Nowadays simple manners such as "Thank you" or "I am sorry" etc is lacking. I was taught as a kid to say "thank you" when people do nice things for us. But sadly it is missing today in the society of fast food, the ME only syndrome, etc.
When I first started working as a doctor .... I had this noble idea of giving my life for the well being of others. I dont mind missing out on my sleep until I am a walking zombie to the point of having an out of body experience... I think if you pinch me at that moment... I wont even feel it, walking around with a distended bladder waiting to explode ( if it happens it will cause another major flash flood or should I say a mini Tsunami) or with an empty stomach the whole day until the point of having fine tremors and sweating and giddiness due to hypoglycaemia ( low blood sugar levels ) and the staff nurse had to tell me to go have my meal ... silly me thinking that "wah the staff nurses actually cared for my well being ... I was so deeply moved ... but on further questioning, the reason the staff nurse told me to eat was so that I wont collapse or else it will be a hassle for them to find another doctor to finish the work !!!!!! Duh !!!!! ) Thus here you know where the mentally that I am a "Hamba Allah" ( a term used to describe one as God's slave... where you have no needs but only live to give and serve to the point of death. ) And over the years, my noble idea had been bashed and eroded with each blow to my ideals. And the real world out there was a culture shock to me when I started working as a doctor. Thus it is easy to build up walls in order to protect yourself from further abuse..... no wonder some people say that doctor are not emotional.
And I had tried not to build too high a wall so that I still remain human and still be able to connect with my patients as I try to put myself in their shoes.... to come to their level... to alleviate fears or anxieties. But once in a while you come across different types of people which had been placed in your life on that day to test you to the limit !!!!! And today I meet this teacher who was in labour ... it is her first pregnancy. Epidural was offered to her to make her labour more bearable and pain free. And since I stepped into the room, she showed me a long long face ( and mind you I still have 24 hours to finish my call ) , she was not in pain. I tried to talk to her. Tried to break the ice. Explained the procedure to her. And proceeded to put in an epidural catheter for her which will deliver the epidural cocktail which will relieve the pain. And after everything was done and the pain taken care of ....... Not a single word from her lips .... No thank you... no nothing ..... If she had the epidural done in the private sector, it will cost her RM 800. Over here in the government, it cost her NOTHING. Anyway I cant control someone's actions but I can definitely control mine. So I gave her a smile and asked her if she feels better. She said the pain is gone and fell asleep.
I remind myself that as long God sees, I am happy. And that in the end of the day, my conscience is clear and that I have done the best for my patients, I can live with myself.......