Personal blog

The day I saved a life….

Its almost the end of 2017. I had one of my usual brooding moments, introspecting everything I have done and failed to do. Thinking hard about a bucket list I had stashed away.

I jogged my memory to find some adventure that I accomplished. Somehow even river rafting did not quite fit the bill. To be honest I have not travelled much except for education or work. And then it came to me.

So the most exciting and fulfilling thing I ever did was, I saved a life!

I was into my second year of training. Was posted in the cardiac catheterization lab. Routine cardiac stenting was going on. I was hungry and desperately waiting for my lunch break. Thats when I heard the code blue.

As I rushed into one of the suites, a woman in her 40s was on the operating table, gasping for breath. Clearly the procedure was complicated and one of the blood vessel supplying the heart had been punctured. There were no seniors around. As an Anaesthesiologist I immediately stood at the head end. I was terrified. The cardiologists immediately started chest compressions.

I had an adrenaline rush. And being newly ACLS educated, I started what I supposed to do. I supported her with oxygen. After 3 rounds of chest compressions there was very little hope. And then her venous line access came off. We had no way of administering drugs. I decided to take charge. I handed the airway management to one of my colleagues and immediately established an access on her foot.

Once access was in, drugs given and I could intubate her. So she was adequately oxygenated. And meanwhile we got a pulse. So we attached inotropes (medicines to increase heart activity and help maintain blood pressure). Cardiologist decided to shift her to ICU, and on the way she dropped her blood pressure again. I rushed to the foot end and lifted both her legs up. (To increase blood flow to heart). It kind of helped.

We came back and resumed rest of the cases.

A week later I went to the ICU to check on some other patient. And there she was, sitting upright on the bed, having her meal and talking to her son.

It was that moment, one of the greatest moments in my life. I contributed to saving a life. I was part of the team. Nothing can beat that feeling.

Its our job profile. I know. But I feel blessed to be a part of this process.

No matter how many adventures I embark upon in the future, it will always be one of my greatest.

Personal blog

My week long experiment with kindness…

Well isn’t it so much easier to be mean than kind?

Being kind would mean having to help others, that would require doing things. Whereas you could always say NO and get away with it.

Back home I was waiting in a long queue to purchase a train ticket, I saw a lady who was clearly late for work and arguing with the railway official as she could not produce adequate change to purchase the ticket. Well in India not all places will have the facility to pay with cards. She was very distressed and I realised I did have the necessary change amount I could help her with. But that would require digging deep in my bag and waste of my precious 5 minutes. So I did not bother helping her.

For some reason that incident continued to bother me throughout the day. And that kind of triggered this idea. I decided to try to be kind to people for a week to start with. With whatever small things I could help them with.

So I started at home. Letting my sister borrow my stuff. I couldn’t believe it when it was so difficult to part with my things with my own sister!

I gave up my seat on the train to an elderly lady.

I complimented my female friends for their achievements. ( To be honest that was difficult as well)

I helped a colleague with his UK medical registration process.

I donated some money to a blind man on the streets with a beautiful voice.

I helped my cousin run errands a day before her wedding.

I passed by my ex and resisted bringing hateful thoughts in my mind.

I smiled at strangers.

I avoided gossiping.

What I learnt in a week?

Being kind is so much difficult. Its like working out, difficult to begin with but as you progress it becomes a natural rhythm. It releases endorphins. I was a much happier person at end of that week. I had positive thoughts. And all I did was be kind within my own comfort zone.

Hats off to the people who dedicate their whole life to humanity. Maybe being kind causes a ripple effect as well. A smile to a stranger may make their day, encouraging them to be kind to someone else.

I truly believe in one mantra, ‘be good, do good’. Its time I start practising what I preach. Do try being kind in the smallest possible way, and it won’t fail to delight you.