LETTER: Doctors only human

LETTER: Doctors only human

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Whilst sitting in the doctor’s office looking at all the charts on the walls showing pictures of your heart and pipes and giblets and lungs, I see graphs showing the ways that, despite this visit and the best intentions, you will eventually succumb to a horrible, painful, slow death.

I am a semi senile Canadian Limey aged 76 and I am prone to reminiscing.

She (my doctor) was running only 22 minutes behind. I am a nice guy and not one to complain; an English type gentleman. When she came in she looked a bit tired, with no usual welcoming smile.

The visit was rudimentary, nothing untoward, no dire warnings of impending doom, no female type lectures, no nagging, no erectile disfunction advice and no threatening colonoscopies. I took my refill prescription and bade her farewell. I went home to my first wife and got on with life.

A month later I was back again, this time she was only 26 minutes behind. She came into the room with a nice gleeful doctor-like smile. We got through the visit in minutes, nothing to keep me awake at night, no lectures on the benefits of Viagra and senior sex, nothing limp and no nagging on about exercising.

As I was leaving I stopped and I asked her if on my last visit I had perhaps said something out of line to possibly upset her.

She said, “No, Don, you are not like that.”

I told her that on my last visit she seemed a little distracted and distant and I wondered if I might have said something untoward.

She swung the monitor around and punched in some keys, brought up a schedule, hit enter, then she turned and looked at the calendar on the wall and said, “Oh, on your last appointment . . . the night before, we had lost a patient; a child, a kid, a little boy. She didn’t elaborate but she apologized to me, saying that if she was unprofessional in any way on my last visit she was really sorry. I swallowed and  bid her farewell and left, feeling nothing like an English gentleman.

When I got home I did some research. The day before my previous appointment there was indeed a terrible accident in Oliver regarding a little boy, a kid . . . a kid who did not survive.

The next time I feel that I am not being fully attended to by my care giver (doctor) I will perhaps swap shoes for a moment or two before I second guess her or question her care.

An English gentleman I was not. Lesson learned. The moral of this story . . . doctors are human, too.

Don Smithyman, Oliver

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