The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore


He keeps falling Posted on 12th Sep 2012, 11:21pm by admin

He was only two years old.

“Doctor, he keeps falling.”

He sat quietly in his hospital cot, followed instructions obediently. His eyes didn’t move right. He couldn’t walk in a straight line, veered to one side, clung to his mother.

The computed tomography suite was cold at night. Our hearts grew colder as multiple images of the tumour in his brainstem flashed across the computer screen.

His mother took one look at our faces as we emerged from the radiology suite, and knew.

How do you couch such devastating news? How do you say just what this mother and father need to hear to help them cope in that awful moment?

Lord, guide my tongue. Help me help them.

They listened, asked questions, sought to understand the proposed course of action. Later, they would ask the same questions again. Parents can be so amazingly strong. Still, they are human. That night, they put their tears aside for later.

He was in surgery by morning. In the ICU by afternoon.

Chemotherapy made him sick, made his hair fall out. He was so quiet on the oncology ward, sitting on his bed in the corner of the cubicle.

I wish I hadn’t been on call again the next time something horrible happened to him.

“Doctor, he can’t move his legs!”

It took a while to get the MRI scan done. A dour radiologist confirmed spinal cord compression from metastases. Lord, put the right words into my mouth. His mother’s face was devoid of expression. Perhaps she was praying too, inside.

He died a few months ago. I would have liked to have told his parents how sorry I was, to have them forgive me for the agony the news I brought must have caused them. I would have prayed that my words would have taken some of the pain away.

Oh Lord, take him to heaven with you. And if it is Your Will, please take away his parents’ pain.

~ by Dr Alison Snodgrass

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Dr’s Blog is a feature of the CMG web site that aims to encourage interaction between Guild members. We hope to foster a spirit of community through the sharing of thoughts and personal experirences. The opinions expressed in these blogs are entirely those of the contributors and not of the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore.

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Past Blog Articles

2014 Dec: A Prayer for Deliverance 2
2014 Oct: Who are you, Where am I?
2014 Sep: A Prayer for Deliverance
2014 May: Behind Those Clothes
2014 Feb: The Red Packet(s)
2014 Jan: God Loves You

2013 Dec: Caroling Reflections of an Expired M
2013 Nov: Scripture Reflection for Physicians
2013 Oct: Hang on. We haven’t beat this thing yet.
2013 Sep: Me and My Ride
2013 Aug: A Gift of Life
2013 Jul: Finding Happiness in a Land of Plenty
2013 Jun: A Beeline
2013 May: Living My Love Of..
2013 Apr: The Healthcare Debate
2013 Mar: A Doctor’s Prayer
2013 Feb: Project Battambang ’12
2013 Feb: Mission Srolanth ’12: To Heal the Heart, with a Heart to Heal
2013 Jan: The Hardest Thing To Say…

2012 Dec: The Lost Art Of…
2012 Nov: Rome Sweet Home – Short Reflections
2012 Sep: He Keeps Falling
2012 Aug: God Decides
2012 July: Am I To Blame?
2012 June: Saving Fragile Lives
2012 May: Ruminations On Love
2012 Mar: The iPhone

2011 Dec: The Red Cross
2011 Nov: Give Thanks!
2011 Aug: Ashes – The Epilogue
2011 July: Charity
2011 July: Ashes
2011 May: Of Angry Birds & Cowardly Mice
2011 May: Notes From Salzburg On Good Friday
2011 Apr: What It Means
2011 Mar: A Job.
2011 Mar: Dear Father…
2011 Feb: Clothes, A Person Doth Maketh
2011 Jan: Wonderfully Made

2010 Dec: A White Christmas
2010 Dec: A Medical Christmas Carol
2010 Nov: Saying Goodbye
2010 Oct: I Am Always With You
2010 Sept: Be Joyful Always
2010 July: Managing Expectations
2010 June: But They Are Our Masters…
2010 June: Driving: A Means of Personal Formation?
2010 May: HO Welcome Tea
2010 May: The Rain
2010 May: A Missed Lunch
2010 May: Man In The Mirror
2010 May: Reflections At The End Of The Day
2010 Apr: Finding God In All Things
2010 Mar: Surely You Put Your Trust In The Lord?
2010 Mar: The Significance of a Name

2009 Nov: Batam: Beyond A Mission
2009 Oct: The Broken Rosary
2009 Sept: Love Note To God, Father
2009 Aug: Let God Take The Wheel
2009 Aug: The Prequel: The One About Graduation
2009 July: The Sequel: The Later Months
2009 June: First Month of HO-Ship
2009 May: “The House of God” by Samuel Shem
2009 May: In The Discipleship for Christ


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