At ICUs, armed with a battery of gadgets, men battle fiercely for life, clinging to the faintest signs of hope and pushing science and skill to their extreme limits.
In those super tense moments when intensivists fight with all their might to pull consciousness back into comatose brains, ICUs turn into a spiritual space, where human resolve is often humbled by god’s will. Sure, saving lives is ultimately God’s call, as humans all we can do is try our hardest, which is why ICUsin essence are a sacred space.
In those final moments when life can quickly turn to death and death to life we doctors have often felt the presence of supernatural energy, of consciousness (also known as soul) that can vanish for ever if not captured in a nano-second of opportunity.
In those moments of intense battle, when doctors throw every resource at their command to revive brains, to boost their sinking summative energy and to help them recapture their consciousness, science alone is not always enough.
When life hangs by a thread this slender, all it sometimes takes to blow consciousness back into the brain is a breeze of positive spiritual energy, a simple prayer said in total faith, a sincere word of unconditional love… In my decades of experience as a neurosurgeon, I have seen desperately ill comatose patients with seemingly no hope affect miraculous recovery for reasons that science could never fully explain.
This is why, despite thousands of surgeries, I remain no more than a humble priest at the temple of the brain. This is also why I see an ICU as a place of worship, a sacred space that you must enter only with a prayer on your lips, full of positive energy, devotion, faith, love and optimism. When you come visiting your near and dear ones, leave all your negative thoughts…anger, suspicion, fear and mistrust…behind the doors of an ICU. We must understand that negative thoughts can be potentially as lethal as any infectious bacteria for the chances of survival of a patient…
In a Neuro ICU in the thick of battle, intensivists do their utmost aided by life support systems, which monitor and manage hundreds of different functions and processes, to rev up the summative energy of the brain to a level conducive for the return of consciousness. Once this happens and the brain is back in charge at the top of the body, everything else simply clicks into place and we start to function normally again almost magically. It’s like waking up from deep slumber. But the act of recapturing consciousness is like an act of god and humans cannot pull this off despite all their knowledge, skill and technology, without His blessings. Help us save lives and enter ICUs only with positive thoughts.