I have been an atheist – and I have stopped believing in God for quite some time. One of the major reasons for this is that I used to see many patients almost every day who had some terrible disease or the other for no fault of their own.
The tipping point was when I saw child suffering from a nephrotic syndrome and anasarca (generalised swelling of the entire body).
In front of me was a 14-year-old child whose only fault was that the glomeruli in his kidneys didn’t have negative charge, like in most people. This caused the albumin (a major blood protein) to leak out of his urine. This led to him having terrible edema to the point he was having respiratory distress. All of this because of one small negative charge.
Something inside me shook after seeing that 14-year-old. When I was a 14 year old, I was worried about not having a girlfriend or not scoring good enough marks in the board exams. What about him? What was his fault – not having a negative charge?
God, if you do exist, you suck at your job. No offence to any theists. I respect your belief. I just don’t believe in them.
But despite my non-belief, I did witness something which was nothing short of a miracle. Nephrotic syndrome can go into complete remission after a course with cortico-steroids. And that’s what happened with this child. Over the course of my 20-days posting in the pediatric department, he became completely normal – as if the disease hadn’t existed in the first place.
Any doctor at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, Delhi, can easily quit their jobs and earn a lot outside the hospital. They don’t. They work day and night just to make sure that the patients are alright. Every day when I do the rounds, all I can see is the utmost dedication of my professors towards taking care of the patients.
Recently, I saw someone suffering from TB-meningitis complicated by hepatic and renal failures. Imagine a person having TB who can’t be given the requisite drugs because they are suffering from liver and kidney failures, simultaneously. How does one make sure that they survive?
The professor under whose care the child had been admitted came every day and night to check on her. All her fellow residents also visited her. In the meantime, the doctor kept thinking of the various drug combinations and the correct doses – so as to treat the disease and not damage her liver and kidney.
The concern on his face when the child wasn’t responding to the treatment was clearly visible – as was his happiness when she started to respond to the treatment and was finally put off the ventilator, as she was finally able to breath on her own.
I have seen the happiness, the concern, the fatigue. I see it every day, everywhere, when a resident or a professor comes back after finishing their 24-hour duty.
No – I don’t believe in you, God. I’m appalled by you. But I still see you everyday – in a white coat wearing a stethoscope. And I still believe in miracles, thanks to you!
Featured image used for representative purposes only.