Last three weeks have been a constant reminder of how lucky I have been. The pediatric ward has its own aroma; it took me a while to grasp. I see children, babies, and neonates with their parents who are hoping for a better life for their children. Hope is what they show to us, they are kind, they give us their time, they share matters with us.
Life is not easy. Everyone either has a congenital deformity which they will have to battle for ages, others show transient illness, acquired.
“It’s not the first time I have been here” exclaims the mother. She already knows the answers to our questions in a systemic fashion. She is very co-operative. She is repeatedly asked the same questions over and over again and yet she is not bored to inform us. She has a son who has Thalassemia, 10 years old. He comes for repeated blood transfusion every month. Life has been distressing for both the parents and the child. He misses school for the blood transfusion and also he fails to thrive like most children of his age group. He suffers from repeated infection.
“The doctors lost hope, but I am optimistic about her” says a mother, who had given birth to an incredibly low birth weight baby. The baby is tinny and her heart produces a distinctive mur mur (abnormal heart sound). There are many cases worth sharing, mostly acquired. Fever is a major presenting complaint. Patients stay in the hospital for 2-3 weeks for a spiking fever, either due to Enteric Fever or Dengue. Hospital stay is bothersome for parents, yet they decline to show any glitch when asked.
I always try to put myself in others shoes, especially when it comes to patients. What if I was congenitally abnormal? What If I had a spiking fever without any diagnosis? When I asked this question to my sub-conscious brain, I did not think about how much pain I would go through, I just imagined my parents and family who would have done so much for me.
Who are we to decide our fate? We are nobody, everything that happens lies in a single gene, chromosome. What do we do? We accept the fate and struggle. Three weeks of Pediatric ward taught me that life is worth fighting for no matter what sickness you have.