Saturday, July 30, 2016

This and that!

It has been a month of activity in various forms.It is raining cats and dogs.Thank God for that.
The flowers are blooming bravely through the rains.I am enjoying spending time with the plants in the morning.I remember trying drip irrigation for my roses through the summer heat.The plants have survived so many summers and brought so much of joy to our hearts everytime it beats the heat to brighten the paraphernalia and our days.
The hospital has never been so busy.We had almost ninety percent occupancy for a day or two and we also had some very sick patients.There were times when I have murmered ,'Oh Lord when will it end ' only to guiltily ask for the Lord's forgiveness for we have prayed for patients and He has sent them .
My juniors always tease me about how various very sick patients seem to respond only to my queries about their health during the rounds.One palliative care patient with stroke would start weeping as soon as I started talking to him and gradually as he recovered and started talking, he graciously mumbled that he felt nice talking to me.Divya ,keen and observant ,told me ',actually mam, you are the only one who talks to them'.
Now, why do I take pains to talk to these apparently non-functional patients?
The credit for it goes to a teacher I had in my post-graduate studies,Dr Luke Mathew.
In the high action ACU in ODC with Dr Luke trying to feed us with all the latest medical information and keeping us updated with the facts and figures,one afternoon, he called us altogether for a chat and made one of the visitng interns from the US read an article aloud to all of us.
I ,for one, can never forget that article.
The article was a write up on the various struggles, besides the apparent medical issue ,a patient faces when they become indisposed.I think there is a chapter in Harrison on it,I never read it and I have never suffered because of it.
Take for instance a middle aged man ,incharge of the family,suddenly having a stroke.
He could be the head of the family making all the decisions and overnight everything  changes.He has to depend on everybody else for everything.He has uncertainities about the finances,uncertanities about the family support .Suddenly he has no control over his family life ,he finds everyone else making decisions for him,what he wll eat,what he will wear,which doctor he will see ,etc.
To top it all,noone seems to address him directly anymore.Everyone seems to talk over him and about him '.He is de-humanized in a way.
Our Indian medical system do not have ethics and patient rights as an important curriculum.
Even if it is a curriculum in any of the elite institutions I, for one, have never heard of any doctor being taken to task for such insensitivities unless the patient has a voice .
Talking of the rights of the marginilised we have a long way to go...
I am greatful for all the great teachers who have taught me things I carry deep within me as a legacy and I deem these the most precious lessons I have learnt..

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