I have to get something off my chest.

Today, I saw a patient in clinic.
Very pleasant 70-something yo male following up for multiple myeloma.

After our initial formalities, he became comfortable & began sharing aspects of his life. How he was scared to keep working because

of his immunocompromised status, how he wanted to quit smoking.

Even behind his mask, I sensed some hesitation though.
He began: "Miss... I hope you don't take this the wrong way..."

I paused, intrigued.

He pointed to the henna on my left hand and said, "that is beautiful.
“…What does it mean? I hope I'm not offending you. Just curious; is it religious? I’ve asked some people in the past, and they took offence, so I don’t want to do that."

For a minute, I was confused.
Why would I be offended? It’s human nature to be curious, to want

to learn about another person.

I explained to him how henna is a cultural thing among Indian people (and Pakistani, Iraqi, other nationalities). I shared how my mom had been visiting & requested me to do henna on her for a festival. And we laughed when I joked I had

“blackmailed” my younger sister to do henna on me, because I was the one always doing it on others.

I didn’t think much of this interaction until later today.
This evening, specifically.

How sad is it that we have become a society that is so quick to judge?😔

To assume offence when it may simply be curiosity?
How can we, as physicians or HCWs in general, expect patients to trust us & share their life story without giving back in return?

I don’t know.
Maybe I’m just word vomiting.

Perhaps, just a friendly reminder to assume positive intent.

Yes; there is plenty wrong in the world.
But there are A LOT of wonderful things too.

Like human connection.
Sometimes – maybe too often – we forget that.
Let's remember our shared humanity❤️🙏 especially now

Oh and bonus: 😋

Left = henna my sister did on me
Right = the one I did on my mum ❤️
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