Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Getting a Neck

I reached the ward roughly at 10 in the morning. The two girls were already there. Dr. C was inside the ward looking for cases for us. And then he came out. He went downstairs to the female ward. All of us, we were just standing there. Talking. Trying to be calm.

Times like those, it's crucial to be calm. Going green and pale will ruin the whole performance. That's what I did. I told myself to be calm. I should not feel nervous. I must not be scared. Heck I tried 4 physical examinations in front of the doctor before. Although 3 times it wasn't a complete one, reason being the patients were too tired.

Finally by 10.30a.m., Dr. C came out of the ward and asked for the first guy in the name list. He went in. The rest of us were waiting, impatiently. The Angel walked down the stairs, and waited in between the 8th floor and the 7th. She looked up on us, trying to make small talks. The rest of us, we couldn't read anything anymore.

15 minutes later, first guy came out. The Angel went in. SC ran up to the first guy and asked about his test. A respiratory examination apparently. So that's what the Angel was going to do as well. I ran through my mind the steps of all those examinations. Those that we're supposed to be all so familiar of. Auscultation of the hearbeats. Listening for crepitations. Yada yada.

15 minutes later, Dr. C and the Angel came out from the ward. "Come," he said. I followed him into the women's ward. It was unusually empty that morning. The medical officers and house officers were doing their rounds. I caught up to Dr. C to a patient. A familiar one too, since we were there last night. She's got a goitre, we all thought it wouldn't be a case since thyroid examination wasn't really the core.

But hell I was wrong.

"Would you do and examination of the neck please?" Dr. C asked.

"The neck?"

"Yes the neck."

I introduced myself. And went over to draw the curtains, trying to kill time running through the steps.

"There's no need to draw the curtains. It's just a neck examination. You can do it in open."

Oookaaay.... I was doomed...

I was fast. I looked. I touched. I knocked. And I listened... And I turned to look at the doctor.

"Done? What else do you want to do?"

I looked at him, totally blank. Raising my shoulder slowly...

"Do you think you've forgotten some examination? Cervical lymph nodes maybe? Isn't it important?"

Yes yes. It is. I'm sorry... And then I presented what I found. That the lump in the neck is a goitre. That it doesn't move with swallowing or tongue protrusion, I mean on inspection. It does move when I was touching it.

"Are you sure?" And he asked the old lady to drink a glass of water.

Damn, it moved.

We proceed. He asked for the assessment of the thyroid. Whether it was hyperthyroid, hypothyroid or just plain enlargement of the gland. "One minute. We're running out of time."

What?! ONE MINUTE?! I ran through my mind what should I be looking for. And all I did was just checking on the pulse. My own pulse was faster than the old lady's. And I'm the one sweating.

"You should also look for the palm, see if it's sweating. The eyes, looking for lid-lag..." He said. "Alright?"

Sigh... KK and another surgery friend were going through the examination of the neck in my room LAST NIGHT! And I was their dummy even. The heck I was furious I couldn't even remember what to do...

The last I remembered I ever did a neck examination was during the class taken by the replacement doctor, when I presented a diabetic case and was slaughtered by the endocrinologist in front of the whole class. She taught us about neck examination that day. But that was like, a month ago! And I never practiced any neck examination since then.

My luck... Thyroid case... (>.>)

"I know you guys don't have much chance of doing any neck examination. So you have to go back and read up alright?" He said.

I came out of the ward. Naved who was also standing along the stairs were went in. Definitely a shocker for him as well. I went to the others and told them it was goner for sure.

"I got a thyroid case." I said.

"WHAT?! NECK!??!?!?!" They exclaimed. "Why the neck?" "We thought only the core systems..." "Shit... now need to read on rheumatology..." "Doomsday!"

Can't help smiling really. I knew everyone would react like that. But on the bright side, I'm done! Weeee!!!

I walked back to the room with the Angel. She said she didn't do as well as she'd expected. But from where I stand, everyone would be performing better than me. They'll get to touch the boobs and the abdomens, of if they're unlucky enough, they may need to touch the feet... Bleh.


came knocking on my door about half an hour later. "Bong! Thyroid case also isit? Die..."

I just smiled. We will survive I'm sure.

14 Jujus:

Ah-Bong said...

can comment ah...

Anonymous said...


eLLe said...

Mine is rheumato, i even missed steps like accessing functions. I can't even answer what Dr.C asked me, I'm damn frustrated~~

Just wish for a pass, won't be too greedy, i think..

Ah-Bong said...

yeah.. keeping fingers crossed to pass as well...

Calvin said... come you have forgotten what to do with the neck? See? That's the consequences of mind wandering about holiday plan during exam. Hahaha!!!

Ah-Bong said...

can comment ah
koala was complaining why the comment link wasnt working.

Bengbeng said...

Are you sure?" And he asked the old lady to drink a glass of water.

Damn, it moved.-> if i were u at that juncture, i would have hoped the floor open and swallow me up :)

savante said...

Muahahaha. Everyone hates physical exams. I hate it too - especially with an audience.

Little Dove said...

Physical exam is always stressful. I got a neuro case!

Ah-Bong said...

bengbeng. that doesnt come in mind at the spur of the moment tho. lol.

savante, didn't know u'd hate it. since u already passed it all.

little dove... NEURO! hahaha. pretty scary one. but thank God i wasn't being brought to the eye clinic. a number of them were brought there for examination of the eye. even freakier...

raeshad said...

before cannot comment la bong bong :D

physical examination is an art of talking confidently, and acting smart even if you don't XD

anyhoo. hope ur results will be ok :D

Ah-Bong said...

things went wrong with blogspot temporarily i think

problem with acting smart is, you have to at least be smart to act smart. hahaha

Bengbeng said...

is he or isn't he? huh?

hahahahhahah i couldn't resist teasing u hahahahahhahha

Ah-Bong said...

bengbeng, tease me how? i tak dapat tangkap pon. :P