Life has been tough recently. I am stressed ( because of my visa delay) and really fed up with my incessant problems. I said to my mom the other day on the phone: ‘I never get anything done smoothly in my life!’
Yesterday I met a friend who is almost my elder sister by now. I expected myself to just whine about how miserable my life is and how all I have are problems. She started talking about her new job and I shut up. As she spoke, I was too scared to even breathe.
My friend started working in an hospital in South Auckland as an physiotherapist (I guess). Now, if you have lived in Auckland for a while then you will know that South Auckland is considered as the troubled neighborhood. Emphasis on considered as.
She told me that on her third day working there, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She became responsible for taking care of a two month old premature baby. The baby’s mom asked my friend to look after the baby while she went outside. My friend couldn’t stay longer than 30 minutes and told the mum the same.
My friend ended up holding the baby for more than 3 hours. The mother came back after 5 days. My friend did not know that the mother was troubled. The mother was not allowed to leave the hospital and neither was she supposed to leave the ward. There was a communication lapse in the hospital. My friend had to take care of a baby because of it, scared that now she will lose her job and at the same time she would have aided a mother abandon a child.
My friend has been working in the hospital for 3 weeks now. She loves children. On her honeymoon, when other couples are busy taking great photos and enjoying, she and her husband volunteered in a slum area in Philipines. They raised money using Facebook to help those children. As she spoke about her job, how she interacts with children and how much she loves them, I knew that she has found her calling in the hospital.
She spoke about meeting children of abuse in the hospital. How children who are supposed to be delighted to meet their parents were too anxious to be around them.
A abused child who hadn’t had a bath since November because of his hydrophobia recently had a bath.
Mothers who would abuse loudly in the hospital and spit at nurses and create a mess.
Fathers who would abandon their new born in the hospital because they did not want them.
She told me about her day as by the end of it, she was tired physically, mentally and emotionally.
“There are small surprises wrapped inside a mass of mess”
I was scared as I heard her speak. I had my hands on my mouth because I was appalled.
Back to the mother and the premature baby. The hospital authorities have seen these incidents before. They said ‘This is pretty normal here’.
THIS IS NOT NORMAL! IT CAN’T BE NORMAL!
They spoke with my friend, convinced her that none of this was her fault even though anyone in her place would really think that all of this was their fault.
When the mother came back, she took the child away without any fuss or any communication. She did not give any kind of explanation as to why she was missing for five days. I don’t know much about the social services in Auckland, I am not sure about what will the repercussions of the mum’s actions but my friends couldn’t do anything. They could only send their report on the incident to social services.
My problems were my own. My mistakes will only affect me directly. My friend’s work takes a toll on her and affects a lot of people. The families in the hospital, her own mental state, her colleagues and then the social services jobs.
As she finished her stories, I said I have the easiest job in the whole world. In terms of stress and the consequences, I still have it pretty easy. In all, I probably shouldn’t complain anymore.