|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 292
My memorable patient
Department of Pediatrics, Pacific Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
|Date of Submission||01-Jun-2021|
|Date of Decision||30-Sep-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||30-Oct-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||29-Nov-2021|
Dr. Ravi Bhatia
Department of Pediatrics, Pacific Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Bhatia R. My memorable patient. Indian Pediatr Case Rep 2021;1:292
Physicians often get nostalgic when they are asked to write or talk about a memorable patient. More often than not the patient is a rare case or a rare presentation of a common disease. It is not quite uncommon to come across loads of columns titled memorable patients in various medical journals. In my short pediatric practice, I have come across umpteen patients who put me up in a dilemma as to the diagnosis but my memorable patient is a 6-year-old girl who taught me how to live, more importantly she taught me how to be grateful to god. I call her Miss X.
Life for a pediatric resident can be quite tough at times. Unearthly working hours, stress, constant bickering of seniors, it's maddening to say the least. If you are have done your residency from a government medical college, you would agree with me that it is an extremely tough world down there.
It was one of those bright sunny mornings when I was called to attend upon Miss X. I had a bad start to the morning the bathroom tap had gone dry leaving me dry (the privilege of being a in a government hostel where living conditions are pitiable to say the least). In my foulest of moods I went to attend the patient. I had to take her history, fill in her case sheet, plan the relevant investigations and present it to the unit chief who would send me to the gallows if I make a single mistake. Luckily for me, Miss X had been to various hospitals before and had a thick folder of case reports and investigations. In my blackest mood I went to the X's bed, she was propped up reading an Amar Chitra Katha. Being a voracious reader myself, I am quite partial to those who read and my mood brightened up for here was a child who was interested in reading. Before I could mumble a hello, she said hello doctor I am 6 years old, have blood cancer and I am going to die soon. I was in a daze struck by the gravity of her medical illness. For the next hour or so I was in a trance listening to every word she had to say. She was in great pain the cancer had spread across her body making even talking difficult.
Miss X was a good student, she wanted to become a doctor. She had lot of friends who shared her Amar Chitra Kathas and watched Tom and Jerry with her. She had lost her golden hair due to the long chemotherapy sessions. At the end of our conversation I could only mumble a thank you and wish her all the best. In the tea club, the chief dwelled upon the case and declared it as a terminal one. She died in the night.
Miss X taught me one of the most important lessons a doctor could learn. Patients especially kids always do not need the state of art of technology, expensive medicines, fancy lab tests they need someone who has the willingness and patience to listen to them, someone who believes in their dreams however, silly they may be, someone who lends an ear, someone with whom they can share their trivial secrets, someone who can understand their pain, someone who gives them time.
Another point I think our residency programs lack is, though they make us think a lot, take correct decisions but somewhere down the line the Humane touch is getting lost under the huge workload of never ending labs, case histories, review meetings.
I wish we could teach our residents that sometimes apart from the armentarium of medicines, kids do need someone who puts a hand across their shoulder and say You would be fine, don't worry, I would be your Albus Dumbeldore, I would wave my magic wand and everything would be okay. After all we do require some magic in our life don't we?
All what is needed is to see with the eyes of another, listen with the ears of another and feel with the heart of another. If we can find a way where we all bring in a bit of empathy into our practice our children would be in a happier world.
Miss X taught me all of these. Thank you for being there Miss X.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.