Tuesday, January 17, 2012

...a funny thing happened

The other day I was in the middle of a slew of new patient interviews, when a lady excitedly comes up to me. She looked to be about 6-7 months pregnant and says in Tagalog, "Ate Pami, I am Ate Doris' niece and she was wondering if you stitch."

This struck me as odd for a few reasons: a) she knew my name ("Ate," pronounced "ah-tay" means big sister or is used as a friendly sign of respect) b) who is Ate Doris? and c) that's kind of an odd question to ask when meeting someone for the first time...

During new patient interviews, we always ask about previous deliveries and complications, such as tears, hemorrhaging, long labors, and stitches. So when she asked if I stitch, my mind immediately went to stitching a torn perineum. I looked at her in confusion and replied (in Tagalog), "No, I don't stitch, but the midwives do."

She said, "no, Ate Doris is wondering if you have stitches to do."

By now we had a bit of an audience listening in. Sure that I was having a hard time understanding her because of some language barrier, I asked her to speak to one of the midwives inside. We went in together, and the midwives were busy so we talked to the other American nurse. Again...same problems. I said that we, at Shalom, only do stitches to torn perineums but not in first aid situations.

"No!" she said emphatically, "Ate Doris wants to know if YOU need stitches!"

Um, I most certainly do not! I thought. What in the world?!? Then it dawned on me that she kept saying, "kortina," which means curtains.

hahaha!!! The lightbulb switched on! Ate Doris is the lady who had sewn my curtains months ago. Everyone around me burst into laughter as we finally figured out what she was trying to say.

You see, the Tagalog word for "sew" and "stitches" is the same: "tahi." My mind was so fixed on obstetrics that it never entered my mind that this gal could have a different meaning for "tahi." I was a bit gratified to see that everyone else was just as confused...it wasn't just me!

So you see, never a dull moment. And for the record, no, I do not need stitches: personally or on fabric. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Update on Neni

A number of folks have asked me about Neni...

Please be praying. She missed her last prenatal appointment for December 30th and there is no way for me to get in touch with her to encourage her to come back. It's not all that uncommon for women to miss scheduled visits over the holidays, because many go back to their provinces.

Please pray that Neni will come for a prenatal check soon and that her heart will continue to soften and grow.

In other news, I arrived at Shalom this morning for prenatals and saw a familiar face smiling proudly up at me from a cot on the floor. Marivic, a gal I scanned twice for a large for gestational age (LGA) baby, had given birth to a healthy baby boy! She beamed as she pulled back his blanket for me to get a closer look at his little face while he peacefully slept by her side. I wish I had had my camera with me! I squatted by her side and appropriately oohed and aahed over her little one. Such sweet times.

It's been a busy week for us. Over 70 new patients came for the first time this week...mostly because who wants to get started with OB care during the holidays. But still, SEVENTY! We ain't slowing down anytime soon, folks!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Just another Manila New Years...

Rather than me trying to explain a Pinoy New Years...someone who has seen it dozens of times, I'm going to refer you to Joy's post. She came up to spend New Years with me and blogged her experience.

Read it! :)