Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Love you, Lionking!

It was a spent day for me. I had to look after too many patients in the gynaecology wards, there were unusually higher number of admissions and significantly large number of investigations to carry out. It was past midnight when I finished all my work and drove back home. I was too tired that I wanted to sleep : I knew that I did not have the energy to do anything anymore. I was thinking of taking a holiday on the next day as it was being hard for me to work for another long day. I knew that nothing that really cheers me up, like a cup of hot chocolate, a stroll through my garden or a chat with a best friend will not help. Exhaustion had drained much of all strength from me.

So I had a shower and had the dinner. I quickly rushed through the news tab on my phone and read the news for the day. The Supreme court scrapes Section 66A. The Legislative Assembly adjourned after a heated discussion on corruption of a minister. Heavy rains in Mumbai,  12 die.

I checked the back door and thought I will keep it closed. As I was rummaging my bag for the key, I heard a faint sound. The voice grew louder. "Meow, meow", it said. I quickly understood that it was my cat, Lionking. Lionking has been with me since its birth : his mother had left him at my house. Since then, he had picked up enough skills to survive with us. He knows every member of our family and loves being petted by us. He plays with us and is almost always seen accompanying us while in garden.

Knowing that Lionking is standing outside of the door, I opened it and let him in. He sat on the verandah floor for some time, meowing at me. I found some biscuits from the shelf and soaked it in milk and offered it to Lionking. He ate thankfully. After the meal, he went around me as I was setting up my table, cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes. I patted him at times, and he seemed to like it that way. His presence made the air joyful and entertaining.

After I was done with my work at home and dinner, I spent some time with Lionking. I patted on his back and joined him in playing with the ball. He seemed to be very keen to pick up the ball, imagining it as a potential prey. He would occasionally bring the ball to me and wait for me to throw it away to let himself run for it. It was heart-warming to see his innocent actions and funny games.

The mere presence of Lionking was very rejuvenating. I felt as if I got so much of my spent energy back. I felt I could get back to work, fresh again on the next day. I found myself singing under my lips after a while. I  never knew that playing with Lionking could change my mood for the good!

Love you a lot, Lionking! Here is the link to Housing.com, the ultimate place to search for the property of your choice : the house which brings back all your lost energy like Lionking does, the real estate that you longed to buy the way I long to meet Lionking! Click on : https://housing.com/

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hello, Argentina!

It requires courage to do things out of the routine. To take every bold step towards the unknown, one should be sufficiently equipped to deal with the challenges that come in one's way. Being bold is not just about bravery : it is about having the courage to walk the least traveled paths, explore the unexplored and do the unexpected.

One day, I was surprised to find in my inbox that I am invited to Buenos Aires to participate in an NGO related conference. I was 18-19 years old at that time. I had never traveled to any place outside of India. Buenos Aires, Argentina was known to me only as the city of football lovers, graffiti and tango. I had only seen the contours of the map, describing the international boundaries of this country : Amazon forests on one side, Chile on the other, snugly fit in the South American continent. I am invited to visit this country in two months!

I discussed this with every close friend I know. Some were skeptical that it might not be possible for a young girl like me to travel alone to a country that far, some gave me confidence and advised that I have the potential to make it. I was the only invitee from India, so should I choose to not go, one-sixth of all world population will be unrepresented in the conference.

It was so bold of me to have decided to go. I was the youngest to participate in the conference. I was also traveling outside of the country for the first time. It was hard for me to figure out how to get my visa, but I finally managed to secure it. Harder still, I had to prepare for my talks and sessions at the conference. I had to be prepared to answer questions about the recent developments in India. In short, I struggled for a month to do everything from corresponding the Argentine consulate to choosing my dress to wear for the closing party.

I had to change my flights twice. I had never made an international connection in the past, so I was extra nervous. I was also worried about how the local transport would be like. Additionally, I had the language barrier to overcome: People spoke Spanish in Argentina and I do not know the language. So, if should ask for help in case of an emergency, I should learn a few phrases in Spanish. I taught myself some Spanish by following online tutorials.

#MeetTheNewHousing : Accept the challenges. Take a bold step. Inspire.

Finally, the most awaited day dawned. I doubly made sure that everything is alright. I was dropped off at the airport and I took my flight to Dubai. At Dubai, I was supposed to be joined by another attendee of the conference, but her flight got cancelled and therefore she did not show up at all. This added to my worries, but I persisted. I made my way to Buenos Aires safely and picked up a taxi without effort. I reached the hotel, attended the conference and presented my points pretty well. Other attendees were happy to see me, because they thought that I might not attend the conference.

My first international journey remains the most bold thing I have done till date. I have made several international journeys since, but my first one seems so special, the memories of it are still fresh. I was young and inexperienced, but I made it to Buenos Aires on my own. Accomplishing this greatly boosted my confidence. I think I derived most of my courage and enthusiasm from this event.

