Monday, November 17, 2008

Luminescence of Darkness

Around us fear, descending
Darkness of fear above
And in my heart how deep unending
Ache of love!

I’ve been having these intense migraines recently. And no, they’re not just in my head. They’re real and they’re no less than excruciating. At times I could feel my head throbbing in sync with my heartbeat, it’s as if something in my skull is about to burst, and it’ll leave me unconscious, in coma, or in my deathbed.

My intensivist, who diagnosed me as having these tension-type headaches, gave me prn (as necessary) medications every time I’m in such pain, to which I am fully compliant. However, as tolerance sets in, the same dose which used to be effective no longer affords relief when I take it now. And as I take more of them pills, the nasty side effects tend to predominate. Making me sedated, nauseated, vertiginous, and short of breath inasmuch than being painless.

I was advised on having a cranial CT scan once they recur, and I have long been planning on undergoing one but…

It has been exactly one year since I started my professional career in healthcare. Everyday, patients come into our beds, and they go, and for us, every other patient that comes in is nothing more than another opportunity for learning. Every body is a living piece of learning apparatus. Every heart beat a chance of learning about cardiac murmurs. Every lung an opportunity of learning roentgenographic interpretations. Every patient history a chance of discovering a part of themselves. And every patient interview a chance of gaining their most elusive trust.

Looking back on the thousand of patient histories I have in my recently emptied locker, I couldn’t help but wonder what made me different from the rest of these patients seemingly lying on their own deathbeds.

I experience the same chest pain. I do experience the same fatigue. I have had the same shortness of breath. And now I have the same headaches.

A month ago, I admitted one of our institution’s most b
rilliant Hematologist-Oncologist whose chief complaint was a mere headache. She had had a tumor excised a year ago but it recurred again, this time, more aggressive and malignant. She no longer has that same spunk back when we used to join her in the rounds. She’s lying there, almost in the brink of death, fighting against the disease she strived so hard to conquer. At times I’m left with nothing to say but maybe, now, the joke was on her.

Her headache, a malignant anaplastic astrocytoma. The other guy’s chest pain, a triple vessel Coronary Artery Disease. That lady’s bloatedness, a leaking Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. That man’s difficulty of swallowing, anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.

And my headaches? It’s better that I know no further.

They say that knowledge is power. That the more you know about life, the more equipped you’ll become in conquering life’s challenges day in and day out.

Or is it really better that we know everything?

I know that I have to eventually discover what the hell is wrong with my head but for now, let me find solace in the uncertainty. Spare me the diagnosis and let me cope with the fear in my own terms.

There are so many things we have to know. We have to know we have what it takes. We have to know how to take care of our patients... and how to take care of each other. Eventually, we even have to figure out how to take care of ourselves.

As surgeons we have to be in the know. But as human beings, sometimes it's better to stay in the dark, because in the dark there may be fear, but there's also hope.


Mr. Scheez said...

Oh dahlen, we have the same problem. I have this recurring headaches/migraines lately. And honestly, like you, I don't wanna know what causes it. At least for now.

You take care love =)

meow said...

pls consult a neurologist or pain specialist,baka makatulong...

hema-onco in ust ba ito?

dabo said...

ganun ba.

God bless nurse Ruff. Maayos din ang lahat..

Mugen said...

Sana maging okay lang ang lahat. Take care!

Salamat nga pala sa iyong get well comment sa blog ko.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@mr. scheez: i'm planning to have my head scanned. just not now. probably when another attack sets in.
~for now, i'm happy with sumatriptan. :-)

@meow: yeah, i'm actually going to. it just feels odd to see my potential attending's lurking in the hospital halls where i actually do work.
~and to answer your question, yes. :-(

@dave: this, too, shall pass.

@mugen: i do hope too. and get well soon.

meow said...

with the SE you enumerated, naka opioid kaw?

naku, i know her, gvp. God bless her. i had my share of embarassment. i wish her well.

pagaling ka! God bless you!

jericho said...

nursie ruff, hope it turns out not that serious. to know or not to know ... always a hard choice. :)

Bryan Anthony the First said...

ingat ka sa dark, malamok,
just cheerin' you up
hope things get well

Bryan Anthony the First said...

ingat ka sa dark, malamok,
just cheerin' you up
hope things get well

icka said...

i haven't visited you for a long time.take it easy. don't work too much. take care of yourself, ayt?

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@meow: yup i was. i was never more prurient than ever. thanks for the well-wishes. btw, is this your blog? will add you on my list awkei?
~god bless her, gvp, on my last duty she's on a dnr status already, bp's going down as well. :-(

@jericho: the headaches haven't recurred in a while, the next time they happen, i'll definitely have my head scanned, i promise.

@bryan anthony I: aside from that, i'm now veering away from caffeine, cholesterol, salt, and soda -- the sweetest things in life. i hate migraine!

@icka: not in this job icka. :-) but i will, thank you very much. will update your link too.

oakleyses said...

prada outlet, replica watches, nike roshe, ugg boots, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, jordan pas cher, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, louboutin pas cher, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, polo outlet, nike air max, nike free run, oakley sunglasses wholesale, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, tiffany jewelry, nike outlet, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, nike free, kate spade outlet, air max, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, burberry pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, tiffany and co, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, jordan shoes, nike air max, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin uk, michael kors pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches

oakleyses said...

new balance, timberland pas cher, nike roshe run uk, converse pas cher, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, polo lacoste, coach purses, nike tn, nike air force, true religion outlet, sac hermes, michael kors outlet, nike air max, michael kors, michael kors outlet, nike blazer pas cher, true religion jeans, coach outlet store online, lululemon canada, nike air max uk, burberry handbags, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, uggs outlet, true religion outlet, north face uk, coach outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, michael kors outlet online, ralph lauren uk, guess pas cher, kate spade, mulberry uk, michael kors outlet online, ray ban uk, vans pas cher, hollister uk, nike free uk, sac vanessa bruno, uggs outlet, replica handbags, burberry outlet, hogan outlet, north face, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk

oakleyses said...

herve leger, valentino shoes, hollister, nike trainers uk, longchamp uk, iphone cases, mont blanc pens, ghd hair, nike air max, jimmy choo outlet, converse, converse outlet, insanity workout, lancel, beats by dre, nike air max, ralph lauren, mac cosmetics, mcm handbags, oakley, hollister clothing, nike huaraches, nike roshe run, asics running shoes, reebok outlet, timberland boots, vans outlet, ray ban, hermes belt, north face outlet, celine handbags, north face outlet, louboutin, instyler, gucci, abercrombie and fitch, baseball bats, chi flat iron, p90x workout, lululemon, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, soccer jerseys, nfl jerseys, hollister, babyliss, wedding dresses, vans, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes

oakleyses said...

ugg uk, doudoune moncler, canada goose uk, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, canada goose, pandora jewelry, canada goose jackets, canada goose outlet, hollister, supra shoes, canada goose outlet, ugg pas cher, moncler, links of london, canada goose, louis vuitton, replica watches, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, pandora jewelry, wedding dresses, moncler, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, pandora uk, pandora charms, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, moncler outlet, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, swarovski, coach outlet, ugg, moncler, thomas sabo, moncler uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, toms shoes