By Fr Martin Okafor-Ilozue, BCBP Mactan
Have you ever wondered about the relationship between these two words? Why are inmates in a hospital, called “patients”?
Once you enter a hospital with a complaint, you are directed to the OPD or ER, you get your registration card/folder, and you are called a PATIENT. Hospital business demands a lot of PATIENCE. First of all the nurse or doctor asks you your name and why you came to the hospital, how long the discomfort has lasted, and your general feeling. You are expected to PATIENTLY answer the questions posed to you. He may see these as mere symptoms of a greater (inner) malaise. There are no short-cuts. He/she may be young or old, well dressed or poorly clad, handsome/beautiful or ugly, tall or short, white or black, it does not matter now. You have to PATIENTLY believe in his ability to help you.
He sends you for some laboratory tests. Or he may recommend you right away for ‘admission’. You are either an OPD (OUT-PATIENT DEPARTMENT) patient or; either way, you must be patient. It takes time for the results of your laboratory tests to be ready.
If you are admitted for more examination, monitoring, infusion or advanced/further laboratory tests, or even for surgery, you need to be patient. Remind yourself over and over again, I AM A PATIENT, I WILL HAVE PATIENCE’.
It certainly takes time for the drugs to work. Sometimes the medicines are not readily available. Sometimes a doctor may humbly look for a second opinion from a fellow doctor or physician. And through all these you may be experiencing acute and lingering pain. There are patients who are always complaining of almost everything in the hospital; it is either that the medicines are too many or the laboratory tests are delayed or one pain or the other, or that the food is tasteless.
Our Catholic faith teaches us through our Savior Jesus Christ to endure patiently. The word PATIENT occurs 17 times, and PATIENTLY 9 times in the Bible. It is generally associated with endurance, hope, and even pain and suffering!
The GOOD NEWS about this period of time (as patients) is that it can also be an opportunity for Grace, which should not be lost or wasted; for during this time, “Ang Dios nagsulay kanila nga gisakit, ingon sa bulawan diha sa usa ka hasohasoan, ug hikaplagan sila nga angay sa pakig-uban Kaniya”. And that is not all. Finally, ”Gidawat Niya sila maingon sa iyang pagdawat sa mga sakripisyo nga sunogon didto sa altar sa mga nagsimba Kaniya”.
Truly, through pain, sickness or suffering, patiently endured, we are purified from our sins and punishment, our sins are mitigated or even completely taken away. May the Lord grant us the Grace of PATIENCE especially as PATIENTS!
Source: Taytayan Feb 2015