Internship was over. The forever- dreamed- of convocation was celebrated to its best. And the day after, I was home. A decision had to be made. What next? I had reached a major crossroad in life. Do I work or do I join PG entrance coaching? Majority of my batchmates were to take the latter road. There were also some who had decided to do both. I was sure of one thing- I wasn’t ready to sit down and study. I wanted some clinical exposure. I wanted to feel like a doctor.
So now that was decided, the question was where. One huge option was my college. The offer of junior resident was tempting because of the familiarity of the place. But I was sure it was not my place. I felt my work there was done and it was time to move out. Next option was to join any hospital near my hometown…i considered 2 medical colleges nearby and almost applied. The pay was good, work was less, more time to study and being near home made me available to be displayed during the wedding proposal dramas. But there was a small glitch. I was convinced God wants me to be working in a mission hospital. I never had a clear idea on where and all..but it was a desire I knew God had planted in my heart and so I am sure He will direct me. So do I now apply to a mission hospital? But if I made such a decision, my family would not be happy. And again, which mission hospital? Do I apply to an EHA? Or maybe CFH, ODC? The second option was intresting. I had visited the place once and it did have a good impact on me. But for some reason, I was convinced it’s not my place and hence I didn’t want to go back there. This was an option I had thought of many times, but I didn’t want to do it for some obscure reason.
With all those clouds of confusion looming around, I decided to seek answers on my knees. ” I want to be useful for you, so I am willing to go wherever you want me to be.. Wherever there is a need”, I told my Heavenly Father. And it was there that I got the clear direction to consider ODC. I wasn’t told why but I was told to go. Now this was really scarey! Ya..I guess I realised you should be careful what you are praying for!(LOL)There were so many hinderances that would have to be overcome.Would there be a vacancy there at this time of the year(October)? Why would I voluntarily go to a place where I felt I don’t belong? How would I convince my parents? I would have to learn Tamil( with my definitely laudable Malayalam skills!). The weather in Odc in summer would be terrible and there would be water scarcity.The treatment protocols, type of patients, the diesase pattern and all would be different. Plus, this was my first job! I didnt want any wrong choices.
Finally, as I was at peace with the decision to join Odc, I decided to go forward with the formalities. The day I made that decision, I ran into my Foster father on the way to the college office(in order to collect my certificates). He was excited about my decision and wished me luck. Now the drama was to start. The matter was tactfully presented before the family council and after the initial outburst, permission was granted. Two days before I was to set forth for Odc, I was asked if I could join Pediatrics as there was a real need for junior doctors there(unlike Medicine which I wanted). Hmm..now that was an interesting turn of events.
People always have this annoying habit of asking you what subject one wants to take for post graduation. Inside your head you are basically screaming at them, “Dude! You have no idea how difficult completing MBBS was..I have just finished and you start asking me this?!!”. But in accordance with the social norms, you keep that scream subdued, smile and dish out some subjects to them. But I was always a person who would say, ” I really am not sure of what I want but I definitely know what I would NEVER like.” And the topper in my hate list of subjects was Pediatrics. I simply detested it. All the whiny babies with nose goo….The fragile looking neonates I was scared to even touch…the drug doses which varied based on weight and a lot more calculations( I thought I was done with math by Grade12) and then the bad experience dealing death of a child during internship( that was the first death I faced as an intern and it was traumatising)…my reasons to hating pediatrics were like the sands of a beach. But nothing could beat the moment of truth( that happened during a long shower!) when I realised that I would have to attend deliveries also for neonatal resuscitation! I had to lean againt the bathroom wall as that realisation washed over me! Maybe I should call up and cancel this immediately! OMG! BAD IDEA!, my brain was yelling. But when I was on my knees, I had a peace about it..it was God telling me that He would take care. Now this would mean that I depend on God entirely. I had nothing else to hold on to- I didn’t know the subject well, was bad with children, new people, new language and the scared unsure me! But I felt this joy and peace about it that I cannot describe. And that my folks, is how God made me reach ODC.