12th October 2016, I raced for the consulting room after our team leader had informed us, he had received a dozen missed calls from our consultant. We could tell we were in for a very long day. A day full of “why don’t you know this?” ,“you students are not learning!”. I rehearsed a medical history I was to present as I sped off to the consulting room.
Today was an Out-Patient Department day, a day patients from all races and all walks of life magically expect to be ridden of their ailments and maladies, a day you see all sort of cases ranging from headless bodies to legless sick people in wheel chairs. I took a deep breath as I entered the consulting room with my group members ready to face the ‘boss’.
My group leader took a sneak peek into the consulting room, a table scattered with red folders that made it difficult for even a cup of tea to be recognized , and a round table of nurses. No consultant! He gave a sigh of relief as we boldly entered the consulting room.
I scanned the patients lined in rows facing the rooms of about eight doctors and I wondered what made me different from them? Was it my neatly washed and ironed lab coat? or the stethoscope I always carried around my neck which I hardly used? Or the hand sanitizer that scented my pocket every time?
The ‘boss’ finally entered and motioned to a patient to enter the consulting room. A heavily built man entered helped by his two brothers. His left arm was three times the size of his left leg. He moved with so much pain that he kept swaying back and forth. He gave his name with hesitancy so we continued extracting the history from his mother. His 28-year-old son reported today because a tiny swelling he woke up with 3 years ago, became so large, it affected his whole upper limb.
Amazed, I read the referral form and saw the words alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma imprinted in bold. God, why him? What did he do wrong? Well… he has never smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. No one in his family has ever had this condition. He’s a car mechanic but how many car mechanics have this?
“He has to do a metastatic assessment which includes a liver function test, renal function test, chest x-ray and MRI” Our consultant said! From this response you could clearly tell more problems were being sought for and not the solution. I thought of the different outcomes of treatment… He can lose his hand. The debilitating effects of chemotherapy can render him less human…Who would take care of him? A voice then resounded in my head. “Eliezer, you worry too much!”
Just as he left, carried away by his siblings at his flanks and his mum behind him, a middle aged woman enters with a big bandage spanning the left side of her face. “This cannot be good” … I whisper as I wait for the face to be unveiled.
Finally, the face is unveiled. All the heads that emerged when it was uncovered quickly disappeared. Her left eyeball was so sunken; you could not measure the depth of her orbit. There was a significant distortion of her cheek bones that no man would look at her twice. My team members rattled the differential diagnosis…osteosarcoma…rhabdomyosarcoma…. so many ‘omas’…however what lingered in my mind was, why them?
You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God. I’m human and so are you! There’s absolutely no way we can perfectly understand everything in this world. In the same way, we cannot comprehend why what happens to who at what time.
But human life is just like a tuft of grass, one day you are up and standing, another day you are down and gone. With time and perspective, we recognize that the problems which come our way: sickness, loss of a loved one, poverty, come for a purpose. To convince you why you really need divine strength beyond yourself, why you need the offer of heaven’s hand.
Why should you then live your life with haughty eyes and broad shoulders that look down on everyone? Just because of the car you change weekly? The face that gets you unimaginable favours? Or the brain that takes you places?
No it’s mercy! God’s divine mercy is something you can never comprehend, even in the afterlife. God has mercy on whoever He wants to have mercy on. He’s a loving God and his mercy is fresh and new every morning. The thin line bridging the gap between your healthy feet and that melanoma is mercy but not the dollars in your account!
I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth I will apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all, and I will strain my potential until its cries for mercy. – Og Mandino
Have a blessed week!

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Medical Doctor, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Tech Activist and Prolific Writer.

23 thoughts on “ACT OF MERCY”

  1. Wooow!
    God bless your work… Seriously.
    But what may have caused the ARMS for the man?
    And the woman…was the diagnosis actually melanoma?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wooow!
    God bless your work… Seriously.
    But what may have caused the ARMS for the man?
    And the woman…was the diagnosis actually melanoma?


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