Prescribing 'Hamro'

Yesterday I was just surfing through the channels available on the 'Rangeli Cable' with my glass of tea when the door bell rang. It was the peon from emergency and his as usual, 'dactar saab, patient aacha'. Since I was the only one with full pants, I had to go to attend the patient. So, I carried my stethoscope and Palm, borrowed a dot-pen and walked out of the hostel thinking what might be the condition.

She was an old lady, widow in white dress, shaking and beating her chest. The first thing that came to my mind was, 'Can I save her?' 2 women who had brought her to the hospital carried her to the rusty examination bed. She was really in 'dis-ease' was all I could make out. She wasn't responding to my questions but was very anxious. All she was saying was 'my heart is beating really hard.' I held her hand, checked her pulse and blood pressure, listened to what her heart and lungs were 'saying'. Everything seemed 'WNL'(within normal limits) to me. It was a panic attack! Yes! A diagnosis.

Now the drugs.. An anxiolytic to help her out of the 'beating heart', a bottle of saline according to the relatives' wish and 'Hamro' a multivitamin syrup. We were always taught that multivitamin syrup is just a waste of money, but still we prescribed it because we were looking forward to a 'party' from the medical representative of the same company.

The patient's relative brought the medicines, everything was going well. After the patient was feeling better, I wanted to find out the 'stressor' for the panic attack- the way psychiatry teachers taught us. I was amazed to find out that I had managed her suicidal son a week back. It had taken a week for her son to be mentally stable after the self-poisoning.

She was living with her alcoholic son and a grandson. Her son was not earning and she had been doing tailoring to run the house. She was being physically assaulted by her son who didn't even let her eat properly. She was crying when she was telling me how her life had turned into hell. All I could do was nod my head. Her neighbors paid for the medicines because she had none. She really was 'poor' economically, socially and functionally... and I added some more of that.

I prescribed her something that she didn't need, for my gain! A bottle of multivitamins worth 80 rupees, was not meant to help her, but me. I knew I had done something really wrong. I promise not to do that again. A lesson to learn!



ayoush said…
you have to experience a lot about nepali social condition.
theCipher said…
this is one of the best things I've read in a long time... or should I say worst coz it's based on a really sad truth

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