nswer to the question you probably want to ask. It is acquired through experience. Being one of those who went into my field out of curiosity, (not that I was the most compassionate person on earth), it did not come naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong. I was polite enough but looking back, I was often more interested in getting results than in going out of my way to be pleasant.
It was a busy saturday afternoon. The hospital I was working in at the time had one doctor on duty all weekend till monday morning and it was usually a baptism of fire. I was attending to out- patients, when the nurse ran in to ask me to come to the accident and emergency(A&E). There was a bike rider on the couch who sustained a cut during a road traffic accident. I was preparing to suture the cut when a salon car was driven in and the driver ran out calling for help. I asked the nurse to check what was wrong and she came back to tell me that there was a girl of about 12 years in his back seat. I bandaged the cut I was about to suture and ran out to examine her.
She and her brother were passengers on a bike that was hit by a hit and run driver. The bike rider left them for dead by the road side and sped off. After 2 or more hours, this good samarithan stopped and brought them to the hospital. She was lying unnaturally still, pale, with whitish fluid leaking from both ears. Her pupils were fixed, there was no pulse, no heart beat; it was clear she was dead. I found that her brother, a young man of about 18 or 19 was unhurt. He was only stunned by the incident but had no physical injuries. I asked the driver to take her to the mortuary as we did not have one. Her brother was to be admitted for observation. I returned to calm the frayed nerves of some out patients who were by then complaining of neglect before returning to the cut I left unsutured.B
I was busy with the procedure when I heard a roar behind me “Who is the doctor?”
I had my back to the speaker as I was trying to take something out of a set of drawers. When I turned, it was a bear of a man before me. He was very tall, muscular, dark, with a full beard.
“I’m the doctor what’s the problem”, I replied.
“Are you the doctor?” he screamed, shaking in fury. “Why did you refuse to treat my sister?”
I was tired, hungry, irritable. Without asking him who his sister was, I asked him to leave the A&E so I could finish what I was doing. The nurse tried to reason with him that I was busy and he should take his enquiry outside. He became enraged shouting at the top of his voice, he sprang at me. Before I could tell what he was about to do, he lifted me by both arms shouting, “Why did you let my sister die! Because of deposit! Because of money! You watched her die!”
I yelled “Help! Security!” Fortunately, they came in just then and rescued me before it went any further. The male nurse on duty with me (who was more skinny than I was), had run out to get help rather than try to fight the very huge man. Lol!
All the while, I didn’t even know who he was talking about. I thought he was demented. It was the nurse who informed me that he was a brother to the girl who was brought in dead. Apparently, her body moved while the car taking her to the morgue attempted to go up an incline. The crowd of onlookers screamed “She’s moving! She’s alive! These wicked people refused to treat her because she had no money!”
You have no idea how bad I felt. I was battling tears, anger, hurt, frustration; and the guy I was treating in the A & E had the guts to say “Doc, you abandoned me”
In order to ease the tension, I went out to the car, examined the girl before her relatives and told her father who was quite elderly that she was dead and was brought in dead. They did not believe me. They stood in the A&E while I finished with the cut, still complaining, calling me names, threatening to harm me and so on.
I am convinced it was God who protected me that day. He shielded me under his feathers and covered me with his wings. Later, I was bitterly asking God why he did not prevent what happened and He told me He wanted me to judge myself from that young man’s view. He had no information except that given to him and I could have arrested the situation if I wasn’t focused on myself.
I shared this story to remind you to be kind to the undeserving, patient with the unlovely, and pleasant to the offensive. We have no reward if we are only nice to those who treat us well. I’m not yet perfect but, last time I had a difficult patient, the nurse commented that my boss would have walked her out and that she did not know how I could put up with her. I laughed and told her “If only you knew my story”
Be kind to one another and be blessed.