Be Grateful, Learn From Patients

8:39 AM


My heart just about broke today. I had a patient, who at the age of 16 suddenly became blind in both eyes, and 4 years later, at 20 years old, was diagnosed with an aggressive and inoperable brain tumour leaving him with severe ataxia (imbalance), dizziness and headaches which make it difficult for him to even stand up on his own despite having good power in all 4 limbs. 

To top it all, he had to have a tracheostomy done because he can't breathe on his own and he is not safe to swallow, so he needs to have a feeding tube. A few months before he was diagnosed with the tumour, he sat for his STPM in Braille and obtained 4As. 

When I met him today, he was still cheerful and could answer answer all my questions quickly and intelligently. He shared with us that he had received an offer from UM to study counselling however had to postpone his studies due to his condition. He could even joke and ask me, 'Dr, when can I eat again? I'm very hungry.' It took all my self control to not burst into tears. An intelligent young man, with a bright future, and yet, had it all taken away, and still he smiles. Everyday, my patients remind me to be grateful for every little thing because life is short and seasons can change anytime.

My Good Ex-Houseman

"Everyday, my patients remind me to be grateful for every little thing because life is short and seasons can change anytime."

I spent a few hours trying to figure out what to write. In the end, I think I should leave it as it is. I don't need to add anything much. It's been written beautifully.

For all doctors out there, take some time to learn about the background of your chronic patients. Listen to their stories. We learn about SAVING LIVES during medical school, but we learn about LIFE from our patients. 

Thank you My Good Ex-Houseman (K.S.). You have given me some much needed motivation to continue being a doctor.

MOfrust












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