Saturday, October 30, 2010

A GIFT IN HAND.....

Standing pert on my kitchen counter are two pretty mugs..printed in beige.Each time I see those mugs ..it brings me joy..It was a gift from a friend who remembered me...and remembers me through most times of my life....with it was a note from her little one with painted hearts and the biblical verse..'Love the lord your God with all your heart.....'
I received another post from my sister today,she is ten years my senior,a beautiful mother and a great women of God as well.It was a post about a message by a Louie Giglio,where he talks about the structure of Laminin-described in the wikipedia as 'Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue' It is the cell adhesion molecule and what literally holds us together.He refers to the verse in Colosians 1:15-17 .(Referance to the picture of Laminin in my blogspot).It's indeed amazing to discover in parts how God has so wonderfully and inticately designed the human body.
The communication from these two lovely ladies brought to mind something I overheard one simple semi-educated preacher telling another struggling believer who was being built....
It was -'a believer should always carry a gift in hand ..to share...'.He meant the gift of Christ ,His Word,His love and our daily testimonies in Him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mirzapur.

Was in Mirzapur for the village clinic.The clinic space was a private house ,a space in an extended room with three charpoys.It belonged to the municiple candidate who's election results were expected the next day.Mirzapur is a muslim settlement and that is it!I had never been to a purely muslim settlement as such, so it was a little surreal for me.The houses had a typical muslim architecture with a mosque right in the middle of the chowk.The village was peaceful,prosperous and at their daily living.....farming,weaving ,praying,children going to school.One could hear the cry of Allah...o...Akbar...from the mosque in the quiet of the afternoon.The house owner himself laid out a table and a chair for me.
We had the regulars coming in for their quota of medicines.Some of them followups from HCH happy to see a familiar face......
Something that one of our seniors left behind a few days ago has been hovering around in my mind.While taking a lecture on ethics,there were a few words that somehow made a quirky impression on me and does not seem to be going away!One comparison she made was of the word 'reproduction'as science addresses it, to the biblical word 'procreate'.It had never struck me how demeaning the word actually was,so as to imply you and I are just reproductions as is a thing reproduced in a factory line........
It's so different to the christian context where the Lord specifically addresses Jeremiah one of the prophets and tells him ...'Before I formed you in your mother's womb I knew you,before you were born I sanctified you,I ordained you a prophet to the nations.'Jeremiah 1,vs 5.
Sometimes when there are hordes and hordes of humanity falling upon you like my experience has been in most of UP.....this comes back as a reminder...that every one of them has an 'intrinsic value',is made in the image of God..every single one of them is important...in the eyes of God who 'procreated' them and not reproduced them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Going out for a clinic!

I went to the Bathshaibagh clinic with the CH team today.It's an hour's drive from the hospital.It's a lovely drive and the clinic is situated within the campus shared in common by the Central industrial Security Force and the Hydel project.
A few things struck me even as I attended to the patients in the clinic.
1)The people who wait for doctors to reach the clinic are the old,debilitated and those who are unable to access health facilities at a distance.If we were not there they would have been over-looked.Hence it seems extremely essential for the doctors in our hospital to move out to the fields from time to time if we really want to reach out to the marginalised.
2)This year whichever part of the country I have been to, there seems to be a surge of malaria epidemic,I do not know what the government stats say.
3)A central security force like CISF does not seem to have any accessible health facility anywhere in the campus,not even a dispensary.Felt extremely sad.Were there to be any emergency of sorts they would have to make arrangements to cart the patient an hour away to our hospital or two and half hours away to Saharanpur.
I had a series of cadets saluting me even as they got their ailments treated in the clinic.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank you Lord......!

A week's shopping was due-was literally out of the permutations and combinations in my diet.The doctor had advised me morning walks for my ears-have been faithfully walking ever since.I have no idea when the transition to a good patient happened.Today was sunday so I thought I would postpone my walk for the evening and club it with shopping.I took the path through the tea estate.The jungle was a delightful spectrum of colours and could have passed off for a bird sanctuary...a cow and a calf was at it munching off the tea bushes...I walked on taking in ,delighting in the restfulness of it all.A kilometre away I was in Vikashnagar vegetable monger's drooling over all the fresh vegetables, a sure sign of winter coming in.
By the time I had decided what I wanted and needed, the plastic bags were breaking to the seams so I demanded a stronger bag off the man.Apologetically he fished out a plastic sack and asked me if that would do.It looked pretty convenient albeit a little awkward for the others.One staff happened to catch up with me at the butcher's and was all apologetic offering to carry my bag...I ofcourse declined.....felt absolutely free with the sack on my right shoulder,my bag hanging across my neck..and a polythene with the meaty fare in my left hand....
The grocers outside the herbertpur gate were all smiles even as they greeted me ...so were the staffs...smiling from ear to ear...it was worth it just to see all of them smile in camaderie for whatever reason.
I for one had a refreshing walk!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The teacher and the taught!

'Mam,the words in Park and Park are beginning to make sense....they are popping out of the book at me like it hasn't ever before..'-this is how one of the youngsters described the classes Jebu(Dr Jacob John) has been taking for our DNB trainees.
Public health has been a big struggle for them.It was so very kind of Jebu to take time out of his schedule ,to come all the way from CMC to Herbertpur to give the students a brush up.
These words from the student brought back to memory the same line used to describe a bible study taken by Dr Kuruvilla Varkey.
The words were actually uttered by Dr Langkham....in course of a conversation....during his visit to Satbarwa where I was based.
It is indeed heartening to know that the legacy of a good teacher and the taught goes on.......

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Getting to know my ears!

