes later with the chicken, pepsi, coleslaw, fries and bread.

 

I found out from a text message that my wife is also having a party back home in the Philippines. Her officemates threw in a surprise baby shower party for her. She received lots of baby gifts, she mentioned. Wow, talk about simultaneous parties…

 

I took a quick shower after that, and started preparing myself for my night.

 

I think everything has been prepared. And now, it’s just the guests that are missing…

 

26
Jun
08

100 Things About Myself

It’s my birthday on the 28th. So whether you like it or not, I am going to talk about myself, and nothing but myself today! So here goes 100 things about myself. I had a lot of fun writing it, so I hope you have fun reading it, too.

 

  1. My name is Nelson.
  2. Relatives call me Bobot.
  3. I was once called Tuesday and Chuchu.
  4. I’m the second to the eldest.
  5. I have two younger brothers
  6. and my sister is the eldest.
  7. I grew up in Bulacan
  8. and studied there too.
  9. I hated bullies as a child.
  10. I licked slippers when I was a toddler.
  11. I look up to my father.
  12. I admire my mother.
  13. We were very poor before.
  14. I worked my way to college.
  15. So that means I have been working since I was 17.
  16. I worked as an office assistant
  17. and caretaker of a small library.
  18. I competed in drawing contests.
  19. I can still draw today, but I have no use of my talent right now.
  20. I was a cartoonist in our high school paper.
  21. As a child, I wished I was a comics writer and illustrator.
  22. So I made my own comics using bond paper.
  23. I also competed in declamation contests in elementary
  24. and oratorical tilts in college.
  25. I performed in a stage play before
  26. and played the role of a bitch’s younger bro.
  27. I feel sad realizing that the guy who alternately takes my role in that play died last year.
  28. I like to sing
  29. but I’m not a really good singer though.
  30. I love videooke.
  31. I’m a registered nurse.
  32. I’m also a USRN.
  33. I was once a private nurse,
  34. ER nurse,
  35. and neurosurgery nurse.
  36. I was a nursing clinical instructor.
  37. I was a local board exam review lecturer.
  38. I worked seven years in Saudi Arabia and now I’m in UAE.
  39. I like the high of riding in a speeding ambulance.
  40. I need to cry when my patient dies.
  41. But I do it where nobody can see me.
  42. I can organize parties.
  43. I can cook a bit.
  44. My specialty is spaghetti.
  45. And it’s my favorite dish too.
  46. I like Italian food.
  47. I’m allergic to seafood.
  48. I like galaxy chocolates.
  49. and moist chocolate cakes.
  50. and cinnamon rolls.
  51. Iced tea is my favorite drink.
  52. I like coke, too but I’m trying to avoid soft drinks lately.
  53. Superbowl restaurant is the best for me.
  54. I play table tennis
  55. But the last time I played was very long time ago.
  56. I tried Aikido before.
  57. I met my wife when we were 10 years old.
  58. but we only got married when we were 32.
  59. I am married to a civil engineer (and yup, I’m the nurse… not the other way around).
  60. I am going to be a father soon.
  61. I think first-time fathers are the most excited people in the world.
  62. I always dream about how my baby will look like.
  63. I enjoy staying in huge toy shops.
  64. I want to give the best for my child.
  65. I like to window shop
  66. I dream a lot.
  67. I might be in the US soon.
  68. I treasure good friends.
  69. I like people who can think of jokes very fast.
  70. I love stand-up comedians.
  71. I wish I can fly.
  72. I am not into material things.
  73. I value time.
  74. I am not afraid to die
  75. But I am afraid to lose a loved one.
  76. I have never tried illegal drugs.
  77. But I can inject a drug on myself using a butterfly needle.
  78. I’ve done that for therapeutic drugs.
  79. I’m a social drinker only.
  80. I don’t smoke.
  81. I’m not into pets.
  82. Navy blue is my favorite color.
  83. I want to give a poor deserving child a scholarship if I have the money.
  84. I want to write a book
  85. but I can’t think of anything to write about.
  86. I love the internet.
  87. I can spend the whole day without eating just surfing the net.
  88. My favorite animation hero is Jin of Tekken.
  89. He’s my friendster background theme
  90. If I’ll have a tattoo on me, I’ll put Marvin the Martian on my back.
  91. I like collecting things
  92. I collected stamps, and key chain holders.
  93. My weird collection included restaurant tissues, clothes tags, and chocolate wrappers.
  94. I will only collect something that I don’t need to buy.
  95. I took a video of myself posing like a ramp model last year.
  96. It’s so funny but I hate watching it now.
  97. I wish I can direct a film, but I know it is a very difficult job.
  98. I wish I have more computer knowledge.
  99. I wear contacts.

