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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Dr. Arjuwal's Journalings (Part Four)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A busy doctor writes in his journal. He is busy working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Ward; he writes about some of his experiences.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007~

Dear Journal~

This won't be a long entry; busy working in the  PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). I am in charge of seeing the care for six young patients ranging in age from six to fourteen  years. All are very sick, but one (Johnathon Sandusky) seems to be improving, much to my surprise.

I have a young girl, 13, who tried to kill herself. She is comatose, nonresponsive to stimuli, and her prognosis looks quite grim at best. I have already talked to her parents, they are in a state of shock. She just came in last night.

Secondly I have a six-year-old male who has a rare syndrome. He is severely compromised; mental and physical involvement. He came in with a  case of bacterial pneumonia. He is not doing very well either.

Next is a fourteen-year-old standby , an adolescent male, who has Duchenne's muscular dsytrophy. He came into the PICU afer suffering an episode of status epilepticus, or a prolonged seizure. He is stlil very sick, but as each hour ticks by, it is looking like he may make it; his prognosis is still uncertain at this point, but it is looking less and less likely that he sustained permanent brain damage.

My fourth patient is a seven-year-old girl who is in Isolation. She has flesh eating disease (known in medicalese as "necrotizing fasciitis"). She stepped ona nail, bacteria entered through the wound on her foot, and she is now suffering from an overwhelming bacterial infection that's traveled up her legs, to her genitals, and now to her stomach. Her survival is looking less and less likely. I am most discouraged whenever I see her; she is in terrible shape.

My fifth patient is an eight year old girl with Down syndrome. She had open heart surgery two days ago, and she is still in critical condition, but so far she hasn't had any unforseen complications. In all actuality she is doing quite well; we are most pleased with her post surgical status.

Lastly, my sixth patient is a  male, aged 10, who was involved in an all-terrain vehicle accident. He suffered devastating injuries to his facial and thoracic regions; it is unclear at this time whether he suffered permanent damage because he is in a coma.

Out of my six patients, only the  girl with Down's and the boy with Duchenne's MD are faring well. The others' chances are slim to none. I keep looking at their latest vital signs, all have proven to be unstable at this time. I am getting more and more discouraged at what I see. I try to be positive, but to no avail.

This is when being a physician is at its worst.You are trained to save lives; you don't expect a child to die; you expect a child to have a happy, carefree life full of adventure and joy; yet like all human creatuers, chidren, being naturally curious, often end up being involved in accidents or else they get sick, and then you have to use all your wits to ensure the child's survival.

It's even worse when the child in qustion is not a child, but an infant (younger than the age of one year). Babies are supposed to have their whole lives ahead of them; you dont't expect them to  fall ill or get injured.

I have een far too many infants or children die, and it is enough to make me want to  hang up my  stethescope; yet when we finally get a child back after a Code Blue or see them wake up after a lengthy coma, then the joy I feel is indescribable. That's when I am glad, very glad, to be doing what I do for a living.

~Dr. Venkatesh Arjuwal, M.D.

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Reviewed by chris stienstra 9/26/2007
Thank God for Doctors like this!
This is one of the saddest posts I have read in a long time. But, it is also a posting of hope because people give of every ounce of energy they have to help prevent the deaths of these young ones.
Reviewed by J AG 9/26/2007
all the oaths taken, so many words that in the context and boundaries of a fixed and controllable world sound so perfect. but when uncontrollable reality invades, and all the oaths and education, technology and letters behind the name can do nothing but stand by as invidivuals and life itself takes over the game, there is pain. there is grief. and yet, there still is a tomorrow, when you get a chance to make a difference once again. thanks for the journey in the journals - they are unforgettable.
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 9/26/2007
Through the eyes of a doctor...
I've always wondered what they think and how they manage the strength to deal with so much sickenss. Good story, Karen.
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 9/26/2007
Whatever happened to the good doctor with the black leather bag, the pinch-eyeglasses that will go day or night to the sidebed of a little patient? It is refreshing to hear that in this greedy world someone cares above is pockets.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 9/25/2007
Thank you for sharing this write with us, the dr seems to be a very compassionate man, which is important in any doctor.
God Bless
Reviewed by Jean Strickland 9/25/2007
As a nurse myself I understand his feelings, have those same kind of thoughts at times myself. I admire those who can work with the babies. I lasted two weeks in the NICU. I prefer those who have already had a chance at life. Your insight into his mind and heart is amazing! I truly enjoyed this write. Well done. *hugs* Jean
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/25/2007

The love and compassion for his patients shines in Dr. Arjuwal's journaling. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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