My very first “professional fee” handed with love by my patient’s mother.
I remember how, since Day 1 of Junior Internship, we would always be reminded to treat patients with the kind of care we would be giving members of our own family. I try my best to always do so, no matter how difficult or unpleasant some patients could get at times.
I remember being Junior Intern-in-Charge of this boy, who was exactly the same age as my brother Ald. He seemed really young and strong to suddenly be weakened by a liver abscess and the daily antibiotics were starting to burden his family financially. For a week, I was running errands for his diagnostic tests and applications for financial aid, checking vital signs in between until the wee hours of the morning, whipping up medical and clinical abstracts within 24 hours from endorsement. In the process, I was able to establish very good rapport with him and his mother. The mother was very appreciative of my efforts, but really, I was only doing my job. Even until I was assigned to another ward and later to the outpatient department, she would hug and thank me for the simple tasks I did for her son.
It was a busy day in the OPD yesterday when I recognized that the boy had come for follow-up. Unfortunately, I was handling a patient and I was only able to speak with him for a few seconds. I told him he lost a little weight but he looked good and much healthier. Minutes later, a lady tapped me from the side and put a huge chocolate bar on top of the sheet of paper I was writing on. It was my former patient’s mother and I was so happy to see her. Even she looked better and livelier, also better dressed. I was delighted to see them both looking happier. I thanked her for the token, which actually touched me so much that tears were welling up.
I am far from making a living out of my medical knowledge and skill, which is only right because I have so much more to learn anyway. SO MUCH MORE. I am currently a junior intern, the bottom of the food chain at any training hospital with a medical school. The only thing I get in return most of the time is a “Thank you” and a smile, if I’m lucky. For a patient to actually go out of his or her way to show appreciation means so much, it’s indescribable. I never knew that one of the best feelings in the world is when a patient cares back after you have cared for him or her.
That bar of Cadbury Dream as “professional fee” meant so much more to me than the sum of talent fees I earned from years of modeling. I never thought I’d feel that until yesterday. Right now, I am confident that I made the right decision.
Thank You, God, for leading me to this Dream.