Wednesday, May 30, 2007


During the internship rotation year, I used to go to medical out patient department for training, it was always busy. You always find 2 attending physician, with 3, 4 nurses. Considering that they used to see an average of 200 patients during the night shift alone, you can only imagine how overwhelmed our good physicians were, so any help would be quite welcome (of course usually the interns are a source of trouble rather than a solution ,at least some nurses see the intern that way),so we used to take history from patients ,examine them ,brief the case to the attending physician ,then, if you were lucky ,you would be able to see the magic of medicine in progress (of course that magic was about finding the best way to convince the patient that he/she wasn’t sick and he should be going home , ,or to negotiate an admission with the doctor on duty in the ward(those would do the impossible to convince you that you were wrong ,and the admission was completely unnecessary ,without even seeing the case).
Memories, memories, oh good memories.
Anyway, I remember one particular incident that moved me deeply. To this day I couldn’t forget about it, in spite of the hundreds faces I saw during these past few years.
A family brought their teenage girl, she was barely 15 years old, they all looked well mannered and polite, and they were well dressed. Generally they made an impression of a good, well educated and fortunate people. The girl was known to be diabetic, and what brought her to the OPD were symptoms that were consistent with diabetic ketoacidosis (of course I can simply say: a very high blood sugar, but I can’t resist). The girl looked angry, unwilling to cooperate, and it was difficult to get answers from her\
After telling the mother that she had to take the blood sample to the laboratory inside the hospital (there was no enough staff to do that, so we used the families’ help. And of course this is still the case in our hospitals; .couple of years wouldn’t make a dramatic change in how we deliver health care).
The moment the mother left ,the girl start speaking to me angrily, she told me that she stopped taking her insulin shots days ago ,and she ate whatever she could (Soda ,sweets ,cake ;In short: every blood sugar increasing nightmare). She asked me not to give her insulin, but tablets. She exploded talking loudly about how her family members were making fun of her, and they even were telling her that she was disgusting and she looked very much like a drug addict when she took her shots. My God, imagine saying that to a teen age girl ? Imagine what she was forced to bear? Imagine the pain and the agony that she had because of the very people who supposed to protect, support, and even spoil her?
Very lonely, very sad, very bitter she was. In short; she was unfortunate, not because of her sickness, but because of her own family...
She was unfortunate enough to have to deal with a disease that even grown ups couldn’t accept, and as that wasn’t enough; she had to deal with the greatest pain of being left by the very people who should take a good care of her.
Of course I knew no thing about her after arranging her admission; I don’t recall anything about her. But the angry look and the bitter voice never left my memory.
Unfortunate indeed.
No body is destined to face agony alone, this child did.
Benghazi Citizen


mani said...

You know these are serious observations you make!!. how do people become like that I wonder.. do we have a right to intervene when parents conto do anything for their kids???

Salam Benghazi Citizen

Benghazi Citizen said...

u r right..the problem is ,some times intervention can lead to unexpected consequences.but not to intervene is also a really bad leads to the eternal question of :(WHAT IF?),,and this is of course when it is really late..
thank u
Benghazi Citizen