“I will kill my husband,” she said to me in a matter of fact voice as I carefully took her blood pressure reading. It came as no surprise to me as I am used to hearing all sorts of babble from my very ill patients. I took no further notice as I packed my equipment and went into the Doctor’s Call room.
I told my colleagues what she had said and we all laughed over it. “She is probably going into encephalopathy, that’s why she is talking irrationally,” Dr Donald, the neurology registrar had said. We all agreed.
The patient had been brought in as a case of severe malaria which had proved unresponsive to all drugs; we were beginning to doubt our diagnosis as her condition was fast deteriorating. Even with the extent of her illness, you could still see how beautiful she was, devastatingly beautiful, if I must add – a sharp contrast to the anxious man who brought her in, we were later to learn he was her husband. What tragedy of fate had brought these two together?
Her words haunted me, were they words of a sick woman who wasn’t thinking clearly, or were they words from a heart that had been treated unfairly by the husband she had married? Somehow, I tended to believe the latter.
I did a few things, returned to see my patient (she was fairly stable), packed my things and went home.
I returned to the hospital the next morning and met a strange scene; Doctors and nurses were in groups talking. I hurried to them to ask what was going on.
“We lost the patient.” Dr Donald said with a sad face.
My heart skipped a beat.
“Which patient?” I asked, my voice shaky.
“Sorry, I meant the Patient’s husband.”
“But how?” I asked incredulous.
“The night shift nurse just met him gasping beside his wife; the wife herself, unconscious.” Dr Donald explained.
It was a tragedy. Apparently the husband of my patient had died while caring for her. Suddenly Dr Donald looked at me, “she said she would kill him, didn’t she?” I stared at him. “Yes, she did.” We both looked at each other.
But how had she done it?
We scheduled the dead man for an autopsy and promptly returned to work.
The autopsy was done a few days later and nothing was found. I know this for certain because I was there.
The patient promptly recovered and denied any foul play. With no evidence against her, she was discharged.
That was 6 months ago, many miles away.
As I stare into my lover’s eyes we both laugh and she asks me again how I did it.
“Don’t you know a doctor can get away with almost anything?” I reply my devastating beauty.
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