Sunday, March 29, 2015

Life as a medical student #6 Just a touch of a hand

Dear Mrs E,

We didn't know each other well. You might recognize my face from ward rounds, I was the girl in the corner holding my books, looking at the ground or out the window. I occasionally asked you how you were, and you always told me the same thing - pain, so much pain. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to hold your hand and tell you you will be okay, but something held me back. Because there is nothing I can do to cure you. I am just a medical student, and even if I was a doctor, there is no medicine to make you better. We can give you pills and injections and fluids. But they can only prolong your life. All they gave you was just more and more pain.

I was there when your family was told the news. I saw how they reacted to your prognosis, did you see it? Did you see the pain they were in? Did you realize just how loved you have been. I looked at them, unsure of what to say, knowing that no words could take away their sadness and their grief.

As your condition deteriorated, you couldn't even tell me that you were in pain. I still went to your bed every morning and asked you how you were. But you could only stare at me, mouth wide open, no words coming out from your mouth. You started to lose appetite, you didn't even have a look at the food they served. Your son, who is a great chef who owns a restaurant brought you your favourite food. But yet, you turned your head away.

My heart aches for you.

Finally it was my last day in Ward 23. I came to your bed and said good morning to you. And as usual I asked you how you were. You looked at me, as if you knew that I won't be there with you anymore starting from tomorrow. You reached out your hand to me. I thought you wanted to tell me something so I bent down. Your fingertips found my skin, then you touched my face, gently.

Until today I don't know what it means. But I wish for a miracle - that this illness which haunts you will be gone one day. Stay strong.

1 comment :

  1. ao touching la my dear.. I hope you too learn to be strong as you will face more of these that anyone of us. You will do great, I know. Keep the feelings you have now, and be the same even after years later.


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