Saturday, June 30, 2012

In you we trust - 8

(This is the eighth part of a fictional short story - In you we trust. You can find the first part here.)


Prakash found Aparna very depressed these days on dialysis. He secretly seemed happy at her plight. Serves you right! Next time think twice before attempting to insult me. He recollected how he cooked up the whole story about the mistake in the reprocessing unit. He just wanted to scare her for a bit. After a few months, when the reports would consistently come out negative, she would be ok. So no harm was being done. At the same time, he felt he was only dispensing justice. She did it only to insult him. So, she needed to be taught a lesson. And anyways, it was not as if he had really infected her with the virus. So it was all ok.

Unfortunately, Prakash had horribly underestimated the mental trauma he was putting Aparna through.

Month after month, Aparna would dread the first week when the blood would be drawn. The next 24 hours would be absolute hell until the reports came back. There would be temporary relief for a couple of weeks and the countdown to the beginning of the month would start all over again. Many times, Aparna considered ending it all. She could bear it no more. However, every time, she fought those depressing thoughts and said to herself, "I have not turned positive yet, right? If I ever do, then we'll see." and got herself back on track.

It was about seven months since Prakash had first broken the news about the possible infection to her. It was the beginning of the month again. Prakash drew the sample and sent it to the lab. By now Aparna was also less anxious about the results. This had been going on for so many months now. And the result was always negative. The rest of the session was uneventful. She requested Prakash to call her as usual and let her know when the results came back and left for home.

The next morning, three results came from the lab and Prakash opened the envelopes one by one to check the values. One Hemoglobin was only 6.8. He made a mental note to let Dr. Jha know. His Erythropoietin probably needed to be increased. Another patient's Potassium was 6.5. Too much fruit! The next report was Aparna's. HCV Negative, he muttered as he opened the report. The report said Positive! Prakash was shocked. How could that be? How could she turn positive? That was all a prank! Her dialyzer was not mistakenly reprocessed in the positive machine!


He was convinced it was wrong. He called the lab and blasted them. He said they had probably mixed the samples with someone else's. The lab was defiant. "No way!", they said. He said he would be sending a repeat. "Sure!", they responded.

How would he tell Aparna this? He felt the ground slipping from beneath his feet. He started sweating profusely. He sat down on a chair and started thinking about what he should do. My career is finished. Aparna will definitely complain to Dr. Jha and the hospital. They will suspend me. No hospital will take me. What have I done?! He then regained composure and told himself, I haven't really done anything. Relax. I have not made any mistake. I did not reprocess Aparna's dialyzer in the positive machine.


The whole sequence of events caused him to believe, at the back of his mind, that he had actually done something wrong, that he had actually infected Aparna's dialyzer with the virus.

He decided that he would send a repeat sample. The problem however was how he would tell Aparna about this? He would not be able to take a sample without her knowing. Prakash decided that he would say that the earlier sample got spoilt due to faulty storage and they couldn't do the test.


Aparna came the next day and Prakash seemed unusually tense and in a hurry. Prakash told her that the sample they had drawn last time got spoilt and they would need to send it again. Aparna was too tired that day to react. "Sure", she said and the sample was sent. This time, Prakash called the lab and asked them to be very careful with the sample and give him an accurate result.


The result came back the next day. Positive. Prakash was devastated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this story shud be printed Dr.Shah.