Walk in My Shoes

Walk In My Shoes

“Parang nasasakal”. Chest heaviness. Cold and clammy. Shortness of breath. This is a patient’s narrative of a very scary experience.

And that patient was ME.

I was on my way home when I suddenly felt bad. Am I having a heart attack?  Oh no, too young  to exit!   I was contemplating whether I should bring myself to the emergency room.

The patient in me was in a denial stage saying, “I could be okay in a while.” The doctor in me was already making a diagnosis. “ If this is a heart attack, I only have a few minutes. Going back to the hospital from the house could mean its too late.

And so I decided to bring myself in. Lying down on a stretcher, I was given oxygen by cannula. I kept on sitting up because I was very anxious. Will I end up in ICU? More than that, will I make it through? I see the people around me, their faces familiar but it does not relax me a bit. ECG was done. Blood was extracted for cardiac enzymes.

I was wheeled to the cardiovascular lab on a wheel chair for 2D echo. This was my scariest experience ever.

Hey this time, I was on the other side of the bed rail!

It’s a  very strange feeling to be the one lying on the bed instead of the one lording over it.  It was humbling to be wheeled around the same hallways I walked on everyday. My first time to ride a wheel chair too!  It was terrifying to wait what my attending doctors would tell me about my tests.

After this experience, I have greater respect for the patients who is in every inch vulnerable, scared and probably feeling helpless lying on the stretcher.

 I have better appreciation of the patients who chose to put their vulnerability  on our hands.

 I had greater understanding of what they truly needed from me as their doctor…because I have walked in their shoes.

Any “walk” you wish to share?

Walk in your patient’s shoes. Your understanding will never be the same.

PS.  The diagnosis was GERD.  I was having coffee more than I should. Blame it on the  coffee recipe tasting  I was doing for a project.

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