THE LOCUM DIARIES (20)


Day 20…

I went to work today feeling like sunshine.That’s what happens when you get to have the whole day to rest. The front desk officer was calling me while I was getting ready for work, I dropped my number yesterday at her request. I kinda figured out why she was calling me,

‘Doctor, where are you? there are patients here to see you’.

When did I start reporting to her biko nu? Anyways, I got to the hospital and went into my office. She came in some minutes later ‘Doctor, you are around, when did you come in?’ ‘Some 10 minutes ago’ I replied*straight-faced ‘Ok, cos there was a patient that was waiting for you’ (exactly what I said guys) ‘Ok’ I replied and she left. I remained indoors for most parts of the evening reading case files until a patient came in, she had come with complaints of dizziness and ‘hotness of body’, based on that I asked questions.I was about rounding off when I remembered I didn’t ask for her LMP (last menstrual period). I did and what came next was more like ‘destruction  of shaking tables’. She told me her LMP was 3 months ago and she had irregular menses for over 10 years. ‘wow!’ I was shocked and confused at the same time (I didn’t show it on my face though), ‘how I go take manage this one now? Shey I for just mind my business, attend to wetin carry am come hospital’ I said in my troubled mind (unfortunately as a doctor, I couldn’t just go past it). As  I tried to dig into the history of what she told me, I sneaked out my guide and placed it on my lap. I continued asking questions, digging deeper and trying to find where the problem could have come from. At some point, I realized that her mood had changed; she had gone from smiling and laughing to sad and avoidant (thank God for non verbal cues), I tried to find out why and I discovered that she was going through a whole lot first as a single mother, then with work and a couple of other things. I tried talking to her that all will be alright, whatever it was will pass with time and ‘it is only people who are alive that face problems’. As we spoke I tried processing what could have caused her menses irregularity, a couple of things came to mind based on which I counseled her and sent her for investigations. By the time we were done, I had spent about 1 hour + with her (longest consultation ever), She thanked me and left. After she left, I started to think ‘Being a doctor is not just about treating physical symptoms, giving drugs and all. You are after ‘the total person’ so you are a doctor, counselor, psychologist, nutritionist and atimes pastor all in one. And the fact that a patient leaves you better than how he/she came in is for me the blessing of medicine’

I left the office a little earlier. TGIF things…. Lets go turn up!

TG

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