Sunday, November 18, 2007

Notes from the past

Relatives of a deseased patient of mine took exception when I said 'good for him' when I learnt of his death. What I meant was that it was good for an 80-year-old to go painlessly and quickly as he did. But to express grief even though you don’t genuinely feel it, is what the social custom demands and readers are forewarned not commit the same mistake as I did when they are faced with similar situation.

Recently I found in my case notes I had written Crazy Mama instead of the patient's name. What had happened was that when she had come on earlier occasion when I had made those notes, she had come with her two kids and she had created such a racket in trying to control her children, simultaneously trying to tell me her complaints, subconsciously I must have written her name as Crazy Mama. Obviously she had not noticed it and even if she had, I don’t think she would have minded it! Needless to say I quietly changed it to her real name.
The foot less prompt to meet the morning dew,
The heart less bounding at emotion new,
And hope, once crushed, less quick to spring again.
Mathew Arnold, on aging.

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