As I greeted my second day of the Family Medicine rotation, I was supposed to take my first history of the week and I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

The patient assigned to my group was a 40-year-old woman, a known case of Schizophrenia. Now that was unexpected!
She wasn’t alone, she was brought in by her sister and while she did answer all the questions we asked, her sister would add in details that she thought were important.
After we were done with the majority of the history taking, her sister started telling us about our patient and how she had started to ignore her health, her hygiene, and her family. Soon, her hallucinations began. And while we regard these as negative and positive symptoms in medical terms, all she could see was her sister not being herself and someone who desperately needed help; she took her sister and her family under her care. She went from doctor to doctor seeking help and treatment for her.
Her love and concern amazed me.
I have a brother who is Autistic, and hence,  I could empathise with your patient’s sister.  My mother used to tell me about how, when my brother was young, he would bang his head on the walls. My parents found it difficult to go out in public because of his hyper and aggressive personality. But they never gave up on him.
My parents put in a lot of effort in raising him. Now, wherever we go, people are amazed at his improvement; his communication skills have improved drastically.
I realised that day that family really is important –  a family that loves, a family that is ready to sacrifice whatever they have for the sake of their loved one’s well-being, is a blessing.
In hard times, you always need someone beside you, you need someone who would help you get through those times. Who better than your parents and siblings?

I’ve been away from my family for around 3 years now. Every day, I miss them so much it hurts. I realise how important they are to me and I would do anything and everything to make them happy and proud of me.

Lastly, cherish what you have. Whether it is your health, your blessings or things you love. Don’t let them be gone in order for you to realise their worth.

About the author: Trying to keep herself and everyone else around her happy, Aleena is currently a third-year medical student who also likes to sing … A LOT!



Zainab Saeed, 23.12.2016



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