Sunday, July 06, 2014

Letter 702: 48 Hours On-Call

It's crazy. I don't know how the last 39 hours went by so quickly, but it did. Just like I don't realise how much time I've spent in this place, learning the art of medicine, and building a reputation for myself. I took a 12 month hiatus and upon returning, I am surprised that patients still remember me. Whether they've been my regular patients or not, they still come up to me and tell me how glad they are, knowing I'm back-- even till now, 6 months upon returning. I found out that some of my regulars have not seen a doctor during my hiatus, and only returned to see me as soon as they heard I was consulting again. One of my patients, who's health has been deteriorating, said to me yesterday, at Hour 16, "You are the best doctor I've had-- you kept me going!", and it breaks my heart to have to say to her that I'm leaving-- again. This time, for good. Another semi-regular patient, who is 70 but has the feisty nature of a 16-year-old, held my hands in her tiny, wrinkled palms at Hour 35 and said, "If anyone can do it, it's you", when I told her of my career plans. It seems I have been saying goodbye to most people in the last 39 hours, and maybe that's how it will be for the coming weeks in July-- short, no-frills goodbyes after a consult, and then leave, swiftly, quietly, without looking back.

Posted at Hour 40 in the doctor's on-call room.


koh said...

Always look forward though it's good to look back,once in a little while, to learn from the past. As the Chinese say: 前事不忘,后事之师。

Jun said...

koh: yeah, learn from the past.

koh said...

I looked back to the past and learned what love was not.