Friday, May 2, 2014

Treating Malti

Malti is eighteen .She was reffered in by one of our community nurses as having headache and fever of one month duration.Her feisty uncle and her docile father had brought her in. When she was brought to the casualty,she gave me a blank look ,hardly spoke.She seemed terrified of being examined.She read abuse all over her. When I asked her for the history of fever as written in her referral sheet she shook her head definitely to indicate she had none. It was difficult to get history from her since she looked badly. I diagnosed her as having early schizophrenia but never the less screened her for organic problems. I put in a word to Dr.Rajah our clinical psychologist in Herbertpur.Rajah as helpful as ever was effusive in his response and gave me a detailed guideline as to how I could manage her. I remembered many a day when Dr.Rajah had futilely tried to hammer in psychiatry into our medicinified brains.I had sat through his talks taking in the lighter aspects and thought, had not taken the heavier portions too seriously but now I discovered I had not done too badly or rather Rajah’s effort had paid off.I was actually considering treating her myself instead of shunting her to the nearest psychiatrist in town. The nurse on duty tried to put in an intravenous cannula and much to the chagrin of everyone concerned she started wailing loudly like a little child. The first night she was a little restless.We had to send her relatives to another town to buy her medicines. After the second night she slept well and started behaving better. On the third day I decided to send her home on medication to follow her up after two weeks. Since she looked a lot better I thought I would talk to her and try and get a little history. She denied having episodes of hallucination,thought insertion,etc. I gave her a few bible tracts to read.As I do with most patients I made her read aloud the text to make sure that she could make sense of it. At the end of the tenure she smiled and asked me for my phone number which I duly gave her. That was the first initiative she had taken on her own to connect. A dark shadow covers her even now . It is a step forward…. Do accompany us in this journey of walking with Lord Jesus into these foreign territories. Do pray for Malti and do pray for us.

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