I Didn’t Walk in Kim’s Shoes

About a month ago I helped provide ham radio communication in support of a fund raising bike event for a well known organization. The ride featured over 3,000 riders. I was posted at the medical building to assist with anything they needed from the organization’s staff by way of radio.

That afternoon I got a lesson in humility. My first impressions deceived me.

A woman in her early 30’s was brought in with a mild concussion. Dr. T. and Nurse Kim displayed their expertise and compassion brilliantly.

It so happened the injured woman’s name was also Kim. She struck me as proud, pretentious and full of herself. Her voice was loud and she cackled when she laughed. I cringed to be in the same time zone with her.

After while one of the bike event staff took Kim to meet with friends she’d mentioned numerous times. Before the staffer came around with a car to transport Kim and her bike, the two Kims chatted about how people who call them at work on the phone often call them Pam.

Soon after that Dr. T. and Nurse Kim discussed the injured Kim and why Dr. T. didn’t require her to fill out certain forms. Dr. T. said the injured Kim wasn’t in control of her situation. It wasn’t because of her mild concussion, but rather because the friends Kim mentioned so frequently were probably her guardians. Kim wasn’t in full possession of her faculties.

Dr. T. saw through Kim in a way that completely escaped me. Granted, I’m not trained to look for what this good lady doctor could see, but I felt ashamed nonetheless.

I have a cousin who has a learning disability or is mildly retarded. The family hasn’t been straight with us about her in my opinion. But I saw my cousin in the injured Kim’s place and wondered if I would have reacted the same way.

I don’t know the injured Kim’s back story, and I likely never will. It’s enough that Dr. T. could reason it out sufficiently to take the right steps. She later called Kim’s friends or guardians, but had to leave a voice mail message. I don’t know if they ever called her back.

My dad has often recited the old idea about walking a mile in the other person’s shoes before passing judgment. I didn’t walk that mile. It took a compassionate doctor I’d never met before that day to show me that.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Helping Others, Thoughts from John

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