Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tale of the Irresistible Red Rattle


A mother brought her very sick infant to the clinic. The two of them smelled soot and burnt rubber and looked dirty.  Probably, they came from a place where there is no electricity, probably, no water too.

The mother was a public school teacher from a far away place. She couldn't bring her child over because the river was too high for anybody or anything to cross and there were also landslides.

The baby she was carrying was the 7th baby in the family. He has bronchopneumonia. I explained that her baby is better off admitted in a hospital for proper treatment. She knew that indeed, her baby has difficulty in breathing but still she begged me to treat her kid because she has no money for hospital confinement.

I just opened my clinic a month ago. I wondered how this decision would affect my clinic in the future. (But what the hell...)

I prescribed medications and asked them for early follow up. I gave her free medications and explained I needed to see them on follow ups. I explained that this treatment is free, and so is the next consultations, just bring the baby for checkups until he is disease free. (My other pedia friends would think I’m crazy or extremely rich.)

After three follow ups her baby was well. I was pretty proud of myself. Then...

As I was standing at the end of the clinic, I saw her sneakily put the clinic's red rattle inside her bag! I stood there frozen, dazed, dumbstruck and unable to speak or think. Then she bid me farewell as if nothing happened.

It's so beyond belief.

She's a scoundrel, scum of the earth, a worm and definitely a thief. And a teacher too.

What were the chances that  this will happen to a newly opened clinic? What were the chances that the crook has seven kids?What were the chances that the thief is a teacher? Was the red rattle too rattly to resist? Would a parent  really steal a rattle from a doctor's clinic or anywhere else? Should i quit as a doctor and just start a new business?

Should I quit as a doctor and just start a new business.

6 years and a lot of parents later,  one of her seven kids got really sick again. And the kid was admissible. Hospital treatment was the only option. But there is a discretionary option needed to be selected, if she wanted
To be admited under my care,
To admitted under somebody else's care,
To be transferred to Cabanatuan or Manila or Cebu or America, or
To be transferred  to heaven, jannah or nirvana... whatever they prefer.

(It's a damn free country.)