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It is my first contact with the world of surprise. I was a little child when I visited a clinic for the first time. It was completely different from all what I had imagined. I thought I would find some other obstinate children with mums holding them by hand, being pulled by force to meet whom they prefer not to meet in their life.
The way there was not as long as I imagined. I did not have the time or even the intention to think about everything I noticed on my way. The idea of meeting a doctor and having the right or the best manners to talk to him daunted my mind. Should I commence with” Assalam Alykum” as a Muslim or do I have to bow when shaking hands with him? Should I step in with my right foot? No, no need. He may not take any notice of my move. Should I shake hands with everybody in the waiting hall? The street noise took me out of my illusions. A taxi driver looking for a customer blew his horn with musical tones to take my attention. I waved “thank you” to the taxi driver who seemed disappointed.
In this busy city not all the people are like that taxi driver. Some walked the streets as rapidly as myself. They don’t even have enough time to look left and right. They have something urgent to do every day because competition needs hard, relentless efforts. Some people stand by one of the marvellous shops waiting, maybe, for an important person whom they think is the only one to help in solving their problem in this busy city.
I got to the clinic that day upon an appointment with the doctor. I wanted to get checked for high temperature that had upset me for a week or so after I had the flu. A luxury, I discovered later, that not everybody can enjoy.
After I reached the clinic I took a number then directed to the waiting room. As usual, in the clinic patients come to the clinic for following up and taking their medicine and go to their homes. However people are sick of being waiting for their turn meanwhile, the nurse is giving health promotion and education to avoid feeling bored. In addition, this clinic deals with chronic diseases, especially acute ones. The mother shouting at her children to sit and stay calm. Little boys crying from their pains. Impressions that really affected me. People are suffering a lot. I sat on the chair and started to read a brochure taking all about cancer to spend my time until waiting.
While being there I saw one patient, 16 years old approximately, who was disabled in speech and suffered from developmental disability, he went out from the doctor’s office with his older brother and sat down in the chair with an upset face. His brother, supposedly the only assistant of his, was grasping his hand to stand him up, but he refused to respond to his command.
This may be repeated daily but to me it was completely new. The older brother started to shout at him, but also no response. I felt sorry for the little boy and a little hesitant whether to interfere or not. All of a sudden the older brother slapped him on his neck which showed that he had high temper. Still there was no response. After that the nurse, who watching what was going on, approached. She asked the older brother why he hit his small brother. He replied, “I didn’t”. Immediately the little brother went to the nurse and expressed his feelings by uttering words I could not grasp. He complained of suffering from his big brother treatment.
At that time I felt very sad and I got shocked. I tried to go and talk with his brother for his bad behavior, but I felt hesitant because he might say to me it’s not your business. It was a really sad display, if his big brother treats him like this in a public clinic, then what about at home? Is he going to improve his condition by this way or push him to get into more complications? I learned from this situation that I should interfere or take his big brother aside politely and start explaining to him the importance of dealing with people of special needs. You need good communication skills and to be patient as much as possible to understand their needs, behavior and feelings.
I didn’t have the courage to do that. I still repeat the proper words that I should have used to express my disapproval of what the older brother had done. I blamed myself for being so weak, so disabled and helpless. Is this going to be always the case in future? People are badly in need of help in this life because everybody is very busy and has no time to even think of the others.
The people of special needs are human beings. They have feelings, ambitions, wishes and goals in life. They are unable to fulfil these goals because they don’t have the ability, physically or maybe mentally, to achieve their ambitions. They look at other people with great hope for help but those busy people take no notice of them. The clock is still ticking and chiming, the night goes and the day comes as usual, but the busy are busy and the need for help persists every day and no volunteers in the rush means no mercy in the rush.