Dr. (Col) V P Singh shares about the delicate invisible bond he shared with a patient
M3 India Newsdesk Oct 09, 2018
In another entry of Doctor Diaries section, Dr (Col ) V P Singh, an acclaimed physician, who served in the Indian Army shares an anecdote from his professional life that led him to develop a delicate invisible bond with this patient.
After completing my MD (General Medicine), I joined the Indian Army, and as a young Captain was posted to a Military Hospital, as a physician. I was only a few months on my new job, when one day, my routine ICU round was interrupted by a call from the Casualty department.
The medical officer informed me that a young lady had come with symptoms of frequent spells of transitory black outs. She would, for a few seconds, have the feeling of “going into a dark cave and instantaneously come out of it”. He informed me that he was sending her to the ward, and that I should see her at my convenience.
I told him that since I had already stopped my rounds in between, it would be better if he sent her to the ICU, where I could examine her. So with my team of interns, I walked out of the ICU and waited. I saw the ambulance parked nearby.
A young pretty lady in her mid-twenties alighted, declined the help of a wheelchair and steadily walked towards the ICU. I greeted her, ushered her in, and requested her to lie down on a nearby bed. She felt very amused that for a minor problem, she was being seen in the ICU. As I held her pulse, while talking to her, she collapsed, became pulseless and unresponsive. I immediately instituted Cardio-Pulmonary resuscitation, and she could be revived.
Thereafter throughout the day and the night, she continued to have several such episodes, each time giving us anxious moments. She was clinically diagnosed as a case of Myocarditis (viral) and managed with medications and strict surveillance, as facilities for cardiac pacing were not available. I chose to spend the night in a room nearby, for constant vigilance. Over the next few days,she improved gradually, and on request, was sent to AIIMS, Delhi, where she was evaluated and the diagnosis was confirmed. After that, she stayed back there, with her parents for a few months.
One fine morning several months later, she walked into my OPD, and during the course of a routine check-up she enquired if it was okay for her to get pregnant. I informed her that her past illness would have no bearing and she that could very well plan her motherhood. To this, she replied smilingly that she had already conceived, and wanted a promise from me, that I would be around when she went into labour. I promised in the affirmative, and she felt reassured.
Over the next few months, she would come to me regularly for routine checkup and remind me of my promise. But it so happened that I suddenly received my posting to a Military Hospital on the borders, and I had to move on short notice. She felt crestfallen but requested me to be in constant touch, which I did. On schedule, she gave birth to a healthy baby, whom she brought to my home for blessings, when I came on a short leave to meet my family, who were still staying there.
With tears in her eyes she told, how grateful she was, that on that given day, I had waited at the ICU to see her, else who knows what would have happened. I told her, perhaps God had wanted it that way!
Doctor Diaries is M3 India's new blog section where we encourage our doctor members to share stories and anecdotes from their professional lives that may have made a deep personal impact. If you have a story to tell, write down your story and the lessons it left you with and share with us on email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will give it the audience that it deserves. Read more about Doctor Diaries here.
Dr. (Col) V P Singh MD (Medicine) served in the Indian Army as a physician for 28 years and was Professor of Medicine at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. Presently, he is a Professor of Medicine at Bharati Medical College, Pune.
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