Saturday, September 5, 2015

Novus Actus Interveniens

Currently dormant on the blogosphere for a variety of reasons:
  • Paucity of time. (5th term is hectic. A certain Sir’s sudden surge in the subject has led to unexpected assignments cropping up out of nowhere and monopolizing the weekends. What began with a harmless blood donation day related poster presentation then led to making mind maps on assigned topics, giving seminars on clinical pathology topics, writing descriptions for museum specimens and now for the actual (official) assignments in our records! Oh, and I was speaking of only Pathology. 3 other subjects are also demanding to be studied.)
  • No 3G in my new room. (I’ve shifted one floor above (that explains for the lack of exercise) and I can barely get 2G in my current location so blogging has suffered a setback.)
  • Writer’s block. I haven’t been reading much these days. I’ve realized that in my current schedule, I can’t possibly read classics which require long stretches at a time which I’m not able to devote. All I can do is snatch a few minutes during classes, postings or prior to bed. I’m currently reading The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho (thanks to Anu :) ) and it seems to be interesting (prompted my previous post) although the style of writing could have been a few notches higher. 

But today I have decided to blog come what may! So we’re currently in 5th term and our exams are fast approaching (all the faculties take great pains to remind us at every possible instant about this alarming fact.) and we’re now in General Medicine postings after a month of General Surgery.

During these Surgery postings we saw a lot of ulcers (traumatic, diabetic ulcers in aged individuals, trophic ulcers, varicose (venous) ulcers, arterial ulcers and so on..) and swellings (in the neck region, in the inguinal region, lump in the breast, etc ). We also had to present cases (where once again I exhibited my unfailing talent of making a flop show (I must say, I’m getting good at this! -_-) and we had classes as well. Some were taught by the new surgeon Dr Nagaraj who’s joined Subbaiah after his stint in McGann and he seemed to give us some orientation from the examination point of view. Some others were taught by Aarthi ma├ím (where once again I was distracted by that haircut), Gopinath Sir (who looks for opportunities to show us that he can he sarcastic) and of course, the HoD and Principal of the college who can be described as enthusiastic and passionate (to say the least. This is an online platform, after all) and he ensured that our lunch breaks were reduced to a 15 minute affair on numerous occasions. Nevertheless, I saw my first (and only) surgery (appendicectomy) performed by him during these postings. (an interesting, yet odd experience)

Another interesting update that I must mention is about Pathology. So in an earlier post I’d mentioned about the preliminary round of a Pathology quiz held in our class. As luck would have it, 10 of us were selected for the next round and a quiz was conducted for 5 teams of two participants. We weren’t really given much help regarding the quiz but we just told to read as we normally would and prepare for some embarrassment. As things unfolded, BP and I were a team while Abhi and Bharat were another. The formation of teams was a major confusion created quite a bit of pandemonium. In the weekend leading up to the quiz, the tension was palpable in the air and I was at my wit’s end given that there was also a CSF analysis to be presented on the same afternoon. BP and I spent a good part of the weekend reviewing people and topics of interest over the internet and that proved to be a boon to us the following day. The quiz was interesting we managed to open our account in the first round with a few guesses of the names of the scientists and other famous people. (Giemsa, Barbara McLintock, Papanicolou, Henrietta Lacks..) We faltered in the following rounds, partly due to our carelessness (Fat Embolism) and partly due to stupidity (Etiology) but we tried to cover up for it in the Rapid Fire. We came a close second with 80 points after Abhi and Bharat with 85, and this means that come 26th September, we will head to SDM Medical College, Dharwad for the Pathology Quiz. About the quiz, we need to study a LOTLOTLOT more than what we’re doing right now but Time is just not with us these days given that there is barely time to breathe in the midst of classes, postings, labs studies, records, assignments and yes, some time to unwind with friends..

As for the CSF analysis, we were a group of 5 and there was some or the contribution from 80% of us. 

(Not many people actually caught this bit. :P )

Technical Support:
Script: Karthik BV and Pawan
Videography: Harshit Krishna and Rajesh KH
Narrator: Jayashree Rao

I spoke about the indications for analyzing CerebroSpinal Fluid, the procedure and instruments used in Lumbar Puncture, the physical and biochemical analysis of CSF to differentiate between various etiologies of meningitis, CSF rhinorrhea and some other pointers that must be remembered while examining CSF (eg: one must analyze the sample within an hour of collection, one must not refrigerate the sample and so on.. ) Unfortunately for him, V Sir had to leave the middle of it but luckily for me it came an end without any major hiccup (or cough, literally speaking!)

Recently watched Phantom with friends and we followed this up with dinner at Anmol where we discussed the most controversial topics over the meal but it was an interesting evening on the whole. Off late, I haven’t been too choosy about the movies I’ve watched but we generally have a good time as we go as a group and have fun. Phantom made for a mildly interesting watch although it seems to be too fast paced with minimal room for interpersonal interaction. 

My current soundtrack includes:

  • Gulabi (A slightly old song, from Shuddh Desi Romance but I’ve developed a fondness for it recently. The MTV unplugged version has a vibrant twinge to it so that’s better than the original in my opinion)
  • Saware (by Arijit Singh, from Phantom)
  • Chal Wahaan Jathe Hai (Arijit Singh)
  • Tu Hi Re (an old song sung by Hariharan and Chitra)
  • E Sanje and Dennana Dennana (Flute version) from the movie Rangitaranga

Often, I wonder how is it that some can let go and adapt so instantaneously while others take longer and some take forever. Is it all so ephemeral and fake? Is that what life really is about? Moving from one character to another from time to time? It comes down to this: There are some who attach much meaning to their relations with others, relationships, events, places and everything adds on to their memories. You could say they value every little thing in life, from a broken gift from a now distanced friend which they will refuse to throw away to every person whom they befriend /get acquainted with. And there are others who also have the same friendships, relations and so on, except that they do not attach meaning to everything in life. In such instances, it is easier to walk in and out of situations because there is a lot less baggage and bother. They are also less affected by changes, sudden shift of circumstances and any oscillations. Often, I wonder, which is the path to tread? In this fast paced world, it may seem appropriate to choose the second path because the first path is a classic case of thinking from the heart and not from the brain (although being a medical student, I must refrain from using such unscientific terms) and often only leads to disappointment. But the second one seems too mechanical and business-like to me. It might be the smarter decision but it may not be the one that makes me happy. It takes the innocence out of life if we can be so dissociated from what we feel and what we do. It might make me seem like a fool, but more often than not, I end up in the first case.

Coming to other matters of note, it appears that there will be no definitive changes in my boarding and lodging beginning in the near future. There has been a lot of confusion over this recently and I am mentally fatigued by thinking about the possible outcomes. I realized that I must be flexible to change, to adapt and evolve as the circumstances expect me to. I realize that happiness is every person’s birthright and I cannot covet that of another by my stubbornness. When you’re number is up, they’ll find you. I’m trying hard not to think too much or too far ahead or assume too much but just hope for the best and take it as it comes. It might seem irrational, unnecessary and daunting but it might bring the change that we are looking for. If I don’t believe that it will be possible, who else will?  Yet again, being reminded that there is an eerie resemblance to such events that occurred in the past, this whole concept appears daunting. There is a lot at stake and there is the fear of being left in the lurch but if I realize that I must let go of the cloud of negativity hovering above me and prepare to face the challenges as they come. After all, people take turns in a battle. One must enter the warzone when his compatriot is wounded.

It appears that I have blabbered endlessly and bored you all, yet I am filled with contentment. Nothing clears my head like a nice long blog post! :D