Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Human Failings and ministry of God!

I was taking the congregation through the life of Simon Peter and his relationship with Jesus.Throughout Christ's ministry on earth we see Simon Peter as a fallible human being showing streaks of genious,impetuos and blatantly short of most things expected of him.Yet when Jesus' appears to the disciples after the crucification he leaves the ministry of reconcilliation to Peter,firstly by reconciling him to himself and then to the greater ministry of God.He asks Peter the pertinant question -'Do you love me?'.When Peter says he does,he asks Peter to look after his sheep.
He could have asked this question to Peter just before he was crucified,after all what is more important to man than his life .
The fact that Christ had the question for Peter at that juncture, points towards the importance the events that were to follow after the crucification had for the Christ -the ministry was more important than anything that we as human beings deem important in our lives today.
Do we like Christ have that clarity?Do we deem the the ministry of reconciliation the most important part of our lives,more than life itself?
'If you love me-feed my lambs....'...was what jesus told Peter.
In that all important time of decision in our lives may the voice of Christ reach out to us asking that very pertinant question -do you love me ?May we be able to hold our heads high ,look at the face of Christ and say-'I do lord! and mean it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life's lessons.

In the out-patient in Uttraula,a young lady walked in.She caught my attention because of her bright happy smile which lingered on...she had a micrognathia and a pinched nose but her happiness showed..she was beautiful.I just about heard the staff nurse informing them that she was in the family way and the husband responding,'that's what they say!'.The nurse in a huff told the husband off.
I was looking at her with a clinician's eye so I asked her to open her mouth to check her palate at which the husband immediately rebutted-'I have had a dream that she was able to talk!'.It was then that it struck us that she was deaf and dumb.
That's how all of us started chatting with the couple.With the husband verbally and with the wife ...well she understood every word of what we said...they were so full of wonder,both of them!
It was amazing ,I had seen more than a hundred ladies walking past that out-patient with different complaints and ailments-there was just one patient's spirit and disposition that caught my eye on account of the sheer beauty in it-and she was actually deaf and dumb!
It makes me wonder!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Those touts of UP!

India with it's population ,has promises and it has it's desperadoes!
The government has started the RSBY schemes to insure health for the below poverty line patients and guess who benefits from the arrangement in UP?It is the touts.There is something about the average Indian psyche which is forever tryinhg to beat the system to make money somewhere,somehow!The touts collect the BPL patients from the villages,herd them to the local nursing homes and get cuts,afterall the government is willing to shell out Rs.30,000 per patient and this is the kind of money the poor may never see.It feeds the greed of the private providers and the tout make money..I dread to even try and understand the dynamics of how the system works at the ground level but how I wish it did not work the way it does...somehow the whole 'idea'behind it seems lost!

OOopie and Uttraula!

I find this land of UP fascinating to say the least.I am in Uttraula,a four hours drive from Lukhnow in a predominantly muslim area-it almost reminds me of old delhi.There are mosques and more mosques and the domes against the backdrop of the skies look beautiful.There are ladies in burkha and men with long beards everywhere,at peace with themselves and with the world at large.You can hear the friday prayers almost touching the skies.....a man at the microphone at it.i take a rickshaw to the the market to buy some fruits and I feel absolutely at home with the RP giving me a running commentary about the place.He is an old man in his fifties ,salt of the earth type who has been taking the hospital staffs to the market since time immemorial.
The hospital is one of it's kind.It's what a mission hospital should be, in the middle of nowhere.A small place with the faithfuls toiling on in a balanced life...,no huge structures,no kingdoms built....no so-called monuments to show ...just a mission hospital doing it's work in one of the most forsaken places in India.Working ,praying and making a difference one person at a time.
Facinating!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh those bananas!!

