I remember I was saying “turn the debug on for dhcpd and see what it says when you try to…..” but I never completed that sentence. “SWEETHEART!!!” there was something in the tone of that yell which made the hairs on the nape of my neck prickle, I rushed outside Swati was already saying “Patel aunty is not well” referring to Mrs. Hansaben Patel our neighbour since eons.
Instinctively the thought process shifted gears, the rapid succession of evaluative thoughts some how make the passage of time to appear dilated, I followed the pathway of pointing hands to the kitchen of the first floor flat.
My first mental reaction to the scene that presented itself was “Damn it! I am not a doctor any more I just am not equipped to handle this” I desperately looked around – Yogesh was looking very expectantly at me to do something miraculous, Uncle was too shocked, Swati was asking me something, Aunty was on the floor delirious – there was no escape. I can now play back the whole thing in my mind from a third persons perspective rather than the first person which usually happens…
I see that I reach down and felt the pulse left side first then the right side as she turned towards me her speech was slurred, look at the face look at the face something prods me – It is twisted to one side it is more pronounced when she talks – she is not talking coherently – C7 pops up in the thought process I frantically try to grope the depths of my old knowledge for what it means, 7th Cranial Nerve aka the facial nerve! Assess damage – shift to an intensive care – “Swati car” – “Wokhart Hospital?” – It is a cardiac care unit – this is neuro case – It is the closest, I reply “Yes” I get back to the patient – I am a doctor once more! She has had a stroke! I ensure that her trachea is clear and she is breathing, the pulse is erratic but good volume. I help Yogesh carry her down to the car.
We reached the hospital in a couple of minutes and the doctors took over… She will recover just fine.
Swati now tells me that there was no apparent hesitation ever in what I did but I know!
Hmmm so may be I am getting a bit rusty – to quote Aasim’s favorite phrase these days “So what!”