I have always thought of myself as a nice person. A kind person. Selfless and gives herself to others. Wouldn’t hurt a fly.

I thought that everyone sees me this way. However, yesterday a patient thought otherwise and it really struck a chord.

Yesterday things were hellish at the hospital. So, so busy. By 3pm I was already exhausted and muttering expletives with every step. However, I keep a somewhat genuine smile plastered on my face and keep on going.

Yet for this one patient, it was not enough. She was being disruptive in what was meant to be a quiet environment. When I asked her politely to quiet down, she decided to start singing instead, because I said she couldn’t talk, but I never said she couldn’t sing. By the way, this woman was a 40 year old adult.

Well, I asked her more assertively to behave when she said ‘where’s the other nurse? I liked her better than you. You are rough and rude.’ She was discharged and she left.

I know better than to take such situations personally. But I have never identified myself as rough or rude. At least, not rude on purpose. And definitely not rough. I remember when I was doing kick-boxing I used to say sorry every time I’d hit someone in the ring.

This one really hit me hard. I don’t know what else to say.