I was, as usual, arrived early at the dairy unit. Our mission was to collect blood samples from the coccygeal blood vessel for Brucellosis testing.
It was a very tough job no doubt. But for the three of us new veterinarians it was very challenging just thinking about it. Imagine pushing the wild Sahiwal Friesians along the race and stacking them in a tight row.
While doing what I liked best, that was collecting blood from the underside of the tail, a 'scrambler' (a cow with horns growing sideways) suddenly back-kicked the 2 by 4 separating plank. It was hurled up and landed right smack on my left index finger.
I thought I could still hear the 'smacking' sound as the plank landed on my finger and squashed it flat against the race.
The end of the finger was wide open and blood soon began to seep out.
I was rushed to Kluang Hospital. The attending doctor was the niece of the late Dr Nik Mahmood, our ex-deputy DG.
"Why didn't you put Dr in front of your name?" she asked as she added the title to my name on the card. Okey, you may go for stitching."
In the treatment room I saw an old Ah Pek crying in pain as his facial wound was stitched.
Cold sweat ran down my face as I waited for my turn. The HA then came to me, roughly cleaned the wound with acriflavine solution. Then he took out a curved suturing needle, put on the sutures and was ready to inflict pain onto me.
Suddenly, from the corner of my eyes, I saw his friend frantically showing something to him.
Aha! He must have noticed the word Dr in front of my name!
He stopped doing what he was planning to do.
I smiled at him and asked,"Why don't you follow procedures?"
He kept quiet. He gently re-washed the wound, took out a drape and passed my finger through the hole in the middle of the drape.
He then expertly did a ring block at the base of my left index finger. After ten minutes, he began suturing.
Of course there was no pain at all.
I left the treatment room with this question: "Why should there be a double standard? Anybody, irrespective of whom he or she is, should be treated equally.
How many times have you noticed a man suddenly cutting queue and went straight to see the doctor, whereas there were people waiting for more than two hours to see the doctor!