A Doctor’s Experiences in COVID ward
July 4, 2020
What can I do for my country….I have not done much, but I am enjoying loads of privileges
…every Indian is going through his guilt trip every day
As citizens of India, we enjoy great freedom, a freedom that is a distant dream for people of many countries. This freedom is also the cause of guilt, as we search for ways to give back to the country. This becomes possible with every calamity, when we rise up together as one to put our society back on its feet. We are proud of this Indian nature, which never fails to astonish us. The huge population has been doing its bit always, and here is a doctor who did his bit as well. This is the experience of Dr. S.N.K. Chenduran, MBBS, MD, DM Associate Consultant, Gastroenterologist and Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopist
With a really confused mind and unsteady walk, Dr. Chenduran entered the COVID 19 ward on June 7th.
He was supposed to be posted for the Covid duty on 25th only, but a sudden requirement, an emergency, arose. When the head of the department called, the doctor understood that he was needed, and there he was unprepared with none to really guide him. The hardest part was telling his six-year-old daughter and making her understand that he would be gone for a long time. His wife, who was pregnant, supported him completely, but leaving her to cope alone during these difficult times was a tough call. With a heavy heart he did.
The anxiety was huge. He had to control his anxiety to handle the patients’ anxieties. Variety of questions and emotions, in his 18 years of professional life he had never felt this way. This was different.
When he wore the PPE gear for the first time, he felt very nervous. Any small breach would cost his life; his family’s future was at stake. His kids’ happiness, his wife’s pregnancy and many such thoughts hovered over him, and left him shaky. Committed to his profession, he went ahead, but this anxiety was just for a few hours, for when he met his patients, he forgot his worries. His sense of duty overcame all emotions and he treated patients with utmost care, as usual. His dedication took over to give him the much-needed peace he deserved.
Long hours of wearing PPE suits, which bruised his face and skin, long hours of duty, irregular sleep patterns and hotel food, shook him and he did lose a few kilos of weight without realizing it. He was feeling good with positive affirmations and conviction but being human, he did get affected without his conscious knowledge and it showed in his physical health.
Dr. Chenduran says, “When I returned home, my daughter wanted to hug me as usual, but I had to tell her a Big No. This is an emotional moment, which COVID steals; the bonding that cement relationships. Physical contact is extremely important in any relationship. This foundation of a healthy relationship is shaken by COVID, which I really hate about this virus.
In my view, COVID phase is all about, positive thinking and positive approach to life. How much can I contribute to make my fellow being comfortable, spread positivity? When the entire world is filled with negative vibes, there is nothing to panic really. I am seeing patients day in and day out. Many patients are comfortable, the disease is not that scary or disturbing physically as well, but the taboo, stigma has to be curtailed. Let’s take it with a bit of humour, with millions and trillions of positive microbes inside our body, how can we allow lakhs of COVID guys take over?
Yes. I have to be more alert. I have to talk to patients more. I have to show more courage. I have to put on a smile inside the suite. I have to shout louder to make my voice heard outside the suite. I have to bear bruises on my skin. I have to bear the heat inside the suite for hours. I have to stay away from family. I have to be answerable to my parents. I have to give reassurance every now and then to my pregnant wife. I have to be very cheerful to my daughter all the time.
All these are tough, but this too shall pass. This is my take on these 8 days.
Take right food. Watch your body’s reactions every single day. Stay positive. Turn off TV or anything that is negative.
We can win this together.”