aturday, 16 July 2011
Your prompt for Tuesday July 19th
This week, we take have some well known words from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Neither a borrower nor a lender be
It was 2A.M when the mobile rang. After years of training in the medical profession, Ram's impulses were sharp enough to spring out of sleep and answer the call as if it was twelve at noon. At the other end of the phone came a nervous voice from an intern 'Sir, it's an emergency. Ward No. 25. Extensive bleeding sir, Respiratory rate ... heart rate.....' words seem to dissolve into Ram's ears and reach at an express speed to his brain. 'I will be there in 10...' Arrange the patient for.... And do a quick CBC'. By then Ram's wife was up, he hurried into working clothes and ran through the door. His mind was already racing through the case history of :Ward No.25...80 yr old man, diagnosis: Prostate cancer. Excessive bleeding? Is it because of DIC? Gotta see if he has conjunctival haemorrhage and bleeding gums and check his mental status.....' Then a very strange thing happened... He remembered that the patient was mumbling constantly something to him. Ram somehow never thought it was very important. Now as he was driving his mind raced back to those words...
Ram was studying to become an oncologist. He believed in medicine more than anything. A complete no nonsense person who worked 24x7. His friends would casually call him a workaholic.... but they secretly did envy his love for the profession. He was lucky to find a wife who seldom complained about his frequent absence from home. Long hours in clinics... library... night duty... He was glad she understood. Pursuing medical education was only for a few who really stood the test of fire. And Ram did succeed. As he transformed from a doctor to an oncologist... he knew his knowledge was increasing at a geometric progression rate. The human side of Ram... was he growing as a human being too? He very much doubted that aspect. He told hundreds of patients that they were diagnosed with life threatening cancers, broke their hearts. He did see many terminally ill patients die before his eyes. On the contrary he also witnessed cures with effective and early diagnosis, mostly in younger patients. Ram believed in hope.
As he was driving along the muddy roads to the hospital he tried to recollect Ward No.25...What was his name? He didn't know... Ward No.25 was to Ram as to everyone else in the hospital: An inpatient diagnosed as prostate cancer. For a minute he did feel ashamed and resolved to treat patients better. He rushed into the ICU and looked at Ward No.25 : Bholanath. Bleeding from multiple sites.... high heart rate... He went through the lab results. He was right about DIC. He called up his seniors and was asked to monitor the patient till the team arrived. It could be fatal to the patient. The patient outstretched his hand... and Ram held it. Cold! His eyes were watering... they looked tired and lost. Ram had witnessed many such events, he always reassured patients they would live. And he did the same now too. But Bholanath was telling him something else.. he tried to read Bholanath's lips. He bent closer so that he could listen to what Bholanath was saying. The words he heard shook the ground beneath him. The patient was begging him: 'Let me die...'
Death! Such a strange event... Neither can you borrow it from the suffering nor lend it when you are being won over.