The Dream I Dream

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    10-Feb-2016

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the dream i dream

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The Dream I Dream I walked out of the temporary operation theatre heavy hearted. It had been the third deathsinse sunrise, only God knew how many would die before sunset. No family waited outside the O.T tent to hear news about the man. He had been the last survivor from his family.The children and women being easier targets died faster.The epidemic had taken everyone by surprise. The Cruciate virus, so named due to its abilityto overstimulate the pain receptors in the brain, bred fastest in warm areas andnaturally,being over-populated, Punjab had been hit the hardest. The number of cases escalatedfrom a mere 2 to 15 per day in only a weeks time. Within a month, whole of Punjab was in chaos. THe virus spread through water and food and showed its effects within a day of entering the body. Scientists all across the world were working day and night to figure out its mechanismand hence develop a cure. In the meantime us doctors were left to our own devices to do whatever we could to treat the patients which was made all the more harder by the limited resources we had.In an attempt to make the best use of our resources doctors from all over Punjab had come togetherand devised a scheme. All the resources and doctors had been divided equally and sent to set upmedical camps in the hardest hit areas all over Punjab. It was in one of these camps that I stoodright now and surveyed a scene of utmost mayhem. The camp had been set up in a barren field. On the edge of the field stood the supplies truck carrying the vast amounts of pain relievers and surgical equipment that were being made use of in the camp.Several tents had been erected sorting patients according to the stage of their disease. Stage 1patients had it the easiest experiencing nausea and dizziness frequently. Stage 2 patients had frequent episodes of pain that could be calmed by the pain killers. While the stage 3 patients screamed and writhed in pain as the virus slowly took control. No amount of pain relievers workedon them. Half the patients went mad within 12 hours the rest pleaded and begged for the pain to stop until their minds too boggled to make sense of things any more would succumb to the pain aswell. The pleading was the worst. Watching people beg you for help and being unable to do anything about it was the hardest thing I'd had to face so far.In a last ditch attempt we would operate the patients hoping to disable the pain centre in their brains but the surgery in question was one of the most complicated with a survival rate ofonly 2 percent. That along with the poor supply of equipment and low expertise of most of the doctors made it impossible for the surgery to be successful.As a result most people died during the surgery. People rushed amongst the tents some carrying their loved ones, others looking around for help in desperation. Women sobbed, children screamed and men shouted around. Outside the main check-up tent the thong of people pushed pulled and fought to get ahead in line. The scene cut throughmy heart like a knife. Nothing in all my years of medical career could have prepared me for this. There had always been something I cud hav done always something. But now all I could do was stand by peoples' beds and watch them die, their eyes pleading for help. The helplessness Ifelt waS unparalleled. At that moment, I said a silent prayer. "Dear Allah, please help us. Have mercy. End thisepidemic. End these peoples' suffering. Please Allah have mercy." Even as I said the words undermy breath I felt no sense of assurity. No logical fact showed the end of the epidemic anytime soon. It was just a dream I dreamt. But then again, I thought, I had once dreamt a dream that had come true. Long ago when I'd begunMBBS, drowned by the vast number of textbooks, the never ending stream of knowledge, the complexity of every subject, it had seemed impossible to ever become an expert doctor. How did they do it? I'd thought sitting in anatomy lectures hearing the teachers talk about surgeries like they were a piece of cake, how did they do it I'd thought. I smiled as I remembered those days so long ago. Hadn't Allah fulfilled that dream? Hadn't he guided me thorugh it all and mademe who I was today? If he could fulfill that dream of mine he could fulfill this one too. Yes, Ithought, I had faith in Allah he would help us all get thorugh this. We couldn't lose hope in Him. With my faith strengthened and determination restored I made my way once again into the O.T tent.May Allah guide us all to become the best doctors we possibly can and may He allow us to serve our country well in the future. AameenWritten ByShiza P. Akhtar 3rd year MBBSNishtar Medical College

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