Today is National Doctor’s Day and coincidentally today is also exactly one year since I was infected with the Coronavirus last year and was admitted to a hospital for my treatment. Reflecting on my experience through this dreaded time, I want to bring to light the monumental contribution of the most silent warriors in the pandemic who are nothing less than Gods themselves. This is my minute endeavor at offering my humble tribute for their unmatched work.
My Covid story –
I am a kidney patient who lives on regular dialysis. So naturally, because of my condition, I had to visit my center every second day, even during the height of Covid last year. Unfortunately, my center is situated in a hospital that was turned into a central Covid center then. So, with the constant exposure, despite all precautions, I finally got infected with Covid around the end of June.
I had all the usual symptoms, and being a vulnerable patient, I was concerned about the grave turn it may take. As the symptoms intensified, I got an RT-PCR done, and as expected, it turned out to be positive.
I remember a pall of gloom befalling our home. My mother, who stays with me, was devastated in speculation of an uncertain route ahead. The next day, gathering courage I, and my mom went to my treating hospital, where I was advised to get admitted to a Covid hospital in the Civil campus.
I remember the look of pure helplessness on my mother’s face when we went there. After the admission process, in a moment of stinging sense of separation, we bid each other a silent farewell. I can still remember the brave face we both had put up as I was taken away through the series of glass doors into the depths of the hospital. I had looked back once, and I saw my mother standing all alone in the concourse, and my heart had seemed to break into a thousand pieces.
There was this feeling of uncertainty all around. I was admitted to a general ward, and my treatment started right away. After almost ten days of rigorous medications, on the 12th day, I was told that I had recovered and was discharged to come home.
Looking back to that time, I cannot help but think of all the doctors who helped me come out of the disease unscathed, who I could never thank enough. I had read so much about the work of doctors but being in such close contact with them and getting the first-hand experience of their unimaginable service during such an unprecedented pandemic that has unhinged the entire world, I got a unique perspective of seeing what being an actual doctor entails.
The saviors I saw during my Covid journey –
Right from the pre-diagnostic stages of the initial symptoms till my full recovery, if anyone helped me preserve my sanity, it was the multiple unknown doctors, who I came across through the journey. Amongst all the doom and gloom, they carried this unique ability to instill in you a sense of positivity.
I remember the calm and tranquility the young panel of doctors exuded in the covid help center in a room full of desperation and apparent fear. At the covid hospital, my ward overlooked a doctor’s room, which gave me a vantage point to see their daily routine. I remember seeing them in action non-stop day in and out.
One can only imagine the atmosphere of utter helplessness that was so all-pervading in the hospital. But I saw the doctors in those PPE overalls floating about like angels of hope. I saw them working tirelessly for all of the 24hrs it seemed. Merely imagining the torture of the overheating inside those unbreathable PPE kits and they still keeping their sanity and working makes me want to salute them.
I saw them sweating, toiling, dragging themselves to provide relief but never losing that reassuring smile to help put confidence in their patients. Endless rounds hardly even allowed them proper sleep, but I never saw anyone complaining. One night I was shocked to see a doctor still in his PPE laying asleep on the nurse’s desk. That is the level of dedication and selfless service I saw.
The ambiance in the ICU was even worse. For my dialysis sessions arranged there during my hospital stay, I could hardly stand the unbearable sounds of the constant beeping of the machines and the foreboding noise of the rhythmic whooshing of the ventilators and the gasping of the severe patients in there. I just wanted to come out of there as soon as my session got over. It felt as if all sense of hope was draining out of me. But even there, I saw the doctors working round the clock, intently tending to each of the various jobs.
The last day when I was told by the lead doctor, that I had recovered and would be discharged, the next day, I almost cried tears of relief. Even then, I saw the doctors in the visiting group having a look of satisfaction on their faces instead. I knew none of them, but in that instant, I felt as if I had known them for ages. There was a bond that developed through their touch of care and their feeling of genuine empathy. A relationship that I will carry with me as a treasure for the rest of my life.
When I tried to convey my overwhelming gratitude to them, one of them simply replied, “This is just our duty. We did nothing out of the ordinary that any other in our place wouldn’t have done”. At that moment, I was able to understand the greatness that a doctor signifies.
Doctors are frankly godly beings who work in a field without expecting much in return from even the people they soulfully serve. Practicing medicine and discharging medical service may be their duty but investing every ounce of their life for humanity is not. It is the extraordinary sense of compassion that propels them.
They deserve the love and respect they command but hardly ever demand. It’s a profession that is hardly ever thanked, properly. The health of a nation depends on them, and they often diligently discharge their duties.
If anything, the pandemic highlighted the enormous role of doctors in the safety and livability of a society. Now we have to ensure our true warriors are cared for, helped, and cooperated with for our own well-being as well as theirs. They need as much support as they provide us, if not more.
Doctor’s day is just an acknowledgment of the unparalleled service they render. We could only try to understand the importance of their remarkable job and pay our heartfelt accolade to them at the very least. Doctors are precious members of any society engaged in a benign profession who must be celebrated not just on a Doctor’s day but every day of each of their amazingly altruistic lives.
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