Archive for September, 2010


Emotional Flexibility

And there goes another one. My second in about three years.

I was just starting my shift yesterday morning when my most hated part of my nursing profession happened again. A patient died.

I have been taking care of him for the last two shifts and I was just about to see him that morning when the outgoing night nurse called a code. He did not make it and eventually I had to do his postmortem care later on. My last nursing care for him.

It hurts when your patient leaves you like that. I try to regard my patients as like a family member but when things like these happen, it would also be like losing a loved one. I know I have to get used to it because I am a nurse, but I think it will still take some time.

The next parts of the shift would be taking care of my other alive patients. I tried to pretend to my patients that I was okay. I had to pretend that I am very enthusiastic for the day. I had to show my other patients that the world looks brighter. No mention about the major incident earlier. Who would like to hear as a patient that one patient next door just passed away?

The patient next door was actually one of the most aprreciative patients I had in my life. He was getting well and he was very happy about his recovery. He was about to be discharged the following day. I took care of him like nothing major happened on the next door. He mentioned about me always smiling  as soon as I open the door, and that it helped him a lot when the people around him are as determined and enthusiasic about his recovery.

And I realized how nurses could affect a patient’s emotion, and eventually his determination to get well. If I had shown sadness in another patient’s room, I could have influenced another person to feel sad too. But I chose to  forget sadness and grief,  and be the usual happy nurse that I am, and that I should say, made my other patients to be more optimistic about their health.

Nurses need to be flexible with their emotions. It would take a lot of getting used to, but I know I will eventually get there.

(picture credits:,


An old article of mine “And My Patient Just Died…” which was posted on this site last February 2010, was published today at the Filipino Nurses blog site. The site has Facebook links and has about 153k FB members as of this time.

I enjoy reading the comments, so keep them coming!

Here are the links to the post:

For the reposting at the Filipino Nurses blog site, click HERE.

For the Facebook link via Graffitti, click HERE.

For the Facebook repost on my profile, click HERE.

For the original post on this site, click HERE.


Falling Asleep With Contact Lenses Still On

Oh yes that was so silly. But I searched on google and it’s not just me. Many others do forget to remove their contact lenses before going to bed and there are several reasons why people fail to do so. One popular reason was coming from a party, drunk and tired,  then collapsing on bed without taking off their contacts. That was not my reason though.

It does not happen to me often but I usually forget to remove my contact lenses when I am very tired from work. I usually get eye irritation  when I wake up the next morning. I would not have any problems taking the lenses off, but my eyes would be red and sometimes some discharges will be there. But I would do wake up getting worried of becoming blind. I heard of so many horror stories of users getting blind because of this. But these does not refrain me for using contacts. I know that those stories were just isolated cases.

And so to stop worrying, I did some research about forgetting to remove contact lenses before retiring to bed. Let me share you what I’ve got:

The corneas’ response to this event varies between no discernable effect to extreme pain and blurred vision.(similar to ‘arc-eye’ – if you have heard of this).

This can vary between individuals, and with different lens types and can even vary with the same individual on different occasions.

It depends on the extent that the cornea swells in response to the lack of oxygen. It usually does no permanent harm to the eye, although if you get the painful response you will inevitably end up at the eye hospital convinced that you are going blind. Treatment is normally time, perhaps with some aspirin.

They normally come out without any problem, although sometimes they can dry out and stick to the eye.

It would then be best to irrigate the eye with sterile saline to re-hydrate them, so that they move again, before removal.

This case is also called contact lens overwear. The eyes are painful due to lack of oxygen and superficial punctate stainings are common with flurescein dye.

Management in clinic or hospital setting would be instilling a topical anaesthesia into the eyes to relieve the pain. The two eyes can be patched and analgesia can be prescribed. The pain usually resolves within 24 hours.

Contact lenses allow me to move freely without the hassles of wearing eye glasses. I also feel that my I look better without my glasses on.

I wear the disposable daily soft contacts-type. I wear a pair for a day and throw them away before going to bed. And so I do not have to worry about  having them cleaned and storing my contact lenses in cases with eye solutions. A bit expensive, but healthier to the eyes.

Take care of your eyes!


research credits: contact,

image credits:,, eden


“These Hands” – A Tribute to Nurses

Nothing beats the feeling of being appreciated with what you do.


Abandoned Babies?!

It is quite alarming. Within the last week only, five babies were reported in the news to have been abandoned in different places in Manila. Only one was found alive and the rest were found dead. What’s happening?

A couple of days ago, one newly-born baby was found in an airplane comfort room. Luckily he was still alive and was immediately brought to the hospital. The possible mother was recently traced and denied of doing the abandonment of the baby. Another baby was found in a ship, also in the rest room, but was already dead. The mother was also traced and admitted the crime. She said she got scared when she accidentally delivered the baby while urinating. Quite an excuse.

Yesterday, two fetuses were found in two different churches in Manila. One was found along the one of the seats in Manila Cathedral. One was found along the entrance of Quiapo Church. This morning, another fetus was found along the streets of Catmon, Malabon.

As a nurse, I am pro-life and so it is disheartening to know that there are some people who can just decide to take away innocent lives. I tend to think that there must be serious problems with the coming of that baby. I know that there are some therapeutic reasons for terminating pregnancies, but other than those reasons, I feel that taking away the baby’s right to live cannot be justified by whatever problems there can be, be it poverty or  marital issues. If only the baby could talk to defend his life!

There are other means to solve unwanted pregnancy problems. Institutions like Norfil Foundation can help mothers who are in this situation. They take care of the pregnant mother until the baby is delivered. And if it has been decided that the mother can not take care of the baby, the agency looks for a foster parent for the baby.

Life is sometimes a joke. I know lots of couple who were wishing to have even one baby. Yet there are others who does not want them and decide to take away their baby’s life.

I wish that people who decide to abandon their babies realize that it is a very big mistake to refuse this special gift from Above. I believe that all babies are unique and special. Although it may not be obvious when the unwanted baby is born, but his value as a gift will unfold when he is also regarded as unique, special and very much wanted.


picture credits:,


At The Filipino Nurses Blog Site

There is this site called “Filipino Nurses” blog site who was initially at blogspot and just recently moved to a new domain. There are RSS feeds to Facebook too and they have 142, 803 members as of this writing time.

And guess what? I was recently accepted as a contributing writer for the site! Thanks to my old nursing posts here at my home site, digital catharsis which were reviewed to qualify.

My very first article for the Filipino Nurses site was published last September 4. It is entitled “My Colostomy Story” which is actually an old post of mine written in 2008 and posted here on Digital Catharsis.

It has been six days now since I posted that article and as of this time (Sep 9, 2010 11am), the post was liked by 82 readers and was given 25 comments in Facebook via RSS Graffitti feeds. At the Filipino Nurses site,  there are now 10 comments.

Thanks to Fil Nurses site admin for this opportunity to share insights and experiences related to nursing. And thanks to everyone who bothered reading my posts, clicked “Like” and commented as well.

Here are the links to that post:

In blogspot domain:


In Facebook: Click HERE.

Reposting in FB: Click HERE.

Reposting in my FB profile: Click HERE.

No one person can ever experience all that life has to offer. It is only through sharing - experiences, feelings, insights - that we can hope to grow beyond our own meager lifetime.

Nurses are tough people. But behind great nurses are inspirations to keep them doing what they need to do - TO CARE.

Nurse or non-nurse, please feel free to move around the site. Everybody needs inspirations to be encouraged every now and then.

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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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