Today, I was emotionally challenged. Living in Lagos in itself is strenuous, so people tend to already be on edge from the word go. Storytime? Let’s go!
It’s 7.50am and I’m 6 minutes from work. My driver apparently cuts off another road user and that driver commences blocking us on a narrow road. Quickly, traffic builds up as he doesn’t allow us to move forward no matter where we turned to. I had to jump out of the car into the rain to run to his car window to ask what is the problem. He claimed the driver cut him off. I apologized and explained I’m trying to get to work, after which he finally drove on and allowed the traffic to flow.
I was so shocked at how he thought was the best way to handle the situation. He had already gotten ahead and could easily have continued on his way but he chose to block the road and cause traffic. I don’t think I’d ever understand his line of thought (If it’s present at all).
So I get to work and due to the ongoing NLC Strike, the nurses didn’t resume; so I was doing the job of a doctor and nurse all in one. One of my patient’s Intravenous Fluid line wasn’t moving as fast as the mother wanted, and she started flaring up, shouting at me, knowing fully well I was attending to an emergency; then she started changing the settings that I had painstakingly put in place.
To say I was annoyed would be putting it very gently. It was so easy to slip into mirroring her tone and body language and for a brief period I admit I did, but it later occurred to me that I’m a medical doctor and not a fighter lol, so I simply documented the settings I put in place and told her that I’m writing what I did and whatever else she does to her child’s treatment is on her. It was when I was done writing and about leaving the ward that she came to apologize for her actions, gave me a hug and asked me to please help her check the line, which of course I did.
I spoke to my friend about the occurrences and he advised me about maintaining decorum even in the face of situations that will tempt you to behave otherwise. It’s not about the person trying to get on your last nerve, it’s about being able to keep your emotions in check at all times – which requires the Grace of God.
Pray for Emotional Intelligence! It’s a life skill that goes a long way.
As for me, I still went back to apologize to my patient’s mom for raising my voice back and made sure she was content before I handed over to the Next doctor on duty.
Leave a positive impact everywhere you go, you’re an ambassador of Christ after all.