Friday, November 12, 2010

Doc, I'd like to take the pills like you said but I just can't.

Sitting at my desk at the out-patient clinic (which I hate working at by the way), there came this middle-aged man. The most striking thing about him was not his age group but the punishment he was going through trying to take each breathe.
I looked through his case file, saw that he was being treated for heart failure. His last visit was about 6 months ago, when he was given a week supply of drugs. I shook my head (in 50% judgement and 50% pity) and asked him why he stopped coming for clinic.
He told me he lived in the village and he was feeling okay then. I opened my mouth to scold him but then something struck me...

This poor man, like a chunk of my 'clients' is guilty of what we call POOR COMPLIANCE. That condition in which our first plan in treatment would be 'advise patient on good compliance'. During this 'advice', we threaten, cajole, beg and bully them into understanding why they should comply...most of the time, it doesn't work.

My point, let's flip seats for a moment. Let's get away from that doctor 'pedestal' and look at what transpires when we go to the one that can help us when we are in 'heart failure'. We go like, 'I can't breath and I feel choked by everything', 'my legs are swollen and I can hardly move forward', 'I have palpitations as I'm always afraid', 'I get tired after a little effort and I'm losing hope'. Then if the Doctor decides to look at our records, do you think He finds us compliant? When He presents our case to the Consultant, does He say, 'that one? Mschew. He's hopeless and non-compliant'?!

...back to what struck me, I realized I have been way too judgmental on these patients. I looked at the man and smiled. I told him we had to admit him so that his problems can be taken care of quickly and he can breath easy again. The issue of 'compliance' we will handle through understanding and working hand in hand. The Doctor doesn't scold me, His grace is over-sufficient for why should I scold my patients?

In summary, in case you did not understand any of my jargon...God's not judgmental...that's why He told the crowd that 'let him who hath no sin, cast the first stone'. So please, if you hath no sin, stone away...

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