Friday, July 6, 2012
Unimaginable............ but true
People often wonder what goes through the minds of doctors,
most kids would rather cry in the arms of their mothers than let a doctor poke them with a tiny needle that can make them feel better. Irony
The thing is, that satisfaction most doctors feel when a patient comes into the A&E hanging on a thin thread of life and needs your help. You feel empathy, you feel responsible for that person's life irregardless of who this individual is and you start to do all you can and all you know best. Eventually, right before your eyes after close monitoring, the patient starts to breathe, he/she starts to feel better, you notice actual healing, God showed up and used your fragile hands..... priceless
Truth is, doctors are as human as you and i, whatever happens in their personal lives gets dumped at the entrance and they just keep it moving.
One sunny afternoon, a man walked into the children's clinic and asked me " good afternoon doctor, please i have an emergency, i was referred from the A n E" responding and thinking to myself " meet the nurses with your folder and they will give it to any of the doctors available" all sorts of thoughts running though my head "this clinic is already bad enough today God please let these nurses not bring this folder my way"
If wishes were horses......... the folder came right to me " Doctor, please there is an emergency, a young boy of about 11, he is chronically ill-looking" "oh God" i thought to myself. I was done with my patient and i had to see the folder as i asked the patient be brought into the consulting room. Honestly, i freaked out and kept a straight face through that phase.
A young boy, 11years old, weighing just 15kg, now that was not a cool picture. Scared, with chills and rigors, it could have been any other thing but it was HIV with a CD4 of 14cells newly diagnosed, now thats no good news even for an adult. He had been to several private hospitals when the symptoms and opportunistic infections set in and they had treated for malaria and placed on anti-biotics for a while before screening and having to refer to a PEPFA center.
Furthermore, his biological mother was said to be late and the cause of death was said to be hepatitis B hmmmmmmn, she had passed on 5 years prior to his illness and he had been transfused 2 years ago. Now, a full blood work had to be done and taking samples were tough but someone had to do it even with a convincing smile on my face reassuring him that everything would be fine.
Fighting with all the hope and faith he had in God, he cooperated with the daily needles he had to deal with, the numerous rounds he had to wake up to, the dieticians, the voluntary counseling (very compulsory actually, we just make it sound voluntary) and in 2 weeks he was weighing 22.5kg but there was still that virus to deal with, the medications were a lot and he was getting tired again.
Sub-consiously, we became good friends, i had to see him everyday and we would gist about football, he wanted to be a very famous footballer, it was his dream, the 1 thing he missed the most. Occasionally we would go on walks in the hospital grounds and i would reassure him again that he would be fine as long as he didn't stay off his medication for 1 day. he was so full of life it was unimaginable he was ill-fated. humorous, sometimes annoying ( he was still a kid) the day came when i had to discharge him.
I missed him even before he left, giving him a 2 weeks appointment so i could at least monitor his weight and progress as he was now weighing 26.5kg, handed him a little phone and sim card insisting he calls anytime he needs to talk he smiled and we took pictures and he was on his merry way with his aunty and grandma.
Crazy, he called at intervals just to say hello and we would catch up on how he was feeling, he was my friend... seems weird but he was brave enough, i had learnt a lot from his experience. The last thing he said to me was " i miss you doctor, i am stronger, i played football with my neighbor but i got tired and my aunty said i should go and sleep" he never woke up......
Waking up on tuesday morning, just 2 months after he left the wards and his aunty called " doctor, doctor, he died this morning, i felt it, some sort of cold sharp pain, so caught unawares, i had to empathize with her "be consoled ma'am, be consoled" as crazy as it felt, work had to go on, i was in the next department, 5 mins later i scrubbed in to assist a c/s and yes, another had been brought to life.
1. life is short, tomorrow is not guaranteed so live and live wisely.
2. No matter what you are going through, someone else has a tougher situation they have to deal with.
3. Reach out to someone or people when you can, they may just need to hear the words "everything is going to be fine"
4. Screen for HIV every 6months and you can also throw in the routine check up too. (Its the best you can do for yourself)
5. You don't have to be a doctor to empathize or show care to the sick.
6. Be thankful for life.
7. Aids is real, and "foreal, e no de show for face"
8. Dont discriminate.
9. Errrrrrr, that is all for now.
10. Next experience coming sooner than you know...
In Loving memory of Chinedu..............