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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

On Death n' Dying...

Strange it is that my very first blog to go online had to wait nearly three months to see the light of the day.

Penned after four long hours of tormentous bed tossings in the night  of the very day this incident occurred, something there was that had made me put it on hold.
What was it really? Ethical prickings that one man’s tragedy be fodder for this particular piece? Or the fear that in today’s world of political correctness,dramatisation of a tragedy of this magnitude may not go down well with those even remotely connected to the incident??

Whatever it was – guilt/shame/fear, stands suitably mellowed down with time.. and the “piece” is now being presented to the disinterested reader in all its raw originality..

The deceptive calm of the EMERGENCY was shaken by the frantic rumble of stretcher wheels, which, as every medic will vouch, invariably results in universal tachycardia in anticipation of the worst imagined..

Today, was no different.

Her pink dupatta lay carelessly stuffed by the side of her head, giving not the slightest indication of being the brute responsible for those ugly marks on her neck.. 

Over her face lay a calmness almost ethereal, her lovely big eyes glued together in a slumber so deep that even the coziest of blankets in the chilliest of winters fail to invoke.. 

Peace as was hers now, is rare. In life.

The eyes nonetheless, were made to open by the harsh interruption of an indifferent medic.. and an equally indifferent torch threw the full strength of its beam into her eyes.. "pupils bilaterally dilated, 4mm, fixed. not reacting to light," noted the hurried voice from somewhere within the white coat of the hand that held the torch..

Three fingers belonging to another hand lazed over her carotids, trying to pick up even the slightest of vibrations.. "NP"  (non-palpable) was the note that was to be made later in the li'l white OPD slip with the funny  orange letterings..

Even as the defibrillator was wheeled by her side,ardent ears were trying their best to pick up the faintest of sounds, the brand new Soft Touch Chestpiece master cardio littmann stethoscope applanted firmly to her chest..

Well trained to the exercise, another pair of hands with the ambu had already begun forcing air into her lungs.. the littmann was rather unceremoniously brushed aside as hands clasped together, one over the other, fingers locked, to begin the arduous ritual of CPR..

The nurses too, had left the newspaper open at the page of  bollywood's latest scandals and were busy pumping adrenaline, efcorlin,and calcium gluconate, the latter, much to the satisfaction of another doc of  anaesthesia, who kept urging them to infuse calcium chloride, calcium chloride....  

The defibrillator paddles were brought into place, the eeky wet and cold jelly bridging the electrical gap between skin and machine... defib charging...charged...3..2..1.. THUD!!! 

The ritual was to be repeated atleast 3 times in the next few minutes.. Why did the physician have to break the rules of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th edition (with eerie green electron microscopic images of dirty microbes strewn over its front cover).. Oh the point.. since when was an asystole heard to respond to even mega joules of energy?? 

For that matter, when had the tired pupils of the departed known to react to light? Or the silent arteries bounded for the satisfaction of the hopeful fingers? The heart, that had so longingly beat for the one who was to betray it, when would it have quenched the expectant thirst of the littmann, having once fallen silent...???


The “???” was where i had to stop. I could go no further. The emotional blind-end of an alley that i had reached may leave the occasional reader with the same rotten feeling as does a torn-off last page of a suspense novel. Or the reader may care no less. ‘cause there was no suspense involved. Never ever. Only a tiny mountain creek of emotions that was checked well before it could burst into the threatening fury of a bountiful monsoon..

I’m yet to figure out whether it is good fortune or bad to be part of a  profession which constantly exposes you to emotions so profound, and whether it be possible to remain detached, unaffected and yet be a part of all that happens around you. Whether the efforts to remain indifferent make u any less human, or the failure to do so make u a weakling...

It is this predicament that we wake up to each single day of our lives...and it is with this with which we close our eyes for the night.  

May God give rest to the departed soul. Amen.