Saturday, July 12, 2014


      We often say , "what a coincidence".But I think we sometimes use this when we are not expecting and we are surprised to see something ,rather than real coincidence.Or may be both do hand in hand. We are surprised and it is truly coincidence.I was talking to a friend of mine from New Jersey.One of my classmate's daughter was dating a another young man.As they started getting little more serious, he came to see the father of the girl.So the usual conversation progressed,the father asked the boy as to what does his father do ?So the boy answered that he was a physician. Since both of them were Indians , the father asked as to which medical school he went to. It was the same medical school that the father had attended. So he asked the name of the father of the boy. As it turned out , the father of the boy was the classmate of the father of the girl and both knew each other quite well.So the kids of two friends were dating each other and they did not know that the two parents knew each other. Is this a coincidence or did it become coincidence as it was not expected? The story that I am going to tell is one such story.
    It was Saturday .So I was going to go to the hospital late.I got a call on my home phone line . The caller asked if it was xxxxx"s residence .So I said yes . Then he told me that he was so and so and was visiting Orlando. He was from Washington and had some free time and wanted to know if he could come to my house.He got my telephone number from telephone book.We  both were Indians and spoke same language and he somehow knew of me .I agreed and gave the direction to my house. I went to the hospital and when I came home he had just arrived.
     He was a 55 years old , who owned a business and had sold it a larger company.He was consultant for the company. So he was visiting the local manager. He told me about his family and asked me about mine and then we had a lunch. Around 4 pm he left. His manager was living on our side of the town and he got direction from me.(this was at the time when cell phone weighed 10 lbs!!).I have not heard from him again.
      That night I had a call from ICU for a new patient. It was 1 or 2 am and this was a 21 years old girl, who had a cardiac arrest.I had to go to see  the patient.I went to ICU. She was 21 years old , who was at home with her boyfriend and had a cardiac arrest. Many a times in these cases it is a drug related cardiac arrest . The Saturday night, boyfriend -girlfriend together, cardiac arrest, I had seen these cases many a times. But in these cases the boyfriend (or girl friend) usually 'dumps' the patients in ER and are no where to be found.In this case He was there and to my surprise the urine drug screen --testing urine for the drugs was negative .The girl was unconscious,not breathing over the set rate of the machine.The X-ray showed mild congestion.Most of the times when someone loose the consciousness,they may vomit and can get aspiration,i.e.stomach contents going in the lungs . So I started her on the antibiotics. I also ordered the echo cardiogram , ultrasound of the heart and then talked to the family . The both parents were present along  with the boy friend.I told them that main thing was to see how her brain recovers. It may take some time.In between we will 'support'her on respirator.
     The next day I saw her . She was still unresponsive .I got the echo cardiogram report. And I was surprised It showed that her heart was very weak.The pumping action was 10 %.So most likely she had weak heart , which was not known , and that caused the cardiac arrest. (sometimes a viral infection can affect the heart and make it weak. This is reversible in many patients.)But in case of this young girl it  caused cardiac arrest and it has caused the brain damage . Unless the brain recovers , nothing can be done . So the days passed . We had neurologist see her and she had brain wave recording. After about 7 days , there was no change and she was not breathing on her own and brainwave recording was very very slow and was not encouraging.I was  talking to her parents and family.We talked about the prognosis and poor out come.We talked about the withdrawal of the life support.It was very hard for me even when the patients are 'old'. This was a 21 years old patient.I was not too sure how can I console them . In these types of situations , no matter what one says , it is not going to be enough. You can not reduce the grief.But I did bring in the Indian philosophy or the concept of the soul being immortal and the concept that as we change the clothes , the soul changes the body.So the father asked me if I was Indian(Hindu). I answered yes. So then he stated that his 'boss' was Indian too.So asked for his name . He said 'you would not know him as he is not local'.I knew. I asked him if he was from Washington ,and his name was xxxx.I was not surprised when he said yes.
     So the guy who came to my house, whom I had not seen or known before, was his boss. And the manager that he went was the father of this 21 years old patient who was dying(or was dead).
                                   THIS IS COINCIDENCE.

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