Monday, 13 August 2018

part 15 : To Err is Human


The interns were assigned different stations, sort of an assembly line of history taking, clinical exam, blood draws, dispense medications, make treatment plans with Dr Josh and Simone fulfilling the supervisory roles.


"Hello beta! Kya naam hai aapka?" Rahul asked a 6 year old little girl with big eyes full of fear.



"Iska naam Sur hai," her mother answered, "isey diabetes hai….doctor saheb yeh insulin ke injection lene mein bahut tang karti hai."


"Beta injection tho lena padhega….no choice!" Rahul answered matter-of-factly, "chalo…idhar baitho….main aapka blood test leta hoon."




"NAHIN! NAHIN!" Sur ran away from her mom's side into the open field.




"AAP APNI BETI KO SAMBHALIYE!" Rahul scolded Sur's mother, "yeh mazaak nahin hai…..Diabetes zindagi bhar ki bimari hai….usey abhi se aadat honi chaahiye injection aur blood tests ki…..please usey yahan le aaiye…..bahut mareez intezaar kar rahe hain…sirf Sur hi nahin hai!"



"Jee doctor saheb," the poor lady bowed apologetically and looked around for her daughter. Sur had swiftly climbed a tall mango tree as her mother yelled for her.



Armaan's distractible gaze had noticed the interaction between Sur and the no-nonsense Dr. Rahul. The other interns were too busy to notice the defiant little girl.




"Excuse me," Armaan left his seat and walked towards the tree. Sur's mother was in a panic till she saw Armaan climbing down with her daughter with a mango in each hand.




Sur's mother snatched the mangoes and slapped her daughter, "SUR! PATAA HAI NA AAM NAHIN KHAA SAKTI! YEH KYA BADTAMEEZI HAI?" Armaan was taken aback by her mother's response, "ma-ji….aap itna gusaa kyun ho rahi hain? Yeh bachchi hai….isey pyaar se samjhaaiye."


"Doctor saheb….rehne do aap…..yeh chup chup ke sab khaati rehti hai….aur jab yahan clinic mein aate hain tho humein hi daant padhti hai ki apni beti ki blood sugar control kyun nahin karte," her mother started sobbing, " aapne isey aam kyun de diya…iski sugar aur zyadda ho jaayegi."




"Ma-ji…..idhar aaiye," Armaan placed his arm around the mother and daughter and took them to a bench away from the crowd. He patiently sat with them, cracked some jokes with Sur, acted goofy and child-like till Sur was in splits and agreeable to anything Dr Armaan would recommend, "and promise Sur…agar tumhara blood test aaj theek aata hai….tho phir hum dono milkar yeh aam khaayenge…theek hai?"


"YAY!!!" Sur jumped with joy, "theek hai…..blood test kar leejiye aap….lekin sirf aap karenge…wo doosre doctor nahin!" She pointed to Rahul.


Josh watched the interaction between Armaan, Sur and her mother. He smiled and walked over, "lagta hai yahan private treatment plan chal raha hai….good job Armaan….Sur is one of the most defiant patients we have in our clinic…..I am glad you struck a rapport with her….ab wapas aa jao clinic mein."


"Yes sir….abhi aaye," Armaan smiled back but stayed on the bench with Sur.




"Abhi matlab abhi Armaan!" Josh muttered through his teeth, "Dr Shashank Gupta is on his way….he does not like inefficient interns…..one of his goals for this medical camp is to train you all to see many patients in a short time….tum agar ek patient ke saath hi itna waqt lagaa doge tho wo tumhein ding kar denge….and I am sure you don't want that to happen….especially with *cough*cough* your interest in his daughter….kyun?"




"Oh…I see," Armaan's face fell. He figured his skill in convincing Sur to comply with treatment was not as important as seeing hordes of patients in a short time. He understood Dr Josh was looking out for him, but this is what he hated about his work. Why did he have to be like the other doctors? It had been the same since childhood…..Armaan…why can't you be like the other boys? Math aur Science ke scores itne low kyun hain? Kaise banoge doctor? His dad's voice echoed in his mind once again as he went back to his seat at the clinic.


