Not that they are having a private time out in my clinic, not at all. However the story goes like so:
Young newly weds often come to city hospitals with the lady complaining of pain. All docs in training in India would have seen such ladies, who are in excellent health and suffer vague symptoms. Another characteristic is that with treatment they get partial response only. When I was younger with obviously less knowledge and lesser patience, these people would fall in the category of malingerers and time wasters; to be told bluntly that they had nothing wrong with their bodies but it was all in their minds.
Saw one such couple today. I had carried out a heart valve repair for the lady a couple of months ago and is in the prime of her health. Despite trying my best to seek to reduce the time these fellows spend in my hospital; like asking them to get the required blood workup done from their neighbourhood centres before they land up at my office, coming over with prior appointment etc. I have noticed that they’re very happy to be sitting outside my office. They sit there, happy in each others company, having no desire to return to their villages anytime soon. Why is the question…
Most such couples belong to strongly patriarchal families, living in joint families with strict purdah system and despite being married, never get the chance to look at each other during the day, or hold each others hands or sit on the same cot. For this lady and her husband, the one day of the month is their day out of home. A holiday from responsibilities if only for the monthly doctors visit and for that she must be accompanied by her husband. They would get ready early, get onto one rickshaw, one seat in the bus and sit right next to each other outside of the busy doctors clinic. They could talk nonstop and look at each other. What delight!
So I told them it would take 5 hours for the blood test results to be ready, and they must then come back for a review. In the meantime they would have gone about eating in the local eateries, shopping in the malls and might even seen a movie. Couple’s day out! Bless them.