One can easily count the number of banana trees in the campus....each time the fruit starts looking decent enough it starts dissapearing in ones and twos...most days it belongs to noone in particular so nobody minds but everyone seems to keep a count of the fruit and one often hears a running commentary of the current score.Dr Binks when he left the campus left us a tree laden with a bunch.All of us mess members were keeping a close watch on it.Since it was in the premises of the mess it was taken for granted that it would ultimately fall on the plate of the mess members.
One morning I saw Nandu dragging the whole bunch across the mess floor.I made a mental note of it absent mindedly and carried on with my business of eating.
In the evening Moilen ,the cook gave me an up-date on what actually happened.
With our single track mind it had completely slipped our minds that there was another group who would lay claim to the fruits in the premise and due to the sheer law of occupancy rights they had a bigger claim on the produce than we did.
Moilen was quietly making the breakfast in the morning when sister Emil who was on her way to work suddenly alerted her to the fact that a group of monkeys were at work with the bananas.
The monkeys apparently had decided to have a banana party and had divided the spoil quite decently and evenly amongst themselves.Moilen says even the tiny monkeys who had no idea as to what the banana was for had one each in their hands and were moving it from one hand to the other wondering what they could do with it,Moilen got down to work,just about managed to save a couple of dozens for us and there was Nandu dragging the bunch across the floor like a victor who had just dragged his trophy in after a valiant fight!

Is it dementia or plain laziness!

Walking from the hospital to the mess in the peak heat of the afternoon one patient caught me on the way and asked me that tough question I dread the most-what is the date today?I can't for the world of me figure out why I find the question so dreadfully tough.I could have the calender glaring at me from the board in front of me and I would still take a cool three minutes to get my orientation right.i realised on the retrospect that I had given her the wwrong date.
I remember my room-mate from the college days,who remembered my bank ids,roll number,anything that had to do with remembering numbers-I wonder if it is plain laziness or something more.I am pretty good at maths.My teachers singled me out as the lady who was extremely good with numbers and was kind enough to express their super high expectations of me during my board exams.I was good with logic and was at one time the only student in the class who could deal with it.
Sushma walked into the OPD with a chart and I ask her instantly -'what's the date today?-she promptly replied 'the 10th'.
I shared my delimna with her and she started laughing.She tells me that during the rounds when I write the doctor's note with every bed I ask the staff for the date..Now that sounds like a serious problem...
I need to make sure I make an effort to remember the dates and stay oriented or I could be suffering from.....I hope not!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moral Delimna!!

Four days post-surgery and I feel beaten but not out.It's been a busy sunday with Kenny and the CMC kids in town.They have gone fishing to the dam -the other team apparently caught twenty five small fishes...I am not too sure about the CMC kids...but just the novelty of catching a rod in a moving water should be refreshing on a hot summer day.Some of us even go swimming there.
The church was good with the children doing their VBS presentations.No sermon but the dramas were heavily laced with messages so we had enough food for thought.
Amidst the apparent drama of being generally indiposed,I had to go through the rigour of talking tough to a poor old,village parent of one of the nursing student who seem to have apparently gone astray...i still feel absolutely lost...??how do you talk tough to a parent of a young girl from the remote corner of the country,who has put in his life's saving...,got into debt heavily to push a girl child into the nursing school with aspirations of a good future and the child after having been in your institution for better part of three years decides to cut corners at the last moment??What exactly do you tell the parent?You have failed?....She has failed?...or is it we have failed??....God give me the grace!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lachung-the land of Rhododendrons!

My sisters are home with their family for a much desrved reunion with parents -Marty and Rach wanted to have a go with the Rhodedendron festival in Yumthang..so they planned a trip.
Lachung is where the tourists base themselves.I have fond memories of Lachung.My great grandmother from my father's side apparently belonged to that land so we have a maze of relatives from the place...with whom we have lost touch..atleast our generation..but I do have fond memories of the place.The residents of Lachung are Lachungpas....a rough...tribe of travelling hill-folks.Goodlooking,tall,Hugely built and extremely rough in their demeanour when they want to bully.However,I have fond memories of them because my grand-mother's most loyal henchman was a Lachungpa.Almost six-two in height,well-built man with a long braided hair tied with a red ribbon, a traditional chuba with a sword tied to the front,he sure gave us a semblance of security especially during the turbulent political times when our father was neck deep into the sikkemese political drama.
I remember baskets and baskets of red apples,cheese,cabbages being brought in from the land when they came visiting.I remember going for a day's drive with the family to the hills and being fascinated by the snow...those delicious apples straight from the orchard,the tiny wooden houses with wooden roofs and the green wooden fences, the yaks around the place and the warmth with which our relatives received us with the tibetain tea and warm meal in that cold,snow-laden paradise.
The place has another emotional angle tied to the family.The first missionary who planted the congregation in the North of Sikkim,lived and died in the land.He planted the church in my hometown in our ancestral land and the church remains to this day a vibrant mother church to the mutiple churches in an around the place.The missionary was father Pilkinin.The town was in the foot-hills of the himalayas .Apparently an avalanche washed the missionary away while he knelt down and prayed.

