Monday, April 20, 2009

Dr. Joseph


A few evenings later, I was able to meet the Dipo Hospital’s child psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph, a round faced, middle aged Chinese Indonesian with thinning hair.

"Mr Kent, you are very kind to help Bangbang," said the doctor, sitting at the nurses’ desk, looking benevolent and calm.

"It gives me something to do," I said.

"The tests show Bangbang has no broken bones," explained the doctor.

"I find he can be quite affectionate," I said. "For brief periods he even appears quite normal."

"We’ve discovered that Bangbang has got parents," said the doctor. "They’ve been to visit him. They say Bangbang’s often gone missing."

"Do they want to take him home?" I asked.

"If you want him to stay here a little longer, I’m sure they’ll agree."

"What do you think is wrong with Bangbang?"

"He’s got epilepsy and he’s psychotic. He claims he gets beaten at home. Maybe he gets beaten because he has epileptic fits."

"Is the father poorly educated?"

"Yes. I’ve told him he must not beat the child."

"I think Bangbang should stay here a little longer," I said.


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