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………



"Prateek Saxena?" Kripa looked at his file and smiled at the 4 year old cutie pie in his father's arms.



"Jee doctor sahiba," Prateek's dad smiled back, "isey 2 saal ki umar se polio hai….yeh chal nahin sakta…..humein Mumbai jaakar iske braces fit karwaane hain……aap isey please check karke…humein wahan badhe hospital bhej deejiye."


The word 'Polio' sent a shiver down Kripa's spine. She smiled affectionately at Prateek and sat him on her lap, "idhar aao beta." This is how old her sister was when she had passed away from the horrible disease. If only she had received the right care, her little sister Maya would still be here today. May be she would be in braces or on a wheel chair, but she would be alive, smiling, laughing, talking just like Prateek. She still remembered that ill fated day, when Maya received that expired Polio vaccine instead of her from that evil, money minded doctor at their local clinic. If Kripa did not have a fever that day, Maya would still be alive and healthy………



"Doctor sahiba?" Prateek's father wondered why the doctor was lost in her own thoughts.



"Oh sorry…..wo main Prateek ki file dekh rahi thi," Kripa snapped out of her thoughts and got down to business. Holding Prateek in her arms gave her a sense of comfort; may be taking care of him lifted some of the burden of guilt she had lived with for 16 years…..she should have been the one to contract Polio and endure all the pain rather than her little sister…….


………………………………………………………………………………………………


"Yeh aapki nayi dawa hai Sahil," Riddhima smiled at a little kid with asthma, "ab football khelne se pehle…..yeh inhaler lena mat bhoolna…Ok?"


"Jee doctor aunty…..main badha hokar India ka sabse badha football player banoonga," Sahil jumped.

"Theek hai mujhey dikhao…kaise use karoge inhaler?" Riddhima smiled back.


"Ok aunty!"


"Bahut badiya Sahil…..ab tumhari asthma ki bimaari tumhein kabhie rok nahin sakti…..jao….wahan Dr Armaan ke paas jao aur apna blood test karwaa lo," she pointed at Armaan who looked up and smiled at her. She returned his smile and turned red as he blew a flying kiss at her. Riddhima composed herself and looked away, "yeh Armaan….ek din hum dono ko marwaayega! Papa aane waale hain….kahin unhone dekh liya tho lene ke dene padh jaayenge!"

………………………………………………………………………………………………


"Tho Ishaan…aapki sabse badhi ichcha kya hai?" Angad asked a 7 year old boy with Cerebral palsy, paralyzed from waist down, on a wheelchair.



"Mountain climbing…hiking!" Ishaan replied excitedly, "wo peeche pahad dekh rahe hain aap?"



Angad turned his head and nodded, "zaroor….wo pahad tho bahut ooncha hai."



"Main wahan jaana chaahta hoon," Ishaan pointed at the peak of the mountain. Angad looked at Ishaan's mother, who was obviously aware that she her son's wish would probably never be fulfilled.



"Theek hai…aaj clinic ke baad hum mountain climbing chalenge!" Angad exclaimed.


"Aaj?" Ishaan exclaimed.


"Haan….hum kuch doctors hiking ke liye jaane waale hain clinic ke baad…..Ishaan tum bhi chalna hamare saath," Angad gave him a high five.


Josh overheard Angad and gave him a thumbs up, "tumney mere dil ki baat keh di Angad….we usually do something fun with the kids after the clinic….we will have some snacks first and then take a few kids hiking with us…great idea!"


"Doctor saheb…ishaan tho …." Ishaan's mother hesitated.


"Chal nahin sakta?" Josh placed his arm around Ishaan's mom, "hamare mushtande doctor kab kaam aayenge?' he slapped Angad's back and chuckled.


