1st Sample chapter of "The Game Of Secrets" by Saurish Hegde

'Sir, Keshav is a seventy-four year old male patient and has come from Mangaluru. He is a coolie by occupation and had come to the hospital with primary complaint of chronic cough last year. Since past one week the cough has exaggerated and two episodes of blood in his sputum has also been reported.'
As the post graduate was narrating the case, she ran to catch up with her doctor. They were doing their rounds.
'Sir, he also has a history of smoking-a chronic smoker. From past thirty years, he has been smoking cigarette sat the rate of two packs per day.'She was almost out of her breath with an hour of extensive rounds of all the running and talking.
They stopped.
They had already reached but she could not finish the medical history of the patient. She hoped that her 'sir' would not scold her for not being quick enough in her work.
Apart from the fact that she had a huge crush on him, she was also equally scared of him. But luckily for her, the doctor had started talking to the patient. He got the necessary information that he needed and already had the diagnosis in his mind, but had to just confirm it.
'How are you feeling today?'Nishanthasked clearly andloudly.
His patient was old and naturally seemed he had some difficulty in hearing. Most of his patients belonged to the elder age group and because of this he had automatically developed a loud voice.
Keshav looked like a cancer patient who would have been in the terminal stage of the disease. He had lost over 15 kg sin the past two months. Even before the deadly disease started engulfing his body, he was a thin person. He belonged to the low socio-economic strata. He was a coolie and was paid per day, so he had to work every day in order to survive.
But now what remained of him was a mere skeleton with only skin covering him. There was almost no subcutaneous fat present. His eye sockets were clearly visible and deep and his cheek bones were almost protruding through the skin. His mouth was partially open through which the tongue was hanging out and saliva was dripping.
He could not breathe with his mouth closed. For one round of respiration he had to apply all his force, it was like every breath was going to be one of his last. Even without any tests, anyone could make out that he had only a few more days to live. He was almost drowsy when Nishanth's voice alerted him.
Nishanth was happy that his patient was alive. He went straight for the examination. He palpated the chest, quickly moved to the abdomen. He did it just for the sake of it. It did not matter a lot. The history had already given him the diagnosis. Now he had to wait for the tests-to confirm and start the treatment.
But the end result was not going to change.
He auscultated his chest for the breath sounds and heard wheeze on both the sides. Then he auscultated the heart for heart beats, the heart rate was decreased. He removed the ear piece and put his stethoscope around his neck. He sighed heavily and took a deep breath.
He saw Keshav struggling to sit on the bed, the post graduate assisted him. It was a painful sight to see an elderly man in this situation. Nishanth was particularly very fond of elderly people as he had lost all four of his grandparents early during his childhood.

All of them had suffered from diabetes and succumbed to the complications of the notorious disease. His parents did not have diabetes but he was certain that he himself would soon be diabetic, so he tried and maintained a healthy lifestyle. He worked out daily, kept himself fit and ate healthy homemade food. He neither drank nor smoked. Up till then his hard work had been paying off, but he expected the worst could come. Genetics!
Finally Keshav sat upright, but he was breathing heavily. Nishanth signaled his post graduate for the results. She gave him the biopsy reports, scans etc.
It was the squamouscell carcinoma of the lung and it had metastasized to almost all organs of the body.
It was sure that he was going to die soon, unless some miracle happened...
This ward consisted of the worst patients, almost everyone in this ward was suffering from end stage cancer and almost 90 percent of the ward mates were going to die, not because these cases were not treatable, but because they had come late.
This ward was reserved for the low socio-economic status people and these people never came for checkups unless they reached a situation where they could not work anymore. It was a difficult situation for them because they were daily wage earners and if they came for checkup their day would be wasted and so would their money. So they came only when their bodies could not perform the duties any more.
Since Nishanth was the junior most member of the faculty, he was in-charge of this hectic ward. It was a good experience for him. He cherished this opportunity and made the most of it. He was considered to be one of the upcoming on collagists in the city.
Keshav was the last patient of this ward. Nishanth wanted to finish the check-up quickly. After this ward, he had one important patient to see, who did not belong to the low socio-economic status.
It was time to tell Keshav his fate.
'The test results have come and it shows that you have cancer of the lung.'
Keshav did not show any emotions. He was expecting it. He knew it.
'The cancer has invaded your blood and other organs.It will be very difficult to cure it. 'Nishanth said clearly without any hesitation.
'How much time, doctor?'He managed to ask. It was clear that he did not want to suffer for long. His wish was granted.
'Around two to six months,'Nishanth replied.He was happy that unlike his other patients who would start crying and screaming, he accepted his destiny very calmly. At least, it appeared like that.
'I know about your financial situation. I know that it will be difficult for you to pay for the treatment, but don't worry about that, we will take care of it.' Nishanth also answered the next question which Keshav was about to ask. Nishanth had already gone through the social background of this ill-fated man.
His wife had expired twenty years ago. He did not marry after that. He had one son who also used to work with him, but even he had expired five years ago due to swine flu (H1N1) epidemic which killed almost one-fourth of their village.
Keshav was left alone in this world to suffer. He went to work every day, earned enough money to eat and lived his life. His life story was a tragic one, but he was an inspiration in many ways. No matter how bad his life was, no matter how hard life had hit him in the head, he always got up and did not gave up. He was an inspiration to all those people who live in much better situations than him and have much better lives, but still waste their life for the silliest of reasons.
Nishanth always wanted to do something for his poor patients. In fact, he had thought about a new option to be introduced in this hospital. They were already providing low cost treatment to them, but now Nishanth wanted to take it to a whole new level. He wanted to do it on a larger scale. He wanted to save the world. He also wanted to set up branches of their hospital in rural areas and provide treatment for this deadly disease. He had already proposed this idea to one of the hospital partner/administrators Dr Mohandas Kumar.
Soon this idea would be discussed in a meeting and will be implemented, if agreed. The only problem with this proposal was that it slightly damaged the net-worth of the prestigious hospital. But at the same time, it would also help a lot of people and earn them a good reputation.
Nishanth finished his work with Keshav and moved to his last patient Jayawathi, who was also one of his far relatives. 

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