Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Condalisa Rice with 2 pens and a tooth

When he knew that I will leave soon he told me he wants my pen as a souvenir and that he would give me 2 pens instead of it as souvenir. I agreed. He went running and came back with those 2 pens.




I gave him my pen, thanked him and went walking toward the female ward where they wanted me to do an ECT "Electro Convulsive Therapy". I met the patient. She was frightened. The senior had requested ECT for her. She is frightened of it. She doesn't want it but she is an inpatient in Al Rahsad hospital, and patients here don't have the right of refusing treatment. Their families sign a paper at the first day of admission giving the permission of an ECT at anytime the doctor prescribes it. She was clearly depressed with marked irritability. I didn't make a long interview with her because all what she was saying is that she doesn't need an ECT. We don't have anesthesia for ECT. So she will be awake till it starts. But she will not feel anything till it ends. The fright of being "electrified" is understood. But what can I do. I started telling her that it is not called an ECT anymore, but it is called nowadays as Electro Stimulative Therapy. And that it is easy and she won't hurt and that I will do it with my hands and she doesn't have to worry. They changed the word "Convulsive" into "Stimulative" because when they use anesthesia no convulsion will appear on the body, the convulsion will be recorded only via the EEG "Electro Enchephalo Gram". But in our case it is still an ECT. But I was trying to show her that it is a treatment and not a punishment and she was feeling. I noticed the bad health of her teeth. I asked the nurse whether a dentist saw her; the nurse answered me that they didn't come since March when the gun fights started again around the hospital's area. I asked the nurse if she thinks that a tooth may fall while we do the ECT and she answered that this same patient had received an ECT before short time with no problem. I asked the patient if she got a tooth that is not stable, I mean moving. She said: yes. But she showed me a tooth that is stable. The tooth that I was worried about was not mentioned by her. I looked at the other nurse standing near the cleaner preparing the bed. It is not a bed; it is a big piece of sponge put on the floor with the ECT instrument next to it, with a mouth piece prepared to be put in the patient's mouth so that she doesn't bite her tongue. The other nurse encouraged me to do the ECT and we did it. One of her bad front teeth fell to the outside of her mouth. I thanked my God that it didn't fall to the inside where it might cause suffocation. The nurse became little shy and avoided looking at me. I blamed myself and not the nurse. Then I project my blaming to the hospital and its negligence. After few hours I started again to blame my self and I knew that this woman might have been killed by what we did for her. And we would call that as a SIDE EFFECT, when it is clearly our ignorance, neglect, and inhumanity.

When her tooth fell I took it in my hands. I took a picture for it so that I won't forget her. This is her tooth.



At the evening I was really in depressed and irritable mood. I wondered if a senior prescribe an ECT for me how it would be experienced by me? I was ruminating with some ideas till my door was knocked. I found him, the same patient who gave me the 2 pens. Now he brought me another present that he had just made manually. It is a small sac made from the huge sac of rice. A sac that is very strong. He showed me that it is from the USA, and he added that it is the best quality of raw material to make strong sacs that bears heavy weights. I felt so happy. I thanked him. He felt my happiness. Before he went he added that they wrote the word "RICE" on the original sac. I wondered if he knew English. I wondered if he thinks that this is related to him because he got delusions of reference as I knew when I talked to him long ago. So I asked him: what did they mean by that? He answered quickly: they meant Condalisa Rice!!
When he said that, I struggled for a second to hide my threatening burst of laughter. He burst into laughter, and I followed by few fractions of a second. I laughed like I never did since many months. The sound of my laughter was so laud like his. I noticed that he lost some teeth from the front of the upper jaw. When I went inside I felt that that lady will go on with her life like this kind wonderful man is doing .



10 comments:

tracy said...

Oh, Sami, what a story...and what a picture, your hand holding her tooth juxaposed next to a flower...how does it all come together, i wonder...?
i still cannot imagine giving ECT with out anesthesia...i know you explained it once, how the hospitals reserve it for "more important things" like sugery...
i like the way the man wanted something to remember you by...that i can totally understand...wish i could have something to remember the resident i know by...

Again, thank you for another lovely, sad and so touching story...and for being there for all of those people who need you so very, very much.

much love, tracy

tracy said...

PS Sami, please, whatever you do, do not blame yourself...you are an innocent. It hurts to see you punish yourself so. Please try not to do that and to treat you self kindly insead, okay?
hugs, tracy

adifferentvoice said...

You're a star. A wonderful post that horrified me, then made me laugh. Thank God for doctors like you, doing their very best in very difficult situations.

saminkie said...

Dear Tracy thank you for your nice words. I can find that you remember an old post that I published before long ago. You got a good memory. I didn't intend to make the flowers appear with the tooth, but now that you noticed it, it seems so wonderful. I won't blame my self Tracy, thank you my friend.

saminkie said...

Dear a differentvoice, you cannot imagine who anybody feels happy from inside when s/he recieve such nice encouraging words like yours...thank you..

Laura said...

Dear Sami: Your patients are lucky to have a doctor with such compassion and empathy. I am so glad you had a good laugh at the end of your very painful day.

Best to you always,

L.

(ps, dear 3eeraqi Medic: I have visited your blog before, but now it is closed to outsiders. May I have permission to join your readership? Thanks for considering this!)

sami said...

Dear Laura, thank you for your nice words, it is because of hearing such nice words you said, one learns to be compassionate and loves it..
Thank you Laura for everything...
Sami

Graffiti said...

I found that a very good story of humanness and I laughed at the Condalisa Rice reply

Graffiti

Indigo-Daisy said...

This is such a beautiful post! I loved the story about Condalisa Rice.
You are a very special person and your patients are lucky to have such a compassionate person to care for them.

saminkie said...

Dear Graffiti and Indigo-daisy, thank you for your nice words, it is all for you....