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Show Me Your Motion!

- Dr. Saurabh Jain
from Spandan 1997

Come 1st of January and another new batch of half-baked doctors joined their duties as Interns, with stars in their eyes, hope in their hearts and almost nothing in their pockets, yours truly being one of them. From the 1st day onwards Internship proved to be a dream - of the nightmare variety. After traversing the rigors of backbreaking Orthopedics and a painful Anesthesia posting, it was with considerable anxiety that I sought out people to sound them on their experiences in the Paeds. Diarrhea Ward, where I was being promoted next.

“Loose as a goose!”, “Chill out zone!”, “Very light posting!”, etc. etc. These and other compliments showered upon the ward by the previous interns quelled my doubts and I almost started looking forward to a restful 15 days of fun and frolic. Little did I know what Mr. Rota had in store for me...

For the first 2 days the ward lived upto my expectations. The air was clean, the beds were empty, birds sang in the trees (outside the ward of course!) and most importantly, I was well fed and rested. It was an Intern’s paradise. And then, without warning, all hell broke loose.

Children poured in by the dozen, day and night. They came in all shapes and sizes - fat and thin, boys and girls, plug ugly, snub nosed, smutty and even downright cute. Some silent, other wailing like sirens with leather lungs. The variety would have been interesting except for one thing: they were all diarrhea plus.

Well we swung into action like a well-oiled machine, all of us acting together, complimenting each other’s work (my PG made me write this!). We rolled out the ORS and made the little cuties stuff their faces with it, IV lines were slung and meticulous charts drawn up which were filled up at inhuman intervals. But the job that really got my goat was that of inspecting the stool of the little critters for its consistency. I was woken up at unearthly hours of the night by the fervent appeals of the mother - “MkDVj lkc] tYn° Á dj ns y¨ A blus DJ y° gS !” Rubbing my red rimmed, sleep deprived eyes, it was all I could do to hastily peek into the mess and report my observations.

During my nightly rounds I trudged in between the beds with the patrons tightly snoozing and their attendants almost snoring the roof off. It was at times like these that morbid fantasies overtook me - what wouldn’t I give for a spot of the diarrhea! Why, I could be lying on this very bed with a little IV line and for a change I could do all the wailing and others could do the running around.

After doing all this you think the parents would be grateful - well so did I. On the 3rd day during the consultant’s round we stopped by the bed of one of the patients (a smug ‘lil baby girl attended to by her mother, who I’m sure is a distant relative of the Atilla we all know and love).“c°c°] cPp° vc dSl° Gs \” Fixing her stony eye upon me, she answered, “vjs MkDVj lkc] jkr Òj ugö l¨Ã A Ïj £Qj l÷cg c÷Âkj Á x;k A ;s MkDVj r¨ ÉS ugö] £Qj ulZ us g° <sÂk A” Of course, she failed to include that fact that I had gone to sleep for just four hours in the duty room opposite the wards. But maybe it wasn’t really her fault, both of them were snoring their fat heads off when I left.

This account is not complete without a description of the scenic places I had to visit yesterday. From the narrow crowded corridors of the radio department, to the exotic locales of G. B. Pant, from the familiar path labs to almost every existing lab in the hospital, not to forget the nursery and the resus ward, I did them all.

If this narrative has left you thinking of the diarrhea ward as a hellhole in disguise, a few corrections are in order. The work may have been hard, but the people were among the best I have met till now. They did their best to make my posting as fruitful as possible so that I did not return a complete dope. I feel almost sorry to be leaving the old place. But a new posting beckons and go I must. So here’s wishing the next intern the best of luck, and may your posting be as productive as mine was.

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Copyright (c) 2004, Nikhil Goyal. All rights reserved.