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Posts Tagged ‘Doctors. Life Sick :(’

Doc Talk!!!

I really don’t understand why some doctors are really this arrogant, snobbish, self indulgent, errr… and a lot more I wouldn’t put up here and pollute my blog. SOME. I’ve come across doctors who are nothing short of angels, only thing is they wear white coats instead of frocks and carry stethoscopes instead of the harp. And being the sick child I was, I’ve always been stumbling across doctors right through childhood. And I’ve seen that the character profiles of those very people who play Gods on Earth vary from the extreme white to the darkest black with all shades of grey thrown in.

Dr. Srinath has been my family doctor for as long as I remembered. The first word that comes to my mind when I think of Dr. Sri is Soothing. Long after he finished his daily duty rounds and left, his benign smile and quiet cheerful words lingered in the bright blue curtains of the hospital windows and the friendly pats of the nurses. He had this amazing quality of not being ruffled under the most trying circumstances. I remember one such incident in particular, some ten years back. I was running a very high temperature, shivering from the chills, and blabbering incoherently when I was carried to Dr. Sri’s clinic one rainy night. I always talk a lot of nonsense when I’m sick. My mom says is it’s my way of fighting the germs away! But yeah, it’s a proven fact that the more I talk, the sicker I am. Digressions apart, there I was a shivering bundled up mess yapping away to glory lying on Dr. Sri’s examining table. He was there beside me talking to my parents in that quiet comforting voice, smiling at me with his eyes crinkling up and before I had realised it to start bawling, given me an injection and also a candy to counter its effect! He didn’t give my medical test reports to my parents and answered with “Oh nothing, She’ll be ok in a couple of days” when my folks asked him what really was wrong with me. Only after the third day, when the temperatures came down to near normal and I could be taken back home, the doc thrust my medical reports into dad’s hands and said, “She came here with a severe form of typhoid. Could have caused sensory impairment if not treated properly on time. I didn’t want to panic you. Now she’s out of the danger zone. You can take her home. The diet would be…”  Dad could only just gape.

I’ve had this special, you can even say superstitious belief that once Dr. Sri writes Rx and hands over a prescription to me, I’ll start getting better the next second onwards! I know, it’s ridiculous but sometimes healing has more to do with the psychological than the physical. And this precisely was the reason why I was muttering under my breath that Dr. Sri should have been a darn ophthalmologist when suddenly my right eye started swelling up and getting all itchy like some dust was perpetually lodged inside. I had grown into a comfort zone with Dr. Sri and had not even consulted any other doc except him for as long as I remembered (except maybe a couple of dental checkups). Now suddenly I was in the waiting area of this Ophthalmologist, to get my eye checked. After maybe an hour of waiting, the Ophthal arrived in a purple sedan and strolled majestically into his room without even a mere glance at the lesser mortals – his patients. I was the first in waiting and soon the high priest –read nurse ushered me in.

There were no questions asked. The Ophthal merely raised an eyebrow from behind his huge glasses which it seems was an indication for me to rattle off my case. The nurse nudged me from behind and I started.

Me: Doctor, my right eye has been swollen for the past few days and it’s been irritating too, like some dust fell inside.

I looked at the doc’s face for some sign of information being heard or registered. None

Me: And ummm… the lymph glands near the ears seem to be swollen too.

I pointed to the gland only to see the doc looking at a calendar above my head. I stopped talking, determined to carry on only after eliciting a response from his mouth.  He wouldn’t give up too. He merely raised an eyebrow again and pointed to another chair as if he were the Queen offering me a royal throne. After peeping into my eye for some five minutes, the doc opened his mouth for the first time only to ask, “What made you say some dust fell into your eye? How can you be sure?”

Me: I’m not sure doctor. The eye kept irritating like there was something inside. So I thought it might be dust…

Ophthal: So it was all guesswork??

Me: (thinking) Of course, you are the doctor not me. (saying) Ummm yes.

Ophthal: This is not because of dust. It is probably due to some allergy to dust.

Me thinks ‘very enlightening’ and stays silent.

Doc starts writing out a prescription when I asked a question.

“Doctor, the lymph node enlargement is a side effect of this eye infection right?”

He peered up at me as if I had committed some kind of sacrilege by asking such a question.

“How am I to know?? I’m not God. We will have to wait and see. Come and see me in two days”

I was only too happy to get out of his office. Two days. His medicines did nothing to my eye. In fact my eye seemed to get worse with each day. I went back to him a day earlier than he had asked me to come.After the usual bureaucracy (guess it’s easier to meet the President), set eyes on his Majesty, the doctor again. And as usual, it was a mere twitch of the eyebrow – a sign for me to speak.

Me: Doctor, my eye is not getting better at all. It’s even more puffy and swollen now. So came back to check again with you.

Doc: (Not bothering to take a look at the eye or examine anything) What do you think this is? A machine? A robot? It’s a human body. Patients expectations are soaring sky high these days. They just want to take a pill and clear the entire system. That doesn’t work even with a piece of machinery these days. Go back and continue the dosage I gave. And come back when I ask you to.

For this raising eyebrows and rude talk routine he charges an exhorbitant 200 bucks per sitting. Me flees out for the love of dear life.

Since nothing got better even after another two days, checked with another eye specialist who immediately diagnosed the infection as viral conjunctivitis, the most common symptom being lymph node enlargement near the jaw. Wished I could fling this report at our know-it-all-majesty-ophthal’s face and raise and wriggle both my eyebrows in front of his smug looking face. He darn couldn’t even recognise an infection from its symptoms for four full days and on top of that, so much arrogance and high-and-mightiness!! Guess the arrogant facade was nothing but a mask to cover up his inadequacy.

All said and done, there are all kinds of people in the world and I suppose I’ve met samples of both, the best and the worst in the medical profession. The rest remain!!!

P.S. Erich Segal’s Doctors is one of my all time favorite reads. It showcases the world of doctors with all their agonies, ecstasies, heartbreaks, triumphs, disasters, euphoric highs and fumbling lows with gritty depth and honesty. A great read!

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