How does one go back to work, to a large, well-equipped, modern medical center with over 85 ORs, 2000 doctors, 3 helicopters and an airplane, after having seen the Katrina aftermath?
I thought this as I came to work today, dressed in my suit as I walked in the subway, with soft elevator music piping in from the overhead speakers.
Believe it or not, I felt guilt. Guilt for leaving those patients behind. Guilt that I was warm, fed, dressed, healthy. Guilt that I was listening to my new iPod nano, while they were struggling to buy strips for their glucometer.
And yet, a tinge of anger and frustration, when I saw patients here who complained about having to wait 2 hours for an appointment, or having to fast a few hours for a test. Knowing that Mr. CC waited in the cold since 2 am that morning to see me at clinic.
And the most bitter pill yet? How shielded some people here are, how biased with their preconceived notions.
I had to bite my lip several times today when I heard some senior colleagues here say how the people of New Orleans 'asked for it' because they blew whatever relief cash they were given on jewellery, or how they were 'lazy' and did not try to pick up the pieces themselves after Katrina.
What pieces? When your whole home is condemned, your documents lost, your office of employment nonexistent, and your family spread out over 3 states?