"Aap fikr na keejiye maa-ji…Ishaan mere kandhon par jaayega," Angad reassured the lady's fears.

………………………………………………………………………………………………


"Doctor saheb…..jab se Radha ka operation hua hai…..iska dard hi nahin jaata hai," a skinny but older man held his 8 year old daughter in his lap.


"Kahan dard hai beta?" Prithvi asked sympathetically.


The girl looked up at her father and remained silent.


"Dard se bechari kuch keh bhi nahin sakti," the man answered, 'sab jagah dard hota hai doctor sahib…pait mein…pair mein….bas wo dard ki dawa se hi jaata hai….aur kuch bhi kaam nahin aata."



"Dard ki dawaa?" Prithvi asked, "lekin pehle yeh pataa lagaana zaroori hai ki dard kyun ho raha hai."


"Wo saare test ho chuke hain doctor saheb….aap bas dawa de do jaldi!" the man seemed anxious to get the prescription.


"Lekin…" Prithvi hesitated. He looked at Radha's file. She had been prescribed very strong pain medicines- mostly narcotics over the past few months; he was not very comfortable dispensing it for such a young patient. Radha's dad sensed some hesitation on Prithvi's part. He fell at his feet, "doctor saheb…..doctor saheb…..daya karo meri bachchi par……wo dard ke mare marr jaayegi……aap hi bachaa sakte ho isey…..aap hi hamare mai-baap ho…..bachaa lo humein."



A tender hearted Prithvi could not see anyone in distress, especially someone who treated him so respectfully. Being used to ridicule and bullying all his life, a man at his feet gave Prithvi's ego a kick. He swallowed hard and gave Radha's father a month supply of the strong narcotic pain killer without asking any more questions.




Radha's father thanked him and soon disappeared with his daughter in a jiffy.


Radha's father had found the perfect doctor to con- Prithvi was unable to see through the drug addict father who used his daughter's illness to get drugs for himself.


………………………………………………………………………………………………



After the clinic, a number of little kids hung around for their favorite time. Snacks and drinks were laid on the tables as the interns played frisbee, football, cricket, jump rope with a number of kids and their parents. Josh and Simone had introduced this part of the clinic a year ago which had made this clinic a big success. Kids with chronic difficult to treat conditions now looked forward to their clinic visits and except a few, never protested the painful procedures or treatments. The parents were asked to leave for a few hours and could pick them up later in the evening after the hiking trip.




As Kripa, Riddhima and Simone helped remove the medical supplies from the ground, Josh walked out with his guitar.



"Guitar?" Angad picked the instrument from Josh's chair and strummed the strings.



"Dr Angad! You know how to play the guitar?" Josh asked.



"Nothing formal….here you can have it." Voices from the past flooded his mind, as Angad handed the guitar to Josh.



"Yeh guitar Shabbir ke liye aaya hai! Tu kyun choo raha hai isey?"


"Sorry…sorry Damini aunty….main tho bas dekh raha tha…." A young 10 year old boy withdrew into a corner.


"CHOR KAHIN KA!" Damini slapped the boy, "AWAARA LADKA….NA JAANE KYUN DILIP NE ISEY GHAR MEIN RAKHA HAI? KAAM THO KARTA NAHIN HAI….MERE SHABBIR KI KITAABEIN AUR GUITAR MEIN LAGAA REHTA HAI…..NAALAAYAK, GUNDA KAHIN KA!"


"Arre Damini…chhod do…bachcha hai…..Shabbir ke saath saath thoda seekh lega tho kya jaayega?" Dr Dilip Aggarwal defended the young 10 year old Angad, standing in a corner with his hand on his cheek.



