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“When There Is No Doctor” …

where there is no doctor

When I grow up, I want to be …

I am the first in my family to take a course related to medicine. My [wonderful] Mother was initially convinced she should be a nurse. However, after volunteering for a day at a well-known hospital, she did realise that the sight of blood is not her forte. Many years later, she and Papa purchased a pink plastic stethoscope. This instrument was essential to ignite my passion for nursing.

I cared for my white-haired doll. My doting dog, Cheeky, would occasionally act as a patient. Frankly, I did not always know I would be a nurse…

For instance:

At ten years old I wanted to be a vet.

Eleven years old, an interior designer.

Twelve years old, a neurosurgeon [as influenced by my crush and “Gifted Hands” by Dr. Ben Carson].

A Journal Entry of A Nursing Student

My Grandfather.

Fast forward to June 2019. Unfortunately, my family and I went through a difficult time. I lost my grandfather to cancer. He was a gentle and wise man. Furthermore, he loved to read. Cupboards, shelves and cartons are still filled with his books, most of which are theological. In other words, Guka (Kikuyu for Grandfather) was a reverend. It is very normal to go through his books and spot works by A.W. Tozer and C.S. Lewis. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise when my grandmother handed me a medical book: “Where There is No Doctor” by David Werner. It has information ranging from the process of birthing a child to treatment for Trichinosis.

“I am convinced that there can be luxury in simplicity.” Jill Sandler

I am a hopelessly sentimental person. So, this book is dear to me because it was Guka’s. The author wrote this book 33 years ago to help people in remote villages.The stages of labor are plainly explained. Drug regimens and measurements are in no complex way discussed. Parasites that would commonly plague them are drawn and described. Any layman can understand the otherwise mind boggling medical content therein that has been made surprisingly simple. Your eyes are not deceiving you; the word “simple” is in bold.

We live in a world where busyness is glorified. In fact, it is over glorified; over-rated. It is even harder for medics because we always seem to have work to do. People equate simplicity to poverty and lack of knowledge. If you are like me, you’ve been a culprit of this at least once. A simple and neat individual comes across as a person who we should be polite to until we know their status quo. Senior lecturer. Nurse in Charge. Professor. Head of Research. PhD holder. Sounds familiar?

My Journey in Medical School

Keep it Simple.

The word “simple” comes from a Latin word “simplus” that means “a medicinal herb or medicine made from one.” That which is simple heals.When we take time to appreciate and focus on even the simplest of things we are rejuvenated. We focus so much on the busyness of life that we ignore such…

A prayer in the morning. A smile. The blessings whispered from a patient. A hug from a loved one. A cup of tea after work or school. Running water! WiFi and bundles. The smell of the earth after the rain. The laughter of our friends. Literacy. The support from those who care about us and so much more!

This global situation where almost all of us are in lock-down or quarantine has forced us to slow down – I say this, knowing that some of us are soldiers in the battlefields of laboratories and hospitals. I salute and appreciate you all. We are in a space where it is almost difficult to not introspect. It is easy to forget that there is much we should be grateful for. That’s the human condition. We forget. We get weary and worn. I, however, have come to learn that gratitude is one of the best habits we could ever form.

In conclusion, one of my favourite anonymous quotes is, “If you had tomorrow only what you were grateful today, what would you have?” I do pray that no matter what profession, field or season in life you are in, you will be more aware and grateful for even the simplest things in life from now henceforth.

I am grateful for the simple pink plastic stethoscope Mama and Papa purchased.

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6 comments

Sibo April 29, 2020 at 1:51 am

What a nice read. I enjoyed it!

Reply
Rehema Alma May 4, 2020 at 7:11 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Kamau April 30, 2020 at 9:42 pm

Oh Alma .
Alma!
This is soooo beautiful!I love it!!!

Reply
Rehema Alma May 4, 2020 at 7:10 am

Thank you Ndichû!!

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Mournin: A Personal Account - The Medical Hub May 14, 2020 at 1:42 pm

[…] “When There Is No Doctor” … […]

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Karaya M. M October 15, 2020 at 5:17 pm

A wonderful read.
Ni funny vile most of us wanted to be neurosurgeons after reading from Dr Carson.
Keep up the good work.

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