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Stop the world! I want to get off…The Noblest Deed Part 2

Hi guys, how are you doing? I mean that seriously, how are you doing? How are you looking forward (or not) to Christmas? Yesterday, I realised it’s only 9days to Christmas and I’m trying not to panic. My shopping is like 40% done and I barely have any off days. Whew!

So two weeks ago, we talked about The Noblest Deed and I got a lot of personal responses (I appeal to you guys to kindly leave your comments in the comment section for the benefit of others) and that discussion has been on my mind really.  Please click here to read (only takes 2 minutes and you need to read that to follow this discussion).

I had an experience I didn’t share in that post as I try to avoid posts being too long and I would want to tell you about it this week.

About two years ago, I woke up suddenly at about 2am because it felt like the world was spinning. I jolted out of bed and just then I realised I couldn’t move, any attempt to move my head meant the entire room spinned and I vomited.

I had only recently recovered from a bad flu the week before and had a CT scan of my head due to a side effect of a medication I was given in the hospital so I couldn’t quite make out what this  was .

 I went to the Accident and Emergency with one of my best friends (who was coincidentally sleeping over that day) whilst Dr O stayed home with the kids initially. Whilst in that cubicle, we joked and talked about random things but I was deeply frightened. I always say until a doctor becomes a  patient, his lesson on empathy is not complete.

That day I was seen by two specialists who said “Sorry, we can’t find anything, you’ve to go home”. And I cried terribly out of fear, I couldn’t lift my head, I had a 9 month-old baby I wouldn’t be able to pick up at home and most of all, I felt the pain patients experienced.

I was referred to as ‘Bed number 8’ and felt like just a problem to be discharged and not a person to be looked after.

This feeling was surreal. I kept asking myself  “Is this how my patients feel?” Do I make people feel seen and cared for especially when I’m working the busy Emergency shift with a long list of patients to get through.

What was most notable for me about this experience was this – About 2weeks before then, I saw a 60 something year old lady with same presentation who had been admitted to the ward and I had to discharge her (we couldn’t find a cause for her vertigo).

 She looked me in the eye and said  “I won’t have a good quality of life if I go home, I can’t do anything without the world spinning”. I felt sorry for her but unfortunately the hospital is a place we keep people we can either help to live better or help to die well.

Whilst on that hospital bed, I could only think of that lady, and how she must have felt; helpless, afraid, waiting for a symptom to stop that couldn’t be helped. That experience gave me a different level of compassion. Infact, I say that after that day, I’ve completely become a new doctor.

Why am I telling you this story today?  It’s a reminder to look inside and around you, what have you been through? What pain , challenges, difficulty have you experienced?

There are people around you in similar situations, don’t just look away and wish them well, reach out to them, show compassion and empathy. With your own comfort, comfort others!

It’s nearly Christmas and even though many of us are excited and planning celebrations, sadly some people can’t have that this year either because of the effects of COVID or their personal circumstances.

Reach out to them, show them love. Don’t just buy gifts for people that don’t need them ( this doesn’t mean you should cancel my gift…thank you), what is more important is remembering those that are in need especially those who are going through what you’ve been through.

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Picture credit: Freepik

I know many of you are itching to know how my story ended. Well, I could say I will tell you next week but let me save you the suspense. When I got home, I got the nudge to call my brother who is a Christian and also a Pastor and he prayed for me over the phone, the spinning (vertigo) stopped immediately. Hallelujah!

I hope you do something different because you read this. Looking forward to Christmas, I hope I don’t get too busy to put up a post next week. Let me know how you are doing and thank you for reading and subscribing to this blog!

For you, I’m deeply grateful! I leave you with the peace of God!

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Amina Ibrahim Belo-Osagie

Thanks for such a write up that serves as a tugging reminder to be compassionate.
I’ve had so many similar experiences myself, where I’ve had to put myself in people’s (patients’)situation and feel that instant need to be better.
All we need to do as humans is to constantly stop and think, however for a millisecond.
Happy holidays ahead 🤗

Aisha Animashawun

It’s interesting to see people share personal stories….this is one I can relate with.I remember when I was bed 18,another time cubicle 9😰.Being on the other side of the coin….I can understand the fear and anxiety as I experienced them too..especially with the background knowledge you have being a medic.In all, we thank God for Health!Thank you Ronke!

Aderonke Oshungbohun

Thank you Aisha! It’s an experience worth reflecting on, it changes us and should change our practise too

Tutu Palmer

Fab…… untill a Dr becomes a patient! Apt! Wish I could share mine too….. I will keep you in suspense 🙂

Aderonke Oshungbohun

Hahahaa….please share now 🙏🙏

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