The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore


Let God take the wheel. Posted on 1st Jan 1970, 12:00am by admin

It seemed like just another lazy Saturday afternoon at a clinic in the heartlands. Until she came in and touched me in a profound way.

She came in with her head slightly down as she walked in and sat down. Although she tried to hide it, it was clear she had been crying earlier, her eyes were red from the rubbing. “Doctor, can you give me some medicine to control my moods, I get angry so easily nowadays.” My mind did a double take, headaches and pain I knew, but this was something new, what did I know about anger management? As her story unfolded, I started to see her with new eyes.

She was a working mother with 2 children, the eldest 2 years old and the youngest just 6 months old. Although her own mother looked after the children in the day, she took care of them at night and on weekends. Recently she started flaring up at her children when they did things she didn’t want. She was concerned that she was having these fits of anger as she didn’t have them before and she had no such problems when working in the office. As I explored with her, I sensed she was wondering if she was a bad mother for getting angry at her children and that she was afraid she was going crazy with her moods out of control and was in need of some medication to stabilise her moods.

And as she shared with me, I realised this was not a medical or psychiatric problem but a woman in pain. Not physical pain but mental and emotional pain nontheless. And I started to remove my doctor lenses and put on new eyes of love. Sure I did the doctoring part, running through the anxiety, depression and suicide checklist and others but what I felt was more important was connecting with a person in real need of love and support.

So we talked. I gave her space to ventilate her feelings and explored her inner fears and support setup. And although I was never taught in medical school how to provide counselling, I found myself seeking to listen and understand the feelings behind her words above all else and validating those feelings. Although I had never trained in it before, I found myself communicating ideas like “breaking tasks into smaller ones”, “deep breathing exercises”, “relaxation imagery”, “time out to nurture yourself”, “care-giver stress and confidants to support you” in that clinic. I even suggested to her googling and trying out Cognitive Behaviour Therapy! And as we journeyed together, I realised I could empathise with her in a unique way because of my own personal journey. As we talked, it was a truly amazing experience to see her seating just that little bit straighter and her eyes shine just a little bit brighter with belief and hope. That’s when I felt it wasn’t me doing the healing but Jesus was in that room in a palpable tangible way. He was healing her mental wounds and letting me see with new eyes how the pain I had been through earlier in my life was not meaningless, but was to be transfigured today to be a source of healing to others.

As I sent her out from the clinic without any prescription, I couldn’t help but feel that healing had taken place without any medicine at all. It would have been easy to label a diagnosis and prescribe some benzodiazepine to drown out the anger but the cry for help would have been put under too. And I couldn’t help but marvel at how 2 strangers whose paths crossed that Saturday were changed. One went away healed, while the other experienced validation in his vocation and finally believed that there’s still true healing to be found in Medicine.  By Leonard.

 


One Comment

  1. hippocampi says:

    very impressive! as a doctor we don’t only treat the illnesses but also the patient as a person. I’m sure the lady actually needed someone to talk to, not a benzodiazepine to calm her down.

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Dr's Blog

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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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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