Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pond Party

Drs. LLO and DVO (Lynn Larena-Olegario & Danny Olegario)

Lynn and the PT Program Staff

Viva la SUHS Batch '72


Yesterday we partied in the middle of Lynn's fishpond in Agan-an Sibulan to celebrate her *mmph* birthday and her passing the diplomate board exam for Physiatrists recently.

We had choles-rich fare (lechon, dinuguan, chicharon, sisig, humba, shrimps, talaba) balanced with omega-3-rich sinugbang tarugho, panga ng panit and daing na bangus (fresh from the pond of course). There were oodles of noodles and other delicious delights I forgot the names of. The sweets spread was scrumptious and the boys braved the burgeoning bananas. Were they foot-longs or what?!

At the docs table post-prandial talk began by denouncing the despicable derring-do of Senator Trillanes and company at the Manila Peninsula. When will our country ever learn? Enough already. We wanted to move on to more pleasant topics like Bert Montebon's landscaping and road improvement projects but soon discussion gravitated to the delicate scenario of how to tell a patient that he has terminal illness. Last Sunday I heard a complaint from a family that was so devastated when the attending physician of their mother brutally and nonchalantly told them that their mother was dying, that if they did not have their mother operated on immediately she would surely die, and by the way, that they should have enough money because there is a 40% surcharge as it was a holiday. The family was stunned and still reeling from that shocking information when said doctor turned to their mother and said, "Ikaw, are you ready to die? Are you ready to face Jesus when you die?"

The patient eventually succumbed to the illness, the doctor's diagnosis and prognosis were correct. In time, the family was able to accept the things that transpired. But what rankled in their hearts and minds was the manner by which the terrible news was given to them. Or perhaps in their pain of a loved-one's passing they needed someone, something to blame. I do not know if one is ever prepared for that kind of news, in theory perhaps, but reality often deviates from expected outcomes or reactions.

It was also timely that just last Monday, anesthesiologist Dr. Rachel Rosario-Yunque was in town to give a talk on Disclosure, which is how to "break-it-(the terminal/catastrophic illness)-to-me-gently" to the patient. Rachel's talk was described as "very nice, sensitive and informative" being that Rachel comes from both sides of the issue, her being a pain specialist and a lymphoma survivor herself. Dr. Geena Macalua and Drs. Walden and Giging Ursos are planning to hold a whole day seminar for doctors, nurses, aides and other paramedical personnel involved in the multi-disciplinary approach to managing terminal illness. Yes, I think we need that. And I hope it will not be just another seminar in this over-seminarized country.

1 comment:

GeenaMacs said...

Thank you doc for supporting the idea of a workshop for doctors on the art( for it is an art sa?) of disclosure. Think it a basic basic as physiology and anatomy in med school.. that should be taught and remembered. Will keep you updated of God's plan. :)