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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Creative Spot by Zita Perera Subasinghe

The Tables are Turned

I am now the patient
(Long ago I was Specialist)
I am helpless in pain
Just a name on a ward list

Nurses whizz past
Like penguins, cuckoos
Doling out pill
And to some, ‘Echo’s

This one looks bad
Call the Sister
Didn’t sleep well the night
May have bed sore or blister

      He is ready for home
      All healed and better
      Give a call home on telephone
      At what time to get her


      Oh what about dear young Mick?
      Why is he not in bed?
      Oh he was far too sick
      So transferred to A&E instead

      Each one has aspirations
      No one wants to die
      This one’s soon to have examinations
      With hope to climb very high

So when we look after the sick
Let’s have a special feeling
John, Jack, Ann or Mick
All have a life of higher planning

Oh the doctor’s entered the Room
He’s to do a ward round
His bright smiles banishes gloom
Home, tomorrow, how does that sound?

We were trained long ago
With MBBS after name
Heal the sick wherever you go
Was the name of the game!


  1. Well done Zita! A timely reminder that with advancing age, we are more and more likely to be the receiver than the giver. Hope you are feeling better after your operation. Yes indeed, "heal the sick wherever you go"

    1. Yes indeed, Mahendra! The key word is 'heal the sick wherever you go' isn't it? We were given this unique gift by our education in Sri Lanka

  2. Thank you Zita for that lovely reminder of life in the ward. As a doctor it is difficult to imagine exactly how the patient feels unless we are in that situation. Patients go through the whole spectrum of human emotions often not realised by the healthcare professionals who have to be more focussed. Glad you are getting back to normality all but slowly. Take care

    1. Yes, Nihal, it is indeed an eye opener, to lie there helpless and feel really humble that we can receive the healing touch. The greatest gift is to be able to help someone who is ill.

  3. Zita, I hope you are feeling much better and close to full recovery. I too have been a "patient" and at the receiving end, and it was a real "eye opener" as you have said. I think doctors who go through this experience (of being a patient) will be much better doctors in the future.
    Sriani Basnayake

    1. Sorry late to reply. You said it, 'It's an eye opener!' I was shocked what a bad patient I was!
      Thanks Sriyani!

  4. Zita
    It is hard to imagine the days before antibiotics and analgesics in tablet form when institutional care was TLC and nothing else. The Mist Carminatives, Pot Cit and Sodi Sal perhaps did little to alleviate the suffering between the wars of the last century. Surgery then was very basic too as was the anaesthesia. How things have moved on!!
    I know it is no comfort to you to think of those bad old days. May your recovery be full and speedy.

    1. Nihal, Thanks for reminding! Pot cit and Sodi sal those days, surgery and radiotherapy now and AI and robots in the future? Worrying thought!

  5. Glad to see all the great comments to Zita s missive. Long live the blog!

  6. Glad to see all the great comments to Zita s missive. Long live the blog!

  7. Welcome back to our fold, Zita after your 'traumatic' experience with the 'butcher'!! I am well aware of the recovery period after major surgery. I was made to walk up three flights of stairs to the ward from 'Recovery' just 24 hrs after very major heart surgery!! I suppose it was all done in my best interest.Hope your are quite well now so that you can catch up with your husband to give him the occasional..... 'kick'---- I mean Kiss!! He cannot escape now either way.
    I see that your back to your 'old' ... I mean 'young .. at heart self' It is aways nice to read something in verse, rather than the mundane narratives!!! Keep it up & I wish I had that gift.


    1. We do need your sense of humour Razaque! I can say I didn't have the strength to do even a 'kick'! Major heart surgery! I am sure that's a unique situation for a doctor to face. You definitely are 'qualified' to advise us!