Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 103, Sunday 26th February 2012

Seven days have gone by without my adding anything to this blog. The fault is not entirely mine; the problem that gripped my laptop 2 weeks ago came to haunt me once again at the beginning of the last week. My laptop was back with the engineer for 2 days, and required some careful handling for the next 1-2 days; as a result, I lost interest in returning to the blog, and remained "incommunicado" for the remaining three days. It is not that there was nothing to write about. Last Monday, a team of administrators came from Ta'if to supervise the work in the hospital, and we were told to stay in our positions till they departed. We had a drill of Code Blue on the same day: the code refers to the announcement of a disaster and the possible arrival of many injured or sick patients. A team from Ta'if had come down with a "fire in the ICU" scenario, which they played out in the emergency department with cooperation from some of the subordinate staff who posed as patients. Several criticisms of the drill were related to the hospital staff, and I don't think we should say that we passed the enactment of the drill with flying colours. 

The emergency days for me were modest, but there were quite a few admissions from the OPD, thanks to the ever-vigilant Dr. Yasser who singled out at least three or four patients for me to admit into the wards. On Wednesday, I had eight indoor patients, 3 with diarrhoea, 4 with bronchial infections and one with pneumonia. Over the remaining three or four days, they all went home, and as I write this today, there are no patients under my care in the ward.

On Thursday and Friday, I was on call, and had very few calls to go to the hospital to see patients, but I did go for the routine ward rounds on each of the days. I faced some inertia while going for the evening walks, but I did walk here and there to complete at least 45 minutes of walking everyday. I cooked dal-gosht on Thursday and potato bhaji on Friday. I also made a nice boiled egg burger on Friday, one each for myself and my room-mate Dr. Shahid, the surgeon.

Due to fears that my internet connection was about to expire, I did not use the prepaid Mobily modem connector much on those two weekend days, as a result of which, I turned to using Actionvoip (an internet based Voice Over Internet Protocol network) with my Samsung Mobile when it got connected to Wireless internet located within the premised of the computer repair shop just outside the lane where Dr. Shahid and I stay. 

The weather fluctuated from extreme cold to mild cold by Thursday, and went to warm and somewhat hot by Friday. When the cool turned to warm, doctors shed their sweaters and pullovers, and most of us went to the hospital in casual but formal attire. However, it was on Saturday that the weather God pulled a fast one on us. A sandstorm came in by half past ten in the morning and kept building up in ferocity till we could see nothing but swirling dust clouds all over the town. There were no incoming patients, no outgoing people, and a sort of torpor set in among those present inside the hospital, since we were all helpless before the fury of Mother Nature. While returning from the hospital home, I was travelling in Dr. Shahid's car and managed to take some quick photos of the desolation around us and the swirling clouds of dust. Here they are:

It was not until 7:00 p.m. that the wind and the sand subsided, but by then, we were already within our homes.

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