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Being Your Family’s Doctor…

As I sat with my friends watching “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, my mom called informing me that my youngest brother had a stomach ache followed by bouts of vomiting. There we go. Took a brief history, examined his abdomen, and came to the conclusion that he most likely had appendicitis. Off to the ER we went after consulting my friends. After a blood test, 200 ml of saline, and an abdominal ultrasound, turned out I was right in the end. He had his laparoscopic-based operation yesterday and he’s still recovering as I write this.

It sounds like I’m bragging, right? Not really. It’s just that I constantly worried that I had the wrong diagnosis even though the case was clear as crystal (pain starting at the umbilicus, radiating to the right lower quadrant)…something that’ll make me look bad in front of my family and possibly worsening my brother’s condition with short delays, which I didn’t want. The ER attending and nurse clouded my expectations since they were not thinking of appendicitis for some reason…maybe due to lack of fever, extreme pain, and rebound tenderness. Medicine does not work like that, though. I learned that you rarely get textbook cases…always shades of grey.

After yesterday I’ve come to realize that I’m my family’s doctor in a way. It’s one of these revelations which has always been in my subconscious but never truly analyzed until now. My mom, younger brother and sister have been coming to me with advice and questions about various complaints, but never an emergency like what happened to my youngest brother. It’s a strange feeling…but for the sake of my family’s well-being I’ll have to be extra cautious about stuff in the near future. By God’s will I’ll become the best doctor I can be.

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