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7 Jan 2022

I remember the first time I watched the birth of a baby vividly. We had reached our hospital for postings early around 9 a.m., and the woman on the bed had been in labor for quite some time now but still not close enough to deliver the baby. I was in the delivery room for almost 2 hours listening to the woman crying and shouting at the top of her voice. The intensity was a clear indication of the amount of pain she must have been in. It was definitely more than what I expected and one of the most I have ever seen a human cry in pain. There was chaos all around. From giving her medicines to augment her labor, checking her dilatation, monitoring her blood pressure and other vitals, to giving moral support to her to not give up and continue pushing. After a long 2 hours which felt like never-ending, the mother finally pushed the baby out while bearing the pain of the episiotomy that had to be done to get the child out. But the moment the baby came out and we heard the first cry, I looked at the mother who had tears coming out of her eyes. Tears of joy and happiness. She looked at the baby, and the tears, smile, and expression clearly showed how every bit of pain felt worth it at that moment. It was a beautiful moment reaffirming the fact that sometimes the most pain leads to the greatest joys.

In March 2020, a 10-year-old girl got admitted to our hospital because of dengue. She was from a very remote village in Maharashtra, and so no proper medical assistance was given to her for 2-3 days after diagnosis. Only when her condition deteriorated, and she started bleeding was when she was brought to our hospital. Putting an intravenous line was also risky at that stage as even slight bleeding was not stopping and the risk of losing blood was huge and something we could not afford. There was constant oozing of blood from her gums and lips despite her mother constantly by her side wiping it and applying pressure trying to stop it. All form of treatments was being given to her along with the necessary transplant of blood components. After 5 days of failed treatment and the child showing no progress at all, the father came to my senior crying asking for discharge against medical advice. He had given up hope and just wanted to take the daughter back to the village so that they have the entire family around when she passes away, especially her elder brothers. My senior had an hour-long conversation with him convincing him how they should trust the doctors here, and let them do all that they can. The treatments were intensified further. A new line of treatment that had not been done much on patients yet was started. I clearly remember my senior had told me that he cannot let a young girl die just because of dengue. The doctors would stand near her bed for hours monitoring her vitals while new medicines were tried on her. Finally, she started responding and her condition gradually improved. The fight for her health continued for a long time, but the joy on her parent’s faces after they got back the daughter that they had lost in their minds and hearts was fulfilling, to say the least.

These are just two instances but every day being in the hospital, seeing people going through pain and suffering, and coming out of it fills you with positivity and hope about how things can get better. You win some, you lose some but the fight is definitely worth it. A place that is often just associated with pain and suffering is also the source of hope and wholesomeness in my life and many others who get to experience it on a daily basis.

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Azra Naseem

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