I wanted to hate that guy. I would have loved to hate that guy. How do you just bump into a doctor’s consultation room unannounced?
You know, it is unethical, it is a lack of courtesy. But the guy looked like someone whose ignorance on etiquette could have filled a library.
I later realised that he was called Casper from one of those lakeside counties.
Had Casper arrived a minute or so earlier, he would have found us examining the breast of a fairly young woman who had reported a lump in the right breast and was very worried. Luckily for her, we had finished the examination and she was dressing up.
Casper waited patiently outside until we finished with the young woman. Then he sauntered in without even waiting for his name to be called out.
Did we throw courtesy to the jackals? Fortunately, Casper was next in line. He was a well-built man, about six feet tall, dark in complexion.
I don’t want to comment on whether he was handsome or not, I just want to tell his story which involved breaking a certain commandment. But one thing I was sure of was that Casper was not sick, did not look sick, had not been sick lately.
Casper’s medical card was marked ‘Very Urgent,' so we decided to deal with the urgency it deserved.
I was to have my clinical exams very shortly, so the doctor asked me to take the history of the patient, in this case, Casper, and present it coherently so that I could build my confidence.
“So, what brings you to the hospital today?” I asked Casper by way of getting down to the matter that was marked ‘Very Urgent.' "Daktari, you know people like us, we are old men, Mmmhhh!” said Casper.
“Tell me! what brings you to the hospital?” I interjected sensing that Casper was trying to veer off the subject and reason for having a ‘Very Urgent’ medical condition.
Casper was not as old as he was trying to insinuate. He was in his mid-40s, very energetic, someone who appeared like those people who are full of life and are the life of a party.
Casper leaned forward like the one about to whisper an earth-shaking medical secret. I too leaned forward. After reassuring him I was all ears, Casper felt safe enough to go straight to the matter marked ‘Very Urgent’ on his medical card.
“Daktari, mine is a case of burst condom, I have come for post-exposure prophylaxis,” he said. “Please give me a prescription.”
I admired Casper’s honesty. He looked embarrassed, miserable and so sinful after saying those words.
I wanted to remind him that no sin is beyond redemption, but time was not on our side, we had so many patients on our list that day.
The doctor in charge was so pissed off with the whole idea of a burst condom being marked ‘Very Urgent.'
He was even more pissed off that Casper had gone to the Accident and Emergency unit where attendants marked his case in red colour code meaning it was a very urgent, a matter of life and death.
Casper must have charmed the nurse at the triage. The doctor had no choice but to do the prescription which he did quickly for that matter, just to have the man leave as quickly as he had come.
“Next time go to the outpatient for a similar problem,” said the doctor to Casper who was then saying so many things in such quick succession that it sounded like he was singing.
I have never heard that many thank you from a man since Casper’s ‘very urgent' case.
-Dr Oliver Kiaye is a medical doctor in Machakos County and loves literature