"Paise humare….aur seekhe ek gunda?" Damini's condescending tone pierced Angad like a sharp knife. He was upset at his parents for leaving him all alone without a penny in this big bad world. He ran downstairs where his aunt, Naina Khanna was mopping the floor, 'maasi…maasi…main yahan nahin rehna chaahta….mujhey yahan kaam nahin karna…"




"ANGAD!" Naina slapped him, his cheek still red from Damini's finger prints, "kaam nahin karega tho khaayega kya? Maa baap tho chal basey….chhod gaye apni laawaris aulaad ko mere hawaale….chal….ja bartan saaf kar," she twisted his ears and pushed him into the kitchen. Angad cursed his aunt and turned the faucet on- kaash mere paas ek din itne paise ho…aur in sab ke mooh par aakar maaroon….Dr Dilip ki tarah main bhi bahut badha aadmi banoonga….aur mere paas itne paise honge ki sab mujhey izzat se dekhenge……..



"Hello Dr Angad!" Josh snapped his fingers, "kahan kho gaye?"


"Oh..sorry sir," Angad looked away, his eyes misty from his agonizing childhood memories.


"Ok…here you go young man….chalo tum guitar bajao aaj," Josh hung the instrument around Angad's neck and signaled everyone to join in.



"Ok Sur beta….tumne koi naya English gaana seekha hai school mein?" Josh asked.


"Haan…haan," Sur nodded enthusiastically, "hamari English teacher ne sikhaya hai……lekin mere saath sab bachche gaayenge….aur Dr Armaan bhi!" She pulled Armaan's hand and sat on his lap.



"Maine….maine bahut dino se gaana nahin gaaya hai," Armaan hesitated.


"Maine bhi bahut dino se guitar nahin bajaaya hai," Angad strummed and nodded to the young artists…Ok start….


Enjoy this beautiful song from "Taare zameen par"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhfJJ6SkWyM


Sur, Prateek, Ishaan and Sahil start off…..

A Little Sweet, A Little Sour
A Little Close Not Too Far
All I Need, All I Need
All I Need Is To Be Free
(Repeat)


Armaan smiled at the kids and lifted Ishaan on his shoulders and sang……



Chhoo Loon Main
Itna Kareeb
Chal Padun
To Kitna Door

A Little Sweet, A Little Sour...

Chhoo Loon Main Itna Kareeb
Chal Padun To Kitne Door
Sapna Ka Buna Sweater Sa Warm
Safed Baadalon Ke Paar
Mera Jahan

Let Me In Without A Shout
Le Me In I Have A Doubt
Let Me In Without A Shout
Let Me In I Have A Doubt
There Are More,Many More
Many Many Many More Like Me

Akela Nahin Main

Khuli Aankhon Se Neend Mein Chalta

Girta Zyada Kam Sambhalta

Akela Nahin Main
Khuli Aankhon Se Neend Mein Chalta


Angad lifted Prateek on his shoulders and continued to sing…..



Girta Zyada Kam Sambhalta
Phir Bhi Na Koi Shaq Na Subha
Nikalega Phir Se Sooraj Jo Dooba

Hairat Ho Sabko Aisa
Ajooba Hai Mera Jahan

Open Eyed How I Run
How I Run To The Other Side
Open Eyed How I Run
How I Run To The Other Side
Then I Glide Like A Bird
I Just Want To Be

Udne Ko Sau Pankh Diye Hain
Chadne Ko Khula Aasmaan
Udne Ko Sau Pankh Diye Hain
Chadne Ko Khula Aasmaan

Mudne Ko Hai Karwat Karwat
Aur Badhne Ko Mera Jahan

Bachpan Ke Din Chaar
Na Aayenge Baar Baar
Jee Le Jee Le Mere Yaar
Jeib Khaali To Udhaar
Jee Zindagi



Soon, all the men and women had joined the kids on their feet and danced away as Josh, Angad and Armaan sang along with the kids.



Seeing Prateek dance on Angad's shoulder brought tears into Kripa's eyes. Memories of her 4 year old sister laughing and dancing choked her emotions. She could not hold herself and ran back to her room.




