Every patient teaches something worth learning. Every case adds value in doctor’s life as in terms of profession and as a person too.
The journey of any medical student is far different from any other person.The mount Everest size syllabus, the hospitals ,batches, hostel problems wrapped in fun moments, forgetting the difference between day and night in hospital duties and many more.
Dealing with live souls ,their diseases ,the process of treatment and the various lessons they learn have lifetime impacts on them. Those who have friends from medicine background will tell you how good time one get to spend with them. They have various experienced stories about their cases and patients having various shades of emotions from ‘die while laugh’ to sobbing sounds of cry.
I too have learned so many things from my patients and still the process is on. So many patients so many experiences that really made difference in me as a human, added some qualities transforming me. Sometimes tough, sometimes sensitive, sometimes brave and many times made me feel proud in my white coat.Endless moments to share about many of them.
But these two patients and two different teachings i will never forget in my life.
- Even sufferings and pain wont kill the evil in one’s mind:
I saw him in my second year of medical collage on causal morning rounds with senior doctors. Tied to the bed his hands and legs were helpless but he was tearing us apart with his furious eyes. Admitted as the case of hyper emesis which means sever vomiting and dehydration the case turned out to be of drug abuse.
His continuous try to run from the hospital and being violent with the ward staff and his wife ended him to be tied to bed.In his four days stay we saw his pain, sufferings but also got to know the evil deeds he was doing to full fill his addictions. The addiction of painkiller tablets. I will not specify the drug or tablet brand here.He used to consume more than 20 to 30 tablets in a day lately.
His poor family was doing the best possible things for him but the guy was not at all bothered.We used to see his pain and his more reluctant attitude to even try to help himself.Some of us one day saw him slapping his wife hard twice or thrice.His” tamasha’ ended when hospital administration denied his further treatment and showed him the way out.
The addiction makes a person monster!You cant help the person which is keen on destructing the self!
2.The unwilling duty made me more of a human and reminded why being doctor is difficult and Nobel at the same time:
It was almost the time to leave the ward after finishing the batch duty when the registrar (we both hadn’t tolerated each other ever and absolutely were not fond of each other), called me , “A small dressing and you are done with today’s hours”. Ok …lets do it ..(Why Meee…??? were actually the words wanted to come out but never did.
I washed my hands,wore the gloves and took a nurse with me with the dressing tray. Bed number 19. I had hardly seen that newly admitted one. while looking to the fresh case paper which was almost half filled, i murmured, hmm ..
A case of infected wound with swelling and the patient was diabetic.As we started to clean the site the almost dead tissue was needed to be cut, to let off the pus and dead tissue out. As soon as i took an incision a flood of pus with unbearable smell had hit us. I looked at the face of that old patient. His eyes made me forget the dirt ,smell and filthy pus.As we proceed i found that there is something more inside the wound ,a whitish tight lump. As i tried to clean it suddenly it started moving. Oh my God! They were maggots! A huge lump of live maggots in his leg. I literally was sweating and shivering at the same time, horrified with the sight. Not having any clue what to do next, i called that senior which handed over me with a forcep and with a grin (which i used to hate a lot) told me ,”Go ahead pull them out one by one”.I was not at all in a state to understand his meaningful smile which was more of a ragging. I took a deep breath and started pulling the maggots one bye one. Every time i remove one ,i told myself , Rupali you have reduced his pain by one maggot. Come on go on. At least 70 to 80 maggots and the game was over.An open dressing and medication was the charge of senior and consultant.The eyes and grateful expressions of the patient made me relived in brain and heart too. I felt something really worthy that moment.
Life is beautiful but it can turn ugly at any moment.
For many days i was roaming carrying the feeling same like prince Sidhharth Gutam . Life is pain, Sab Moh Maya hai!!! But I am not Budhha so i returned back in my own coat and was seen again on chai tapri as frequently as before.
Yes the whole incident made my hands firm and heart more compassionate!
Duty truly was duty.