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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rambo's Wife

I am not a great fan of action movies. They give me goosebums and things of that sort. Also, they have a lot of violence and immoral behaviour depicted, which is not good for innocent minds as mine. So, I general I refrain from viewing such movies. But, for some reason, Rambo is a series that I have appreciated for long. Two reasons mainly, it is one which has a sole to it, not merely useless mindless bloodshed. Two, Sly's body is one of which I can only dream of having. His bloody biceps are bigger than my waist (which right now is about 34, but estimated to cross 40 by the end of this year. .. . .And with that my waist will be twice my age!!)

Some of Rambo's characteristics which I would like to impress upon your malleable innocent minds are as follows:-
  1. He is great human being.
  2. Despite all the phenotypical characteristics which make him a “ dude” (click to know more), he is not! Infact, he is a gem of a human being.
  3. He has principles and leads a disciplined life.
  4. He is ever ready to help.
  5. Undying spirit.
  6. Unmatched power.
  7. But, because of the many years that he's passed as a prisoner of war, he cant adjust to civil life. He still thinks, he is in a prisoner of war camp, and continues with his Barbarian techniques.

Enough of general knowledge, now lets start the show!

During one of the OPDs when I was posted in gynaecology, came a female with lower abdominal pain and weird symptoms which could not be attributable to any of the normal medical conditions.
  • Medicine is a subject of signs and symptoms. Signs – are what doctors elicit. That is why we are great!
  • Symptoms- what patients give. Very important. Because in addition to telling us the medical problems that the patient may be suffering from, it also tells us the extent to which a patient can be a problem! ( I need not clarify about this more. Those want more in depth explanation can contact me personally.

  • It is very easy: Just before going to sleep, close your eyes, concentrate on the point midway between your two eyes till it starts paining, and then shout loudly: Ahhhhhhhhh...!!!! I shall come in your dreams and meet you. I havent missed an appointment till date. Sometimes I sneak in uninvited as well. People have labelled such experiences as night mares).

This lady had much more to say, then she was actually sharing. As my proffessor is very experienced and considerate towards patients, she immediately realised the gravity of the situation. I have over the years realised that the Shakespearean proverb:- “they also serve; who only stand and stare”, is indeed very true. In fact a large part of one's learning is from observing how to do, rather than rushing in to do it yourself. And just as you are observing a beautiful photograph in the background (that photo smiles back at you each time you look at it), I love to observe how people communicate. It is a tremendous experience!

The female was happily married since a decade or so. She had about 3 to 4 children. Her family life was good. No monetary constraints. Came from a well to do back ground. Had a 'loving' husband. (Very important because not many women think that their husbands love them). Had a good amount of education. Watched TV serials as other women. Didn't know any thing about cricket. Basically, a normal Indian happy housewife. And yet one could make out that some thing some where was wrong.

I opened her file. My God! This lady had been to every OPD in our hospital over the last week. We inquired further. She had been an admission in our psychiatry wards a couple of years ago. OK.... the drama begins now.

Sorry for deviating from the topic a little. But, this is important. Doctors are being beaten up as a routine in civic hospitals now a days. Its like a trend of sort. But, given an opportunity to beat up someone, I would want to clean my hands on CHEMISTS.
Just owning a drug shop, does not give a right to start dispensing medicine. They give away non-sense drugs for illness. Perhaps even nonsensier than what second year students in medicine write in their Pharmacology papers, when they mix up. On several occasions, I have counseled patients who have come to chemists to buy drugs for their illnesses to see a doctor. The most universal answer which I get is that the doctor will prescribe them “heavy drug”. I fail to understand what heavy is. “We will go only when the illness becomes incurable.” Wow! This you tell me standing outside the busiest hospital in this part of the world! And then we will miraculously cure you or you can beat us up for your mistakes!

Coming back, this lady had undergone a medical termination of pregnancy few months ago. Now again, as she conceived for the nth time, (she thought she had conceived, no reports were available though) promptly took a self medication for abortion. Then, as she felt she should not have taken drugs, stopped them and didn't complete the course. She may have been in bad luck for her suicide attempt did not succeed. And now she was worried, and we were even more worried.

Something unusual that I observed in the case of this woman was her supportive husband. While my general observation has been that females come to the hospital usually with their children, sisters or mother in laws, this lady had come with her husband. Not only on that day, but for the entire week her husband had been escorting her through our busy corridors. In fact, he had been very supportive of her during her psychiatric treatment as well. Very rare, as in India, psychiatric problems are not considered medical illnesses. Families estrange their kin. Sad, but true! But, this fellow was a gem of a gentle man. Hence, that loving in the inverted commas earlier. More reasons towards the end.

I went out to see her husband. He presented to me as a very good man. Neat in his atire. Tidy in his mannerisms. Very polite to talk with. Barring that disgusting odour of gutkha emanating from his mouth, every thing seemed fine. Quite unlike many relatives of other patients now-a-days. He answered all my questions calmly. He gave me all the information I wanted of him. Shared with me every minute detail of his wife's treatment history.

I talked to him about his job profile, his income, his spending, his children. Their behaviour, their spending.I looked around his neck. It was full of threads. Spiritually he seemed very staunch. From the pictures hanging from those neck-laces, I realised that he was an ardent follower of Nithyanand Baba. Why he has so many children? How many more he intends to have? He said till God gave him. Because God had been kind to him, by refusing any he didn't want to make Him unhappy. Finally, certain things were not in his control! Interesting character he appeared.

As I was continued our discussion, a glanced upon his handset. Oh my God! He was still stuck up with an old black and white model. A simplified version of the conversation is given below:

“नया फ़ोन क्यूँ नहीं लेते ?” I asked.
“नहीं साब ,अपना काम इसी में हो जाता है ”
“पर दुनिया तो आगे निकल गयी है ”
“नहीं साब ये सब सर का दुखवा है. उसकी तकलीफ क्या है ?”
“उसकी तकलीफ ,आपका फोने है !”

Shocked that he was at this comment. His phone! How could his phone be causing such problems? I mean, from his look I could decipher that he was completely lost. Lost for the next question, lost for the answer as well.

“साब , नहीं समझा ”
“नासमझी ही तो आपकी तकलीफ है ”!
“पर फ़ोन कैसे  ...... ...? आप ही समझिये न.  ये सब फ़ोन कैसे कर सकता है ? आप तो डॉक्टर है. आप को तो पता है. फ़ोन कैसे ”?
“आपको नहीं पता ? ”
“नो आईडिया !”
“वो ही तो ! Get idea!!”

The answer was – her 'loving' husband.
If you did not understand any part of this conversation, meet me in person by the method described earlier.

The poor lady was suffering at the hands of her husband. The man on first look, appeared quite sensitive. Loving and caring! He was considerate enough to spend a whole week with his wife doing rounds in the hospital. But, due to the level of his ignorance, disbelieves, and an element of arrogance, just wasn't ready to mend his ways. Not ready to accept, that the answer lies with him. He was a prisoner of his own self and that was the reason why he persisted with his Barbarian believes and techniques. Ruthless and shameless.

He is what I would call a 'Rambo' in real life.