It was a usual day and I had to go through my morning rounds to check upon In patients. I was in the morning shift and my duty was in the General ward. The special ward and the General ward are two different buildings but just about 20-30 mtrs away from each other. This was during my early practice days when I was working as Duty Doctor. We had Duty roaster that changed each month, alternating our duties between OPD, and IP special ward and IP General ward. IP special ward would have two duty doctors at any given time and IP general ward too had two duty doctors and also a nursing stations in each of these ward’s respectively.
The respective senior consultants(they were called Clinical Registrars), would make their rounds to the wards anytime during the day. The day shift doctors(including senior consultants) would work from 9am-5pm. We had all kinds of patients being admitted and right from those who would come just for rejuvenation therapies to the one who would come on a stretcher expecting some miracles, since ours was an Ayurveda Hospital. However we did have some people who even got their old bed ridden parents admitted and never turned again to see them except on occasional visits and they had a nurse appointed exclusively for them who would take care of this bedridden patient, who was now not a matter of concern for his/her children. So it was also like an old age home too, their children(who holds prestigious positions) would come to the hospital just to make payments to keep his/her ailing parents here. This was actually heartbreaking for all our doctors but their children were bent upon not taking their parents home at any cost, no matter the number of times we requested them to do so.
On the other hand there were people who never left their loved ones room, and served them day and night with all love and care, even without giving much care to themselves. Such compassion and with all medications and treatments we did come across many miracles, whom we thought wouldn’t make it through. It gave us immense satisfaction and happiness. After all making a difference in somebody’s life and seeing them restore their faith and smile, is the purpose of our human life is what I believe.
Back to my story, we had this female patient above 50yrs of age, who had come in with a stretcher and she was very much disoriented. Neither she could respond to any of our commands nor could she recognise her own son who came along with her to take care of her. They stayed for pretty much more than a month. Her son never left her side, and she was admitted in the general ward. We had no much information of this patient’s family since we hardly saw anybody visiting them frequently. We didn’t have strict restricted visiting hours in our hospital, so their near and dear ones can drop in at anytime and spend time with the patients.
This patient underwent treatment for quite a long time, and finally she recovered and was now talking to all of us and her son, and was able to even get out of bed. We were all very happy with her recovery and finally the day arrived when she was scheduled for the discharge, she and her son were very happy. I was as usual on rounds, and spoke to all patients and I was informed by the night duty doctor that this patient would be getting discharged for the day and that we were suppose to speed up the process to complete all discharge formalities by evening. I informed the nurse to check with discharge medicines and I continued talking to this patient. Suddenly, a voice in me whispered ” she wouldn’t make it today”!!! I paused for a moment, disturbed by such thoughts emerging suddenly, I still continued talking to other patients and then finally got back to my consultation room and updated the files.
I got busy for the day and forgot about the thought. Afternoon I had to attend the weekly meeting at the meeting hall near the special ward. The meeting had just got over and I was at the nursing station of the special ward. The phone at the nursing station, ran and the nurse answered the call and informed me that I was immediately required at the general ward. I immediately rushed to the ward to find this patient surrounded by nurses and her son. Unfortunately, by the time I attended her, “the life had exited from her body !!! All our efforts to bring her back to life, failed!!”
I was broken, her son stood in the state of shock. He wasn’t ready to accept this as she had made complete recovery and suppose to get discharged that day!!! I found no words to console her son, who now with tears in eyes had started calling his relatives to inform that she was no more!! Morning I saw him calling his relatives to say she was getting discharged and he sounded so happy, flashed my mind!!
Rest of the doctors came in and nurses were informed to complete the formalities. It had crossed 5pm by then,the night shift doctor took over and my office cab was waiting for me and I was the last one to get in to cab. I was lost in my own thoughts I didn’t speak to anybody and just dropped by coat in the consultation room and headed to the cab. My only question was, “why nowjQuery112405023122086704275_1623836998005” Of all the time she was here, when we thought she wouldn’t make it, she proved us wrong and made her way to recovery.
As the cab started moving I placed myself near the window seat and lost in my thoughts, or maybe I was angry with myself, for having felt that way in the morning. Ayurveda talks about unusual signs that is seen in the patient when the death is near. We have a entire chapter explaining about this in detail, called as Arista Lakshana. In this case, there was no such objective signs, but my 6th sense had caught the subjective signs.
All doctors for that matter see deaths on daily basis. But still they aren’t immune to those feelings. We do feel the pain and that helplessness in all these situations. This incident is just one of those incident that my 6th sense/intuition had warned me of before. There are series of such events that I felt subtly even before they could occur. However, I had no such power in me to prevent any of them either. I was just a spectator too to all those happenings.