Sunday, July 10, 2011

diary of an intern

The more you crave for something the more difficult it appears to achieve it, I feel sometimes; but we still keep on craving thinking that at least at some time we’ll get at least a trace of it… I dream of a heavenly world, happy humankind and me a tiny neuroscientist working to make it happier… but what I encounter everyday is a series of extreme tragedies sadder than even those of Shakespeare’s, violence enough to evoke disgust even in medieval soldiers, heights of carelessness, drug seeking behavior putting the whole families at risk of extinction, and me a helpless small intern physician doing my job of internship, preparing for documents of internship completion, worrying whether I will get some extension, trying to concentrate on the necessities for getting a good PhD position, making some vague efforts of reassuring the patients and of reassuring myself that one day or other the situation will be better!

I don’t know where to start and how… I don’t know whether dreaming what I dream is ‘normal’ psychologically or whether I’m suffering from some ‘disorder’. But I dream, truly, that too while awake, and I crave for making them to come true, and I try for them at my best… but this my best is not enough, I feel always.

“Why my right hand is not moving doctor, I try but I can’t move it? I can’t work without it, I can’t eat… there’s no one to look after me, I’ll lose my job… please do something, do anything, leave my leg paralyzed, but make my hand as it was… give me some medicine,” a fifty some man begs me when I reach him to insert branula and to take blood samples. I tell him to practice moving his hand, but who’s there to motivate him, who’s there to give him physiotherapy… is there any drug to reverse damage occurred due to stroke? I can’t wait there with him, I’ve to move on to the next patient, there are fifteen admissions today and my job is to send each investigation of every patient before closure of the labs, to bring the x- ray films, to do other irrelevant meaningless official things an intern has to do…

Not all stroke patients are old, not all hypertensive persons are above forty, and not all patients who visit hypertension OPD regularly have their blood pressure under control… they seem to be waiting for a stroke or heart attack or renal failure. There is a tendency to write the blood pressure as 120/ 80 mm of Hg to avoid complications, no matter what the real blood pressure is. And advices about good diet and exercise are neither given nor taken seriously… even the doctors are victims of junk food and lack of exercise leading to increased girth of abdomen and decreased diameter and elasticity of blood vessels. Some patients are also so horrible that they come to visit the OPD fully drunk, with their exhaled air containing nauseating quantity of alcohol. Conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and even Parkinsonism are not big diseases here, they’re mere byproducts of aging… and people with these conditions are admitted very rarely only and only if there is exam of students that too as ‘exam cases’! Everything is as if superficial, lacking depth, being done just for showing or for legal procedures… nothing including health is taken seriously; there is no question of caring for the health of others. No one has time for useless things like sympathy, initiative and even curiosity… I guess if classical case of H. M. would have happened here, he would have died in the darkness even without getting noticed!

I fear I’ll get blind if I don’t get any light of hope… I fear my curiosity will die and I’ll become an input output machine examining predefined things called patients. I feel smothered many times and I think of giving up… I think of going far away from everything and never to return, I think of finding peace within myself like the monks, by doing meditation and by increasing the size of the brain’s reward center or of becoming mad or drugged to live permanently in my dream ignoring the horrid real situation… I can do that, that’s not difficult, but that’s not challenging either… I want to see my dream as a happening without altering my consciousness. I want to bet my life, no matter how hard it seems even to survive the real situation. I’ll keep on trying and searching for hope… maybe on some blessed day in the future I’ll get somewhat closer to my dream.

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