Dr. Ayusha Poudel
FEVER….the word itself is full of uncertainty and now more so than ever. It is a symbol to a myriad of underlying issues that is waiting to be discovered.
The word fever might be benign indicating something as minor as common cold or as grave as a malignancy. Working as a doctor, it makes us ponder into what might be the reason that the patient is burning up. But I never thought, this very word would send a chill down my spine and involuntarily retreat myself when I come across the symptom of fever while taking history from my patient. At once, I become extra cautious although I had donned the full set of my personal protective equipment. The sadder part about me feeling this way is not because I was over analyzing the situation but because I know my fellow colleagues all across the globe have lost their lives fighting against the Novel Corona Virus CoVID 19.
As a doctor on duty, it is our instinct to remain extra alert during duty hours because of the uncertainty of the patient condition. We want our patients to remain stable and go back home healthy and I can’t stress this enough. Whenever a patient collapses, we act in reflex to do whatever our knowledge and aptitude serves us to help save that patient’s life. And now given the current situation, I fear for my own safety and well being as much as I do for my patients. This has been a completely novel experience for me—caring for both, myself and the patient.
The duty hours begin with us donning in our protective gears and heading out to take the hand over from the previous on duty doctor with them sharing their angst of their past 24 hour and me ready to take on the day like I am heading out for a battle against the unseen foe. I haven’t used so much sanitizer in one day like I do these days. It feels like importance of hand washing has been revisited and that to with such force that it feels as important as the air we breathe in. As I come back home after I wrap up my duty, a formal cleansing process takes place so that my loved ones remain safe as much as possible.
Although working this mayhem is terrifying, there is a strange sense of satisfaction while I lay in my bed at night. The satisfaction that I could help another fellow human ,the satisfaction that I am doing justice to my profession. And then a tiny thought pokes in my mind, which says “Have I done enough on my part?”