Some Beginnings have Endings Jul06

Some Beginnings have Endings...

Aiswarya sasi , a young intern recollects the first death of a patient that she encountered during internship My first posting in the hospital was paediatrics, during the course of which I was posted to the Hematology-Oncology division. That’s where I first met A, a 9 month old baby with B cell-ALL. He was one of many children with ALL in that ward, being the most common childhood leukaemia. What stood out about A, though, were his temper tantrums. His mother didn’t speak the local language, or even the national language for that matter, so every time she had to be counselled, she would call up her sister who knew Hindi and one of the doctors (including me) would speak to her. Her sister would then patiently translate whatever we had said to her, and she still never looked fully convinced. She was a young mother, not quite understanding the gravity of her child’s illness. She barely knew how to deal with A. He would scream and yell and refuse to eat, unless she fed him when he was lying down. And quite obviously, there’d be food all over the bed and the aghast nursing in charge would come running and yell at her. Then A would scream and cry loudly, followed by his mother weeping silently not only because she couldn’t understand a word the nurse was hurling her way, but also because she really didn’t know what to do. The senior resident often joked about how she would adopt this child and make him less fussy. Despite all his tantrums and fussiness, we all loved him and his antics. In the ward, he developed red rashes around his mouth because of his chemotherapy. The poor mother didn’t even know how to ask...

The Doctorless Patient Jul15

The Doctorless Patient...

A young medical student recounts her first week of medical college life and an indelibel expression- not in the wards or the hospital or the labs, but on a bus journey In a bustling bus lingered a vacuous seat, ‘She’s impure,’ they proclaimed; indiscreet. The poor, frail woman shed tear after tear… ‘Don’t sit next to her,’ they warned a sneer. The wide-eyed young girl looked on in curious worry, As the fierce conductor tried to make the woman scurry. The amused passengers laughed on encouragingly, As he tugged at her bag, her hand, even her dignity… Spurned by the hospital, in society she had no place, For she had not the money to be referred to as a ‘case’. Her sole possessions- her untended disease and her fright, The doctorless patient drowned in her ceaseless plight… Melancholia stared deep into the girl’s wide eyes, They welled with desolation as she heard the helpless cries. Her dream of becoming a doctor would soon come true. But oh doctorless patient, what will become of you? In today’s advanced age of robotic surgery and tele-medicine, there lurks a dark, dark corner that is often overlooked. Neglected, helpless and lost, the story of the doctorless patient is never told… As I got into a bus to take me home, in my very first week of being a medical student, my mind was buzzing. It had always been my dream to become a doctor, and I was fascinated by the secrets of the human body that were slowly being unveiled before my wide eyes. I felt powerful. ‘One day I will be a doctor, and I will save lives.’ Little did I know that my seemingly mundane daily bus journey would be the source of an important life...