Patient 47

Thursday, June 25, 2015 KELS 0 Comments Category :

Sameer Ashraf Malik
1st Year MBBS

A gentle knock at the door.
"Who is it?"
"Dr. Henry! Its me Sam", said Sam.
"Oh Sam, my boy, come in. Come in", said Dr. Henry.
         Sam opens the door, steps on the white marble floor of Dr. Henry's office, keeps the door open as if someone else is also entering the room and after sometime close it. But no one enters the room except Sam.
 Sam...A cute little boy, thirteen years of age and a smart one too as he was as good in his       studies as in other activities. Topper of the class and a gold medalist in cycling. An ideal kid for some parents to have. But a few months down the road something really bad happened.                Schizophrenia took him over. He stared to imagine things that are not real to be real. He started to imagine someone who is not real. Someone who has never existed. Someone that acquired a place very close to his heart. He started to imagine a best friend also named Sam.
Dr. Henry is a well-known psychiatrist and it is his first meeting with Sam. 
"Come Sam, come sit on the chair right in front of my desk", said Dr. Henry very politely.
Sam sits on the chair. Remains silent for some time and then speaks out.
"Dr. Henry, can I say something", his voice was pale.
"Yes, Sam, of course. You can say whatever you want. Make yourself comfortable. It’s okay", said Dr. Henry in a very polite manner.
"Dr. Henry, if you have invited me to tell me that my friend, Sam is not real and it is just my imagination then I would like to tell you that you are entirely wrong and he is sitting right next    to be on this chair", saying this Sam points on the empty chair placed next to his.
 "No, Sam", said Dr. Henry, "this is not what you are thinking it is, it is just a normal chat. And     well if you have bought a friend with you that is entirely fine. Nothing to worry."
Saying this Dr. Henry took his hand out, moved it toward the empty chair where Sam thinks the other Sam is sitting.
"Hello Sam! How are you?" said Dr Henry while acting as if he is having a shake hand with the other Sam," You two must have been very close friends to come together to my office. By the   way welcome to my office."
“Yes, Dr Henry we are very close friends and we are honored to be here", said the original Sam.
"Sam, would you mind if your friend wait outside for sometime, because it is a talk between us two and your friend doesn't need to be here, he can have a tour of the hospital, I suppose here    we have got some of the finest architectures of the country." said Dr Henry in a very nice tone.
"Of course Dr. Henry we are your guests and we will do whatever you want." said Sam, turning his face toward the empty chair he spoke "Ok Sam."
"What did he just said? Sorry i was not able to hear him." said Dr Henry very anxiously wondering what Sam thinks the other Sam has said.
“He just said he will wait for me outside", said Sam. Dr. Henry looked relieved.
Sam looked toward the door for some time and then spoke “Ok. Dr Henry. Now what?"
"Sam, my boy, make yourself comfortable. Here drink some water." Saying this Dr. Henry pulls off the cover plate of a glass of water placed on his desk and presents it to Sam.
Sam took one sip and placed the glass back.
"Now Sam your parents just told me that you do not want to go school. Why is that so? "Said Dr. Henry.
"Yes, Dr. Henry", said Sam,” I want to change my school"
"And why is that, it is the best school in the city and you have been going there since your childhood. And what about your friends Eric, John and David. Are you not going to miss them?" said Dr. Henry.
"Eric, David and John are not my friends. I have only one friend, my best friend Sam, who is here with me", said Sam with a sharp temper and a loud voice.
"But I was told that you four are best friends since childhood. Aren't you", said Dr. Henry, looking thoroughly toward Sam. Who was constantly looking at the ground?
"Yes, we were", said Sam, without raising his head.
"Were", said Dr. Henry pointing out a single word, " why 'were'? What happened?"
