On a Saturday

I have not been feeling my best self this week. All these online clerkship duties are draining my energy. My anxiety is once again taking a toll on me. I knew I need to draw inspiration from something or some sort of motivation from someone.

I also knew that miracles happen on Saturdays.

Today is an unusual Saturday for me. I woke up and I wanted to go to church with my brother but I had to stay home because I have online duties for the hospital I have to attend. But an unplanned dinner happened. I went to a local vegan cafe to meet my brother and his friends who just came from the church. We were chatting and laughing about silly things over vegan mi goreng and beans nachos.

It so happened that one of my brother’s friends is a doctor. I knew him since I was in high school and I was looking up to him since then. I asked him a favor (well through my brother, technically) about my immunizations — a prescription for MMR. After the dinner, we headed to our home where they stayed for another two or three hours. And this is where all the cringe happened…

He asked me to encode the prescription myself so I can print a hard copy before he signs. I felt so dumb I forgot all the things I learned in Pharmacology Class about writing a prescription. I’m feeling all the tension in my head but I tried my best to hide it. Lol.

What Captain Raymond Holt is to Amy Santiago is what this person is to me. I’ve been looking up to him since I was in high school and he has no idea how much he has inspired me and influenced me in a lot of ways. I cannot be dumb in front of him. At that moment, if there is one opinion of me that matters it was his. Do you get what I mean? What I feel? It’s basically a fan-girling moment.

So I encoded the prescription on my iPad and had him check it before I sent it to the printer. The thing is I overestimated the size of the paper so when it came out of the printer, it’s a poster-size prescription. Hahahaha. So I had to edit again for three or four times before I finally printed the right size. My fan-girling moment turned into a face-palm moment.

But wait, there’s more…

I initially just wrote the drug on the prescription without adding in the subscription and the label. So he has to dictate to me what I needed to write. I felt elated because he is teaching me but I also felt so stupid because this is basic medical knowledge and I have no idea what I am doing. When I asked him if he can also administer the vaccine once I acquire it from the pharmacy, he told me I can administer it myself. HERE’S THE THING — I FORGOT THE ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION FOR THIS VACCINE. Shame. So for a moment I was blank. I was trying to recall that table from pediatrics. All live vaccines are administered subcutaneously. What are the live vaccines again? Come on, brain, cooperate.

I was spiraling. I cannot think of anything and my mind just went black. Hindi ko po ba sa deltoid i-iinject, I asked dumbly. LOL. Another face palm moment. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. I’m acting stupid in front of the person I look up to. I can’t read his reactions. He’s probably judging me already. Or he probably didn’t even notice how dumb I was. Or maybe he understands because I’m still a medical student. But I am cringe-ing from deep down my very soul.

A moment of silence and he replied. That’s administered SubQ. You can inject that yourself in your abdomen. My memory began working for a second. Ahhh like how diabetics administer insulin, I replied trying to sound smarter and make-up for all my dumbness minutes ago.

It’s probably just nothing to him. But what happened tonight is a big deal for me. I realized how lacking I was and suddenly a rush of brand new inspiration came in. I knew I should do better, I should read more, study more. I can’t become a doctor who doesn’t know how to write a prescription and who has no idea how to administer a vaccine. These things are basic medical knowledge and I should’ve mastered them now.

It took me about 5-minutes of dumb moments in front of somebody I look up to to regain inspiration and motivation for this new week. I’ll be on the Pediatrics Department starting tomorrow and I know I should do better.

I will remember this day.

On a Saturday, I learned that MMR is administered subcutaneously. I also learned that dumb moments can teach us things our smart moments cannot.

On a Saturday, I regained motivation. I knew I must do better.

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