Last week I was down in the dumps thinking about some personal problems. I wished things were not the way they were. I could not bring myself out of it
Over a silent breakfast with my doctor friend, I kept lamenting on my problems, when the Receptionist informed him of an ambulance at the front porch. An old man sat in the front, and three other women at the back with a patient who seemed to be an older woman .They suspected the patient had passed away on the commute here. They got out, while my friend examined the patient inside the ambulance. He confirmed the woman’s death.
The three women seemed like daughters of the deceased woman. I could see they were hoping to hear she was alive, and held on to hope as they got back inside Reality kicked in and they let out their emotions wailing as the door of the Ambulance closed and started off.
This woman had passed away on the way to IPM. She did not have to wait until she got here, that was her time. We all have our time and place for departure. We do not know when or where.
This thought was just sinking in when the receptionist here requested if I could help a paraplegic patient to move from the wheelchair to his bed. Due to the floods, and we have a shortage of staff here, many are held up at their homes.
I walked to room E, there was a young man holding on to his father who was seated on the bed. His mother stood next to him holding her husband’s single leg. The amputated right leg had a large wound dressing around the thigh.
When I got in to help I quickly realized the gravity of the situation. The old man had lost his leg due to cancer; they needed help to secure his adult diaper. His son could not lift him up alone, they needed an extra pair of hands, – I was the extra pair.
As we lifted him, prepped him, moved him, to get the diaper in the proper position. The clothing around his waist gave way and exposed his large wound all flesh bone and blood on the inner right thigh through the loose dressing stared at me. I had to look away!
I could feel his body shaking as he struggled, grunted and bit hard down on his lips, his face turning red in pain. After his diaper change, they were supposed to dress up the wound.
Finally, after a immense struggle his diaper e was in place and he lay down on the bed. I walked back shaken by the image of his wound .But more than that, the struggle this old man was facing just to sit properly or even attend to his natural needs, left me with a deep thought in my mind.
I was sitting in front of the nurse’s station blogging about these two incidents in the morning. When a bystander came from the ward and informed that this one particular patient was not responding. My friend who was the duty doctor had just finished rounds,
He and the nurses went to back the ward to check. The patient had already passed away! They had just interacted with him during the rounds about two minutes back!
What’s more, this patient was not even terminally ill! He had moved to IPM as water had entered his house, and did not have another place to stay.
The time and place of departure evades our prediction again!
I started my day with a heavy heart, thinking about my problems, being the biggest. I was worrying over what I had lost , or did not have, And then all these incidents, stories starts to reveal in front of me one after the other .I use the word reveal purposely, as such stories, problems are very much around us all ,
To see them we need to look past our own problems. All of life, all people have problems, it is up to us to dwell in our own or see past ours and be thankful that we only been through so much.
I have both my legs to stand on, a healthy sound body and mind, and most importantly I am alive!
This just came in; a 17-year-old girl awaiting surgery for liver transplant, the surgery has-been put off. In case of a power failure in between surgery, the generator back up will not work, as the hospital’s generator room is flooded. Her 24 years old brother who is the donor is the only person by her side. The rest of the family are all cut off at a further part of the state due to the floods!!
..and the stories continue….
A visit to the hospital helps to change our perceptions on life…
Actually here at IPM , we say welcome to the real suffering , and just a visit is too less of a time to imbibe the many stories here .
I fully agree… where is IPM?
It’s at Calicut , Kerala
Okay. Glad to know.
Yes. I constantly tell my children these stories and how good we have it. My 5 year old left the charger to his tablet at Grandma’s…he spent several hours crying about it. That was the worst thing that happened to us this week. We all need a reality check sometimes. Thanks.
True , I have had similar situations at home too. Thank you for reading 🙂