The Anaesthesia!

I walked into the OT at 11.30 AM ,asked for the gown and got ready .Sister Emil with eyes big open caught my hand and said -'for you Dr.ji?'
Suman came in and sat quietly by my table before the hustle and bustle of the OT started.Suman was at my head continuosly stroking my hair.I.V.cannula inserted, all of a sudden Sushma and sister Toppo emerged, so much for doing the procedure on the quiet.Sushma prayed a sweet short prayer and Sishir got down to it.Tried with LA,apparently the tumour was big so the last I remember Sishir asking Suman to give some Midazolam and then after that I passed out.....to emerge into the ketamine haze.......I was watching the whole procedure from a mystical cloud,could hear every word the surgeon was speaking...every word the nurses were saying but it was in another setting ...another place....another time totally....I remember thinking to myself...what is this state I am in....where I have no say in what is to happen to me,someone else seem to be deciding totally what is to happen to me.....I felt trapped...I felt bewildered..I wondered ..am I dead already...will i come back to the real world....or will I pass out totally and never get back??...am I dying....it went on and on...I could feel Suman's hand on my head..stroking....I could see Sandhya moving around passing sutures....but everything was afar and a blurry....slowly ..must have been around two hours.....I started feeling a semblance of orientation and I started praying and praying and praising intensely...I saw the face of christ imprinted in my conciousness......it was peaceful .....it was a beautiful feeling ....slowly the face of Christ changed into the face of my pain ....the peace remained...utter peace and then I started sobbing......sobbing hard between the ebb and flow of anesthesia effect,I could hear Suman gently asking me Drji,why are you crying?Is it paining.....over and over again....I honestly did not have an answer.....paining means a hurt.....I just felt at peace-I felt relieved!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tumours and time....

Today I go in for removal of a fibroadenoma -it's just 3cms by 2cms but feels somewhat bigger-thought would just get over with it and get on with my life.Thank God ,there is no malignancy-I had exactly an hour's apprehension before the results were in my hand in the evening.
Not used to being doctored ,feels mighty odd.
Trying desperately to juggle a whole lot things like finding time to be with my little nephew and neice who apparently are little no more,with my sister and brother-in-law and my uncle who are all visiting and will be here for a very short time in between my responsibilities ......

Monday, May 3, 2010

Have mercy Lord!

Intense ...endless pain...the labour's been prolonged and prolonged enough....there seems to be no respite in sight.....no end to the birth of God knows what? Twisted minds,twisted philosophies .........the choices few...death on either end...will there ever be a release.....a transition to an apparent haven...atleast for the time being.
Where does it go from here?The poverty remains,the sickness remains,the violence remains,.....the pain of sin remains.....and it goes on ever onwards..........oh Lord-Have mercy!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Not doped-just happy!!

I have started moving around with my shoulder bag -what does the bag contain?It contains a variety of textbooks published by Oxford for medicine.I enjoy the subject and it beats me how I could have conned myself into staying away from it for so long.My adrenaline starts pumping and I feel everything suddenly start falling into place...it's like coming back home again.
We have started conducting the classes for the junior doctors and it's fun having the juniors back as consultants...so life moves on.As for me I am in that temporary mode again....my soul already long out of this place....doing the things from moment to moment....my bags packed and ready to move.
The other day I was telling my sister,there must be something in the way I seem to be carrying myself lately,I seem to attract a lot of backpackers whenever I travel-I honestly feel like I am suspended in the air ,almost like a zombie....I like the feeling though,actually I am waiting ,the moment I get the signal I am out of here .It's almost a release when one apprehends in one's character a lack of attachment to anything,anything at all.The reality of the temporariness of all that's around puts everything in proper perspective.
I also happily went and got my mammography done in Ranchi the other day in the course of my work-Need to go and pick up my results one of these haloed days.Amazing times!! Enjoying every moment of it.