Sunday, July 31, 2016

The widow's mite.

One busy out-patient morning I found Max examining one tribal lady with a high grade fever who looked toxic.In the passing ,I told Max,just keep her in the wards for the day till her fever subsides and then she can go home in the evening with her family.I became busy with other patients.When we went for rounds in the evening at around five ,she was sitting up in bed.Her husband was nowhere around.
When I asked after her husband she told us that he had gone home and had not returned.She had not eaten her lunch so I requested Geeta Bai to give her some food from the mess which she promptly did.I was on duty that night and it was a busy duty.I did not get a wink of sleep and so missed the morning rounds.Suddenly mid-morning the lady and her husband with a little kid bounced into my out-patient.The lady was very excited about the fact that we had fed her and looked after her and was narrating it to her husband.
The bill had gone up to Rs 2000  .The husband did not have a single ruppee on him .He excused himself saying that his kid would not let him alone so he could not make it to collect his wife the previous day.So we wrote off the bill seeing that he had paid four hundred ruppees for the medications on arrival.Both the husband and wife seemed a little short on attention.
Half and hour later much to our amusement,the husband entered my OPD and pushed a hundred ruppees note towards me.
This is a common phenomenon amongst the poor.
A few weeks ago we laboured with a young girl who was brought into the emergency unconcious with a high grade fever and a haemoglobin of 2 gm.The bystanders quietly arranged for blood.Seema regained conciousness the next morning but rapidly went into ARDS.We put her on high flow oxygen,gave the bystanders a bad prognosis but by God's grace she started making a dramatic recovery from the fouth day.
To cut long story short, she was discharged in another day or two with oral medications.A fortnight later they came for a follow up visit.Both the mother and daughter seemed extremely grateful .After examining her I had just bid her farewell when her mother caught hold of my hand .I thought she was going to shake it but I realised she had slipped a fifty ruppees note into my hand.I thanked them for the money and explained why I could not take it.They told me they would come again just like that, to see me.
Another time an extremely poor man slipped a ten ruppees note to me to express his gratitude.
We are so grateful to God that the poor come to us.

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