Thursday, January 24, 2013

Doctor, I just wanted to say Thank You

I was suffering torture at the Emergency Medical Department, JIPMER on that not-so-fine mid-weekday morning. I had a feeling that I had been prematurely thrown into hell . I was the doctor on duty at the OG casualty for that day. I don't know about the conditions now but in my days, the OG casualty was grossly understaffed with medicos who had less experience. Let me refrain from boasting about how much of emergency care I knew in Obstetrics, but with all the insight and discernment I had, I worked my best for better patient care. I realized that it wasn't a good day for me when I noticed the absence of the nurse who was supposed to assist me in the casualty. With only one DRL lady, who after much pleading, consented to be a chaperon while I examined female patients, I literally 'manned' the OG casualty all alone. And to add to my misery, on this particular day there was a larger than usual crowd of pregnant mothers waiting in labour distress.

It was such a sweltering day and as I kept examining patient after patient with little time to rest in between, I was drowning in my own sweat. Some of the patients whom I examined were acutely sick and needed immediate intervention. So I was kept running from the casualty to the labour room most of the time. The physical exhaustion, the overwhelming workload and the patients' demand for attention surfaced the irate behavior in me at times.

It was at that time when a short lady dressed in blue saree came to me with two of her attenders. She was just 4 months pregnant and had no emergencies. She had come for a regular check up but mistakenly landed in the casualty instead of the OPD. Immediately after seeing her case sheet, I asked her to visit the OPD. But, without realizing that she was wasting my time, she kept on insisting me to examine her. She did not understand the concept of emergency care. And she was simply killing my time, my patience and my energy.
I was getting so mad at her on the inside, but I did not shout at her. I realized that if I became angry I will end up spoiling both my day and her's. So I spoke as kind as possible. I explained briefly yet good enough to enlighten her. And she left.

I felt relieved only for an instance to go back to my demanding job.

After 2 long hours (which felt like 10 loooooong hours), I was squeezed off of all my energy. I took a brief moment to pause and rest while I saw a lady clad in blue saree coming towards me. It was the same who kept bothering me that morning. When she came close, I ask her, "Why have you come here again?" with mild anger in my voice and extreme madness at her on the inside.

She walked an extra 1 km almost (from OPD to casualty, and from casualty to the bus stop) to see me before she boarded her bus. 

She smiled and said, "I got myself checked at the OPD."

So what else do you want from me, I was fuming.

"I wanted to thank you, doctor."