I’m very conscious about living in the same area that I work and am aware that it would be only a matter of time until I bumped into patient that I would have previously dealt with whilst on a day off.
But I somehow forget that there’s more chance of this happening whilst I’m still in uniform.
Working on the car two days ago I’d stopped by a Tescos store to pick up a healthy dinner. Half way down an aisle and with a basket full of Jaffa Cake packets I heard a woman’s voice behind me.
“Hello? Hello? Remember me?” The accent was Turkish . . . I think.
I turned around slowly, slightly terrified on who was going to be standing there. My mind raced . . . who’d I maimed or killed this time? Who’d I injured? Who’d I hurt, or insulted, or left at home when I shouldn’t have? More importantly, who might this be to seek revenge?!!! However, despite my exhagerated fears, standing in front of me was a young woman with short black hair. Her smile was warm and friendly. Beside her was an older woman holding onto a pram. Sleeping in it was a small baby.
“You don’t remember me do you”
I smiled pathetically and blinked with wide eyes. Noticing my vacant stare of stupidity she continued, “I was the lady who had the Cesarean section last year remember? You were there to watch”
Of course. It all came flooding back. She was the lady who had the traumatic C-section when I was being an observer in the maternity department during my hospital placements (http://www.not-on-my-shift.org/2011/09/28/obstetrics/). My god! How could she remember me from all that!
“Wow!” I stared incredulously (and probably quite rudely too), “h-h-h-how are you? You look great . . . I mean, compared to the last time I saw yo- . . . erm . . . you look great! And the wee fella here?” I motioned toward the sleeping baby.
“Girl. And this is my mother – remember her?” Both women smiled broadly.
I smiled just as pathetically to her mother then looked back at the wee bairn. As babies went – and bare in mind I am not a fan of them at all – this one was quite cute. “She looks lovely. Well done and congratulations” and I meant it. Admittedly, when having the C-section done she was eventually anaesthetised but you had to admit, she’d gone through hell that day and to see them both looking so well was amazing.
“We’ll leave you to get your lunch now. Thank you so much – for everything” She took my hand and squeezed it gently. So did her mother and I immediately turned red. What the hell were they thanking me for. All I remember doing on that day was standing there looking gormless and utterly shocked . . . somewhere between about-to-be-sick and have-been-sick-lots. It was the Doctors and Nurses that did all the hard work that day, definitely not me!
Embarrassed, I muttered something clumsy and pointless and then attempted to walk off with professional pride. I failed abysmally. Spinning around I bumped into another shopper sending half her groceries flying.
Once away from the ex-patient though a large smile spread across my face. I was on a buzz now. It felt like something good had just happened and I could feel the rest of my night was going to go just fine . . . until that was, I tripped and hit my head on the entrance door, causing several onlookers to burst out laughing.
Oh well, it was back to normality.