Thursday, December 31, 2009
slum doctor aspirations
I have always harboured a secret ambition to be a slum doctor, like in Shantaram. The focus is on the word 'slum', or as in Mandarin they call it 'gangster doctor'. Because I have no formal first-aid, medical or pharmaceutical qualifications, I learnt everything the gangster way. I enjoy doing first aid and for some reason had always been 'arrowed' to do the first aid for our camps and expeditions back in JC. As the years passed I find myself somehow putting together first aid kits for all my mission trips. I learn easily about drug names, dosages and uses and can never forget any medicine that I personally have taken before. I guess it is a blessing in disguise that I have so many sicknesses - psychosomatic distresses that have accompanied my most of my life - because this way I have tried many different kinds of drugs.
I had a vision once of myself tending to child's injured leg in a war-torn country. When this vision flooded over me again during my Myanmar trip
, my pastor asked me to bring my first aid kit along to the slum we visited, although we didn't get to use it - good thing I guess.
Lately my slum-doctor dream has been materialising in the veterinary field. Because of the animal rescue work we do in my neighbourhood
I find myself learning about medications for animals and how to slum-treat the animals in our care because we don't always have the funds for veterinary fees. I seem to be able to retain information that I research on when it comes to veterinary illnesses, symptoms and types of drugs and the animals we help using our slum-vet information have helped us tide over and save many animals from euthanasia because of simple illnesses.
I think of Shantaram and how the protagonist became a slum-doctor by simply working from his first aid kit, until the slum lord who had illegal ties with a hospital started supplying him pilfered drugs to treat the villagers, and a doctor to refer patients to, cutting through all the red-tape and getting them emergency medical attention. I hope I become a slum-doctor someday; for now, I will start and continue with first-aid for animals.