A disheartened Angad noticed her run away, "shayad mera gaana pasand nahin aaya….maybe she DOES hate everything about me."




Riddhima followed her friend, "Kripa….Kripa….kahan ho tum?" She found Kripa bawling on their bed, 'kya hua Kripa?"



"Oh…kuch nahin…sorry Riddhima," Kripa wiped her tears and sniffed.


"Kuch tho hua hai…are you upset about something? Did Angad say something mean?" Riddhima wiped her friend's tears.




"Nahin Riddhima….aisa kuch nahin hai….chalo wapas chalte hain," Kripa got up and held Riddhima's hand.


"No…you have to tell me…what's wrong?"


"Kuch nahin Riddhima…mujhey apni behen yaad aa gayi….Maya naam tha uska," Kripa's voice cracked.


"You had a sister?" Riddhima was surprised, 'what happened to her?"


"She died of Polio at the age of 4….same age as Prateek…usey dekh kar Maya ki yaad aa gayi."



"I am sorry Kripa….she must have been very sick to have succumbed to Polio in this day and age."



"Yes Riddhima….my father was the school principal in a small town near Ajmer…..I was six and Maya was four at that time…..there was an outbreak of Polio in the town….so our father took us to the local doctor to get a booster dose of the Polio vaccine….mujhey bukhar tha…tho mujhey us din vaccine nahin de paaye….lekin Maya ko de diya….waise usey zaroorat nahin thi booster ki kyunki usey pehle hi bahut doses mil chuke the….lekin us doctor ko apne paise banane the….he convinced papa to give her the Polio drops….that doctor was a crook….in order to save money, he never stored the vaccines properly and gave her an expired vaccine…..as you know sometimes the Polio vaccine can turn virulent……bas us kharaab dose se meri behen ko polio ho gaya…..aur phir wahan us doctor ne uski theek se dekh baal bhi nahin ki….ek principal hone ke naate….papa ke paas zyaada paise bhi nahin the….unhone apna ghar bhi girwi rakh diya….wo doctor sab paise khaa gaya lekin meri behen ka theek se ilaaj nahin kiya….bechari dard ke mare tadap tadap kar…marr…." Kripa hid her face on riddhima's shoulder and bawled, "I hate that doctor….I hate him….paise ke liye usney meri behen ko…..aur…aur….meri jagah meri behen….." she sobbed incessantly as Riddhima consoled her friend.


"Kripa…..jo hona tha wo tho ho gaya…..you know we can only try our best….ho sakta hai tumhari behen ki kismet mein hi 4 saal likhe the," Riddhima tried to pacify her.




"NAHIN RIDDHIMA!" Kripa wiped her tears, "uski kismet kharaab thi ki usey wo zaalim doctor mila tha….warna aaj wo bhi Prateek ki tarah hans khel rahi hoti….agar Polio bhi hota usey…tho wo kum se kum zinda tho hoti….jo log sirf paise ke liye kaam karte hain….sakht nafrat hai mujhey unse…"



"WELCOME SIR! WELCOME PADMA MADAM" Josh greeted Dr Shashank Gupta and his wife at the gate, "we just wrapped up our clinic….aap log aaraam kariye…a few of us are taking some of the kids for a hike….chai wagarah tayyar hai."



"Thanks Josh….you carry on…we are familiar with this place….Ghanshayam will take good care of us." Dr Gupta smiled back.


"Waise Simone and the girls are staying back," Josh announced.


"Riddhima andar hai?" Padma looked around for her daughter.


"Yes ma'am….aap jaaiye….andar jaaiye…Simone bhi aati hai," Josh signaled Ghanshyaam to take their bags.



Dr Shashank went over the clinic records from the afternoon and reviewed the cases seen by the interns. He was pleased to see the numbers at the clinic and was proud of their efficiency- each intern had handled 8-10 patients independently accept…..ARMAAN! He had only seen 2 patients???




