(Originally Written Jan. 2009)
Evan is sick, vomiting, shades of this past summer; when he vomited continuously, experienced diarrhea, became severely dehydrated and had to be hospitalized for an evening.
On this evening, we took Evan to Muscat Private Hospital (MPH) and he threw up in the waiting room, a nice way to get seen a little more quickly. The doctor quickly attended to Evan and told one of the nurses to prepare a 10 mg suppository. The doctor seemed to be on his game unlike the last ER doctor we saw when I brought Evan in a few months ago. The nurse inserted the suppository, the doctor checked on Evan, and said that he would check on Evan again in 10-15 minutes. Evan seemed to be getting better. His eyes were beginning to dance and he was becoming more animated. The nurse came to check on him as did the doctor. The doctor allayed our fears and reassured us that Evan was not dehydrated. He prescribed some meds, including an anti-vomiting suppository and told us by all means to bring Evan back if he continued his previous heaving.
Eleanor took Evan to the car. The doctor summoned me to his office to provide me with the prescription. While in his office he inquired, “So, where are you from? I replied, “The U.S.,” and that we had lived overseas currently for the past 7 years. He replied approvingly, “So, you’re international?” After a little while I asked, “Doctor, where are you from?” There was a pause. The doctor looked at me and matter of factly replied, “Iraq.” I was frozen. I did not know what to say, but there was so much that I wanted to. My inner dialogue was saying, “You are probably practicing medicine outside of your country because of the actions of mine.” I so wanted to make this internal dialogue an external one, but I couldn’t. Me, “Mr. Gregarious” at a lost for words. He continued writing in Evan’s medical charts and I just sat there with many potential conversations racing in my head, but none making themselves audible. After the doctor finished writing, I shook his hand and thanked him for everything he had done for Evan. I took the prescription he wrote, departed his office, and paid the bill. When I returned to the car, I shared my exchange with the doctor with Eleanor and we talked. We both felt like returning to the hospital and apologizing for the actions of our country in his, but we did not know what this could open up. We sadly didn’t know what to say, so we said nothing at all.