I got a marriage proposal yesterday……..don’t get excited yet!
First of all, my apologies to everyone asking why I stopped updating you on my Quarantine experience. today is day 11. My colleagues and I are doing very fine, and I decided to just make one post after all this is over. I promise to put all the details of each day possible in there.
Back to the marriage proposal, yesterday, I got a call from a new number. Upon answering, it was someone whose name I honestly can’t quite remember, but I seemed to remember the name of his mother. He had been a caretaker to a patient (his mother) I managed about a month ago. His call started off with bad news of the death of his mother; MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE. she had died a week prior to this.
He then went straight to his point. He said since his mother had died, his father had nobody to take of him. And so he needed to find a wife to take care of his father and him. He mentioned that after thinking hard and deciding on the best person who could play as both wife and caregiver, I was his best candidate. And that’s why he called.
Through his entire conversation, I had a sustained jaw drop…literally. First of all, I don’t remember this guy, and secondly, where did he even find my phone number? Probably on the ward noticeboard at the hospital before they were discharged? This was the first thought because the ward noticeboard can be accessed by anyone and our names and phone numbers are clearly stated there on the DOCTOR ON CALL ROTA. I don’t usually give my phone number to patients or even caretakers to these patients. It doesn’t matter whether they’re male or female. It sounds mean, but have you been called by someone you don’t even know at 4am to tell you how their child has a fever?
It actually reminded me of the initial reason why I don’t give out my contact to patients. When I was a medical student during my Psychiatry rotation in year 4, I gave my contact to a patient, a guy 1 year younger than me. I can’t disclose the nature of what psychiatry illness he had, but I really felt its impact. He called me daily for about 2 months. Even when I told him to stop calling, he insisted. He proposed marriage too. I lied about having a boyfriend, and he insisted he wanted to share me with my boyfriend. He insisted for about 2 other months till one day when I told him off and made him swear never to call me again. It’s been 3 years, he hasn’t called.
This is a very tough situation, because we sometimes genuinely want to follow up some patients to know how they are doing, but this and possibly worse things happen. I completely understand why doctors aren’t allowed to date, marry or have sexual relations with their patients. The vulnerability attached to these relations is actually so real.
So again, here I am dear readers asking for your advice, opinion and experience with giving patient’s and/or their caregivers our phone numbers. This is my career, and I have to find a balance with this.