Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My patient thinks I'm immortal

AT THE Psychiatry Ward, my patient, diagnosed to have schizophrenia, sings his heart out, much to the dismay of the other psychotics in the area.  The song is a familiar OPM classic whose title I forget. He reminds me of my brother Ralph who, when taking a shower, sings as if the world were his stage. As I retrieve his chart from the nurses' station he asks me, "Dok, totoo ba na ang mga doktor hindi namamatay?"

"Saan mo naman natutunan 'yan?" I ask.

"Basta, Dok. Ang mga doktor hindi talaga namamatay."

"Lahat ng tao namamatay," I say. "Pati mga doktor."

"Sabi ko sa 'yo eh!" says the patient next to him. This Other Patient has been listening to us all along. His I-told-you-so attitude doesn't bother my patient, who remains unconvinced.

This Other Patient, frustrated that my patient doesn't get him, explains in the most emphatic of whispers, "Namamatay sila!" And he adds, "Lalo na kapag nabundol."

My patient thinks I'm immortal. Credit goes to my pretentious white coat which, even if I sweat like a pig when I wear it, makes me look like a real doctor instead of a 12-year old kid tasked to buy mantika in the nearby sari-sari store.

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