Air-Clinic: The Young Shall Grow Old and Die (A Short Story)

in #air-clinic3 years ago (edited)

I entered the room and sat on a chair closest to the wall. Putting my bag aside, I reached for a magazine and started reading.

"Doctor? Doctor Roberts?" a voice called out.

I looked up to see the face of an elderly woman, maybe in her late 60s. "Yes?", I replied.
"Don't you remember me?" I stared at her blankly. "You saved my life a long time ago."

Then she goes on to tell her story. "It happened a long time ago in the mountains. My mom was pregnant and in labor. There was no time to take a hike down. Good thing you were visiting nearby as part of your community exposure. I believe you were an intern back then. You delivered me. You saved us both doctor! Thank you so much!"

I was overwhelmed. Not only did she remember what her mom told her, but she was able to identify me by the picture taken together with her mom. That was more than 60 years ago. Then the memory came flooding back to me. It was my first rotation as a post-graduate intern of medicine. We were assigned to a remote village around twenty kilometers from the city. It was a four-hour hike that crossed two rivers, one waterfall, and a couple of steep climbs. We arrived at sunset and at around 9 pm a frantic knock on the door delivered a message that someone was about to give birth.

"How are you doing?", I replied, happy to talk to a past patient.

"I'm fine. Visiting for the last time, hopefully. It's my last chemo session you see."

"Good for you!"

"How about you Doc?"

I leaned back on my chair and sighed, "Four more sessions to go."

"Funny how life turns out eh? We learn to accept life's harshest truths and live by it."

I was silent. My patient was teaching me. In a way, saving me!
I closed my eyes and took a nap, one of the most peaceful naps I had for a long time.


Word count: 340

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