I read a post by a fellow blogger today. It reminded me of an incident which might have turned out as hers did.
My son was two and a half at that time. He and I were both suffering from viral fever. We had both been running a temperature for two days and were both drained out. He a lot more than I.
It was after eleven in the night in the dead of winter. I can’t sleep when one of the kids is sick so I was tossing and turning. I had already given him his medicines and he was sleeping fitfully. Every few seconds I would touch his forehead to check if his fever was going down. When he began to sweat a little, I heaved a sigh of relief. The fever was going down. Hopefully it would break and my son wouldn’t be so listless and cranky. My own fever was still hovering between 102- 104 F.
I don’t know what happened, I must have dropped off to sleep. Ten minutes later I ‘woke’ with a start knowing something was not good. I put out my hand on my son and found that he had gone into a convulsion. His little body was stiff as a board. His jaw was clenched tight and he had stopped breathing. He was turning blue.
He had his first convulsive attack when he was eight months old. He was running a temperature that day too. My ex was holding him in his arms. Suddenly my little baby went stiff. My ex told me to grab the scooter keys saying we’ve got to get him to a doctor. In seconds, we were on our way. When I looked at my son, to my horror I saw that he had stopped breathing and his face was turning blue. Sitting pillion on the scooter, I don’t know how it occurred to me, but I grabbed his little body under my left arm and held him tightly there. With the fingers of both my hands I pried his mouth open, took a deep breath and pumped that air into his mouth. He began crying- and breathing. Color returned back to his face in seconds.
The doctor told us that he went into a convulsion because his fever had shot over 101 F and he couldn’t take it. We were told never to let his fever go beyond 100 F or he would have another convulsion. There was no saying what kind of damage he might suffer under an attack. We were also told that as he grew older, he would be less at risk. After he crosses 8-9 years of age, he would no longer have this problem. But we needed to be careful until then.
As a result, though he is eleven now, I cannot sleep a wink if he is feverish.
That winter night was the second time he had gone into a convulsion. Again, I don’t know who guided me. The first thing I did was to pick up the bedside water bottle and empty it on his head. Then I again pried his mouth open and blew into it with all my force. He spluttered a began crying, breathing again.
My dad and I (my ex had earned the ‘ex’ status by then) took my son to the hospital as a precaution. We wanted to be sure he was okay and there was nothing to fear.
By the time we reached one of the biggest hospitals in the heart of the city, it was after twelve. The doctor on night duty checked my son. His temperature was down to 99 F. He was breathing normally and had color back in his cheeks. Once the doctor told me there was nothing wrong, I picked up my son and prepared to leave.
The doctor told me he will have to admit my son and keep him under ‘observation’ for at least 24 hours, probably more. There were tests to be performed, including a CT scan. I wasn’t too happy with that and hesitated. Then he made the mistake.
Glaring me accusingly, he said, “Looks like you don’t care for the life of your son.”
I lost it.
I picked up my son, handed him to my father and asked him to wait in the car. Then I slapped the doctor with all my strength. He fell down because the blow was totally unexpected. I told him I didn’t need to prove my love for my son to a lowlife like him. Almost trembling with rage, I walked out. It took me hours to cool down.
Whenever I hear how hospitals are interested only in fleecing patients by playing on the family’s fears, even stooping to the extent of making them feel guilty and suggesting that they don’t care for their patient, I remember this incident.
This is not just a lack of ethics. Its a lack of everything human. When the entire society’s ethical fiber is ripping into shreds, how could the medical profession be spared? Stories of ‘organ harvesting’ from the bodies of perfectly healthy people, who have no idea that they have given away an organ, are enough to petrify me. The rot has spread all over.
The good people, the humane doctors, are grossly outnumbered. They bear the brunt of the evil created by their corrupt fellow professionals. It is true for all professions which doesn’t make it any less sad. If the world thinks that a stock market crash spells disaster, it needs to see what the crash of humanity’s ethics is going to spell.
I found this Revised Hippocratic Oath as I was searching the net for the text of the old Hippocratic Oath. Somehow, it seems so much more appropriate.
Saviors have turned predators. Beware!