A 43-year-old lady came to the surgery complaining of tummy pain.
I asked all the usual questions and then proceeded to examine her tummy.
I knew instantly that she was pregnant though the tummy was still small.
‘You are pregnant,’ I said to her.
Wide eyed in shock, she shook her head vehemently:
‘That’s not possible!!!’
‘That’s not possible’ she repeated, ‘we have been trying for a baby for many years without success…..there’s NO way I could be pregnant!!!’
But she was pregnant as a simple test of her urine confirmed.
‘No way!! Can’t keep it’ she declared, ‘I want it removed.’
She was almost hysterical with shock.
‘What the f….!!’ she swore angrily.
‘Ok, take it easy.’
I tried to calm her down.
‘You don’t have to decide right now. Go home and think about it and come back in two days to see me, ok?’
‘Let me know what you want to do then.’
She was back two days later.
‘I will keep it,’ she sighed deeply.
Fast forward many months later, as I made my way through the crowded surgery waiting room, I heard someone calling me.
I turned round and saw a stranger smiling at me with a baby in a buggy.
I smiled back, unsure who it was.
‘Don’t you remember me?’ She asked.
I shook my head apologetically.
With a few words she reminded me of our encounter.
With excitement she announced ‘This is the baby….I’ve had my gorgeous son!!!’
And it was indeed one of the cutest babies I had ever seen. The lady looked like a new woman, so visibly happy.
‘Thank you so much doctor,’ she enthused, giving me a warm hug, ‘Thank you so much!!’
We hugged tightly oblivious to the gaze from all the patients in the waiting room. I tried so hard to hold back tears of joy that pushed at the back of my eyes.
It was one of those defining moments when you decide that despite all the stress (and I can tell you that being a doctor is VERY STRESSFUL!!!) encounters like this make it worth it.