Sam remained silent for some time and then said:
"When my friend Sam got the admission in my school, I brought him to meet Eric, John and   David. But instead of welcoming him they started to make fun of me that I have gone mad and there is no one named Sam except me and I'm just talking to myself. But Mr. Henry, you know I' m not mad and you just met Sam and had a shake-hand with him. They all are liars, not my friends."
Dr. Henry was listening to Sam silently. A pity he got Schizophrenia in such a small age. He   wondered how this child was going to spend the rest of his life in this cruel world with such a     state of mind or if there will be a life for him outside this hospital. This case is surely a hard grind for the doctor.
As Sam stopped, Dr. Henry said, “Sam, tell me about your best friend Sam. What is his complete name?"
"His name is same as mine, Samuel Clark, isn't it amazing." said Sam quite happily, "two best friends with a same name."
"Yeah! It surely is amazing", said Dr. Henry thoughtfully.
At this point Dr. Henry picked a pen from his desk and started writing on a paper placed on his table. He wrote something on the paper and looking toward Sam he spoke.
"Sam, my boy, now tell me when did you first met your friend Sam?” asked Dr. Henry.
"I met him four months ago at the city park, when I was sitting on a bench and he suddenly ran      towards me and said 'I want a partner for a see-saw. Would you like to play with me? You look   alone'. And then we played together for one hour until my Dad called me." said Sam, Dr. Henry was still writing.
 "Did you went alone to the park that day"; said Dr. Henry.
 "No I went with my Dad, but he left saying he has to meet a friend at the coffee shop in front of the park and will be back in half an hour, he always does this, leaves by saying he will be back in half an hour and often comes after two or three hours", said Sam as if he does not want to talk about his Dad.
"How often do you go to park with your father?" asked Dr. Henry.
"Almost every day", said Sam.
"And what do you do there in the park every day?" asked Dr. Henry.
“I play with my friend Sam", said Sam.
"Does your friend Sam also come every day at the park?" asked Dr. Henry.
“Yes, he is always there", said Sam.
"With whom does your friend come at the park every day?" asked Dr. Henry.
"He comes to the park alone, for he lives very close to the park and can come and go alone." Said Sam.
"Have you ever met your friend Sam's parents, family or any other friend?" asked Dr. Henry.
"No", said Sam.
"And why is that so, it’s been four months, he must have come to the park with somebody, may   be a family member or a friend?" asked Dr. Henry.
"No, I never met anybody, he is always alone", said Sam.
"And have your father met your friend, Sam", asked Dr. Henry.
"Yes, he met him yesterday." said Sam.
"And how was it like?” asked Dr. Henry anxiously.
"I brought him to meet Sam. But he said he can't see anyone. Although he was standing right in   front of him. He always does this, never takes me seriously", says Sam sadly. Dr. Henry still writing everything that Sam says on a paper.
"And what did you father do after that?” asked Dr. Henry.
 "We reached home, he talked with my mother, made a few calls and today he took me here", replied Sam.
 "Very well. Is there any place where you meet Sam other than the park?” Asked Dr. Henry.
 "Yes, at school. He took admission there last month," Said Sam.
 "At school", said Dr. Henry," if you and your friend goes to the same school then why do you    want to leave that school, Dr Henry looked curious.
 "Actually we both want to leave the school." said Sam.
 "And will your friend's parents allow your friend to leave the school to which he is admitted a month ago," asked Dr. Henry.
 "He says he lives alone with his mother. She loves him a lot and will do whatever he says." Replied Sam.
 "And what about his father? Tell me about his family, said Dr. Henry.
 "His father has divorced his mother and he is the only child that is what he told me." said Sam.
 "Tell me what type of student your friend Sam is?' asked Dr. Henry.
 "He remains very silent. Does not talk to anybody except me. Always does his homework. But    the teachers always ignore him. Do not check his homework. Not even ask him questions. Rather, they ask a lot of difficult questions to me.", replied Sam.
  Dr. Henry remained silent for some time. Moved a bit closer to Sam and said very slowly, "Don't you find it strange that nobody else sees you friend except you."
