It’s not a post, it’s a personal monologue.
Vous ne rêvez pas, a constant reminder.
Though sometimes I am. I wake up dreaming of the patient with a crush injury. I remember hoping she would make it, survive somehow during the operation when her legs were being cut off and all that was left of her legs was a rubble of tissue and muscles. I went to see her in the ICU the next day, she was intubated. And with tears in her eyes, she tried to speak. I told her to blink if the answer was “yes” to what I was asking. She was in pain. It’s been days, but I see it every night in my dreams.
I remember the patient admitted to the HDU ward (where I am placed these days) with a blast injury. I recall him screaming in pain and agony, and telling him he could not drink water yet because of his laparotomy. Most of his gut was destroyed in the accident. He didn’t make it through the night, he developed malignant hyperthermia. I was not there to witness any of it, my duty was in the Operation Theatre that day.
The day before yesterday, the massive man with gas gangrene did not make it through the day. My shift ended before it happened. No one was hopeful even after amputating the gangrenous limb.
I focused on the other two patients in the HDU ward, two of them, with highly opposite temperaments. One of them curses every member of his family- the main target being his wife. I got him well and out, hoping he would not show up with another limb with cellulitis ever again. The other was this gentlemanly old human, who as his namesake reminded me of my father’s brother. We finally removed his chest tubes yesterday and discharged him.
I get stories of horrible cases every day. One or two people admitted for feeding jejunostomy due to corrosive intake made it far enough to reach this point. Multiple firearm injuries every day. The weirdest was a stall boy shot because the buyer did not like what he got. The boy, a Pathan who was shot had recently moved, he understood neither Urdu nor Punjabi. His attendant understood a little, just barely. This was the most peculiar case as it was just a harmless young boy doing his job but people have gone crazy. They really have.
These are just some of the stories from my ward in the past 10 days. It’s my first day off since the 15th of June. All of the events take a toll, even though I try to shove them away trying to deal with them with a morbid sense of humor but it doesn’t work.
I did not know that some things could be so engrossing. I had forgotten how it felt to be so absorbed into something else that you forget about your existence entirely. If I were to write my story, this would be the line separating my past and present in a fundamental way that does not exist outside literature.
I am hoping that good things will come, now that I am finally stepping out of that morally grey area I had trapped myself in, over the past years. There would be no doubts, no questions, and no one pretending to be something they’re not – feeding lies while keeping their conscience clear, meanwhile, making mine so murky, that I stopped seeing the lines that I had drawn around myself.
But that is all over now. This is a new chapter, filled with gore, blood, and everything on the surface, no attachments. Just existing for a while should help.
PHOTO CREDIT : HUSH NAIDOO JADE
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