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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Camel Jockey

What do you do when you are infuriated? Most of the times I just smile and sometimes not. Maybe it is my way of dealing with stress. Everyone acts in a different way; I try to hide my annoyance behind a screen of a smile. At times I fail and sometimes I succeed. Practice makes you perfect. You can pretend to be in a good mood and after a while no one can sense the difference.

I remember seeing a patient long time ago who was in the hospital for myocardial infarction. I got a call in the evening that he wishes to sign AMA (against medical advice). I was in the hospital, so I went down to see him, where his nurse was standing at bedside. I asked him why he wants to leave against medical advice. He replied that he wants go out and smoke. I said, this can cause serious consequences especially when you are having a heart attack. Initially he argued than he asked me “where are you from”. At that moment I realized nothing good is going to come out of this conversation. I said I moved from Boston but originally I am from Pakistan. He said “were you a camel jockey over there?”............

I looked at him and smiled. I said “well I guess not a good one, so I switched professions and became a physician”.  He was not very appreciative of my response and started to enlighten me about things I did not even know about my self and my ancestry. Nurse came to my defense and eventually we were able to talk him down.

Now I am not trying to sound holier than thou. I exhibit ample moments of weakness where I want to just isolate myself self from a situation like this. On the other hand let’s say this patient goes home and die. Then I have to live with my conscience. Would you have done something else?

Isolating your personal ego is a very difficult thing to do. We can only try. 

About the Picture: Going to work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a good one, better reply would have been,"Yes I was a camal jockey in Pakistan but I did not like it there therefore, I have come here to ride donkeys like you.
Ali S M