it has happened so many times that i began to think that there is something else going on.
while engaging patients in understanding their illness, doing the S-O-A-Ps, a patient would inadvertently let slip the phrase, “you see, father…”
and they would blush and cover up, and correct themselves, “i meant, doctor…”
i look around the clinic, asking myself if it looked like a confessional. far from it, i think. for those who’ve seen it, it’s a bright daylight place filled with books on shelves, an in-and-out letter holder, pictures of children on the wall, a computer…
not the subdued, hushed up place you find in a church.
and it’s not like we’re discussing sins, temptations, and penance.
in fact, most conversations revolve around the appetite, changes in weight, abdominal pain… and bowel movement.
i think it is because people would not usually talk about these essential activities of daily living, bordering on the taboo. it’s not like you would swap notes with your best friend about how your poo looked like today. and it somehow feels like a revelation of sorts. an admission of something that feels right but has somewhat gone awry. a confession.
and when you feel troubled about something that you cannot talk about, it is a relief to find someone who listens.
i think that is what i do best.