This is a chronicle of events that happened a year ago when I suffered from dengue. You can find the previous entries under ‘Dengue Diaries’.
The platelet results are in – 41000. Eureka!! I can’t wait to get out of the ICU, but Dr. Sanju says the counts aren’t good enough to warrant a shift to a ward. So I have to probably stay here another day.
The neurospecialist then walks in to check the other 4 Neuro patients. The one on my right, a very old man, probably in his 80s, keeps calling out the names of 2 women. Even the nurses are puzzled by this, but he doesn’t respond to their questions. I later find out that he’s suffering from Parkinson’s and the 2 women are his wife and daughter.
The nurses are discussing a complaint lodged against them. Apparently while performing a procedure on one of the patients, the skin had peeled off! None of them seem to be aware of it and they start discussing ways to counter the complaint. Finally, they decide they will say that they have no clue how it happened!
Shortly, the head of the ICU, Dr. Shiv kumar, the gregarious doctor comes in. He looks at my file and says,’ So, Deepthi, are you older or younger to our student’? referring to my sister. I tell him that I’m older and that my name is Deepa, not Deepthi! ‘Oh’, he says ‘Everything looks ok, so we will move you out to the ward today’. I’m absolutely thrilled! I can’t wait to get out of here…
The cleaning woman comes next to empty out the trash bins. She starts from the first bed, on my right, emptying the contents of the bin in to a large polythene packet. As she’s transferring the contents, the packet slips from her hand and I see a large diaper and all its contents spill out on the floor. She mutters something under her breath and then picks it up with her gloved hands and in to the packet. I wait to see if she will sanitize that area, but she just walks out after clearing out all the trash. Thankfully, the room is mopped half hour later.
My sis comes in to say that a ward has been booked for me to move. She tells me that my older son, A, has also been admitted that morning and he’s on IV fluids. He had woken up feeling exhausted . So J and my sister brought him to the paediatrician at the hospital, who advised him to get admitted. J has booked a 2-ward room so that we can be in the same room.
My sis wants to get back the same day as her daughter wants her back home. She wants to make sure that I will be transferred before she leaves. Around lunch time, the transfer takes place. My son’s lying on the bed, looking very exhausted and also upset that he’s hospitalised. It’s his first experience too. When I ask him how he‘s doing, he replies in a very feeble voice that he’s tired. J jokes that we’re one happy family together in the room.
It’s a small room with 2 beds for patients and 2 tiny, child-size beds for accompanying family to sleep overnight. There isn’t any TV unlike the other wards, which could have helped cheer up my son. The beds are about 5 feet long and 2 feet wide and they also have wheels. So every time a person sitting or sleeping shifts his position, the bed rolls. J and his sister start arguing about who will spend the night there. I know that it will be inconvenient for both, as they are very tall and well-built. Anyway, I thought it best we cross that bridge when we come to it.
It’s time for my sis to leave. I ‘m sorry to see her go, but happy that she’s come all the way, even if it’s just for a day. As she’s leaving the hospital she bumps into the paediatrician, and enquires if he had looked up my son. He hadn’t come to check him since he’s been admitted. He says he had forgotten, so she accompanies him back to our ward, and leaves finally after that.
The next blood test shows a slight drop in platelet count. One more SDP is required. J calls one of his colleagues, who had earlier agreed to donate platelets if and when required.
After dinner, the paediatric duty doctor comes to check A’s vital signs. The doctor seems flustered and calls for other interns and several different BP instruments. She then rushes out and comes back to say that his BP is low and he needs to be moved to the ICU for monitoring. But there is no vacancy in any of the ICUs and so he has to be shifted to another hospital.