100. I love myself.

24
Jun
08

My First Night Shift

Nurses2020work20logoWhew! I just arrived home after surpassing another milestone in my budding nursing career in the UAE – my first night shift (7pm to 7am). This was after a year of having my nights spent on sleeping, and the days on working. I knew I had to make adjustments in my body clock.

 

My preceptor and I had 7 patients last night. The cases and activities were as follows:

 

  1. A patient with cancer of the larynx who had tracheostomy and PEG insertion. Because he can’t talk, I had difficulty trying to understand him. I had to clean the Swedish nose attached to the trache twice because there’s no stock of that at the moment so we could not throw that one away. His IV line got infiltrated so a new line was inserted. He had very difficult veins, and after several tries, one of my co-nurses managed to put one. He’s a sharpshooter! He needed that for his IV antibiotics.
  2. A patient with cancer of the pancreas, who had a whipple’s procedure two weeks back. He passed BM twice and everytime he did, I had to change his bed linens because he messes everything up. I also did his abdominal dressing which was very mucky, because aside from the oozing wound, it was stained by his stool. I got a low blood sugar from him in the morning, so I encouraged him to eat something. I rechecked his blood sugar after an hour, and it picked up to within normal limits. His IV line got infiltrated as well but reinsertion was unsuccessful because his veins were all so bad.
  3. A patient with Osteomyelitis on the right femur who previously had an Incision and Drainage surgery inThailand. His wound looks infected. He’s in the hospital for pain management.  
  4. A patient post road-traffic accident with compound fracture of tibia/fibula. He recently had removal of the external fixator, with intermedullary nailing. This guy is already mobilizing full weight bearing, and is for possible discharge today.
  5. A patient who was admitted for hematuria. He was on a foley catheter draining reddish urine. He called twice just to get his urine bag emptied when it was only half full.
  6. A diabetic patient who had amputation of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th digits of the right toes two weeks back. He was scheduled for Angiography today, so I inserted an IV line on him last midnight and started him on IV fluids. I did not have any difficulty inserting a cannula for him because he had very visible veins. His blood sugar shoot up in the middle of the night so I had to give him some regular insulin. It went down to within normal limits in the morning. His groin was shaved in the morning in preparation for the angiography.
  7. A patient who had renal stones, and had undergone urethroscopy to remove ureteric stones. He complained of flank pain around  1030 in the evening, so I gave him a tramadol injection in the right gluts. He complained again at 2am and said that the injection I gave did not work much. I then gave him a more stronger analgesia – Pethidine injection on the left gluts. That knocked him down, sleeping till the morning. I feel he needs to be reviewed again this morning because of these pain episodes even if he is for possible discharge. He did not have an IV line but he had orders for IV antibiotics this morning so a line was inserted using a butterfly, and I removed it after the medication was consumed.

 

And that goes my first night shift. I survived. Glad to be still alive. And yup, I have another night tonight.

23
Jun
08

Our First Year

A year ago on this day, I was waiting at the altar for my bride to come. When she finally came in, flowers came falling down from the heavens. She walked down the aisle while the enchanting music of Lea Salonga’s “Two Words” was playing. Our guests in the church just looked at her in complete astonishment. Didith was a perfect bride.

 

People started shedding tears, and there were goose bumps all around. I saw smiles and happiness. Witnessing that, I felt an overwhelming feeling of euphoria, knowing that the people around us were happy to see us come to this point.

 

As I stood there watching as my lady walked towards me, I thought I was going to faint, as I was showered with all the nicest of emotions, that my heart cannot contain anymore. I was a very proud groom.

