My Rest Day… Gone!

22 Apr

WARNING: This is again another self-serving blog entry. Read at your own risk.

Thursday is supposed to be my rest day, a day for me to rejuvenate and be at peace with myself. On these days, I don’t do outpatient consultation. What I only do is rounds if I have inpatients, go to class if I have one, and then work out. Sometimes, I pamper myself as well. But April 19th, 2012 was different. The original plan for the day was:

1. rounds of inpatients

2. lecture on “breastfeeding of infants with special needs” by 11 am

3. wait for delivery of one baby, which I estimated to take place by lunch time

4. rest or roam around

5. workout by 4:30 onwards

(Photo courtesy:

This is what actually happened

I slept already at almost 1am of the night before..

6:15 am… my mother called me to inform me that my nephew and aunt will be bringing my laundry. After that I tried to reclaim my sleep but I really cant doze off anymore.

My aunt and nephew arrived, did their thing then left. Since I can’t go back to sleep, I stayed online.

8:30 am… hospital called, the mother’s labor didn’t progress as expected, so she was scheduled for cesarean delivery at 9am. (Huuuwaaat? And to think I even haven’t prepped to go out yet!) I rushed then to shower and when ready, drove fast but alas, traffic trapped me.

9:28 am… arrived at the hospital. Damn, I am sooo late. But as I entered the operating room, the anesthesia was just inducted. Hoooray! I made it to cutting time. haha

10:06 am… baby came out. While waiting for baby to nurse from her mom, I asked permission from the OB to go to other hospital, do my quick rounds at the same time get the VGA cable of my ipad that I will use to lecture in a few minutes. I proceeded to a nearby hospital but came back real quick. Upon arrival, true to my expectation, baby was still suckling. I got ready already for my lecture.

11 am-12 nn… delivered my lecture to the newly hired employees of the hospital. This is in keeping with the hospital’s Mother and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative certification. Then I had my lunch. After which, I went to my last hospital stop.

1:30 pm… I arrived home. Checked some tweets and messages then decided to take a nap. I set my alarm at 3 pm so I could go to Camp John Hay later to buy something before proceeding to my work out. I conked out at 1:45pm…

2:15 pm… While asleep, I got awaken by a phone call. An OB was referring her patient for pedia care. The mother is on her 32 weeks of pregnancy but is currently in labor. She will be admitted for control of labor… Okay, again, interrupted sleep. Now I was beginning to ask, where is my rest heading? Will I be able to consummate my siesta?

2:38 pm… the OB called me again that the patient is scheduled for emergency cesarean section as her labor is nonstop. “Come to the hospital now,” that’s what she said.

What’s happening to my rest day???? This cannot be!!!

BUT… duty prevailed. So I then proceeded to the hospital. While waiting for the cutting time, I was only informed at that moment that the preterm baby to be delivered is twins! Oh good Lord. Now I panicked. The only consolation I have was that the baby is already 32 weeks as per ultrasound aging. The OB didn’t already inform me of the expected weight.

4:00 and 4:01 pm, the baby boys came out respectively. I was supposed to be doing again the Unang Yakap, but I noticed that both has difficulty establishing a good respiratory effort so they were brought to the NICU for further care. Both have respiratory distress syndrome due to surfactant deficiency. Oh, and yes, they were younger than the estimated age at 31 weeks. Both were on mechanical ventilatory support and both needed surfactant replacement therapy. The father was willing to provide said medicine so off he went to buy them. I did all the necessary procedures – intubation, umbilical vascular catheterization for both, alone. The resident never bothered to peek or assist me. At 8:15pm, the father arrived. So I instilled the surfactant into the lungs of both babies.

8:21 pm… I was done. Finally!!! I left the hospital… Sigh, I missed my workout for the day… So I went to Camp John Hay instead to buy what I intended to, then went home.

As I sit and write this, I am again waiting for a mom to deliver a preterm baby, with premature rupture of membranes. Boy, this one’s again risky.

I am not complaining here… I’m just describing one of the days that happen in my life, and I was hoping that it wont happen again on my supposed rest day. I do acknowledge and realize the importance of rest and break in a physician’s life as this is one manner that helps us maintain sanity and avoid early burn out from the practice of profession. So I guess, better luck next time dear self.

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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Personal


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