"Josh…what's up with Armaan….sirf 2 patients dekhe?" Shashank cornered Josh.


"Sir…wo bahut complicated patients the…..so they needed time…..and …and I needed some help with some other patients…so he did not have time to see too many cases today," Josh lied and defended Armaan.




"It better be the case Josh….I have heard Armaan can get too involved with some patients and neglect others….that's not what we expect from our graduates….so let's hope this problem is rectified soon," Dr Gupta shut the registry and walked into the house to join the women.



"Yes sir…don't worry…Armaan is a very capable intern….wo seekh jaayega," Josh cleared his throat and walked towards the men and kids, 'come on guys…let's go!"



"Hello beta!" Dr Gupta hugged Riddhima as they all sat down for tea. Kripa rinsed the tears off her face and joined everyone, "hello Dr Gupta…hello aunty," she politely bowed to Shashank and Padma.




'Aao beta…bahut dino se ghar nahin aayi tum?" Padma caressed Kripa's back as she sat next to her.


"Wo aunty…bas kaam mein busy thi," Kripa apologized.


"Jaise Riddhima ghar aa jaati hai…tum bhi aa jaaya karo….after all you are like Riddhima's sister for us," Padma sipped her tea.




"Yes of course beta," Dr Gupta smiled. He had a high opinion of Kripa, both as an intern and as a person. He had heard about her high ideals in life and her willingness to stand up against injustice the other day had strengthened his belief in her. He was glad Riddhima had made good choices- Kripa as her friend and Rahul as her co intern; he was not sure about Armaan yet but he knew his daughter would never make wrong choices in life.



"These men should not go hiking today," Simone looked out the window and commented.



"Kyun kya hua?" Shashank asked.



"I think a storm is soon approaching….this area is famous for landslides…..it is not safe to hike with all those kids," the panic in Simone's voice was obvious.


"I am sure Josh knows what he is doing….don't worry Simone…they will turn around and come back if it looks risky," Shashank down played her fears.



Simone was not sure- Josh was a daring man; he loved adventures and once he had made up his mind, he could do anything for a thrill. Of course, he would never endanger the lives of so many kids- that was the only reassuring part.


Kripa and Riddhima sipped their tea cautiously. Simone seemed very laid back, but the anxiety on her face worried them now. Riddhima and Kripa silently prayed for their safe return and stood at the window in anticipation.



As Simone had predicted, the dark clouds soon unleashed their wrath on the small town. The women and Dr Gupta went around the house shutting all the windows as the golf ball sized hail played drums on the roof and the windows.



"SIMONE….DID YOU CALL JOSH?" Shashank asked.


"I CAN'T GET THROUGH SIR!" Simone yelled back as their voices drowned in the uproar of the storm.


Riddhima dialed Armaan and Rahul's numbers- NO ANSWER


Kripa had the same fate- neither Angad nor Prithvi picked their phones.



"GHANSHYAAM…..DEKH KAR AAO…KAHAN HAIN SAB?" Simone ordered.


Riddhim and Kripa ran out the door behind Ghanshyaam, "hum bhi aate hain."



"Riddhima…stay here! Bahut toofan hai bahar!" a protective Shashank ordered.


"Papa….we should go and see," Riddhima hesitated. She was not used to disobeying her father but how could she sit back when others were in danger…especially Armaan was in danger?


"Come on Riddhima!" Kripa held her hand and did not wait for Dr Gupta's response.


Shashank knew the girls were right. He followed the girls in the rain; there was no way he would let them out in this storm.



As they ran past the open field, they heard the hospital ambulance sirens…..THEY KNEW TROUBLE WAS HERE!



"RIDDHIMA…..KRIPA…SIMONE….FOLLOW ME TO THE EMERGENCY!" Dr Gupta yelled at the top of his voice.


…to be contd…
bheegi

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