I watched the monitors as they slowly but surely blinked and bleeped slower and slower. The heart rate was going down. The Blood pressure was plummeting. The fever was going up. The urine output was trickling to a stop. Inotropes on full blast were doing no good. Glasgow Coma Scale rating was a dismal 3/15. A 25 year old male was slowly but surely dying.
The chart said that the patient was a known HIV patient for years and was admitted with severe sepsis. A CD4 count done last week was 50ish. Not good. The patient party was represented by one old lady. Who herself was so overcome with grief, tiredness and age that she was in need of some rest.
The chart screamed I/C (Immunocompromised). The technicians were frustrated: the ventilators would need meticulous cleaning afterwards.
No one seemed to bother that a 25 year old was dying. Someone my age. Was dying. The disease that was slowly eating him away seemed to make him immune to human affection and care. Somehow, people tip toed around him. Blood collection was a much hated task. Tracheal/oral suctioning was a risk. Everything around him seemed to be maligned by his diseases.
Multi organ failure due to septic shock as a consequence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The causes were charted out. The papers were signed. The old lady was too numbed to speak as she perfunctorily complied to our orders.
I wanted to ask if she had lunched…