April 24, 2013

Now this is LOVE

I've read about the wonders and powers of love in so many of the books I've read; seen it being depicted in movies and dreamt of it as well. Today, I witnessed it in reality.

There was a young female patient in her mid 30s who was admitted to our medical ward. She was a known patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis and was in and out of hospital. She's married with two children.
Last evening, she developed a respiratory arrest and due to the unavailability of an ICU bed, she had to be manually ambu bag ventilated in the ward. 

We are a group of 16 medical students working at the medical ward currently, so we were asked to come in groups and help with the ambu bag ventilation.
I and three others were to go at 4am, to take over from the previous shift's colleagues. 

I made my way out of bed and to the hospital half asleep, yawning away and not happy with the early start that was required...but on seeing this young lady lying on the bed partly unconsciousness with tubes down her throat and nose, ECG leads across her chest, abdomen distended due to ascites and the monitor displaying a low BP of 86/50 I forgot my sleep, my tiredness...

The four of us in turns, ambu ventilated her. Few times the BP dropped low to 50/20 and other times the oxygen saturation dropped to 75. Using normal saline, dobutamine and close monitoring, we kept her going in the hope that an ICU bed would be available by 8 am. 

At 6 am, her husband arrived, He went by to her side, gently brushed her hair off her face, rubbed her as if to say, "Don't worry love, I'm here now".He even offered to ambu ventilate her. We however said we're doing our job and asked him to sit nearby ...

...and then in a matter of 5 minutes, she crashed! We did all we could - chest compressions, adrenaline shots, ventilation, sucking out secretions...she unfortunately had already  breathed her last.

This lady struggled but survived the entire night just to see and feel her husband's touch in the morning - this is true love.
The way the husband kissed his liefless wife's forehead at the end, clung to her body and wept like a body ... such strong emotions!

THIS is true love, not the ones created with bouquets of flowers and tonnes of gifts.