7 months

I had a young patient today who felt normal until 7 months ago when she had esotropia ("duling") and extremely blurred vision on the right (she compensated with the normal left). 

she had already consulted then and was seen to have an mass behind her nose which was biopsied as TB. 

Then one day 3 weeks ago she was coming home from a ffup when her vision became total darkness on the left (NLP). A week ago she had decreased hearing on the right and peripheral facial palsy.

I can’t imagine how scary this all must be for her..

Patient Care

Things we do for our patients..

We have a patient in the Trauma ward. There’s some aspects of his disease process we need to clarify, so we need to run some labs.

Ok, give him a lab request and a prescription for vials and a syringe.

Already done. No one’s here to pay for / buy it though. 900 pesos worth even with the White card (socialized payment scheme). And he doesn’t have a cent to his name.

May stash ka naman e. Ano ba naman yung isang purple top. Tapos ipa-MSS mo.

Sure, i’ll spare a purple top. then used free washed tubes for the red tops. Thank God PGH still has budget for syringes and gloves, I’ll take one thank you.

The thing is, this patient has no bantay at all. When there is one, he’s a minor. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the helpful barangay volunteer/official who assisted in conducting him to PGH in the first place.

This patient’s mother has passed on, his father is an inmate, and all his siblings are in the province and unreachable. By some twist of fate, he was shot multiple times and needed to be admitted to the hospital, opened up and given a new chance at life.

But right now, he has no one. No one to take care of his papers, needed xrays, labs, waivers for fees, etc.

Nobody but you, that is.

So here I found myself going to the cashier to have the labs priced, going to MSS to a very friendly and understanding set of social workers who had everything ready for me when I arrived, as I phoned in my concern earlier; looking for the Chief Resident of our department or any senior I could ambush for a signature, running to the ADHO..

and finally coming back to the ward to personally extract the blood.

All these made me realize the value of the bantay and the things we take for granted. For most other patients we only get to do the last part, extracting the blood. For these patients the bantay does the legwork for us.

I can only hope they be treated with as much regard as I was, even if they will have to endure the lines I cut (special lanes), wait several minutes for the paper to go from inbox to outbox, or face the wrath of some less than understanding/overworked employees.

The bantays are some of our greatest allies in patient care. 

So even if it takes a little extra effort, it’s ok with me to do some work if it means the woman with a 7-month belly can sit instead of going up to the lab to submit her child’s labs; if it means the father who hasn’t eaten since breakfast can eat at ten in the evening. When you appreciate their effort, they appreciate you — trust you — even more.


Thanks to my co-intern for bringing the samples to the lab. :)