Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A letter to all of my friends...

I just realized that I have lost many friends along the way.
A couple of weeks ago, I was randomly surfing Facebook when I came upon a very familiar name, a very familiar face. I saw pictures of someone I once considered to be one of my best friends. It was his graduation ceremony and I felt guilty that I did not even know he was graduating this semester. It has been a few years actually since we last talked. Sure, sometimes we meet by chance in places around Jeddah because it's a small city but all we do is exchange numbers and promise to get together later but we never do. Someone has probably decided that it is not worth the effort to make that call. That someone is most likely me.
Today I was scrolling down my contacts list in my mobile phone and I, very similarly to the first story, came upon a name that I had not called in ages. I pressed dial but no one answered. I felt a rush of guilt within me because I don't even remember the last time I talked to this person. She is a good friend who was always there for me when I needed her but this year, for some reason, I failed to call or message back way too many times.
Do you see a regular pattern here? That is what I do. Every New Year's Eve I promise myself that next year I'm going to be better. I'm going to remember to call back. I'm going to remember to say Happy Birthday when someone's birthday comes. I'm going to keep in touch and I will not allow myself to get distracted by life and college and all of my personal issues. Every year, I fail miserably.
I keep telling myself that I am busy and it's understandable but I, more than anyone else, know that it's just a stupid excuse. No one is ever really busy; it's all just a matter of different priorities. I always say that. I want to make my friends a priority higher than it is now but I don't know why it just keeps slipping back.
What's even more painful about all these losses is that most of them are unjustified! We just drift away, we grow up, we get busy with life's demands and we seek different things. We just cease being friends.
Every time I remember the names and faces of all the people that have passed by my life, I feel blessed. Each and every one of you has made my life more colorful, more joyful and most importantly, more meaningful. I hope that I have left on your life a fraction of the sweet impression you have left on mine.
Finally, I just want to apologize for not always being the friend I should and want to be. I don't want to promise that I am going to change right from this moment because I don't even know if I can keep that promise. However, I can promise you this; once a friend, always a friend and even after many years have passed, you can always call me and ask me for anything and I'll be more than happy to hear your voice and to offer all the help I can.
I love you all, and you can take that as you may. (I know it's cheesy lol)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Point of View

Let's assume that I am a Cardiac Surgeon and I performed an Open-Heart Surgery on a middle aged man to replace a few of his coronary arteries that were blocked due to long standing disregard by him for his hypertension and diabetes in addition to chain-smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Did you imagine the scenario? Patient comes to me begging for his life and naturally I do what it takes and we spend time and effort, myself and all the health care providers involved, to make him better. Thousands of Riyals are spent too by the government or the man himself to ensure that he gets the best care possible. What happens next? Man goes home back to his life and I forget about him and get busy with my own life too.
Unfortunately, and this is a very repetitive scenario we see everyday, a couple of years later, same man is back to you with chest pain. What have you been doing these last years, you ask. "Eating, smoking, sitting on my big fat ass and have not changed anything you asked me to," he replies.
"You don't deserve a second chance. You can drop dead for all I care. You had your chance and you blew it. Why should I waste my time and effort again on such a lost cause? Not to mention, the bed, the manpower and money that is going to be wasted on you should go to someone else who didn't come back again with the same PREVENTABLE disease like you did." That is the EXACT thing I think of saying every time I see a similar case. Am I harsh? Am I cold? Did I choose the wrong profession? Hmm... I'm not sure.
Just one more reason I consider Pediatrics as a speciality, children don't CHOOSE to be sick as much as we adults tend to do. Yes, it's our choice in most cases.