Of cows and Kage Bunshin

August 11, 2008

Am back for the weekend. I’ve finally caught up with Naruto Shippuden.

I’ve been away on my rural rotation over the past few weeks. It’s not too far of a place, but far enough for me to decide it’s too much of a hassle to keep driving back and forth.

To be honest, so far it has been really good.

The hospital provides accomodation for visiting staff, and I’m fortunate to be allocated a fairly decent cottage (something like a well-furnished cabin). There’s bedding and towels; kitchen’s all stocked with crockery and cutlery. There’s a few rooms in one cottage and am currently sharing with 1-2 other doctors (one’s a fellow intern as well).

I got rostered on day shift for the very first week so I was the first to arrive. Initially I planned to move my stuffs in the day before, except that I ended up packing the entire night prior due to some fantastic form of procrastination. Kept telling myself “Another 10 minutes of YouTube wouldn’t hurt” except that in reality the 10 minutes eventually became something close to a few hours. Lazy bum, I know.

It’s a pretty pleasant drive once you get out of the metropolitan area. Soon I’m seeing huge fields of green and yellow pastures dotted with dairy cows (yup the black and white ones). There’s just so many of them and they all look alike (How can we be sure they are not capable of performing Kage Bunshin? Maybe they have us fooled for ages).

There’s much lush greenery to be appreciated, given that the weather is relatively warm and dry. You still get the odd driver pulling over by the roadside to take a leak.

I think the hospital has about 15 doctors at any one time.

It’s a pretty small place, where everyone knows everyone. There’s about 4 doctors in the ED while the rest are mainly scattered upstairs. People have been really warm and welcoming, which is really fantastic 😀

Things are pretty laid-back here, although not the same can be said for what comes through the ED doors.

Things are bit different in the rural setting, you tend to see a lot more trauma cases (mainly arising from work/farmyard injuries). I remember spending roughly half of my time just suturing partially severed fingers and whatnot. The most recent case that I did suturing on was a guy who had his fingers caught in an automated chainlink. The motion hauled him across for a few feet before the bit of flesh gave way and freed him off it.

The hospital’s near a skiing resort, so we do get a fair bit of skiing injuries. Majority of them came in after taking a tumble through the snow. One fellow, however, stood out amongst the usual.

This is a fairly young kiddo. When I first had a look at him, I thought, “What an unusual position to be sitting in”. He was sitting upright on the bed, with both of his arms splayed out and palms upwards. I would’ve likened his posturing to one of those common meditative stances except that he looks too miserable to be in a zen-like state.

This is the story. He was drunk in expired grape juice (alcohol!) and had this brilliant idea of seeing if he could dive over a toboggan. So he took a few steps back (after putting down his beer bottle I presume) and started to run for the jump.

Jumped, he did. Dived over, he did not. Dive INTO, more like.

He somehow landed right on top of the hard toboggan with both of his arms out in front of him in an almost 90 degrees angle. Both arms absorbed almost all the impact and it started hurting like hell (in his words). He couldn’t move, as he couldn’t feel his arms.

Thankfully for him, he was found by the ski patrol. I took a look at the patrol report and someone wrote “Found in a push-up position”. It took a huge amount of morphine and a smack of sedatives to reduce both arms to a neutral position.

We did an Xray of both shoulders and well, both of them had popped outta their sockets. They were quite badly dislocated and may require reduction under a general anaesthetic.

Honestly, I haven’t done a shoulder reduction before so I needed some advice. The senior doctor on duty thought it’d be worth trying to manipulate both manually under sedation before leaving it for general anaesthetic. Okies.

Before you know it, the poor dude was surrounded by 4 doctors all ready to pop his shoulders back in. Thankfully we sedated him (cause it’d be bloody painful) and managed to somehow reduced both successfully (although at one stage the patient did screamed out while being semi-conscious). I had the grand job of holding his jaw up (as he was going into deep sedation with all those stuffs we’re giving him to knock him out) as the senior doctor wrangled his arm back in place.

The poor fellow must have felt really embarrassed. When we were discharging him, he received a round of advice from concerned/amused staff.

Patient : Bye guys….thanks.

Me : Don’t dive anymore okie?

Nurse : And don’t get drunk!

Another nurse : And not at night, please!

Ward clerk : Yeah no jumping!

Patient : *red faced* Um, I know. Bye and thanks.

Not everything would usually end that light-heartedly.

One cold winter morning, a nurse walked into ED and announced “I need a doctor to step out with me”.

I just started my shift not long ago, and have yet to be attached to any patient. I thought okie no problem. Apparently they wanted a doctor to see this patient outside.

She led the way, and we ended up in the car park. Along the way there, I was informed that I’ll be certifying a DOA (Dead on arrival).

I must say I’ve never examined a patient at the back of a van before, let alone a deceased one.

The undertaker pulled open the boot of the van and there he was, all wrapped up and on a stretcher. I looked at the undertaker questioningly, and went “Do I examine him right here?”.

“Yeah do your thing”, he hollered. His voice almost inaudible against the howling wind.

Okie. We unwrapped the plastic sheets. The man looked, well, dead. His face was dusky blue and motionless. This man had a collapse in the outdoors and they were unable to revive him. Sounded like he had a massive heart attack.

It was over in 10 minutes. Silent chest and unresponsive pupils. I made sure I listened to his chest for at least a good minute or so to minimise my chances of missing some signs of life. I could hear the undertaker in the background talking to the nurse about how one guy woke up and found himself in the morgue. Apparently he was just unconscious but was declared dead by…um, mistake. Yikes.

Certified him dead. Undertaker re-wrapped the body and we headed back in.

I did wonder, what if that guy’s family decided he is to be cremated (wrongly believing that he’s permanantly gone)…and if he hadn’t woken up in time? That’s gotta be one effing big screw-up, man.

Anyway, gotta get back to my packing.

Weekend’s the only time I’m able to do my laundry. Gotta do the washing, drying, and the ironing before tossing them all back into my bag for the coming week (at rural). I was spending way too much time this weekend watching anime (I think i sat through 15-20 episodes of Naruto Shippuden) and am gonna have to resort to some last-minute packing.

Hmmm…seems like the entire Konoha village is entrapped and they’re about to fight. I’ll uh…do my packing tomorrow I guess *smiles sheepishly*.

If only I knew Kage Bunshin.

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4 Responses to “Of cows and Kage Bunshin”

  1. Megalodon said

    A cow with red Kyubi eyes. Now I won’t sleep tonight.

  2. It would be cool to see how the cows form the hand seals. Just imagine.

  3. Johnud said

    How you find ideas for articles, I am always lack of new ideas for articles. Some tips would be great

    • Most of them are actually random ideas/inspiration stemming from daily observations.

      I do get writer’s block on and off though, but I think I tend to write in a ‘thinking aloud’ manner which made it seem like there’s a lot to be read =P

      Probably just write what comes to your mind; express yourself naturally. Hope this helped a bit somewhat.

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