Caring sibling

She looked a lot shorter than her 4ft 10inches because she was crouched over in pain. Her four month old baby was in a sling over her shoulder, and her other daughter was following behind. The nurse ushered her into the dressing room and she peeled off her lunghi to reveal two massive abscesses at the top of each thigh.

We incised the abscesses under ketamine anaesthesia. There were deep pockets of pus which we drained. I hadn’t thought about who was going to look after her children while she was coming round from anaesthesia. I stepped into the breech and picked up the baby. She was wet, so I changed her pants. Within five minutes, I felt a familiar warm, wet sensation on my shirt and trousers; she had peed again. Cue much hilarity from the patients and their relatives in the ward.


This is a picture from today. Mum is very poor, but she had bought some disposable nappies. I’d like to think this was for my benefit.

Their mother is having a dressing change, again under mild anaesthesia. I thought I could recruit the olfder sibling to help with child care. “Comfort your sister,” I said, pointing and miming a cuddle. She tapped her baby sister on the head in response. It did the trick.

Mum is doing well.

PS Thanks for your advice, Dr Sharp


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