Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oh well...

Kala died last week... was too rushed and too bummed about it to blog. The moment she became "bad" her mother ran to the male ward and I had Mahesh watching me and moaning in the background while I administered CPR. Not fun.


December 25th Casualty wasn't too bad. The next couple of days were though. However, my best buddy is in SL and I met up with her on Saturday, which was really really good. Let's see how the January 1st Casualty goes... fingers crossed!


Happy New Year, all! And remember, if you drink, drive and crash your car, you will end up in my ward and I will not be amused. So beware! Don't get behind the wheel unless you're sober! :)



Saturday, December 13, 2008


My last pair of work shoes broke this morning... I am now faced with the choice of going to work in
a) broken shoes
b) rubber slippers
c) hooker heels


I'm sorry my last post came out all whiny and self pitying. I'm not the first or the only one to go through this... everyone does it. My Colleague M went home to Mathara today after 5 weeks (and was entirely cheerful about handing over her ward to me).


So I'm now handling the female ward. Slightly lesser number of patients but full of old achchi's suffering from APR (athe-paye rudha/ anga-patha ridenawa) . Since I've been suffering from APR. meself, I'm a bit more sympathetic than I would have been otherwise. The ward also has Kala*.


Kala is a 19 year old with a 43% kerosene oil burn - accidental, she claims but the pattern of the burn injury makes us question that. She has a 2 year old daughter and was pregnant with her second child when she was admitted. Her husband Janaka is in my old ward with a "rescue burn"... he has essentially burnt the skin off both hands trying to save her.

Janaka looks a real rasthiyaadu type... dirty teeth, silver earling, breath smelling of stale ciagarettes. He drives a three-wheeler and lives near the place Kala was boarded at a couple of years ago while working at a garment factory. Romance blossommed between the brash sinhala youth and the shy tamil girl. His family was ok with the match... hers opposed it. So they eloped and in true Sri Lankan style, all differences were settled when little Tharushi was born. Kala's family came from Trinco and were living in a house paid for by Janaka.

Janaka had tears in his eyes when he told me how Kala made him tea and stroked his hair untill he fell asleep that fateful night. He was woken up by her screams of agony and had rushed to the kitchen to find her blazing like a torch. He carried Kala with his burnt hands into the threewheeler and then to the Accident Service.

Two days ago Kala developed labour pains and was rushed to DMH where she prematurely gave birth to their second child. She's back in NHSL while the kid is in the PBU.

In Sri Lanka, anything more than a 30% burn injury carried a pretty poor prognosis... i.e. 99% die. Kala has an inhalational injury as well... her lungs have been burn from inside by the kerosene fumes. We're pumping in fluids and plasma and high protien food... but the truth is that she can die any minute.

She scares the daylights out of me.

She's conscious and rational.... her breathing pattern sucks and she knows it. She asks me if she's going to die. Janaka asks me if she's going to die. Her mother asks me if she's going to die. I don't have much to say.

Everytime I leave the ward, I leave in grim anticipation of the call "Doctor, Kala has become bad".

Would appreciate any positive energy you guys can spare to be sent her way.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Last day off...


Until sometime after the 7th of January...

I will be working everyday and be on-call every night till then... every weekend and every public holiday too..

Life sucks.

My feet hurt and I have got fairly large, possibly infected callosities on both feet. It hurts to walk. Sometimes I get pains in my feet that make me feel as if they are on fire. They only last a few seconds but sometimes it's difficult to stop from going "ouch" out loud. Maybe I'm getting some kind of neuropathy... maybe it's just that they need a rest.

Three of the guys who were admitted to the last casualty came with the complaint "pain in the big toe". It was hard not to be exasperated... they were eating up time that could have been spent on patients who were much more ill. The Consultant didn't play around... all were sent home with instructions to attend the clinic and get a routine date for surgery, if needed.


I need new shoes. I started off this job with 6 pairs (2 different designs each in black, white and brown) and now am down to one (ONE!) because the others have all worn out / broken.

I need new clothes because everyday on call = 14 outfits a week. I don't have that many clothes and I can't see myself doing the laundry (or, to be honest, bugging Darling to do the laundry) more than once a week.


Not much time to surf/blog... you may have noticed fewer and fewer posts... by the time I get home, I'm usually too tired to get Darlings laptop out and trawl the net. All I want to do is to sleep.


The "season" is upon us and am not really feeling very festive. I'll be doing a casualty on December 25th and on January 1st... :( Did I mention that it's been a year since Darling and I tied the knot? Our first anniversary pic has me in a dressing gown and Darling in his vest, cutting a one pound chocolate cake sent by Brother... the messy kitchen of our apartment is in the background, making me feel guilty whenever I see it.

It wasn't bad... we went to the hotel for dinner and the following weekend (my last off-weekend incidentally) we went out of Colombo (not very far) and just chilled. (details in a post to come...)


Anyway, I'm just feeling really depressed at the moment.


Monday, December 1, 2008


There was once this guy, a victim of a blast, not too long ago.

As the fatal explosion occurred, shrapnel entered his body, like it did to others around him. Others died.

The biggest piece that entered his body was a bullet casing that went in through his chest, missed the heart and lungs, missed the great vessels carrying his life-blood, missed the gullet and the windpipe and lodged at the back of his throat.

And all the doctors had to do was to make a small slit and remove it from there.

Two ball bearings also hit his face, neatly entering on either side of his right eye and getting stuck in the skull, leaving his eye - and his vision - intact.

Luck? Good karma?

I don't know... do you?