Today, I officially start my rotation at the Department of Internal Medicine.
*Big deep sigh*
I’m gonna miss surgery. I’m going to miss stitching people back together again. Like the time I put a patient’s head back on. Or the time this pimply-faced lad (looking back, I think perhaps he’d benefit from natural acne treatment) asked me if I could sew him back up without leaving any marks on his badly cut-up arm…
It happened one warm and humid night. Being a solo intern, I was faced with a deluge of patients. Banged up motorcyclists, abused wives, kids with broken arms, someone with a ruptured appendix. It was in this melee when this kid shows up holding his left arm in his right hand. The arm was wrapped in a t-shirt. A bloody t-shirt.
Me (exasperated): Cosa ya tambien se? (What the h*** happened?)
Kid with the hurt arm (dolefully): Yan accidente na Gillette. (I had an accident with a Gillette blade)
I knew what this meant. Gillette blades meant only one thing. This kid was a cutter. Since I already finished attending to most of my patients, I had the kid lie down so I could take a look at his wounds and make sure that he isn’t bleeding heavily. My suspicions were confirmed as I unwrapped the t-shirt and beheld his macerated arm. It was full of neat, horizontal cuts from his wrist, up to the crook of his arm. One cut in particular was bleeding nastily, with bright red arterial blood spurting out onto the floor with every beat of his heart. I told him that I would need to tie that artery up and that he would need stitches on his arm. I also asked him why he did it.
After a long pause…
Kid with the hurt arm (tearfully): Malacara kasi yo, manada pimples. (I’m ugly, I’ve got lots of pimples)
Me (In a soothing voice): Kien se ya abla? Numa ya tu pone attention na maga cosa ta habla maga otro hente. Importante, ta respeta tu dituyu cuerpo. Keber cosa sila ta habla! (Don’t mind what other people say. The important thing is, you respect yourself. Don’t let other people get you down)
Pimply-faced kid (sobbing now): Ya deja kasi le comigo. Ya anda sigi na otro hombre. Ma-pimples gad kasi daw yo. Nukere ma yo vivi! (She left me! She left me for another guy. She says I’ve got lots of pimples. Now I don’t wana live!)
Pimply-faced kid: Doc, si pwede, numa deja keloid. (Doc, if you could, please make it so it won’t scar)
I was about to respond when this girl with big, red pimples rushes over to the stretcher where I am attending to my patient. I assume it was his sister. She screams and wails and asks him why he did it. To my surprise, the kid answers.
Pimply-faced kid (staring accusingly at the pimply faced girl): Ya deja tu comigo! Abla tu ma-pimples yo! Nupwede yo vivi nuay etu! (You left me! You think I’m ugly because I’ve got pimples. Now I don’t wana live without you!)
To my even greater surprise, the girl responds.
Pimply faced girl (eyes big as saucers): Ay pendejo man gale vos! Dapat lang bo muri! Hende yo kel combo ta lama pangit! Kun Raymond yo kel ta abla. Tan pilit gad kasi le man ligaw comigo abla ya gane yo kita ya dos! Busit vos! (You idiot! You deserve to die! I wasn’t calling YOU ugly! I was calling Raymond ugly! He wouldn’t stop courting me even after I told him I was with you. You wasted my time!)
She leaves in a huff.