“I would prefer a white doctor” she had said.Was the first time something had hit me hard that way.So hard that a big lump in my throat would not go away for that entire day.There she was, breathless, speechless and very ill.With her long standing history, she knew best that, that procedure was important for her, and yet, she was wasting all that time fussing over a white doctor.
I was taken aback.I wasn’t sure what had just happened in that examining room.It was only when my supervising consultant and nurse in charge,stormed into that patient’s cubicle and gave that sick old lady a sounding, that I realised the gravity of the situation.That lady was told that her treatment could be refused in view of violince against a health care professional.Violence? What could a 60 plus frail old lady possibly do to me?Could she really have been refused treatment, when she could potentially die?Incredible is all I could think.
I was asked to go back to that patient, and complete what I had started.I didn’t want to.I was begining to feel violated.Some how that white coat, stethoscope or any other armour that says you are a health care professionals seems to take away a few of your rights.
Christmas eve, same year.That journey I must have made atleast 4 times before,I messed up by some bad stroke of luck.My only option was to stay cold and alone at the station gates or hire a taxi.50 miles away from a group of people that had become my family, middle of the night.Hoping against hope I didn’t want a taxi driver of a particular nationality.That is all I got.I got into the taxi.I was scared,lonely,sad, hungry and very cold.I had just worked an entire 12 hour shift, traveled 3 hours by train, only to miss my last connection.I just wanted to go home.That man tried to make polite conversation.I didn’t indulge.He put on good music from my country I wasn’t amused.At some point he even asked me which ones were my favourite chocolate.I can’t remember why.I think he said he was going home to his country of birth and had nieces and nephews he would have liked to carry chocolates for.But now my memory fails me.I was so engulfed by emotions that I even cried.
He got me home safe, sound,and declined the tip I offered.He told me to take care of myself.In return I told him what my favourite chocolates were.He left smiling and wising me a happy christmas.Fully aware that neither him, nor I, actually celebrate it.
I watched the movie Crash a couple of nights ago, only for me to realise, there are some things you can run away from alright, but you cannot hide.