“Mummy I’m hungry!” Her 3 year old son cried, tugging at the hem of her skirt. She had just settled down to read chapter one of ‘The Principles of Medicine and Surgery’; she had been on the same chapter for a week now.
Her attention shifted to her son, his large brown tear filled eyes boring into her soul – she felt guilty. Guilty she had chosen a profession that kept her away from home most of the time, guilty she was always too tired to cook proper meals for her family, guilty she was not quite where she needed to be in her career to provide the best for her family.
Her mind travelled back in time, to that day she became a doctor, the day she took the Hippocratic oath; the dreams she had – to become a world class Paediatrician with a loving husband, beautiful children and a thriving practice. She smiled.
She was broken from her reverie by her son, who was still hungry. She remembered how she met his father, Dave. Dave had since left her, tired of the frequent reading and exams that never seemed to end, tired of the cold meals stored in the fridge, tired of the 48 hour weekend call duties, tired of the calls at odd hours, tired of the fact she was always saying she was tired. She couldn’t blame him.
Tossing her textbook into the cabinet where it would remain untouched for the next one week, she got up to prepare a meal for her son who would soon have to be dropped at his grandma’s place since she had to go to work that night.
She was a super doctor – her patients always looked forward to her ward rounds, she always had a smile for them and could spend an hour on each of them. She was never late and remembered all their names. What a nice, disciplined and pleasant doctor she is, they would all say, she must have a happy family.
Nobody noticed when she would dash into the bathroom and cry a bucketfull of tears, nobody noticed her constant phone calls to check if her son was okay, nobody saw the carton full of unpaid bills and loans. She was the Super doctor, the woman of steel.
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