When I arrived, my dental assistant came to me with a panic stricken face.
“ It’s serious, Dr” she said.
I thought of the Arab boy in the youtube video and repeated my mantra , ‘ It can’t be that bad, it can’t be that bad”
I was right. It was worse.
When I arrived at the ER, the patient who was involved in a road accident was literally fighting for his life. The ER team was all around him trying the stabilize his vital signs. Blood was smeared all over the floor.
I looked at his smashed up face.
Okay, I can take this , I thought.
I stared at his heaving chest.
Okay, I can take this.
Then I saw his pale extremities and suddenly felt the chills.
“ I can’t watch this” I turned to my assistant and left the red zone.
This isn’t supposed to happen. Dental oncall officers are rarely exposed to this kind of scene. We’re usually called after the patient has been stabilized. There was probably some confusion with the interns and the orders from their MOs .
The intern ( or houseman officer as it is called here) apologized profusely and promised to call me back after the patient has been stabilized fully.
Here I am, a medical worker, traumatized by the whole incident. I had the scene of his pale soles, his labored breathing, rewinding in my head. Over and over and over.
I tried to pretend everything was okay. I went for breakfast. I went for my ward rounds with my Oral Surgeon.
An hour later, I called the ER to check on the patient.
“ I’m sorry Dr. He didn’t make it.”
I stood there, staring at my Oral Surgeon. “ He’s gone, “ I said.
“ Well, what to do.” He shrugged. I guess as a seasoned specialist, he’s jaded to news of death.
2 days later, today, I am still bothered by it. He was somebody’s son, brother, maybe somebody’s father. Over the weekend, when I was at the ER repeatedly, my eyes kept wandering to the bed the patient was resuscitated on.
I hope he’s in a better place.
Later that Saturday evening, I really had to go running to shake the feeling of loss. Thing was, hub had to take care of the kids so I had to swallow all trace of cowardness and run on my own. I have been running on and off since I was 22. I have been running seriously since 2 years ago. But this is the first time I’m doing a non-race run alone.
We arrived at the lake at about 6 ish. On ‘go’ from hubs, I jumped out of the car and began running ( he had to go park the car and kids) . I planned to do 3 rounds, that would be approximately 10K due to time constraint
An hour later, I was done. It felt great. I felt refreshed. And most importantly, I felt like I’ve achieved something big, even if it’s only a 10K.
And I’m ready. I’m ready to tackle to roads alone. Again.
My next adventure will be running alone around my residential taman.
But that’s another story ( or entry) altogether.