I have been getting these episodic vertigos in spring for the past five years .October saw me travelling.I developed it again.Quite a few people in the paraphenalia were spinning as well so I took a labhrynthine sedative and pushed it to the back of my mind.After a week when I started developing tinnitus as well my alarm bells started ringing so I visited the ENT surgeon.Saurav after having examined my ear told me'Mam,you have Menniere's disease '.I discovered something else that day.My ability to feel shocked or upset had also taken a bouncer.
The only emotion I felt was an intense curiosity!Suddenly I was very eager to get to know my ears.I was in no discomfort whatsoever but my head had started ticking overtime trying to discern different aspects of my hearing and tinnitus.As was expected,comprehension to low frequency sounds were a bit muzzled so was the ability to discern words against a noisy background.Grand!I go for my audiometry this saturday.
I turn thirty-nine next month and I realised I had taken this God-given sense for granted and now it was asking for some attention so I needed to give it.
While walking on the road I often find myself tilting my head just to enjoy the sound of the birds twittering or the sound of the crickets in October.I remember when I told my younger cousin I was getting posted to Herbertpur she had told me 'you can actually see fireflies at night and hear the crickets there!'
I was trying to mentally make a list of sounds I might miss were I to lose my hearing completely.
They were, and not necessarily in that order-
The sound of the birds singing,the river flowing,the rain on a tin roof,sound of a gale on a quiet afternoon,sound of the dew on the grass...the heartbeat going lub dub assuring me there is life....,the sound of my mother singing early in the morning,..the sound of humanity worshipping God..voices of angels amidst the human din so I am not sure if it is my ears doing the listening anymore!
I still have my hearing intact,although it might have diminished,I am quite certain it is enough for the amount of listening I do with it anyways!
Thank you Lord for it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Isaiah 11:6

It's a saturday and I have an afternoon off and the luxury to sit on the computers for sometime.Nandu and Ango were with me for a week,they have left for JKD.It's always nice to have my juniors around.
There is something extremely fresh,naive and heart-warming about these youngsters who immediately take it in themselves to be your gaurdian of sorts.One person I had the privelage to meet while in Chattarpur was Anjali,a fresh junior doctor from Ludhiana doing her bond with EHA.I had gone there to replace one of the senior doctors.She was looking after the medical patients in the hospital.
I was taken aback and very warmly amused to observe how she took me under her wings while I was there.She had a ready answer and a solution for almost all the queries and concerns I had.She made sure I had all my meals,I had a stethoscope,a pen to write with,a book to read,tea in the mornings,water in my room,dosa for breakfast..and even a chocolate cake because I happened to have the craving for it then.I found myself smiling to myself when one evening after having had a strenous time at work she told me just before we parted'Mam you can call me if you have any problems!'-I wondered what the little girl would do but I sheepishly said 'ok'.
A lot of credit for the way these youngsters are ,I guess goes to the people who nurture them.The seniors in Chattarpur have done a fine job with Anjali...the day after I left Chattarpur she graciously sent me a message thanking me for my stint in the hospital!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do I listen enough?

Developed an acute ear infection and got a taste of tinnitus and vertigo yesterday.My Rinne's and Weber's are haywire.The ENT surgeon thinks I might be getting Menniere's,I hope not.
In the mean time I had to take the chapel.Ango was sweet enough to translate for me.Not that I don't have a hold over hindi but I found the whole process of mentally translating my meditation to hindi as I spoke,too tedious.
Four aspects of our call came through in the meditation.
1)Call to interpret the sign of times.
2)Call to convert in response to the interpretation.
3) Call to touch God.(Ref-Luke 7,vs36-50;Mark 12,28-44;Mark 5,28.
Imagine God telling you 'You have done a beautiful thing!'.
4)Call to connect to God.
'Disconnected Moses only managed to bring trouble to himself and his family but connected the might of Egypt could not stand before him.'

Friday, October 1, 2010

TUBERCULOSIS-a need for an honest appraisel

India is supposedly home to one fifth of the tuberculosis cases in the world.According to the WHO reports nearly two million people contract the disease every year,while 2.8% of these are supposed to be drug-resistant.As per the government statistics the coverage of RNTCP is supposed to be one hundred percent with a success rate of 86%.With two million cases coming in every year, even if the programme were to be as successful as it seems to suggest,we have a major public health problem at hand.
The WHO objective for tuberculosis management suggests a case detection rate of more than 70% which according to the reports have been achieved in most places and the RNTCP is I hear, looking towards a target of one hundred percent.Is it a feasable target in the current ground scenario?
Is there a need to put into place some radical legislations before we can even think of getting somewhere.
Does the government of India need to have an honest appraisel of the current ground situation at all levels before we think of putting in place policies which are going to decide where India is going to go as far as tuberculosis is concerned in the next decade or are we going to continue to put on blinkers and bull-doze our way while millions of Indians continue to become prey to this terrible disease.

CWG ,a lesson!

I always end up creating a ruckus with my loud laughter when I am around Jamela aka.
Today she was narrating the whole Commonwealth games ruckus from the eyes of a Delhite commuting past the area to the office everyday.We have already been hearing a lot about the drive on the part of the CWG authorities to hide the slums of Delhi behind corrugated sheets put hastily on the side of the roads with huge banners to hide the slums.She was narrating how on the first day after that, they noticed a small hole cut out from the sheet from where people were commuting in and out to the open road.It stayed that way for a few days more but after a week some ingenious fellow had brought out a whole bed through the gap and a whole lot of the slum-dwellers were generally using it as a chowk,to sit on and talk.
I laughed my guts out in the central office when I heard this but on the retrospect I was just thinking what a great illustration of a hidden sin it was!