Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not Dead Yet

 No, nothing is wrong.  I just haven't been posting because I haven't done much fun or exciting lately.  My mom told me that she's worried when I don't write, so I'll just type up a quick synopsis of the last few days.

Started with ACLS training in the morning.  This was pretty boring as well since we were just going over EKG basics.  (They say ECG here so it gets kinda confusing.)  We were all a little bored in the class. However, we still got the afternoon off.  Megan was more devout than the rest of us and attended Ash Wednesday Mass - she got ashed and everything.
I've been working on my tan, and my reading.  I've read 4 books already this trip and am on book #5. (Thank you to Carol and Shannon for giving me their cast-offs).  I'm excited to stop in Seoul where I'm going to let myself buy a new book for the plane ride home.
Wednesday evening we were all craving Mexican food.  We filled the fridge with beer and bought all the supplies.  Now we have to be a little creative when it comes to cooking because we've got limited pots and pans.  We made ground beef in a pot and some shrimp in a pan.  We tried to marinate the shrimp in oil, salt and pepper, but the coldness of the shrimp caused the oil to congeal - less than desirable.  We aren't used to using palm oil that has been processed and bleached - no olive oil here. (Or it's just super expensive.)  Dinner was still amazing and we got our Mexican fix.  We finished the night with a card game of "Up and Down the River".  We had a blast and it was some good roommate bonding time.
Another reason I wasn't blogging was that all the experiences people have been having lately have been bad in the hospital.  Erica and Megan won't soon forget a bad day on Labor and Delivery.  There just aren't the same patient rules here, lots of yelling and not very nice things.  No need for gory details, but it wasn't a good day.

Last day of ACLS.  This was actually very useful as we went over algorithms for running codes - something we will all be responsible for in a couple of months.  It sunk in better this time - maybe because I had to concentrate so hard on their accents.  Again, we just had a half day so I resumed my suntanning and finished another book.  Heather and Shannon enjoyed mango ice cream.  Carol got to hob-knob with the elite at a Family Medicine conference in a ritzy hotel.  I'll let her tell you about it later.
Dinner was made by Megan and Erica - pancakes and a giant egg-omelet made in a pot.  It was very tasty.  The pancake mix here is "vanilla" flavored - very sweet.  It was another good home-cooked meal - we're trying to save some $$$.  Some more card games went down and we hit the hay.

Returned to the ED with open arms.  I got to do a few more procedures and see some interesting patients.  We enjoyed talking to the residents and students and gave them some of our leftover gloves and masks.  We left early for lunch and now I'm going to go back to work on the tan and my 5th book.  I could go do some more sightseeing but I'm not going to lie, I'm not feeling the best. 
The rest of the room is going to go see the Taal volcano tomorrow.  I'm sure they'll have lots to tell about that.  (I don't want to be without reliable bathrooms, and I don't think my stomach will agree to another 2 1/2 hour car ride. :(  ).  I will instead go to the ED and see what I can see.
I'm seriously considering going and purchasing some basic supplies (IV's, blood vials, O2 masks, etc).  If I spent just $50 they would have supplies for a few days at least.  They really made things last - it's really sad.  They're re-using syringes, changing the needles though.  They'll label one for "Antibiotics" and another for "Lidocaine" and re-use it over and over again.  One resident told me that one syringe should last a minimum of 24 hours.  If you knew the amount of syringes we go through for one patient back in the States........ They also keep asking us to "remember them" when we're wealthy and to send them supplies.  This whole system is crazy and something here needs to change.  It's been a real eye-opener for all of us.

Other than that I've been helping Bry to pack over the phone.  He leaves in just 3 days (for me) so i'll get to see him in 4 days.  Pretty excited to show him around (and show him off!!) - this will be his first overseas experience and I hope he likes it. (I plan on making him travel a lot more in the future!)

So I'll try to be better with the blog.  Maybe you could write in questions in the **Please Comment** section if you have any and we'll try to answer them.


  1. Good Morning (Friday) Abigail and Room Mates!
    I enjoyed your call last night (and Bry's) I have become accustomed to starting my days by reading your was good to hear that you all are okay (hope that you start to feel better soon, Abi) Your experiences these past weeks will be wonderful for all of you to carry with you as you leave MCW. When you talk about the lack of basic supplies, it makes me feel very grateful for the health care that we have access to. Questions.......what was your most adventurous cuisine try? what was your most frightening moment? what was your favorite restaurant? your favorite store? your most extravegant purchase? your favorite drink? the one thing that you missed the most? Have a wonderful weekend! Love from Mom

  2. Drinking Merlot and watching Pride & Prejudice. Don't worry, I'll be ready to do that all again when you come visit.