Round and round the bend
AFTER MY 24-hour shift at the Labor and Delivery Room I got a text from an old high school friend inviting me for brunch somewhere in Makati. I had to stay in the hospital to do rounds, and I had to attend a teaching session at lunchtime. I apologized profusely. The last time I was invited (for dinner, with the same set of friends, in Makati), I also begged off, thanks to my hospital commitments.
Of course all medical students, at some point, find themselves deprived socially. I always do. Very few manage to emerge from that state of deprivation, but they eventually return to the seclusion and isolation—their patients, their overworked colleagues, and themselves. The good thing is that there's always a valid excuse, that which does not hurt but instead earns sympathy, sometimes unnecessarily so. After all, doing rounds seems like the kind of work that does a lot of good to this world. Never mind if it's sometimes just mindlessly leafing through charts, waiting for referral and discharge orders.
Close friends eventually understand and will still relentlesstly text me anyway. I love receiving those texts. They remind me that there's an outside world, and that I have friends to come home to.