|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 131-132
A lifetime experience of an ophthalmologist!!
Tanvi Jain, Nisheeta Agarwala
PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||27-Oct-2020|
|Date of Decision||10-Nov-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||10-Nov-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||4-Dec-2020|
PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Jain T, Agarwala N. A lifetime experience of an ophthalmologist!!. J Clin Ophthalmol Res 2020;8:131-2
Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” My COVID duties helped me experience it.
I have always believed in this quote and the day I finished my MBBS, I pledged to serve the society throughout my life. Everything was going fine until one fine day when the entire world came under the dark cloud of the coronavirus pandemic. Li Wenliang, a young Chinese ophthalmologist at the Wuhan Central Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, is considered the prime whistleblowers of highly infectious disease which is now identified as COVID-19. This virus hit the globe and affected millions of lives at the same time. The disease had been declared a pandemic by the WHO. While we were getting accustomed to the new normal situation in Mumbai, there was a certain element of fear and anxiety within all of us, the young and the old, the poor and the rich, and, without any doubt, the same fear haunted me as well.
I didn’t take much time to realize the fact that this battle will not be won, until we face it bravely and fight it fiercely. This is when my journey with COVID started at Hinduja Hospital. As a resident ophthalmologist, I had trepidations as to how I would cope with a medical and intensive care unit. I braced myself and as there was this urge within me to serve the COVID patients, I found the courage and reason to work in the COVID wards. This opportunity to do the same in our newly equipped COVID facility, will forever remain etched in my mind.
While the journey was exciting for me and my fellow doctors, it was filled with many challenges as well. The first and foremost challenging task was to survive in the personal protective equipment (PPE) kit during the long working hours, almost like surviving in a spaceship with limited oxygen levels. Initially, we suffered nightmares of being attacked by the virus. Hunger and thirst were put aside while in the COVID ward. At the end of the day, I felt like a superhero with a white cape and this feeling was extremely satisfying. Accepting the challenge while treating patients and learning so many new things while treating COVID patients was an experience of a lifetime. Even though my patience was tested while looking after and counseling the COVID patients, it was a moment of joy when so many of them recovered and got discharged.
As an eye surgeon, we take pride in our knowledge of asepsis. In this pandemic situation, we had to take a step further and even our resident quarters had to be kept as clean as aseptic operating rooms. I recognized that the virus which can die with the simple solution of soap and water was lethal like no other. We were washing and scrubbing our hands and making sure that we did not touch our eyes and face inadvertently. Communicating with the patients from behind face shields, masks, gloves, etc., was a hurdle that I learned to cross.
Vanity and material belongings were now insignificant. It was important for me to serve the sick and needy patients and then think about myself. Though our family and friends were stressed for our health and safety, they were also proud that we were doing our duty selflessly. Being far away from home, I never felt homesick. We worked as a team and want to give credit to the consultants, my fellow doctors, and the nursing staff of Hinduja, who never let me feel alone. The secret was in working hand in hand, motivating each other everyday. We had some good days and some bad, fighting for lives; when the situation was tensed, it made me feel like a soldier in a battle field. There was never any lack of facilities with regard to patient care or my safety, thanks to the management of Hinduja Hospital and Hinduja parivar; we worked in an environment that was stress free and were confident of our safety while working with the COVID team.
While I did learn many new things in these last 5–6 months, the most important thing that came as a realization to me was that each day, after doffing the PPE garb, that I was a better person today than yesterday.
I have evolved not only as a doctor but as an individual too. My outlook toward life has changed completely, as has my lifestyle. We are fighting this virus not only by the medicines but also by our determination and willingness to work hard and save lives. I remain humbled. From my personal experience, I can now proudly say that the decade I invested in medical education gave me such a fabulous return in the last 5–6 months, that can never be quantified. I am proud to have taken and will always live by the Hippocratic oath.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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