Tag Archives: Hospital

After 2 days and 17 hours…

At last, it’s over- my two day call in Paediatrics is over. Put 17 hours more and end of the post admitting chaos. It’s been a very hectic week with the viral epidemic going around. Well, m not going to post much. Anyways, being absent from my room for two days; resulted in my younger sister nearly filing a missing person’s report with the hospital authorities !! ( Nothing new in my situation!!) Well post call, I am still standing upright and nearly sane; thanks to the endless shots of tea and coffee. The thing about being on-call is that even if I am are able to catch a couple of “zzzzz….” in between, sleep won’t be so happy because, I know that any time I will have to drag myself out of bed and run to emergency again for another patient; in addition to the ward patients; if anything crops up over there. Thankfully, the ICU has got a separate unit on call. Finally, the adrenaline rush is over, for now. Got to hit the bed, and get ready for the next two day call. What makes it worthwhile is knowing that, one more child lives to make a difference.


Get the bird’s eye view !!!

Earlier today, I was randomly running “the list of things to do” in my mind, both at work and at home. Notes to complete, topics to read up, presentations to do, projects to be entered, tests to be run ( oh no !!!) and at home..major “spring !” cleaning to do, grocery to be bought, shelves to be arranged !!! Did I mention about the laundry and bills to be paid !!!! The Internet, the electricity, the water bill…Omigosh, ‘m going bonkers !!!! I wanted pull out my hair and run haywire, screaming insane. But then, something , i mean – an image just popped into my head and made me realize, that it’s just another day in my life and there is always tomorrow to look for.This is what I saw…Hmmm interesting….Not so terrible after all….There’s a way out….Is it my imagination, or does the mountain look smaller…..
Hey, they definitely look small now…So the next time I panic, I’ll fly up to get the higher view and then maybe it won’t look so bad after all. Quoting  “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic. Anais Nin .” I personally like the second line. It’s so easy to get swept away and be overwhelmed by the numerous problems or things to do, on a daily basis. Many a time it’s so difficult to remain calm and stable. You feel like running away, getting away as far as you can but it is not possible. What to do ? Stop thinking. Take a step back, back, again back…till you get the bigger picture……
Breathe and then, go farther  away from the mountain and watch it get smaller and smaller. How does it feel then? Looks like these problems may have an answer after all. For all these tasks come and go, but facing them and resolving them one-by-one is what makes us who we are – the survivors.

It still hurts…

Am upset. Lost a baby in the pediatric ICU today. Another victim of the dengue epidemic. No matter how much we all tried, the baby couldn’t be saved. She was perfectly fine last night. The platelets had plummeted by morning and then by mid-afternoon, shewent into shock. The baseline ECG came as a straight line, still we tried cardioversion, CPR hoping that a miracle would happen.

It’s too painful, that even a year later, the whole episode will remain etched in your mind. You will remember every scene even the tiniest detail to the dot. This is not the first time, I am seeing death; but each time a patient dies; something goes off in me. Death is indeed a significant part of life, but losing someone, anyone is painful.

Being in my profession, we medical personnel – doctors and nurses; declare death often; but inside it’s a nightmare. Sometimes, you are so helpless, that death is inevitable but still nightmares follow and you are taunted by the thoughts of “what if…”   You know it’s not anyone’s fault but it’s life. You wish that you had to never deal with death on a regular basis. You pray and hope that it never happens again. And if it does, you silently offer a prayer for courage, leaving everything in His hands. These are some things that time can never help you cope with  and these memories will stay for your entire lifetime.

Its difficult to acknowledge that you have to let go of ur life, but she still had faith left.

She was just ten years old when leukemia had robbed her of her life. Anna was one of my best friends from my kindergarten days. Growing up together, we were almost like twins. One day, during playtime at school, she began to have a nosebleed, all of a sudden. We didn’t give it much thought. But, two more episodes had happened at home, which is when her mother took her to the family doctor. Leukemia is what he had said. “A type of blood cancer. She had more of an acute type, ALL type is what he had told and something about Philadelphia. It all made no sense to me. Chemotherapy was the answer. Bone transplant was an explorable option but not necessarily hundred percent successful .

I was stunned for words when she broke the news to me. I still remember the day. It was raining heavily and we were holed up in the tree house at her place- our secret den. I was too shocked to cry. She sat there waiting to see my response. I had none. I was speechless for words.  Then we both just cried, not bawling but silent tears. And I promised her that she was not alone in this battle but we are in it together.

She started her chemotherapy within a week’s time. Initially I used to stay with her at the hospital. We used to talk for hours, read to her, or simply listen to music. Slowly her sessions started to increase in duration and her doctor felt it was better if she was shifted to a more intensive therapy course. This meant longer stay at the hospital. Slowly, she started having the side-effects of the medication, loosing her hair, eating less and she slowly began to feel too tired to even sit up. I cried when I saw how frail and tiny she became. But she never stopped smiling. She loved to sketch while sitting by the window side. I used to come daily to see her. She used to tell how scared she was feeling, but somehow she found the courage to move on.

One year had passed. She had initially responded to all the chemo, but then she relapsed back , more worse than before. She knew it was time to say goodbye, we all knew it too, I guess.The chemo drugs were getting stronger and no longer were acting on her. She never got angry or grumbled about it. She always had a smile for everyone who came to see her.

She came back home. Her room was looked like the one in the hospital . She still took her meds. And, she never lost her faith in life. She made this list of things she wanted to do. Getting her nose pierced, dyeing her hair blue ( i had got her a blue wig instead), recording her own song…We even went to Disneyland one last time.Autumn came. She was deteriorating too fast. That Christmas was her last, and the best one too.  She died before New Year, just a week short of her tenth birthday.

It was difficult for me to face the fact that she was gone forever. The seat next to me in school was unoccupied for days. I had almost become a loner. Then my parents felt it was time for all of us to move on. We relocated within a year of her passing away. It took me a long time to adjust to my new school and an even longer time to make friends.

A year later, at her first memorial, I realised that Anna had taught me the first thing about life- to embrace it completely, to live each day as your last and to make the best of what you have and what you got. She lived her life to the fullest, achieved whatever her dreams were in the short span of time she had. Memories is what she with took with her till the end. But what she gave me was awesome, the optimism of life. Till this day, she will stay the best friend of my life. And we ll meet again someday, for eternity.

Triage Chaos

I dread it when I have to go for the disaster site management. It is simply difficult to choose between the victims.The worst part about is that I have to categorize the level of seriousness of the patients- tagging them Which is definitely not fair to them, for irrelevant of the fact that their injuries are serious or not, for them it is definitely serious. For to each, their own life is precious. But what can be done about it ? True, saving lives that can be saved is a must, but the Hippocratic oath deems us not to ignore a single patient.

Guess, this is similar to the issue of who came first, the chicken or the egg ? Unresolvable practically!!!!