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Friday, January 12, 2007

Cruel diseases to kill your heart

This is the same day as the two abdominal injuries and stuff happened last emerg.
We had this female child around 6 yrs or so with a huge swelling around her R armpit.
She had been diagnosed with Full blown Tuberculosis which was resistant to treatment. She had taken treatment for 6 months with no improvement and was here with us because of the abscess.
She also was malnourished (Grade II PEM) with just skin and bones and a cry that was so sad it isn't even funny. To complete the setup her mom is dead and she is being taken care of by ber grandmother who also looks after her 3 healthy siblings (get the point)

We took her in the ot and she wept so much begging her grandmother to just keep her hand on the child's face so she could get some support since she could not be given anaesthesia as her lungs were fired and would not stand the anaesthetic. We drained the abscess under local coverage and she wept and begged for it to stop and we could do nothing since it was necessary to get this done. Oh and by the way Tubercular abscess once incised rarely ever heal but its still done anyway as there is no other option

At the end my registrar said something that will stay with me forever, "Its better if she dies"
The family is too poor to affort her treatment. She most probably will fall ill many times again since she is malnourished. Since she will fall ill her nutrition will never improve. She goes to the 2nd standard. And she's cute as a button.....

Its heartbreaking, its tough but its what we face almost everyday at this shithole of a hospital I work in. I guess its all a part of learning but all I felt at that point was that if she was my daughter and was suffering like this I wouldn't be able to take it.

I give that old grandmother credit for somehow managing to get 10 Rs for the paper she needed to come to the hospital. I give her credit for making that child smile in the ward inspite of the illness. I give her credit for being stronger than I ever will be.

3 comments:

  1. suddenly i feel lucky.

    suddenly i feel like you've grown up a bit. and that you'll make a good doc when you're done with the residentship.

    and this is possibly the best blog you've written so far.

    ReplyDelete
  2. suddenly i feel lucky.

    suddenly i feel like you've grown up a bit. and that you'll make a good doc when you're done with the residentship.

    and this is possibly the best blog you've written so far.

    ReplyDelete
  3. amazing dude - you'll make a fine doctor...

    ReplyDelete

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