Between work and son

The latest thing in the medical news right now is how women doctors are said to be ‘a burden’ to the NHS. Some critics say lah – they say women drs are more prone to be part timers or quit earlier. Women drs dont go up the ranks as quickly and actually theres less female specialty trainees in certain areas. This is thought to be women wanting to focus on their family or going on maternity leave. All of this results in the energy and money training these drs to be ‘a waste of time and resources’. Whenever I read these things in the papers, I think – well, isnt it better that I take care of my family and raise good child(ren – insyaAllah, one day) and make them good leaders of the Ummah? Call me a traditionalist but yes, I do believe in the importance of the secular family.

Anyway, it seemed that my traditionalist side and workaholic side do clash together. I admit, there are (many) times that I go back home late or spend time work related more than I should. A lot of the times, its because I like to finish the jobs that i started, so I know its done. Other times (rarely), I do it because I think it will help with my training or increase my CV prospects.

I remember when I was 32 weeks pregnant, I was so knackered after a night shift and was waiting for 26 weeker twins to be born. Of course they didnt get born until the morning. I was disappointed – here was a time I could finally do urethral catheterisation (where you put a line in the baby’s umblical blood
vessels for easy venous access). I was tired, I wanted to have a break and eat, my tummy was huge then that i was waddling and having to sit all the time.I could have just left it for the day team as they were born just before handover. But I was so so desperate to do it, I stayed over for another hour or so just to do it walaupun kajar2 kengalihan. That was the epic of my keen-ness.

After Zayan, things are little bit different. I strive to go home on time (or a reasonable hour – like before 6 pm) and always have him at the back of my head.

Last few days, he’s come down with a fever and not wanting to eat or drink much. Monday came – I thought nvm I’ve booked next 3 days off (as I have a few days of annual leave left and I cant carry it over to next rotation). I woke him up early that day to bring him to childminder, promising that I’ll be there for rest of the week. He cried when I dropped him off and was said to be tired and not wanting to eat or drink much till I picked him up. Now
if you know Zayan, he’s a pretty rambunctious, inda pandai teranah boy. And he loves his
milk. LOVES it.

Last night, he was clingy and I spent every 2 hours or so tending to him – too hot, gave paracetamol, sweating buckets, buka baju, waking up crying ‘mama mama mama’ every now and then, finally he dozed to a good sleep at 6 am. I woke up at 7 am thinking I really shouldnt go to work – he’s not any better, he’s so clingy and its unfair to wake him up early and send to Shamina. I know he just wants some TLC from his mama.

But not wanting to delve into why I felt pushed to go to work, I went to work anyway. Granted it was my choice. I could have called in and said my son is sick, no questions about it. I knew ppl wont question it but part of me thought – well, he’s not
sick sick, is he? He’s not
dehydrated, he doesnt need hospitalisation, chest is clear,
he doesnt have any diarrhoea or
vomiting. I reasoned that this is all just a viral illness and if he does get worse, his childminder will call me anyway. I dropped him off and to witness him crying for me when he’s ill was nothing short of heart breaking. I drove to work pretty much thinking this was a bad idea – I was bitter (I could have taken it as my annual
leave as well….. but thats another story), unmotivated and constantly worried of him. I wasnt worried of his health per se but more of how I knew I should have just stayed at home with him. He just wanted some TLC time with his mama. Sure, he doesnt fit the criteria of a sick patient – he’s
not intubated or ventilated, he doesnt need any IV fluids, he doesnt need to be in hospital. And whilst someone else is capable of looking after him, making sure his temperature
is not high, giving calpol
when its due, encouraging him to drink – I knew he just wanted to be with his mama. One wise friend asked – if I wasnt a doctor, would I be at home lookin after my child? Because even if he’s not THAT sick, he’s still MY
sick child.

Sorry Zayan for today, I promised as well I’d pick you up earlier and didnt. Today mama wasnt a very good mama.

Love your very sorry mama

Ps. He was fine when I picked him up. Apparently he’s been chilling out on the sofa and only perked up when I came. He only drank 6 oz all day and still refused to eat but he’s ok.

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