The confessions of a Rebel Patient
I am a rebellious patient, incorrigibly disobedient. I live on nature’s time and mercy and not on the doctor’s instructions. If I were to follow the doctor’s instructions I would be long dead by now. So I end up following my own instructions. Like my favourite one that says, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. So I have replaced my medicines with lots of apples and these keep me going.
The last time I saw my doctor ten years ago, he warned that I had only six months to live. He said that the special enzymes I needed for my delicate tummy could not be found anywhere in the world. That they would take about 100 years to be produced. After shedding buckets of tears and feeling so sorry that I would soon leave this world I love so dearly, I finally accepted the situation and made preparations to move on…to the next world of course. I packed all my clothes neatly and labelled them for various orphanages. I gave out my favourite earthly possessions to my relatives and friends. As the time of my death approached, I withdrew my life savings, a substantial amount and gave it to my boyfriend who was to marry me. He never married me though and I never died and he never returned the money. I started being nice to everybody, even to people I disliked. I thought of Heaven deeply, how beautiful it was with green fields and angels singing in four different voices. Of the river that flowed with milk and honey as taught by my Sunday School teacher, Zippy. I recalled my relatives and friends who had died and felt encouraged that I would soon join them and we would reconcile and tell lovely stories. But when I did not die as predicted by my doctor, I felt quite confused. But I lost all the respect I had for my doctor and his ilk.
I am a rebellious patient pessimistic about treatment and hospitals. Last time I visited a Hospital the doctor predicted that I was about seventh months pregnant with twins. He said the ultra sound showed the babies were intertwined and were not kicking very much. This shocked me because although I had some pains in my tummy, I had not had sex for four years. I protested that I could not possibly be pregnant but the angry doctor told me to style up and reluctantly dragged me to the theatre for an emergency surgery, “to save the twins”. What a blunder, to learn that it was a fibroid and not his imaginary pregnancy. My friends asked me to sue but my priest Father Burke brought me the Holy Sacrament and asked me to forgive after reciting the Lord’s Prayer and splashing some Holy Water on me. Again after that surgery, I lost confidence in doctors.
Now I have learnt to survive and this saves me lots of hospital bills. I am my own doctor with home remedies that always seem to work for me. For strong headaches I sing love songs and the pain just go away. For colds and flu, I drink a whole flask of hot water mixed with raw ginger and lemon stirred with lots of sugar. Again this works for me. For stress I visit the local disco and dance the night away. Sometimes I dance with strangers and laugh at their stories, sometimes I join the band on stage and I feel like a star. And the stress just goes away. I would rather buy scoops of ice cream instead of pay consultation fees and I would rather lie on my tummy in my bed than lie on my back on a doctor’s examination table. The doctors’ diagnoses and the white lab coats just make me go crazy. Black tea for a stomach upset and black coffee for a headache often works for me wonders. Hot milk with a spoonful of blueband for an allergic attack and methylated spirit for a kitchen accident. And thus I move on with my rebellious patient streak as I survive the pressures of life and the fears of a wrong diagnosis that might send me straight to my early grave.