One more year before I turn 30
IF NOT FOR NURSE LEO who greeted me a happy birthday when I dropped by the ER to see yet another referral, I would have forgotten that the clock had already gone past midnight and it was already April 22, the day I was born 29 years ago. I was on duty as the SCUPOD—one of the many complicated posts we assume on our 24-hour shifts—which meant I was at the beck and call of the specialties in the entire hospital when they needed someone to make sense of their own patients’ medical problems. I must have broken the news to a colleague, who then, by word of mouth—and word travels at the speed of light in these parts—spread the news to friends who were also on duty. Naturally I wanted my birthday to be a private affair, but my friends shouted greetings from far away, enough to be heard by the people in the hallways, so much so that an entire service block of clerks and interns wished me well in a chorus that morning.