 

Looking back, I realized how much we have grown over the year, and that there is still so much ahead of us.

 

Today is our very first wedding anniversary.

19
Jun
08

Computer Training, Malling and Preparing for my Party

Computertrainingforweb Today was the last day of our Hospital Information System (HIS) Training. We breezed through the basics of the hospital’s computer system, and I was able to pass the assessment test in the afternoon.

 

Our two-day trainor was a Filipina, probably on her late forties. I was supposed to be proud knowing that a kabayan is heading a computer training program for nurses, but sad to say, I feel the other way around. She had difficulty speaking the English language. Her grammar was most of the time incorrect, and more often, she does not finish her sentences and left the listeners hanging in the air. She talks very slow and her discussion was not at all lively.

 

I am no good public speaker too, I admit that. But she accepted this task of speaking to a multi-cultural audience, who more often than not, speaks very fluent English with all the accents and all, she should take time to study the language, and read a lot on public speaking.

 

I think I should admire her guts for taking the courage of speaking to a non-pinoy audience, knowing that she can not speak straight English. She tried her best though, and I think this made her way to reach the position she is enjoying now. Okay, I’m proud of her now…

 

After the sessions, the guys agreed to check out Al Falah Mall. We have not been there, so we decided to visit the mall while we have extra time in our hands. We knew going out together like this would be very difficult in the future, when our schedules would be most of the time conflicting.

 

I started buying stuffs for my little birthday party next week. “Little” because it will not be one of those parties I held inRiyadh where lots of dishes were prepared and lots of guests were expected. I am only planning to cook dinner for my UAE batch mates. I am thinking of cooking spaghetti, rice and a meat or veggie dish perhaps, a desert or a cake, and some drinks. 

I might do my party on June 26, instead of the 28th, because I will be working night duty on that day. It’s also better since the 26th falls on a Thursday, which is the start of the weekend here (like Friday back home).

 

I think I need to prepare a checklist for the party so I won’t miss anything. I’m already a pro in coordinating events so I’m sure I will be able to hold it without much worries. I think I should try the events organizing business, what do you think? Hmmm….

18
Jun
08

Computer Training and Shopping

Mouse_pink_1I am supposedly off for three days starting today but I had to attend a training on the hospital computer systems for two days. So I ended up having only a day off, which will be on Friday.

 

The speaker in the training program is a Filipina. She spoke very slowly so I felt sleepy the whole day. But I managed to absorb what she taught us. I had a headache in the afternoon after trying to remember what all those buttons were for.

 

Roger, Miller and I decided to go to Carrefour, which is the nearest mall from the hospital. We were dismissed early (about 5pm) so we thought there was not much to do in our respective units, since the three of us doesn’t have TV nor internet access.

 

We ate first at McDonald’s before roaming inside the mall. I saw a lot of clothes that I might buy when salary comes, though I was still thinking twice as to whether I was just trying to waste money or not.

 

I ended up buying stuffs for the house, and some food stocks.

 

Home by 9pm.

17
Jun
08

More Relaxed

StethoscopeThe day started the same as yesterday. It was still difficult getting up in the bed, but when I realized that I was getting late, I hurried up and started cooking breakfast and for my packed lunch. The shuttle did not come again in the morning so I had to walk again going to the hospital.

 

I was more relaxed in the unit today, than yesterday. I guess it’s because I was more familiar now with the things that are going on inside the ward. I have more or less an idea of how it is to work in the surgery unit.

 

My preceptor and I had the same patients as yesterday, except for two. We had six patients today. I still had the three tumor guys: one with anal tumor, another with pelvic sarcoma, and the last with multiple myeloma. The bedridden old man is still with us. My new patients included an old man who was electively admitted for extracapsular cataract extraction tomorrow, and a 16-year old boy who went for surgery in the afternoon for Removal of Intermedullary Nailing of Right Tibia.

 

I had some exciting parts of the day. I was able to get the parcel which my wife sent me last week. I was also able to book myself for my first vacation – 40 days leave from end of January to the first week of March. Gosh, I can’t wait till January! At least I have something to look forward to.