This travel changed my life. I have since presented at many conferences all over the world. I could gain a lot of contacts because of this very first conference. My work got more visibility and I began to work in collaborative projects after gathering ideas from this conference. If I should thank myself for one bold decision I have taken in the past, it should be for my courage to travel around half the world to reach Argentina to attend the conference and make my voice heard.

So, people, never hesitate to #StartANewLife

This blog post was inspired by Housing.com. More details : https://housing.com/

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Joy, relief and optimism

I knew that I was going to have a long day at the hospital. I am to have a 12-hour duty, where I am to see several patients, listen to their complaints, write them prescriptions and erase their pain and suffering. Though my words and touch are comforting to my patients, I am to follow the same cycle of listening, talking and prescribing every day.

Nobody in the right sense of mind would want to associate themselves with pain, illness and suffering. Yet, doctors do it, hoping that they can wipe off all these maladies in whole or part. Sometimes they emerge successful, sometimes they succumb to  disease.

It was raining heavily. The car stopped outside of the hospital building with a strange noise. I knew from the urgency of the driver and the whispering from within the vehicle that something was terribly wrong. In a few moments, I came to know that my assumption was right. Much more was wrong than I had initially imagined.

A young woman, who looks like being in her twenties was brought out of the car on a trolley to the hospital emergency wing. It looked as if she was dehydrated, tired and spent. In a quick look, I could say that it was an obstetric emergency. This would mean that I should act up. Soon.

Now, it is not quite possible to deal with any obstetric emergency single-handedly. One needs to have a healthcare team to support them. The first step, therefore, is to call for help. I called in the top of my voice and nurses and doctors from everywhere arrived to the scene. I did a quick examination of the patient. Her pulse rate was shooting up and the blood pressure was falling down. I realized that it is a sign of shock. She might have lost a lot of blood, and might still be bleeding.

One of the nurses pushed a large bore cannula into her vein. I ordered another nurse to draw up some blood for investigations. Yes, I needed to know what I was dealing with to be able to treat her condition. I looked at her past ultrasound scans and figured out that all her scans had been normal. Her expected date of delivery was just one month away. I noticed that the uterine size was more than the expected size for her gestational age. Suddenly it hit me. I was looking at a case of abruption of placenta. If I am not going to do anything in a few hours, I am going to screw up my patient's life.

I ordered for blood and auscultated the abdomen. I could hear the foetal heart beating. The tone was not quite good, so I should anticipate danger anytime. By that time, the ultrasound machine was brought and I found from the scanned images that a huge clot of blood is present inside the uterus. The clot is likely to grow in size and might even kill the baby. The solution was to do an emergency Caesarean section to save the baby and the mother.

I called up the obstetrician on duty and prepared the patient for surgery. I wrote her case sheet, interpreted her investigation reports and got the consent form signed by her relatives. The blood transfusion was started. By that time, she had started to look better. Pinkish hue was spreading on her cheeks. I was relieved, but I knew that nothing but a termination of pregnancy and delivery of the baby safely will not solve the issue.

The obstetrician and the anaesthetist examined the patient in less than five minutes. They hurriedly prepared for the surgery. They looked up my examination details and found that the patient needs to be operated upon immediately. She was taken to the operation theatre in another ten minutes. I had been working under stress for the patient for a long time, so I sat down to rest a bit. I knew that I can't rest for longer : because I have to alertly wait for the next emergency.

The surgery went well. The bleeding was controlled. She gave birth to a lovely baby girl. In three days, she recovered really well. I heard from the obstetrician that she is responding well to her medication. I couldn't be more happier.

One day, the staff assistant approached me, asking me to visit Room 406. It was strange, because I never used to do room visits. My job was always at the casualty wing and the operation theatre complex. The assistant did not know why I was called there. I decided to visit the room anyway.

Room 406 was where my patient was admitted. It was the day she was leaving the hospital and she had insisted that she wanted to meet the doctor at the emergency wing before she left the hospital. She had brought flowers for me. When she handed over the flowers to me, she cried a bit. She thanked me a lot for saving her life. She told me that, during her brief times of consciousness in the emergency room, she could see me working besides her, examining her and ordering people around her to do things. She told me that I am her hero.

Optimism came flowing into me. Everyday, I go to hospital with a heavy heart - not wanting to see any further casualties, not having to deal with another emergency. But I invariably end up with a lot of emergencies and work overtime. I have often been very tired and spent. But that one patient who calls you a hero, that one patient who thanks you for the work you did, that smile of the baby you helped to be born, that joy on the face of her relatives when she recovers - all these fill me up with optimism and makes me want to work hard for my patients again.

This post is a part of IndiBlogger Happy Hours campaign. Thanks to Look Up for the great blog post idea. Learn more about Look Up here: https://housing.com/lookup