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Dipesh Majumdar

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Inside Narayana Hrudalaya

June 16, 2012

Most of the day today was spent in hospital. I got into MICU of Narayana Hrudalaya, checked my patient and heaved a sigh of relief... patient seemed to be in good condition.

Before entering the ICU, you are supposed to wear one of the gowns hanging on the wall and also slip into two small bags enveloping your footwear. This is to ensure that the ICU remains spic and span and free of germs. Good system. I entered the ICU and met my patient. Staying by a patient for sometime can be an experience in itself. You get to hear the confessions, the worries and other hidden thoughts that in normal time one would not express with others. But when one is ill and finds himself stuck with wires all over, with monitors drawing incessant graphs and saline dripping down the veins, he enunciates naked truths, empathizes more with others and becomes somewhat Godly.

After coming out of the ICU one is supposed to leave the gown back in that hook on the wall and put the pair of feet-bags in another container placed opposite to the fresh container. But many people were dumping the used feet-bags into the fresh container and there was no one to correct that. Actually to be honest, I did that mistake at first... to which an old person... may be doctor rebuked me in a harsh tone, "How can you commit such mistake." I had replied back in a harsh tone, " You appear to be an aged person... how can you be so rude? I didn't do that knowingly, come on!!" Oh! The joy of giving it back to the recipient with the same degree of hatred that he throws at you... is simply unbelievable.  Later on I thought, why not put both the containers at the same place and label one as new and another as old in big and bold letters. Also have one sit there and ensure that no one goes wrong. Well if that is too much of an overhead, assign that person some other works like making an entry of the visitors and the patients they go to visit. Something like that!

The security guard talked only in the local language. If there was anytime I felt harassed for not knowing Kannada being in Bangalore it was now! I couldn't understand what he was murmering angrily. And he had a bad temper! It seemed everyone had a bad temper here. Ready to snub and attack at the slightest opportunity. No softness. No humility. Young or old!

I had to leave ICU in a short while and wait in the queue to find out from the councellor as to what it was all about.I still had no idea what my patient had gone through... I mean what tests and other things...when he will be admitted to a ward... when he will be discharged etc. I had token no. 27 in my hand and token no. 3 was inside councellor's room. Certainly one electronic board displaying the token no. currently in the counsellor's room would have helped everybody here. It would have prevented everyone from asking the security guard every now and then, "when my turn will come...when my turn will come... why it's taking so much time... bla bla" By the time my turn came it was another 2-3 hours. Long wating time. And finally the councellor just spoke 2 sentences and everything was clear to me. 2 sentences for 2 hours. Definitely not worth it, I thought!

It took a long time to shift the patient to a semi private ward. Ward rent - Rs. 1650 per day. Not bad. Three patients with one attendant per patient in one big room. And the TV was blarring at a loud volume. One patient with all bandage and stitches was absorbed in some South Indian movie with the remote control firmly grasped in his right hand. The way he held the remote reflected his unwillingness to share it with the other occupants. The ward was clean and tidy. One attendant could stay here for all the time with the patient. But who will stay? I was tiring now and wanted to go back home. Also my patient was in a good condition, recovered a lot from his initial weakness and pain.

Certain things need automation. Like after we occupied the ward, the floor manager should have contacted us and explained all the things like whom to contact if patient needed something, which way was the rest room, which button to press for calling nurse etc etc. But I had to contact the nurse station and then she came and explained all these things to me. Had I left without contacting the nurse station, I would have remained unaware of these important information. The floor manager also gave an attendant's pass and a visitor's pass.

Finally the long day in the hospital ended and I drove towards home. I was tired and sleepy now.

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