Fear, MRIs and 5 ams

The stress of or the fear of something often is far larger than the actual task itself. This was at its clearest this week. With the planning of a surprise party, the visit to a new doctor, yet another (though each one is as stressful as the next) MRI and the travel and return travel on 5 am flights made for a memorable week.

The surprise party had to be perfect. Everything had to be planned without the inquisitive Birthday boys’ knowledge and we had to get him back in time lest the guests and here we kept it to family only let the cat out of the bag! The menu had to delight him and each of our demanding guests and the party had to be run on time despite the Mumbai rains and horrendous traffic snarls. Add to that a power cut which took out all the lights in the house, but none of the air conditioning! Candles were lit and the dinner with all its pre planning drama ended perfectly. The minute I just allowed myself to go with the flow instead of fighting to control it… I learned to have fun and actually enjoy the party!

I met the new doctor with trepidation and cynicism. Challenging him almost by telling him the hateful, scary things I’d been told over the years; I was taken aback when he empathised and even apologised for Doctors without tact and bedside manner. This threw me off because I expected him to stick with the way I had been treated thus far. The apology made me learn that the fear of one doctor can’t make you avoid all others. And as much as I don’t want to be seen as a clone of anyone else… I mustn’t assume that all in the same profession are alike either.

The MRI technician asked if I’d like to see ‘Friends.’I was taken aback. How was that possible? With a new machine, you could watch something, you may not hear it all but you could watch it. The 2 hr long series of MRIs were made more tolerable with a comedy show playing above my head!

5 am flights to meetings- would I hack it? Would I be on my best game? Worried I did not sleep all of night 1… And then the day ended and I was wonderful. The staying awake only made for dark circles- didn’t dampen my enthusiasm at all!

I write this as Day 2 begins (at 4:30 am now)- and now I’m not scared!

P.s. (Palat says)-: I do now what I do during an MRI. Take a deep slow breath and let the fear find another person they can cripple- not me!

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The Good Doctor

“I am sorry. Your brain has been compromised. Your left side is paralysed and you will now never be able to move again!” Those were the first words I heard from a Doctor on the Monday morning when I was just diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encyphomyelitis.

I remember tears flowing down my face as I tried to grasp the enormity of what he had just said. with complete ignorance he had pronounced a judgement on a hapless, trusting patient. Without thought or foresight , he had declared himself God.

He was completely wrong!

And then  I found a good doctor, one who helped me, challenged me , encouraged me and got my out of bed and jumping again- a real healer.

We go to doctors to help us. We trust their opinions. They have quite literally our lives in their hand. And just like any good relationship, it’s important that you search for and find a good doctor who really cares about you!

I remember reading this week about  Zuleikha Sheikh, a woman masquerading as a doctor who was responsible for the shocking death of a young Mom earlier this month. The woman bled to death when her placenta was mistaken to be another child in the womb and was pulled out with parts of her uterus. Worse still, this surgery was performed under candle light! On investigation she also had to her discredit several patient handicaps, illegal abortions and medical mishaps that she had caused. In an interview, she sounded totally unfazed about the patient death. She claimed that deaths happen and that she was on the phone with a certified doctor so there was really nothing more she could have done! The callous , unemotional manner that this woman dealt with something this horrific was shocking.

Her family trusted Zuleikha Sheikh. They trusted their ‘doctor.’ For someone to take their trust and break it, nay destroy it and be so calm about it is nothing short of murder and the person is nothing more than a cold-blooded sociopath.

Zuleikha Sheikh needs to be taken to task. Not just because she isn’t a doctor but because she doesn’t still understand her mistake. She took a life and destroyed a family.

Trust in doctors is often a one way street. You trust them implicitly. Hina’s family trusted a quack and they paid with her life. This tragedy doesn’t just affect her family. It affects the hundreds of actual, good doctors out there! They don’t deserve to have their reputation slandered by a criminal.

Give Hina’s family justice. Give the many families justice!

Protect the reputation of the medical profession.

And why this rant on doctors?

Well this week was tough! After two unbelievable shows, both of which were house full and the most incredible weekend ever, my body decided I had done too much. In short, I got very, very sick.

This week made me value good doctors. I am lucky to have an amazing general physician who thinks out of the box, never stresses with my manic work hours and always encourages me to do whatever my minds wants me to do. He believes like I do that a healthy will power can make a healthy body. He is not afraid of thinking over his prescriptions, taking time to educate me on an illness and listening to any symptom I have , no matter how small it may seem to even me. He is a good doctor.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Find a good doctor. Punish the crooks

Connect with me on twitter @divyapalat