Monday, December 4, 2006

A New Colleague

So I arrive back at 2 am after a gruelling trip.

Nanda super-filled the suitcase with presents for back home. There are lots of steps with no escalators or lifts (from London Euston underground to London Kings X underground. Then there are even more stairs from London Paddington underground to Paddington mainline railway station). I suffered from muscle-strain pain for weeks!

I got to Lisbon at around 20:30, the onward flight due at 23:50. ... and waited and waited and waited ...

They took us to the plane and from the plane – twice! Eventually, at 3.00 am, they taxied us to a hotel downtown Lisbon. TAP (Portuguese Airlines) is euphemistically known as “Take Another Plane” - but we can't!

Finally, at around 17:00 on the Sunday we departed, arriving here in the early hours. As I was so fed up with all this, no longer had any patience to deal with this and as I know the immigration people, I just handed in my passport into them, and I'll pick it up later in the week.

Nanda's brother was there to meet me and took me home to see H., his wife K., their daughter J. and, of course, Jaime. H., who works for us has been living here for the last few weeks with his family looking after the house and Jaime.

First big mistake – I take a photo of Jaime – he's dirty, having come back from playing with neighbours' kids but happy. I forward this to Nanda, thinking she'd like to see Jaime fit and healthy - but she goes ballistic!

Off to work on Monday and meet a new colleague M. M.'s wife is from the Philippines and is on a second round of cancer treatment. I don't know the medical details but she's on relapse right now and it has spread from one organ to another.(This week it's confirmed it's gone to her bone). Prognosis is not good.

We get on well – lots of talk about cancer, lots of talk about emotional things – he tells me that Nanda will beat up on me for at least a year.

Both of us far away from our loved and sick ones, we continue to exchange progress reports, blood and biopsy reports etc etc.

He's applied for a job with another branch of our employer (giving more money, of course) and if he gets it and moves away from here, I'll really miss him. So I don't want him to get it!

Thanks M.


Fluffy said...

I followed a link here from the 'NHS Blog Doctor' blog.

I just wanted to say how well written your blog is (I’ve just read it all – I should be reading up on cholecystitis, but heh!), and how invaluable it is for medical students, such as myself, to read such accounts of living with illness, and serves as a timely reminder to always be mindful of what a patient and their family are going through. It sounds like you have some amazing support (both medical and social) on hand.

I'm not overtly religious, but you are all in my thoughts.

Wishing you all the best.

Angus said...

Thanks fluffy.

I think the staff at RMCH are pretty much a shining example to the entire medical profession.

Their sympathetic bedside manners are a tonic in themselves!