Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The New Year WannaBaby

Oh the room is too warm. 
Oh the lights are too bright. 
Oh the bed is too hard. 
Oh the pillow is too soft. 
Oh the water is too hot.
Oh the soup is too cold.

Seriously not trying out free verse for the new year's. Just the usual litany of complaints coming from a particular type of patient - I call them the wannababies. Like needy Goldilocks of storybook fame, these are the sickly patients who never seem to get anything just quite right.

There's always something too .... about everything.

Oh no, it's the latter day baby. It's your oncall day, right?
You call them that?
Yeah, they're adults who want to be treated like babies.

Which is why these whiny complainers are always accompanied by a reasonably large retinue of weary yet still sweetly solicitous caretakers who tend to their every childish whim, no matter how inconsequential. Quite a tired few who look as if they're barely moments away from committing homicide by throttling the said patient.

Especially when the impossibly demanding patient wilfully thrusts away every treatment offered - despite all the infantilizing cooing, coddling and cosseting proffered by the anxious caretakers. Even the most patient nurses have given up.

Caretaker : Come sweetie, just take the medicine. Only one little spoonful.
Patient : No, it's too bitter. I hate it. Take it away.
Caretaker : But it will make you better. Just a little. Come on. 
Paul : This is taking forever. Move aside. 
Patient : And the room is too...
Paul : Hush. Now take your medicine.
Patient : Oh the medicine is too..
Paul : I didn't ask.
Patient : But I ... I don't wanna!
Paul : You're not a child. You're an adult and I shall treat you as one.
Patient : But I ...
Paul : Just open your mouth. I won't ask twice.

No, my brusque bedside manner isn't their usual daily dose of sweet solicitude they're used to. It can be precise, forthright and matter-of-fact - almost astringent - certainly don't waste my breath in mincing words for anyone's benefit.

I'll grant you some leeway if it's the very first visit but to whine during your umpteenth visit, knowing that there'll be many more since it's a lifelong malady? Seriously! Look I know it's miserable being ill. Nothing gladsome about debilitation, disability or death. But seriously does treating them like little children and babying them help in the least? 


Kenny Mah said...

I dunno. I love being babied when I'm under the weather. :P

Also, here's wishing you a Very Happy New Year, doc --- may better things come for you this 2013!

savante said...

:) Certainly if it's for a day or two, kenny! But not if you're having a debilitating lifelong disease, surely you wouldn't want to be babied for life.

Kenny Mah said...

That is true. We all need to grow up and learn to be independent sometime.

Mostly I just want Devil to baby me when I've got my wisdom tooth pulled out, for example. Excessive babying would go on the patient's nerves too, no? :P

Tempus said...

oh seriously. some adults can be really, really whiny.

Pampered past life much?

Alex said...

Hey Paul, Happy New Year!

Can I write to you via e-mail? I'd post my e-mail here but I'm too paranoid for it to go public. Ideas?

Cheers :)

savante said...

For rare instances, it's okay for the occasional babying, kenny :)

Perhaps that's true, tempus.

Hi alex. You can just leave your mail here since it would run through my email. I just won't publish it online.


thompsonboy said...

em bitches already started complaining? Happy boohoo new year!!

Jen C said...

I'm harsh too when i have patients like that. I tell them" Take it, or get out of my ward".
I pity the family taking care of them, they look really tired and exhausted.

Jen C said...

I tell them " take it, or get out of the ward". The family taking care of them look really exhausted and yet the demands keep popping up.