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Health is Wealth

August 8, 2012

Each one of us has an important role to play. Here is a big thank you to those working in the health profession for taking fine care of us.

November 2007, I underwent a major surgery of sorts. When DrArifa Khan adviced me that it was imperative for my health–>*it be done, I was quick to say- ‘Yes!’ Firstly I didn’t need to spend a single cent, and on top of that I kind of enjoyed being taken care of, even if in a hospital, let alone the fact that it was tax refund in the real sense!

Being mindful of my responsibilities as a teacher, 29th Nov was spent with regular sprints to the ladies’ room (my bowels were running on ’empty’). What kept me going that day was love from all quarters. Wishing me ‘good luck’, the staff showered me with hugs and gifted me a pyjama suit with stars and Pumba on it. I truly felt Special, and if from the corner of your eye you caught something in the sky, it was probably me on cloud nine!

30th Nov, a 10 minute walk took my mum (who had specially come from India to ‘be’ there for me) and me to the sacrificial alter at Blacktown hospital, where I was meant to get three holes in the abdomen or a cut and it was as simple as that. Sure!

Let me tell you a little secret-I am scared to death of injections. Just as I tried to make myself comfortable in the cold operation theatre, I heard someone whistling ‘Hello….’ & a warm feeling spread all over my body. It wasn’t Lionel Richie, but Dr Lee, my anaesthetist, most likely in his sixties and h e _ l bent upon calling Me ‘bibiji’! But let me tell you that in the short chat we had, Dr Lee came across as larger than life.

Soon other ‘angels’ joined him (DrArifa Hamid Khan, Dr Nada Bhakhit, DrReena Mohan and Nurse Erwin)-after all my life was in their hands! Just as Dr Lee started to put me under his spell, I raised my hand in salutation and drifted off into deep sleep……..I believe it took my angels a few painstaking hours, double the expected holes and a slit on my tummy to fix me, but all was well, as I did see the morning light.

My ma, Rishey (my son) and friends were always there for me. Over the next few days my stay in the Anti Natal and Gynaecology Ward truly enriched my life and made me see the ‘medical’ profession in a new light. It was midwife Jesse who mothered me; Maria who showered me and held my hands as I learnt to walk yet again; Zareena, Shusheela, Utra and Elizabeth#2 who supported me to become independent; Lucinda who promised to find me a husband to do my housework 😉 and Natalie who brightened each day with her endearing smile. ‘Bula’ Maureen and Susan kept the premises clean. It was Mary-Ann who gave me a prawn curry fix and Natasha (the kitchen lass) who hooked me onto bikkies for diabetics, even though I ain’t one.

One evening, I overheard Margaret talking to another midwife, “What a fine lady!” Well all I can say is that I’m glad she hadn’t exchanged notes with Julia who had caught me sneaking a ‘cuppa’ to bed. It was Head Nurse Olwen enlightened me with the changes expected after the surgery-the part I liked the best was when with a twinkle in her eyes she said ‘You will now save $5 each month’. Day in and day out, her fine team continue ‘striving for success’ and providing all patients the right dose of nurturing-as also a safe haven.

Yet I believe that in the future, our daughters and daughter-in laws aren’t going to be as lucky when it’s their time to be at the Gynaecology ward, for there aren’t going to be as many midwives to make their stay as Magical as mine. The reason being that the average age of midwives in the workforce is approximately 40, but for the last 9 years only a small number of midwives have been trained by the concerned department.

I salute those who work above and beyond the call of duty making ‘medicine’ far more than just a profession.

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