 

I got home a quarter before eight in the evening. I was so exhausted that when I got inside my flat, I just sat on my couch for a long time staring blankly on the wall, still on my uniform. I think my mind was asking me what the hell am I doing here.

 

Oh yeah, I forgot, I am here for the money!

 

Roger buzzed and interrupted my daydreaming. Maybe he sensed I needed somebody to talk to. We chatted a lot of things about how the day treated us.

 

I was so tired to be able to cook dinner so I just grabbed anything in the fridge: a bar of chocolate, a banana, and a glass of coke.

16
Jun
08

First Day in the Ward

Last night, the guys were trying to invite me to go for a walk around the compound after we had dinner together. Knowing that I still had to iron my uniform, I declined and told them I need to be up early in the morning.

 

And so I woke up early in the morning to be able to prepare for my first day of orientation in the unit. I will be working in the Male Surgery Unit and I know that there will be lots of new things for me.

 

General Surgery is too broad for me. Before, I dealt only with neurosurgery, ENT and,  oral and maxillofacial surgery. But now, aside from those areas, I have to include thoracics, plastics, gen surgery, urology, orthopaedics and all the other specialities that do surgery.

 

After having a heavy breakfast that included rice, hotdogs and eggs, I hurried up to the bus stop, only to wait there for almost 30 minutes. No bus showed up. And so thinking that I will be late for my first day of work, I decided to take a walk going to the hospital. It was just good that it was not very hot outside, and so I was not really perspiring.

 

I was met in the unit by the outgoing night staff. The unit manager was already there as well, and gave me a quick tour of the unit. The ward that I will be working in is a 45-bedded unit (ouch!). It was divided into Side A and Side B, which correspond to the two hallways of the unit. There were lots of rooms for patients, for stocks and supplies, and for nurses’ use. It was confusing where to go!

 

Minutes later, I was introduced to Jaime, who will be my preceptor for my orientation period. He is also a Filipino, who’s been working in the unit for 10 years. Ugh! I wonder if I will be able to stay here that long!

 

After the endorsement, I started working with Jaime and breezed through the day smoothly. It was indeed a heavy ward. There were lots of procedures. I did not get much chance to sit down. My legs were achy at the end of the shift!

 

My preceptor and I had five patients: a bed ridden old man post laparotomy after an ischemic bowel, a 57-year old man who had an anal tumor and who went for surgery in the afternoon for secondary suturing and debridement of the perianal area, a pelvic sarcoma patient post hemipelvectomy, a multiple myeloma patient with infected AV Fistula, and another old man post right total hip replacement.

 

I learned a lot of things that I knew I will use during my stay here in Tawam. I hope to be of great use in the unit and I will try to show my best in the performance of my duties, just like when I was in Riyadh.

 

Good luck to me!

15
Jun
08

Fathers Day Thoughts

Today is my very first Fathers Day. No other Fathers Day will be quite like this one for me. Not only is it my first one, it is the only one (so far, at least) in which I am a father but cannot see my child or at least know what he looks like.

 

Right now, I am thousand miles away from my wife and baby. It saddens me to realize that I am here in this far away land, because I wanted to give the best for my child. I want him to come out in this world with all the comfort he needs as he grow up.

 

Eager and unhesitating as I am to welcome the baby into the world with arms open wide with love, it sometimes is a little hard to suppress the feeling that I would have liked a little more time to discover what it is to be a husband and newlywed first. Then I would not have decided to leave the country in the early stages of our marriage to work abroad. But we would never, ever get rid of the baby and question God’s timing in sending our baby to us.

 

It also helps me to overcome these thoughts when I think about a little face that resembles us looking up and smiling. When I think of that miracle, I know that I’m glad to give up the pleasures of a life without the responsibilities of parenthood. I am also helped by the notion that God has ordained that a new life should be entrusted to us now. Who am I to question His gift to us? So many couples can never have children at all and want them desperately, while others have a very difficult time having babies. I’m thankful we don’t face such hardships.

 

It is hard to imagine a role of more fundamental importance than simple parenthood. I feel that being a father is a fulfillment of a destiny.

 

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there.

 

 




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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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