Monday, June 27, 2016

The Quiet place.







Every once in a while you want to carry on through the corridor ,stroddle the two steps onto the bridge but stop just ten yards before the cafeteria into a heavy door on the wall which reads ‘Quiet room’.In the action filled acute medicine setting it helps to spend a portion of your lunch break beyond that wooden door.It is a chapel of sorts,a room to be exact.Carpetted but with very sparse furniture.A lectern with a bible,a side table which holds church addresses,brochures for church activities,small booklets on various subjects like bereivement,etc.
As you scour the place what really strikes you is the board .It has flaps of tiny hand-written prayer requests,cards ..people who have just poured their hearts out to ‘you will not believe ,who?’.It is letters to Jesus.
One of them reads , ‘Dear Lord Jesus,please be with my eighty year old mother who is having a hip replacement.She has never been to a hospital before.Please look after her and help her to heal.’Sam
Another one reads,’Dear Jesus,I have lost my son John to a road traffic accident and it is extremely difficult for me and especially my wife to understand why this has happened.Please help us as we go through this sad time.Please help my mother who is devastated by this loss.I feel helpless.’James Thomas.
‘Dear Jesus,my wife and I have been blessed with a tiny baby girl who decided to be born premature.She is fighting to breathe well and in an incubator.Please keep her safe. Love Jerry.
Dear Jesus,I want to thank you for blessing my sister with a lovely baby girl.I love U.Tabitha .
Then there are others addressed to God.
Dear God ,I lost my temper with the staff in the ward no ...today.I thought they were careless in the way they handled my son’s linen.Please help me not to get angry with them and help me to forgive them.I am sorry.Rita.
Dear God ,Thank you,thank you thank you..so much........for looking after Herbert through the difficult surgery.Muah .....Liz.
I kneel down on the carpet and say a prayer for Liz,Rita,Tabitha,Jerry,James and Sam.

Friday, June 3, 2016

travel writing in 100 words-Phew!

We hitch-hiked the himalayan route we had often driven through .
From Mangan, we had to fend for ourselves through the steep mountain tracks ,beautiful wisps of water-fall,reflecting the rainbow .
We  mercilessly hacked our way past civilisation,innocent smiling faces,army settlements,labourers with loads.
We walked with the river companionably beyond our second breath.
The wooden cottages in Lachung beamed with spots of snowed roof and carpets of vibrant primulas .
Sweet slumber ,with rice and chunk of meat with lard completed our day.
It had been well-earned.

This and that.

The heat seems like it is here to stay.One can hardly put any food in the mouth and yet the scales are unforgiving, not a dip to the right or left.A colleague tells me it is going to rain on Monday.We just went through a water crisis of sorts for a few days but we are back on our feet, on track ,surprisingly enjoying the unmeritted grace of God in big and small things.
Patients?what about patients.As usual the hospital is as unpredictable as it gets.Somedays are busy to the hilt and some as quiet as a monastry.Our collections however have been steady by God's grace.
The coolers are on every hour of the day at work and those of us who are fortunate enough have air-conditioners to keep us sane.Just sitting in the OPD with cooler at full blast for stretched hours make one feel nauseated so you can imagine what would happen if we had an out-door job.
The patients are a study at impractility .One often ends up doing all the math for them so that they can save maximum money. We have a lady with ILD,a young nineteen years old, she also has recurrent pneumothorax for which she had had a tube in Nagpur but was reffered from there for home oxygen therapy.Here we found that she had developed another pneumothorax so we put in a chest tube again.She is mantaining 88-92% saturation with minimal O2.We are planning on a pleurodesis and are going through a last minute pros and cons checklists as well as getting a second opinion from experts.Tetracycline was what I had personally seen used in my short stint in the UK but my friends from the CMC tell me they use betadine instead which is a lot less painful.She needs home oxygen and as usual Indian medical systemn has no arrangements for deviants like this.They can't practically think of keeping the patient in the hospital forever so we are seriously thinking of renting them our oxygen concentrator,not sure how practical it is.Apparently the government guys have told them to get her admitted in the hospital,seriously, for LTOT?
Mohan came with the good news that the government set up in Seoni has put in a test which detects extrapulmonary tuberculosis.It brought so much of joy to my heart that I felt like distributing sweets .That is the sort of burden I carry in my heart for this cohort.
Like I was telling Devyani today ,life is 'avoiding the heat exhaustion at any cost these days',and it somehow seems to work like a clock work..