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Posts Tagged ‘poisons’

Field Work

Hi all,

So just got home after work. This time I’ve been assigned to a gruesome 2 weeks of field-work.. yep you heard me right.. Certain doctors have to visit patients at home. This is practically unheard of in SL, but its especially important for Poison research, etc etc.

So as I head out, I’m thinking.. “hey how hard can it be… find an address.. speak with the folk.. come back home”

Well it was not to be…

I had 5 patients on the list that day. So I arrange them according to the nearest first (as I saw rain clouds approaching far away), and start off. The meeting with the first 2 patients went quite well actually, and needless to say the folk were quite surprised to see a visiting doctor.

So I set off to the 3rd Patient… No one seems to know the guy.. never heard of him.. Just when I thought this was like eating marshmellows.. I come to the conclusion that its a bogus address.

15kms later I reach the far distant village of the 4th patient on my list. As I ask around for directions, ppl seem to be puzzled. Some even start to follow me.. jeez what’s all the fuzz? Finally the answer comes in the form of a weeping mother. The patient, a 16 year old girl, had not made it. She was buried a month ago, and this day was exactly one month from her death. people had gathered for the traditional Arms giving (“danae“), and into this frying pan had I jumped with questions that I were supposed to ask the diseased. Sensing the un-easyness, I did speak with the mother alone and quickly made plans to remove myself from the place. This is because, village people bear a grudge sometimes. Due to some weird reason, if we are not able to save their beloved kin.. they think we have to pay..

So I managed to get out in one piece. Now already tired and my heart heavy for the weeping mother I set out fto meet the last patient. Turned out to be another bogus address..

Needless to say I was worn out when I returned..

This job has its ups and downs, and many a time I have wondered why I keep up with it.. I mean, sometimes you wish you could turn certain things around, only to face a whole lot more crap from another side..

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So today I’m going to tell you about some facts that I face on a daily basis. No it’s not about the parliament, it’s not about the other various atrocities in SL, its as the name suggests.. (literally) the poisons our people take.

I work in a poison research group and stationed a bit far off.. I NEVER expected such a workload when I started out, but now have gotten used to it.

The list topper is AGROCHEMICALS. Then comes Oleander, then various tablet poisonings, then comes GOD KNOWS WHAT.

Ok, so I guess this ain’t everybody’s plate, but if I didn’t have this in my blog… it’d be a shame..

Agrochemicals consumed by our people are mainly centered on Organophospate poisonings (cos those are the stuff mainly sold). There are several other groups, but they are rare, for example Paraquat and Diquat. Although they have been in fashion a few years back..

Oleander is the non-harmless tree with cute yellow/pink flowers.. The seeds (& all parts of the plant) .. deadly.. well it varies actually. It has chemicals which can alter the pacing of the heart. Nonetheless its also famous.

Tablet poisonongs: Here the list topper is Paracetamol. Yep, and it is quite toxic. Easily accessible (practically sold in every shop or grocery), then comes all the other common meds.

Once in a while there’s the Kerosene oil poisonings.. but they are becoming rare, guess due to the increasing fuel prices..

Ok so how many patients do we get on a daily basis? It varies again… Could be none, to about 10 a day.. Naturally, the degree of poisoning also varies as many are brought in unconscious, some feel ashamed, some still want to die, some want to live, some keep lying, etc etc.

A reason of as why these people go for the extended trouble logs at the back of my head. So I’ve basically grouped the poisons with reasons for taking it. Please note: these are only MY observations.

Agrochemicals : Due to an instant high peaked distress / emotion. Rarely contemplated. The higher the amplitude of emotion.. the higher the dose taken, the lesser chances of survival. From an actual account , a person told me that he hesitated after the first gulp, but felt dying was better and drank the rest. Males more inclined than females. Rarely accidental, and dose ingested is minute.

Oleander : Due to a long persistent distress / emotion, with small peaks once in a while. Always contemplated. VERY RARELY accidental, if so dose ingested is minute. Equal popularity with males and females. Unlike in Agrochemicals, no direct correlation between amount ingested and toxicity. No severe side effects like in Agrochemical poisoning, but the heart may stop beating suddenly.

Tablet Poisoning: Various medications have various side effects. Paracetamol is extremely harmful to the Liver. Patients die with Liver failure. More popular among females, its the usual after a fight with a lover, spouse etc. Tablets may be taken for any distress/emotion, short termed, or long termed. Could be contemplated.

Kerosene Oil : Harmless if not vomited! This is something the general public does not know. It may give rise to gastritis or ulcers, but no immediate treat to life. Popular among females. Never contemplated, but may be due to a long or short term distress /emotion.

Still, I ponder WHY? Why does anyone want to die like this? I mean the suffering is immense. The moral aspect is overwhelming! Sometimes I feel these people are SO sensitive.. thet can’t handle it. It’s not wrong to be sensitive.. but you have to learn to vent it out sometimes. The financial side also plays an integral part.

One interesting fact is that, even though penny less, they always buy the bottle of poison. Never for debt!

Naturally, saving these patients is very costly! (Oh and don’t think, “how can they think of money when it comes to a person’s life..” cos the antidotes for some drugs are well over one hundred thousand rupees for a course of treatment). As it is, the local hospitals are well overburdened!

Nonetheless, we do take care of them. We try our best, with what we have. Some days are just longer than others. Sometimes its just freaking hard to keep a straight mind and be objective. Sometimes I prefer not to feel.

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