Attention, book lovers!


Earlier this year, I created a book club group on Facebook.  However, only my friends joined and we all were too busy to commit. Now using my cousin’s help, we have revived and expanded our deserted book club into a full, running blog.
Please help us grow by following  and sharing!
:)

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White-coated ramblings: (7) Death happens.


Source: Google images.

Ever since my first shift at Internal Medicine rotation, I’ve accustomed myself to the fact that people die all the time; Internal Medicine  wards are the terminal station for the chronically ill, and I came to believe that Death lives in there. But I have always dreaded the moment I would witness someone die. It happened today.

In an Egyptian governmental hospital, It’s always the same scenario; relatives insanely knock your door asking you to come see the patient because he had “fallen silent”. He was an 80-something man with multi-system issues, and his pulse had gone unpalpable. My heart sank. My shift had almost ended, and I was there, on my own. He was on a wheelchair. Some worker should move him to a trolly so we rush him to the ER while I start CPR, but nobody was there. There’s only one working elevator at the floor that serves doctors, patients, and their relatives, so when arrests happen, you have to run to that one elevator and knock heavily shouting “arrest!” in order to get it as fast as possible. Meanwhile, the patient was still on the wheelchair, pulseless.

He got to the ER on the wheelchair, and CPR was started only when we moved him to a bed at the arrest room. I was afraid perhaps he would die because I was too slow, but then after all, I was on my own, and I did all it took to rush him there. Things get easier at the ER, at least there are residents with more experience than a lonely house officer.

“It’s too late, let him die in peace.” The resident said after multiple cycles of resuscitation.I froze.

“Wait, there’s pulse, he came back!” Said the nurse. He did come back, and I wanted to hug him for that. I think I was the only one in the room who was very thankful. To be honest, a part of me didn’t want him to die in my shift.

Then he had gone once again, we resuscitated. He came back again, but then he had gone for good.

And there I stood, facing a dead man in a room full of people who bore no emotion for him. I don’t know why I held his hand for a moment, but I kept staring at him, a part of me hoping for another comeback, and the other part relieved it was finally over. An eerie feeling. But then, this is life, and death happens.

iRead: (9) On writing.


Source: Goodreads.

“Some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King.

This book is a winning deal! Very handy and concise. Not only does it outline very crucial tips on writing, but also help you apply them. I couldn’t stop highlighting!

What I loved most was Stephen King’s personal touch; before discussing the essentials of writing, he had to tell us what he went through on his way as a best seller, and how it made him who he now is. He received tens of rejections (if not hundreds), he had drinking problems (actually was an alcoholic and cocaine addict), and experienced a near-death tragedy. Also, most importantly, he acknowledged his wife’s support!

I’m in no need to say that each and every tip in this book is an extract of years of hard work and is worth following. After all, I do trust the King! ;)

White-coated ramblings: (6) The devil wears a white gown!


Previously in “white-coated ramblings”:

“Let’s just state the fact that crying kids are my least favorite creatures. Sick-screaming kids, on the other hand, are my personal imagination of an alien master plot to dominate earth.”

Okay, now it turns out sick kids are the sweetest creatures ever existed, because when it comes to women in labor, well… that’s what I believe is the core of all villainy!

You think I’m exaggerating? No sir! Try having a 12-hour shift at a room with a minimum of 6 women, each one screams her guts out, each one begs and pleads “I can’t!”, “Stop it!”, “Oh God!” or “I need an analgesic!”, and each one is being yelled at to shut the hell up! I have no idea how they manage to synchronize their screams! And you’re supposed, amid  all this chaos, to think and function. You have to measure their blood pressure, pulse, and temperature every hour (by the time you’re done, the next hour has already begun), you have to obtain blood samples, insert cannulae in these demons, and you have to watch how every uterine contraction is transmitted into a complex facial expression of severe agony!

And then comes the “PUSH” phase. Oh, did I mention how giving birth is painfully disgusting??

It’s been a month, and I’ve taken shifts almost everyday. My circadian rhythm is doomed for good, and my caffeine dependence has turned into addiction. So can’t we  just accept that women in white gowns are devils in disguise?!

Source: Google images.

White-coated ramblings: (5) It pays off, doesn’t it?!


Breaking news: I got my first ever salary today!

But do you know how much an Egyptian fresh-graduate doctor makes monthly?

257 Egyptian pounds; that makes 36.11 dollars! Yes, I’m a doctor, but our maid makes triple my salary!

But it was never about the money, was it? *Sighs*

That’s for 2 months!

White-coated ramblings: (4) I just need to whine..


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Oh how I hate this place!

You can be an ***hole, and you can be an Ob/Gyn resident, but I repeat myself!

Well, everybody hates Ob/Gyn rounds. It’s not just the heavy work and floods of patients, it’s also just about everything else you can imagine. I’ve been only 2 weeks through and I’ve never been so miserable!

For starters, you have like 20 twelve-hour shifts per month. Although ERs are closed until further notice (nobody knows why, probably for political reasons), the lack of patients’ flow doesn’t exempt you from being there. You just have to show up everyday to do some lame tasks and bear with all the crap and nonsense your residents come up with. You’re not allowed to leave until the last minute of your shift, why? Because residents say so! You have to put up with their vulgarity and rudeness, because there is no other way.

The only achievement I can count is crossing “scrub in” off my bucket list. Yet, surprisingly, I haven’t found any thrill in surgeries; it’s too boring! I have to say I haven’t learnt a thing so far, and I dread the moment I go home because it means tomorrow’s coming and I’ll have to go back again. Yes, I’m that miserable!

Source: Google images.

Camping with NaNoWriMo!


Whining about my hospital duties almost made me forget, I have been a NaNoWriMo camper the past month. Although I haven’t met my writing goal, I can count myself a winner; because all my past novelling trials haven’t exceeded 3-4 chapters. This time, however, I managed to write 21 chapters! I am quite certain most of it will end up in trash, but that is just the natural course of writing; you write, delete, write again, delete again, until you wind up having something that wasn’t even on your mind when you started.

My goal was 20000 words, and I ended up with 16899, 5047 words of which I wrote on the last day; that’s a record! I could have cheated and set my time zone to the US timing, and won 7 more hours, but I was pretty satisfied (also pretty tired that my fingers were tingling)!

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The hard work isn’t over, but I think I’m ready to win the next July camp! ;) :D

iRead: (8) And The Mountains Echoed.


Source: Goodreads.com

“I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.” 

I started this book because it was picked in my book club, but I knew I was falling in love the moment I began reading.  Like all Khaled Husseni’s works, the book is simultaneously a heart-warming and heart-breaking story. I love everything about his style; the way he can smoothly paint full scenes that burst with color and engaging details, and how he effortlessly makes you smile and cry in one moment.

The novel is a blend of pain, loss, and remorse, as well as hope and longing.  When I reached the last few lines, I wished the book went beyond the 404 pages it was confined to..

“They tell me I must wade into waters, where I will soon drown. Before I march in, I leave this on the shore for you. I pray you find it, sister, so you will know what was in my heart as I went under.”