Pupil that got Dilated
It was 1972. Results were just announced. Many of the classmates got through. All were excited about house surgency and the postings.
My Medicine posting was with Dr. Ramchandran. His unit was popular for good Assistant professors. Dr. Shantaram was one of them. He was a post graduate when we started our clinicals.+
Dr Shantaram was a friendly and professionally a competent Physician. He always used to address the “housies” and students as ” bidde” (భిద్దె)
We all used to look for his duty day as it used be full of learning along with fun.
That was the day when he was Duty Medical Officer.
It was 5 in the evening. I had just finished the tea and there comes an emergency call from casualty. We all rushed to see a young girl who was brought to the casualty with Endrine poisoning.
She had a tiff with her elder sister, and drank Endrine which was bought by her father for agriculture fields.
Her general condition was bad. Dr. Shantaram called me and said,”Chary bidde this is a bad case of endrine poisoning”. We don’t have any antidote available. You have to inject Atropine and observe the pupilary dilatation, which reflects the effect of Atropine. You should keep the pupil dilated. You are in charge of this patient. “Take care” and he left to attend some other emergency.
I looked at that girl, hardly sixteen years, pretty and here struggling for her life. I came out of my thoughts, shifted her to medical ward on the second floor, started a drip, indented and brought Atropine ampoules and started injecting.
The pupils were constricted. After 5 ampoules, there was mild dilatation. I felt happy but it didn’t last for a time.
The pupils again started constricting. I loaded the atropine and injected again there was some dilatation which lasted for a short time and again got constricted. This went on for almost 2hours. I was getting frustrated and mentally getting fatigued.
I wanted to have a break and asked the duty nurse to continue the injections. I went to the patient and looked at the pupils which were still constricted, then walked down to casualty canteen, ordered a tea and was thinking about the patient and her non response to treatment.
The telephone rang and was summoned to rush to the ward as the patient was sinking. As I reached the ward, the patient was gasping.
I tried to resuscitate her. Within a short time, l lost her.
With heavy heart, I started recording the findings to certify her death. No heart sounds, no respirations. As a routine took the torch and looked at her eyes. What I saw hit me with a power of thousand watts.
The pupils were glaring at me, fully “Dilated”, mocking at me.
What I wanted to achieve when the patient was alive, I could get only in her death!!!.
That is the paradox of life.
Dr Yadagiri Chary