 "But you just meet him and had a shake hand with him", said Sam, while looking directly into Dr. Henrys eyes.
 "What if I say that I did not actually saw him and made an imaginary shake hand to make yourself comfortable, said Dr. Henry.
 "No. Dr. Henry!” said Sam unbelievingly, "You are lying. My friend is for real. I can see him. He is the only friend I have. You cannot say this about my friend."
 "I did not see anybody except you. I don't even know how he looks like. This is a reality Sam, there is no Sam except you." said Dr. Henry.
  After hearing this Sam stood up from his chair and said," you will never see Sam. Can I go home now?"
 "And why do you say that I can never see Sam", asked Dr. Henry.
 "Because you do not look at the reality and when you do not look at the reality, it disappears.” said Sam.
  Dr. Henry looked amazed by these words and said, "Can you give me a one proof that your friend Sam truly exists."
 Sam goes to the door, opens it and says "Come in Sam." Closes the door and says to Dr. Henry.
 "Are you saying that you cannot see Sam right here, standing in front of me; wearing a green polo shirt and a blue jeans?"
  Dr. Henry looked amazed because Sam was wearing the same clothes.
 "Yes Sam. I am saying exactly the same thing. There is no Sam except you. It is not your friend who is wearing these clothes its you who is wearing them. Just look at your clothes."
Sam looks at his clothes. Shakes his head in disbelieve.
 "Sam, there is no other Sam even at your school. Your mother told me that from last two week you have been doing your homework twice. Here look at that--", Dr. Henry stands up, picks two note books from his desk and opens them and says, "look at them. One of this belongs to you     and other one is the one who you thinks belongs to your friend which we found at the backyard of your home, hidden beneath the tool box. Look at the hand writing, it’s the same in both and it's yours. Look Sam, there is no other Sam, it is actually you. You are imaging a happier 'YOU' in front of you, who you think is your best friend Sam."
 "No, Dr. Henry, you are lying, I don't believe you", said Sam.
 "Okay Sam, it’s time to end this" said Dr Henry, picking up the glass of water placed on the desk and asked Sam to hold it and give it to your friend to drink.
  Sam holds the glass and move it forward as if he is giving it to the other Sam, and suddenly drops it over his own leg. Sam cried in pain and reached his leg which had started to bleed.
 "Look Sam, there was no other Sam to hold the glass because if there were any friend, he will   never have let you hurt"
  Sam shouts "NO DR. HENRY! YOU ARE LYING"
 "NO. I’m not lying...”
      Suddenly a siren started ringing, Dr. Henry wandered what had happened .At that moment the door busted open, four watt boys came in and grabbed Dr. Henry who was standing 'alone' in the center of the room. One of them shouted "Beware his leg is bleeding". Dr. Henry protested, “Why are you capturing me? I'm not hurt at all. It’s Sam whose leg is bleeding."
Dr Henry, there is no Sam in here. You are here alone for the last five hours. said one of them.
   Dr. Forman who was just passing by heard the shouting, stopped, went into the room and saw    the watt boys giving an anesthetic injection to Dr. Henry. He asked one of the watt boys:
  "What happened to him now?"
Dr Henry just threw a glass over his leg. It’s bleeding and we do not have any idea how he was     able to have a water glass in here", replied the watt boy.
   Dr. Foreman stood there as the watt boys took Dr. Henry out of the room. Just before leaving the room Dr. Foreman turned back, looked into the room where Dr. Henry was found bleeding. A dark room with chair in a center and a ceiling light above it nothing else. No desk, no pen, no paper, no nothing...
   Just before leaving he said to himself, “What has schizophrenia done to you my friend, Henry. You were one of the greatest doctors I have ever met. But now this Schizophrenia of yours.....ah....how am i ever going to treat a dream within a dream?'
   Saying this he shuts the door and locks it from outside and reads the plate on its top which says: "PATIENT 47"......


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