today i was “that med student”. the one who almost fainted in surgery T___T. it wasn’t because anything was grossing me out or anything, but i’d only eaten a small pack of (old) wheat thins around 6am, had no water, and was sleep deprived, so by the time we did the 2nd part of a surgery we thought was over at first (~12:30pm), i started feeling the familiar signs of hypoglycemia… except this time, i think partly because i had a mask on, the normal semi-hyperventilation blocked out all of the oxygen much quicker, and so after just a minute or so, i was about ready to pass out. so i had to say that, and they told me to sit on the floor, (and i almost tripped/yanked a cord out of the upper level’s head lights on the way down -.-||), and then the nurses had to help me, and it was just all so blah and embarrassing to have to take their time away from the patient just because i was hypoglycemic. it was a little worse than usual though – this time both hands/arms got numb up to the elbows, and my hearing was fading/everything was muffled, and i was definitely woozy and not getting enough air. they even brought out a bed for me so i could lie down and stuff, and brought me the little juice containers and crackers. after the first juice container, i was already feeling a lot better. they took my blood pressure and glucose, which were normal, but still wanted me to go to the ED, but i really didn’t want to, so finally convinced them i was ok and went back soon after consuming a couple cracker packets and resting a little bit. but yeah T__T. lesson learned – always bring a snack bar with you just in case.
in a way it was also a good experience in that maybe i might not be cut out for surgery after all, simply due to physical demands. i do think i like the idea of being able to take care of people emergently, and working with my hands, but i don’t think i can take the long hours of standing and such with surgery, even though in a way it’s almost like doing stuff for cosplay (lots of sewing and meticulous work). though also i feel somewhat uncomfortable with it because for example today, we did an ex-lap on a woman who came in with 2 gunshot wounds, which we packed with some shoe-string-esque stuff, but it turned out there was nothing in her belly at all, and as we were closing, we realized we had to open up her leg too, as her sup. fem artery accidentally got nicked while attempting to put in a catheter, and was the reason for her hypotension (and later development of a hematoma) in the trauma bay, rather than the gunshot wounds. and then later, they had trouble getting a woman intubated, and so had cut open her skin in preparation to do an emergency crich, but luckily they were able to intubate so it wasn’t necessary, but they still had to sew that back up. both were kind of “unnecessary” procedures that these people will now have scars and potential complications from in the future because they came into the ER with these traumas. and i don’t think it’s fair to say that was wrong of them to do either, given the circumstances, but it just doesn’t sit well with me if i was the one causing those injuries that a patient would have to then live with the rest of their lives. so after talking to one of the interns, maybe EM actually is a good fit for me, but on the other hand, the shift work time is pretty bad for one’s health too, so i don’t know. gah. so at the moment, my thought is maybe i can train as an EM doc, but have an integrative medicine clinic on the side where i also use TCM principles to treat patients? one of the integrative med docs here is an EM trained doc who changed into that after all. that way, i’d get to have both the emergent care and follow-up setting that i like. the only question after that is where the heck research (and family life i guess) would fall in all of that. T__T. sigh. oh well, something will work out eventually, i hope.
also was debating whether to go back to the trauma bay after lecture because i’d heard a plane was coming in from houston, and thought it might be a good experience to be there during a crisis and see if i could help out. but i was still not feeling well after lecture so didn’t want to be a liability (still hadn’t gotten food besides the crackers and juice) and after i came back and showered/got food, the sky started looking like rain and then i had a mini fruit-fly fiasco at my place, so went to the bccc prayer meeting 2 doors down instead. but hope i can see some of those patients at pre-rounding tomorrow!