Thursday, April 19, 2012
CAN LOVE MAKE YOU SICK?
Over the fast food counter, I placed my order.
I was almost caught off guard by her lack lustre response to my request - not one to be daunted, I prepared to tell her off for her un-enthusiastic customer service.
Then I took a second look at her.
Like most doctors I pride myself in being able to make a spot diagnosis of different conditions by just the power of observation and nothing else; I carefully took in the necessary details and came to my conclusion.
I observed the way her eyes were cloudy with a tinge of redness, I noticed how pale she looked and her sallow complexion - the way she weakly attended to me. I was satisfied, the possible options were few, top among them was malaria.
Like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, it was time to confront her with my findings.
I asked if she was ok, she looked at me quizzically wondering whether she should take me seriously or not, she asked why I felt she wasn't fine and I gave her the necessary evidence.
Sensing her reluctance, and knowing I was on the right path, I took my food and confidently told her she could come talk to me when she was ready (probably for a prescription).
As I finished my food and got up to go, I gave her one last chance (for a free medical consultation). She finally agreed and took me to a corner of the counter; swallowing a lump in her throat, and with tears in her eyes, she told me her story.
She had been in a 9 year, long distance relationship.
They had gone as far as being introduced to both families and planning for their upcoming wedding.
Then he called it all off.
She was devastated and didn't know what to do.
Was there still any hope for her? She asked me.
Totally unprepared for this, I stammered a short reply, trying to think of something smart and encouraging to say. Thankfully, as I was going blank,we were interrupted by a new customer.
I hurriedly took my leave with an assurance of being accessible whenever she wanted .
As I left, I breathed a sigh of relief.
What advice should I have given her?