An adaptation from a true life experience…
Pain is an ugly feeling nobody wishes for, whether physical or emotional, it often drags those bitter tears down someone’s cheek. Few years back, I was taught one important lesson: there are times I must wish to rather be in pain than not!
How did it happen?
Following a fatal road accident I was involved in with few other people, we were rescued by the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC and conveyed to a near by hospital on the back of their truck. At the hospital, we were rejected and had to leave for another hospital. It took almost half an hour to get to the next hospital. Through the journey, my right arm had hurt terribly, I wasn’t sure if it was broken but I couldn’t move it, all I could was gently place it on the body of another victim I had rested on. That way I didn’t feel much pain but I knew I was selfishly hurting another person who didn’t seem to complain or shout in pain.
We eventually got to the hospital which was fairly big, at least bigger than where we were rejected. With the corps’ siren already taken over the hospital compound, there were some panic in the hospital environment. One of the hospital staff ran out with a movable stretcher, while two others carried another stretcher in their hands. As our bodies were being taken down one after the other, I discovered the person whose body served as cushion for my wounded arm was already dead! After feeling the pulse few other times, the doctor declared him dead right before he was taken off the truck. He was immediately covered up in the hospital’s blue cloth and stretched away. Another body that was supporting my neck was only mere meat and fat, shinning without heart beat. The same doctor, a man you would have taken for a secondary school boy, moved to the body and didn’t even bother to examine, the body was also covered up and stretched away.
The six of us left were the surviving ones and were transferred to the open emergency ward. While in there, I lay on my bed for so long without attention. The pain in my hand was not getting better as I kept screaming at top of my voice in the big ward, but no one seem to give me that attention I sought. The doctor and two nurses were busy attending to other victims, stitching and dressing their wounds. The doctor would soon leave the patient he was attending to and started walking in my direction. In tears, I cried out to him for help but in the rush hour, he overlooked me and rushed to another woman that was calmly lay on her bed, at the far end of the ward. This woman was obviously not in pain and in fact she seemed not to have sustained any wound on her body. I wondered why the doctor could be so bias in his so called ‘triage’ to bypass me and attend to a woman that wasn’t in pain. Thinking the doctor would leave her and come back to me, he didn’t; instead, he was busy asking the woman ‘unnecessary’ questions, ‘ Madame, can you hear me?’, ‘Madame, can you move your hands?’, ‘Madame, are you in pain?’ He was pinching the woman like a wicked person. How dumb could this doctor be? Seeing a patient crying in pain and leaving him for another that was looking very well unhurt. Or was it because she was a woman? Perhaps he thought men like me could hold in pain.
I didn’t know what the woman’s responses were because she was not that audible. Then, this doctor did the most unthinkable: shouted at the nurses to leave all other patients and come to this woman. I was dumb-founded. It became a case of disappointment temporarily easing my pain. A tall screen was dragged to her bedside and her bed was immediately blocked from the view of the remaining of us in the ward. At this point, I concluded I had been brought to the wrong hospital. In the blink of an eye, the screen was opened and it was the doctor’s eyes that collided with my gaze, I cannot forget what he said,
‘Staff Ahmed, please go and give that man on bed four a shot of Paracetamol with perhaps Diclo so he can stop his noise.’
I breathed some joy knowing at least they were going to eventually attend to me, but I felt really neglected. May be I shouldn’t blame the poor doctor for his attitude after all… the big question is, why would a hospital as big as that keep just a single doctor on emergency duty?