When you get to the visit the G.P thrice in a week’s time, once in a position where you’re too weak to lift your head and you need to be taken in and put on drips, the second in a slightly better position, where you need medication for your never-ending cough and third time as guardian to your kids, you tend to notice things that don’t meet the eye in the first visit.
On visit #1, I was asked by the nurse to stand on the weighing scale so he could check my height and weight as part of routine procedures before one is allowed to go into the doctor. In between a terrible headache and bouts of throwing up, I had barely an ounce of energy left to take off my boots, so up I stepped on the weighing scale. I was politely asked to remove my shoes and I politely asked him to deduct 2cms for the heel of my boots and he said he would deduct a kg for the shoes.
On the same visit as I lay on a bed receiving drips for 2 hours and a white curtain separated me and other patients whose heights and weights were being checked by the nurse along with the regular question of ” What is your complaint?”, I was soon able to predict which one of those patients was genuinely sick and which one had only come to avail a sick leave from office. I’m absolutely sure I made 99% hits. I would have made 100% if I could also see their faces but that was not to be as the curtains were drawn.
In this part of the world, you can’t just take a day-off if you’re sick of everything around you; you need to support it with a sick leave letter. I understand at times, you might just need a break from work and you’ve planned your limited annual leave; so you decide to call in sick. But how do you get the letter? Here’s a tip learnt from being at the clinic for those 2 hours in the same room where the initial check-up is done.
Lesson#1, if you want to feign illness, don’t talk too much. “You’re sick, remember!”
Clear voice, “I have a cold, a cough and a burning sensation in my eyes”. Prediction… that’s more like a request for a Sick leave.
Deep, choking cough, sneeze, less words, more nods. Prediction…genuinely sick
“Must I take off my shoes before going on the weighing scale? ..Yes ok Thank you”… Prediction Sick leave.
“I have a headache, a stomach ache, an aching throat, a back ache,a….” Now your turn to guess.
Lesson#2 : There’s more to being a doctor than getting great scores in Science
On the second visit, when I ended up with a fever and a cough, I sat in the waiting room totally in awe of the hospital staff. “Wow! They must have some immunity to work here day in and day out and not fall sick”
On visit #2, I was told, my family doctor, Dr. George had not come in that day because he was sick. “Well, obviously. The poor man had been seeing flu patients ever since he was back since Christmas”. And that moment gratitude struck in for my chosen profession while also being thankful to all those people who choose the medical profession.
“When a doctor’s o.k., he is surrounded by sick people and when he is not surrounded by the sick, he is probably sick himself!”. It’s definitely not easy being a good doctor. It’s a profession that demands a lot of sacrifice. And all my life, I thought I hadn’t chosen the medical profession because of circumstances. I finally realized I could never have been a doctor! Just wasn’t cut out for that kind of work.
Lesson#3- Even if it’s tough, don’t doubt your teens when it comes to illness. Even if they like missing school occasionally, they may not be making excuses. At times there may be genuine reasons.
With so much fever in the air, I had lost my sense of judgement and couldn’t determine if they did have a fever and should miss school the next day or if one or both of them were just finding a way to skip school. So, in I went for the third time with the two girls’ in tow.
In went the younger one to have her height and weight checked while I completed the other formalities of filling up the insurance papers etc.
Tinier, frailer after the fever, she definitely looked sick. Returning from the routine height-weight check, she came out and said,”Is that the same nurse who measured you mom?”. I looked at her questioningly, wondering what was coming next.
She continued, ” Well, I asked him if I need to remove my shoes and he said it was alright and that he would just deduct 1 kg and a cm”. . With 3 visits from us, the clinic had learnt a lesson too, I guess :).
Then, in we went to the doctor, only to be told that the older one, who is taller and stronger and had woken up in the morning saying she wanted to take a day off that day was running a very high fever. The doctor said the girls’ were not supposed to go to school for the next two days.
Lesson#4- Don’t self-medicate even if you think it’s just a cold.
The doctor prescribed a different set of medicines for both the girls’ based on their weights though they had the same symptoms and they’re both teens.
With the knowledge I possess which proved to be rather limited, when I saw the cold coming in, I had given the kids the same cough syrup prescribed to me. The instructions on the box clearly said “For ages six and below -2.5 ml, for six to twelve- 5 ml and above that 12.5 ml”. So, I gave them the medicine accordingly.
Back to the present
Thankfully, we’re all better now and will be off to school and office tomorrow. But I simply had to share all that I had learnt during the last week. Even after years of experience as a parent, at times you do goof up. At times, you think you know it all, so you goof up. Whatever be the reason, sometimes, the most mundane occurrences leave behind valuable lessons. And this last week for me was quite the eye-opener in all ways.
Did you learn any new lessons last week that you’d like to share? Do share it in the comment section below.
Wishing all on the other side of the globe and wonderful Sunday and all my side of the world a wonderful week ahead. 🙂
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