Sunday, June 28, 2015

His ways are God's way..Isn't it great though He's four days late He's always on time...

These last few days have been adventurous to say the least.The whole of last month I have all but killed myself working without counting the hours.By God's grace lot of patients have passed by our hospital healed physically,have heard the gospel and have gone home.We in the medical team have been stretching ourselves to the limit going much beyond our capabilities.I have done three vaginal hysterectomies in the recent past and so now hold the distinction of being the only doctor in the lakhnadon region who actually does it.I might also be the only physician doing it.The last one was tough,with a slightly bulky uterus and lots of adhesions.It teaches us to be extra resilant,never mind the long hours of surgery,uncertainity,lack of stamina...fear of complications...ask me how to pray through difficult situations ,,I am becoming an expert in it.
Last week brought along with it a lot of sadness as well.I lost a three year old child to snake-bite.
By the time she was brought to us she had been unconcious for about half and hour and her breathing stopped just as I entered the casualty.Intubate her we did.She responded initially,I put her on a ventilator and at seven in the morning not having slept the whole night because of calls,i asked one of the paramedics to keep watch by the ventilator and went for a wink of sleep.It was a sunday.When I happened to wake up by ten the child was in a deep coma,albeit her respiration supported but with no response whatsoever,I waited a day and half for some kind of response at the end of which I discussed with the relatives about having her head scanned.They took her to Jabalpur.The CT was normal and she had a mild spontaneous breathing but early hours of the next morning my junior called to say she had arrested.
The family was anticipating the death but I personally took it tough.That is when one realises we are human.We need time to heal and every incident takes it's toll on us.
In the meantime I connected to whatssapp,so am in touch with my college friends got to see the shape my apartment my brother is building for me is taking,connected with my friend Nithila.
Nithila introduced me to this lovely song by Karen Peck and Bill gaither's band-'four days late'.
It is a song about Lazarus' revival from dead by Jesus here ti is beautifully profound.
'HIS WAYS ARE GOD'S WAY...Isn't it great though He is four days late He is always on time'.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Growing pains.

At a blink of an eye years pass by .My little neice Anhaita was one year old when she used to jump up from any position when she heard any kind of music to do hip-hop.Guests who visited their house, which was most days, because they kept an open house,would be treated to a cute sight of mother and daughter dancing together.
This summer she turned sixteen .She gave me several shocks.Firstly,she sweetly broke it to her mother that she wanted to take up bio-science and pursue medicine for her carreer,secondly she actually scored very well in her tenth and last but not the least she frightened everyone by travelling all alone from Siliguri to New Delhi by train alone because her maid had a family emergency.She refused to have an air-ticket bought for her.
She has always been an extremely protected child thus far.
When I first heard the news that she wanted to become a doctor my first reaction was ,'Why a doctor?'I felt extremely heavy and I wondered to myself if she would be able to go through the rigours of medicine in the Indian education system.One does literally have to claw one's way through the competition and I wondered if she will be able to work so hard.Right from her childhood she has been exposed to all sort of elite professions,her father being an active part of our indian media both print and television.:At one time we thought she would get into cooking,another time nature.She is a fickler for information.whenever I need to buy a gadget I consult her.
When she got her results which was pretty good she did not seem satisfied.Her mother had a quirky explanation for it.She declared heartily that her daughter had done very well and she was very happy because she was a tribal.However Anhaita being a UP-ite from her father's side must be having the added Indian hang up of how her batch-mates had fared,had they done better than her etc ,etc.
All said and done the little girl is becomming a big girl and is making her own very strong decisions.We have our fingers crossed and we pray that all her choices will be blessed choices.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

BONDING WITH OUR PALLIATIVE CARE PATIENTS.

Palliative care patients come our way because there are no such facilities anywhere else around.
They end up staying months on end and they bond well with us.
ICP was the first patient to come our way.Transferred from ICU in Nagpur due to brainstem bleed he stayed with us for almost three months before we discharged him for home.Every now and then he collapses and is wheeled into our casualty.
We had not seen him for seven months.His sons ,when we met them in the market would politely invite us to their place.They would tell us he is doing well.ICP could not talk ,would not respond to any of the commands when he came in .Our nurses diligently worked around him ,we counseled the sons about including him in conversations.We would take time in our morning prayers to specifically go up to his room ,sing some hymns and would share the gospel and pray.Tears would stream down ICP’s eyes.There was no knowing if we were actually reaching out to him.
Yesterday the son came to our hospital at around eleven o’clock to enquire if Madam could go to their house and have a look at ICP .He was staying just around the corner and was having high grade fever and was breathless.That was a one off request for a house-call.Having explained that I would not be able to do anything for him at home I called Kamlesh,our hospital driver who picked ICP from his home.
He was spiking 105 degrees and had on a winter warmer.
The urine out-put was nil.We started an IV fluid,pushed in some antibiotics and our young nurses ever so diligently did a beautiful cold sponging and at the end of one hour our man’s fever was down.He gave me a beatific smile.His son asked him how he is feeling and he nodded implying he is feeling much better.
He mumbled something ,lying in the comfort of the air-conditioned ACU,and it was -‘ Good night’.
The other gentleman was a school-teacher with terminal cancer of the colon who was ever so intelligent.
Each morning I would go up to his bed and greet him-‘Ramanjee,aap kaise hai?(Ramanjee,how are you today?).He would reply –‘Jee,ache hai.’ ‘Thank you,I am feeling good.’
We would talk about the knick knacks and then we would go through the procedure of doing some dressing,tying crepe bandages,just processes to make the patient feel cared for and comfortable.
As his gut started closing and we knew the time was near,we continued to greet each other in the same way.We continued to spend time with them in prayer.The wife did not want to take the patient home because she thought that she would not be able to manage the visitors.He had a lot of friends and families in and around Lakhnadon.
Ramnjee would meticulously chalk-out plans for his family’s future with his wife.On one occasion the family requested we allow him to go to a temple for a dip in the holy water.He went one evening and came back.
One day it looked like he would not make it past another day or two so when I went for my morning rounds I asked him ,’Ramanjee,aap ghar jana chahate hai?’(Ramanjee, would you like to go home?).He replied ,’Ji’.
I requested the family to take him home for the last time and they agreed.He apparently died the next day surrounded by all his friends and family.
We remember each of them,the ones who have passed away, with a pang in our hearts.
These palliative care patients not only leave us richer for the experience but they also allow us to walk into the life and struggles of the families they belong to.We feel greatly privellaged to be allowed to participate in so delicate a time .