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Dr Mick
1 Jul 2014
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Sally was feeling woozy so we all piled into the car and drove to our local doctor. Lovely lady she was, Susie Smith I think her name was, she was Aboriginal just like my babies, husband and I. As we pulled into the parking spot that was available, Sally pounced out of the car and heaved everywhere leaving the cement covered in vomit. Little Brodie saw the spew so then he jumped out of the car and spewed everywhere, I know that it is not a good thing to say but I was happy that they did it outside and not at home where I would have to clean it up. It was just as well that we were outside the doctors because incidents happened like this daily with poor children/adults being sick.The smell was atrocious and the sight of it was just as bad as the smell. Poor Jake had to drive around the corner and find another park because he didn't want people seeing our car surrounded by flies and vomit.

Sally was always nervous about seeing the doctor but she had grown onto Susie that she ran straight into her office just to come out again looking terrible. A man came out with her trying to comfort her, I stood up looking at the lady at the front desk and mumbled, "where's Susie? We need Susie". I didn't want to seem rude so I had to whisper it to the lady. We needed to see what was wrong with Sally so I grabbed her hand and asked the strange man if he was free to see what was wrong with Sally. Sally and I walked into his little office hand in hand, she was squeezing my hand as if she was struggling for her last breath. I looked behind me and told Jake to watch the kids and that I won't be long.

I pulled Sally onto my lap and whispered soothing words into her ear. The man came into the office and knelt down so that he was eye level with Sally. He looked her straight in the eye and said "Sally, that's your name isn't it? It's very pretty, just like you". Sally nodded and surprisingly her hand grip became less tight than what it was before. "My name is Dr Mick Asher, but you can just call me Mick if you like". He looked like a very nice man and Sally could feel his warm presence. She then jumped off of my lap and shook his hand saying "my name is Sally and I am 8. This is my Mama, her name is Maggie but we all call her Mama Maggs. You can too if you want to". She grinned as wide as her little mouth could and turned around still grinning. She then started to look pale and ran to the closest bin and again vomited, I felt sorry for the man, his office will smell of spew all day.I got up to comfort Sally but Dr Mick Asher put out his hand which gestured to stay put, he walked over to Sally and patted her on her back, reassuring her that she is okay and that she will be fine. Dr Mick. looked at me and smiled at me as if for sympathy. I gave him back a warm smile the same that he gave to me.

He then led Sally and I to a shower room, he then gave her a towel and his jumper. I quickly ran out to Jake and told him to race home with the kids and bring Sally some clothes for when she has finished her shower. I quickly ran back to Sally and the doctor but the doctor had left the room, Sally was standing there still in her clothes waiting for me to undress her. I paced my way over to her not making any sudden movements. She looked quite sleepy as well. I grabbed her hand and pulled her to the edge of the bath where I could sit. She wanted me to sing her a song so I quickly sang her a song that most Aboriginal women know. It was called Dolly, very nice simple tune. I sung the words “Although I didn't know her well. From the very first moment I could tell. She was every inch. A beautiful woman - a beautiful. Proud black woman. I'm told she traveled in a truck. Like a gypsy going from here to there. Wish I could have known her then. That beautiful woman - that beautiful. Proud black woman.”

Sally was smiling so I took off her clothes and ran the shower, the way she liked it, not too hot but not too cold. Right in the middle. I then left her to have a nice quite shower. I thought that is what she needed. Just to be alone for a while. You don’t get much alone time when you’re a family member at our house. She has to share a room with three of her oldest sisters and then you have to share a house with three other brothers and two parents. You’d be lucky to get alone time in our house.

I lingered through the halls of the medical centre and found where Dr Mick Asher was. He was sitting as his desk looking up symptoms for a  stomach bug. ‘Knock knock’, i tapped on the door which had startled the Dr and I smiled apologetically and he replied saying “ahh, Mrs Anderson, please take a seat, I think I know what has happened to Sally, has she eaten anything mysterious lately, anything off, nothing she doesn’t usually eat?”. I smiled and said “I’m not too sure sorry Doc but would it be easy for you to find out? Easy to find out what was wrong with her I mean.” Dr Mick was in the middle of speaking to me about symptoms of a bug but I rudely interrupted. “Sorry to interrupt doc but where has Ms Smith gone? I don’t mean to be rude or anything but it’s just that Sally has only just gotten use to our old doctor and now she has to get used to another. I’m sure that you won’t have a problem with her as she has already been speaking to you but where has she gone?” The doc then replied “sorry to be the one telling you this Mrs Anderson but her grandmother in Perth has just passed away so she will be gone for a year or two to and I will be your permanent doctor from now.” I smiled because I liked how nice he was and how calm he was all the time, even though my daughter had spewed in his office bin which smelled up his room, I liked how empathetic he was as if he had children of his own. “No mean to be rude again doc but are you from Australia?” The doc smiled and it seemed like I was in a for a long chat. "I am actually from Hungary, I moved here when I was thirteen with Mum and Dad, Shirl and Ted Kennedy. We came with the Communist Revolution which was four years after after the war ended in central Europe." I looked at him with a smile which made him continue his story on his life. "When we came we had no money, had to wear clothes that have already been worn and it was paradise. Doesn't sound very nice but trust me it was better than what we came from. We ended up getting an apartment in Chalmers Street, Surry Hills. I ended up going to a high school in Randwick, Randwick Technical High it was called. The boys had to learn Latin, boy that was a hard topic, it ended up helping me out a lot because a lot of Latin has medical terms, trust me when I say this but it was a very logical language. Basis of most of the romance languages and trust me it worked on the ladies." He gave a little chuckle to himself and then I piped up with a question. "Hey doc, did you always know that you wanted to be a doctor?" "No, I actually didn't, dad drove a taxi and I wanted to do what the big man did so I started driving a taxi. As I started getting older I wanted to be an architecture because I really liked to draw and I was good at it. I was a very curious person, I always wanted to know how nature worked, how the body works and pretty much how everything worked but then I discovered that medicine was the study that gave you most information about all subjects so i decided to get into medicine. I'll tell you what my favourite building is, QVB, do you know the huge building in George St next to Town Hall? When I first came to Sydney it was abandoned and closed. The Sydney Public Library was located on the first floor but the alcohol from down stairs had come up through the floor and you could smell the cheap wine. Nobody drank wine back then, they just drank beer, not that it mattered to me or anything. Do you know what else they didn't have? Coffee, no coffee shops, there were none.

I love the city now though, it's very accepting to everyone, I think that this is the most accepting society or country. One thing that really got to me was when I was walking the other day they have built in a little slope for disabled people, it's good to think that government gives to disadvantaged people, it shows heart to the community. I have also learnt how not to lie and Aboriginals taught me that. They don't spin, they tell the truth as it is and I respect that, I've learnt this from some of my patients, Their families embrace each other as well, they look after each other, people from all over come to one place to resolve a conflict, I find these very laudable but maybe more because I've never had a family speak of…." I looked up at him smiling and said "well you can always come for family Christmas dinner at our house." We then smiled and walked back to get Sally, I liked this man, he was very down to earth, he's someone that I will remember forever.

Tanah Paratene



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