I said, Yes Madam.
She said, one of your old patients, is admitted under my care in ICU, kindly see.
Ok madam. I said.
I was to move towards cath lab, but changed my path and went straight to ICU. There, nurse summoned politely, Sir, this patient needs your opinion.
Seeing me, patient attendee became restless. I felt, I wasn’t expected. In such case, it was better to show another cardiologist. Anyway, as it was the reference from senior top Gynaecologist of our city. I had to oblige.
More often I can not remember my old patient’s details. The patient appeared to be in her late 30’s. She was very breathless, I rolled my eyes towards the monitor, it showed her blood pressure as 110/70 OK, that was fine, but oxygen level was showing 89% and respiratory and heart rate was high, these were concerning.
I looked towards the attendee, he was around 45 years wearing khaki coloured trousers but his shirt did not match. This is the familiar person and no stranger. Yes, I got it, he is the autorickshaw driver found more often in front of our hospital.
He said. Me sir Ramappa.
well, I know you. I said.
what happened, I asked.
He said. She(pointing towards patient) my wife is full term pregnant sir, from the last couple of days, she is becoming more and more breathless.
I asked for old records. He gave a bunch of papers. most of them were receipts of medicines, some even were petrol receipts. Tediously I was trying to get my old prescriptions if any I could. but, my effort went in wane. I asked him, had I seen her in the past.
Yes, sir. He said.
Then, where is my file? I asked.
Your file!!!.. is outside. I will get it, sir.
I said, OK.
Meanwhile, I asked my assistant to open portable echo machine.
I examined the patient, even did echocardiography. Her heart was dilated with poor force of contraction. I asked her, how many kids do you have.
She said, Three sir.
Was this pregnancy necessary? I asked.
She started crying.
After advising medications, I went to the cath lab, finished my interventions. I came out and saw , Mr Ramappa along with one old lady were waiting outside my consultation chamber. I could easily guess, she could be his mother and that turned out to be true. I had few more OPD patients to see, after that, I asked my receptionist to send them inside.
Mr Ramappa gave me my file, it contained my prescription and advice for his wife. I had written peripartum cardiomyopathy (to know more on peripartum cardiomyopathy click here), advised against future pregnancy. why this pregnancy, when I had told clearly, the risk and complication? I asked.
Sir, we wanted the male child, all her previous are kids are females. said Mr Ramappa’s mother.
I was annoyed by her words. In case, if she dies during delivery; what will you do even if you get a male baby, I asked?
She kept staring at me. I felt, she must have plan B in such a situation, but that was not my concern, my focus is to save that life and I should focus on my job, I said to myself and turned to Mr Ramappa.
Sir, How is her condition? Mr Ramappa asked me.
She is critical. It will be very risk delivery I told them.
I could see tears rolling down from Mr Ramappa eyes. I told lets hope for the best.
He said, my three daughters need their mother. I can’t afford to lose her at any cost doctor. please save her. She one handily manages my home, I can not imagine without her, he said.
His mother, turning to her son, do not cry Ramu, nothing is in your hand, it all left to almighty, she uttered.
This is ridiculous. He could have definitely avoided this pregnancy, there are many ways of contraception these days, saying this to myself, I left my chamber. They later moved out my chamber.
That night Mr Ramappa’s wife had a stormy course, She was put on the ventilator, to increase her falling blood pressure medicines were added. All these added complications were not good signs, but as doctors, we got do our job, so continued fighting till next day morning. Next day morning gynaecologist took for delivery as she started having labour pains. at last, our gynaecologist being very expert in her field she made it through, the baby was delivered with intense monitoring.
Soon after delivery, Mr Ramappa’s mother became very happy, as it was a male baby. She even distributed sweets to all staff around, but poor women who gave birth to that child was craving for breath inside ICU, her agony was immense.
How cruel are we, how bad are our customs and beliefs. Why our women look at their own gender so inferiorly. The very reason they are trying to equate with men makes their gender inferior. They should set their own standards, which is meant for them.
Indian women have proved their capability better than men in lot many areas. Rio 2016, we all know how good were our women. They were responsible for getting at least few medals when most of the men failed, this has at least saved our pride.
Gender should not be the criteria for a family cycle, Even girls are also to be treated as descendants of every family. This kind of approach can only remove this gender stigma from our society.