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“….I forgot the world still has ISIS and Donald Trumps ! ” (READ)

Anwar Hussein FacebookTwo days back I got a phone call ”Are you in the hospital sir?” A female voice.
”No. I’m on leave”
”When will you be there? Mother wants to see you”
”Call me on Thursday and I’ll let you know”

From the tone of the query I assumed that they are the relatives of some patient whom I know well.
She called me again today morning and fixed the appointment.

I met them at the hospital, Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM) by 6.00 pm.
An old lady came out of the Jeep with her son and daughter in law by seeing me at the parking. My assumption was right; they were relatives of a patient. I forgot the name but remembered the patient.

She came near me. And nearer. Broke into tears. Held my hands trembling. Hugged me and wept like a child. She rested her head on my chest for more than a while. ”I remember you always sir. It’s been one year now”

She was the wife of a patient we cared some time back with lung cancer and died in our Institute. Talking very few words and remembering lot of things we walked to the nursing station. The nurse nodded to the ”Do you remember us?” and replied ”Yes, Velayudhan…? Room no…1?”.
The lady wept again.

I was impressed by the memory of the nurse but was not surprised. One of the reasons I decided to and continue to work in Palliative care is the attitude of our nurses towards patients. During my early days in IPM they made me cry many times with the intimacy they showed towards those ill-fated terminally ill patients undergoing unimaginable mental and physical suffering. They did things which they are not supposed to do and even the close relatives would hesitate to do. They cut hair and nails, wash and bath, clean their excreta… They showed courage and patience to talk with them for hours about every detail of their family and disease. And they remembered it.

The next question nurse asked was proof of that ”Are you living in the new house now?”

My memories traveled back to remember the desire of Velayudhan to live at least for a day in the new house under construction which they were struggling to finish. I don’t remember whether he made it or not.

Before leaving the Institute they donated an amount which I knew is the maximum they can.
While riding back I thanked God for making me work in such a rewarding profession and was so emotionally heartened that I forgot the world still has ISIS and Donald Trumps !

Thank you Nurse(s). And all those people who pain for others. The earth still revolves because of you.

A Story by Dr. Anwar Husain seen on Facebook