it’s now or never

Have you ever experienced that moment in your life where the trajectory your life will take is determined by your actions at that particular moment? It might just be a second or a minute but never more than that. That moment we call the defining moment, the moment to step up or step down. The funny thing about the outcomes of these defining moments is there are no intermediates, it is either you are down, treading in the gorge or you are up, celebrating an astronomical leap.

That blood-rushing moment at the Olympics when the world’s greatest is standing at the hundred metre starting line together with other notable contenders uncertain of what the next ten seconds will hold, will he uphold the record or will he spoil his long-maintained record? That moment when a doctor has a scalpel in one hand and an elevator in the other, with a mound of an almost lifeless body on the operating table at the same time being tormented by the intimidating silence while being reminded only by the electrocardiogram that time is running out. That moment when you are in a job interview after a difficult question has been asked and you know very well that the outcome is solely dependent on the next few words you say and at the same time you are all soaked from top to bottom out of anxiety, distracting you from thinking properly.

I guess every mortal inhabiting planet earth has at many countless times been confronted with such defining moments unless you are some alien from some other planet which I doubt very much. What if I tell you that those moments we think have two outcomes have only one outcome and that is stepping up. Sounds absurd right? What I am trying to say is that how we perceive the outcome is subjective; it always depends upon the individual and situation. I remember this scene from the famous movie Acrimony where a man turned down a business contract worth thousands. In that situation his wife and other relatives saw it as a great loss. However to him, he was sure he deserved a better offer though he was uncertain. To him it was a step-up since shortly he was offered a better contract worth millions and with better opportunities.

I recount this particular time I was the only student doctor in the hospital. I don’t even remember what had happened that day as all the registrars, resident and intern doctors were long off-duty. That was quite unusual as according to normal practice, regardless of the number of patients in the hospital, I was normally under the supervision of a registrar or even a senior consultant. That hour I was only in the company of nurse practitioners and a couple of other anaesthetists.

One of the high-ranking government officials was rushed to the hospital after having survived an assassination attempt which left him with a bullet hole sticking out from the left side of his head. What was most puzzling was that he was still showing signs of life, though the pulse was now too faint. It was clear that he needed immediate attention from a senior consultant neurologist. I urgently called the nearby consultant doctor to rush back to the hospital and he needed thirty minutes to get to the hospital, but the problem was that we didn’t have that amount of time. Knowing very much how daring students can get, he strongly warned me from trying anything ‘stupid’.

Just like any good student I tried to follow the instructions until just after five minutes after receiving the instruction, the electrocardiogram hit a plateau and you know what that means. That penetrating sharp sound swung me into action. On taking up medicine, I had taken an oath to save life to the best of my ability, so I decided to turn a deaf ear to the instruction. What I was just about to do was insubordination of the highest order considering I was barely into the field. I had only taken a few courses in anatomy, surgery and a couple of other non-relevant ones with respect to this situation.

Without paying heed to the operating set standards and regulations, I stormed into the operating theatre straight to the patient. I briskly worked my way into his cerebrum with such cutting-edge precision as this could make the difference between life and death. Luckily, I could easily spot the bullet sticking out between the parietal lobe and frontal lobe of his cerebrum. Using my forceps, I cautiously and slowly pulled it out taking care not to damage any delicate blood vessels as this could cause a catastrophic haemorrhage.

Instantly, after pulling the bullet out, the electrocardiogram shot up producing the biggest spike, which came as a relief. I immediately woke up sweating profusely, but with a smile all over my face.

Believe in God first and then believe in yourself, I don’t see any reason why you won’t make it


Published by anotidaviazhero

An aspiring physician with a passion to create and modify long lasting solutions to the problems that our young generation is faced with through some of my motivational and inspirational articles.

8 thoughts on “it’s now or never

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