Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Monday, August 24, 2009

The "Thing" about 'Things'

Vivek, a young friend of mine was recently flabbergasted when he saw my Santro car. It was badly in need of a wash and scrub. He is a car freak and has kept his father’s Maruti spotless and immaculate. My Santro is a much later model, but lacks severely in neatness. The reason is simple, I am lazy! He asked me, “Raj Bhayya, how can you do this? Don’t you love your car? I can’t imagine such a nice car being neglected so badly”

I said, “I am that kind of a guy who loves the wife more than the car and hence I don’t ask her to wash the car. But since I am too lazy to do it myself, the car is a little shabby. I also can’t imagine being in love with a Car. For me, car is just like a pair of shoes. I seldom walk even short distances without my shoes. Similarly for longer distances, I need the car. Both shoes and the car do the same thing; they take me from one place to another. I can’t love a pair of shoes and neither can I love a car. Because the car cost me a bomb, I take care of that a little more than the shoes. But since the shoes form a part of my personality and spend more time with me than the car, I shine them frequently. I leave the car in the parking lot and take the shoes inside when I attend meetings and parties!”

He was shattered. He didn’t expect me to be so insensitive. After all I was the same guy who was so fond of F-1, Ferrari and Schumacher and had spent so many evenings discussing Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. He has never talked to me about cars or F-1 after that.

But this episode prompted me to think. I grew up in a very conservative lower middle class joint family. My upbringing taught me not to waste food, save money whenever and wherever possible, conserve energy and take good care of my belongings. Most of my toys and play things from my childhood are still preserved at my ancestral home. My watches, shirts, trousers and many other personal belongings have lasted for more than a decade and still look like new pieces. A small thin golden ring with a blue sapphire on my left ring finger is two decades old and is still going strong. Though I wear shoes almost all the time outside my home, even my shoes last very long too.

There is something peculiar about all this. I have my favorite cuisine, favorite drink, favorite movie and favorite actors and so on. But I have never had a favorite shirt, favorite pen, favorite this ‘Thing’ or favorite any ‘Thing’. Simply put, I was and still am incapable of love towards ‘Things’. The glorious exceptions were ‘Books’. I was absolutely fond of books and treasured them. My voracious reading habits made me a book worm who never gave up on books. I never allowed people to borrow my books and then keep them forever. Nowadays, I also treasure CDs and DVDs. But for these, there is no favorite ‘Thing’ at all.

Why I have gone so deep into this ‘Thing” is because; I just want to reassure myself that there is nothing wrong with me. I had read a quotable quote sometime ago, ‘Things are meant to be used and people are meant to be loved; but unfortunately we are using people and loving things’.

Well, I would like to declare here that I am not one of those people who ‘Use’ people and Love ‘Things’. I love people and use ‘Things’. Car is just one of those ‘Things’ and I can’t Love a Car!

Thank You, Vivek for helping me to understand me better!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A New Friend...

I have a found new friend. He is a young Sales Representative for a Pharmaceutical Company. I have known him for just about a year now. But I must say I am quite impressed. It sometimes does happen that a good bonding develops between a Doctor and a Medical Representative [MR] when they keep meeting regularly. Very often these relationships are born out of mutually beneficial arrangements. I have known many such Doctor - MR associations.

But what I share with this boy is a totally different kind of bonding. For almost a year, he rarely promoted a single product of his company. He just used to come and meet me in my office and we used to talk about music, movies and more; but never business. He had found out from a Dentist friend of mine about my love for Hindi movie songs in general and Kishore Kumar songs in particular. He gave me a CD of some very precious songs of Mohammad Rafi and I gave him a copy of my collection of Kishoreda Classics.

Slowly I came to know about the hidden talents in this boy. He used to take tuition classes before entering this profession and is good with his Maths. He is an amateur painter and has done some really good work. I saw photographs of some of his sketches and painting on his mobile. He was a very decent Cricketer and a very keen follower of that game. He also has volunteered to help my little one with her projects!

To this day, he has never really canvassed for any of the products of his company. I have never seen this kind of a behavior from any other MR before. He came with a delicious cake and a set of dazzling Tee shirts as gifts on my 39th birthday. He sends me some Maths problems through text messages on the mobile. When I answer some of those simple questions, he calls me a Genius and when I couldn't answer a slightly difficult one, he was magnanimous to declare the question as too tough!

I went to watch a night show movie after almost 4 years only because I enjoyed his company. He is a dozen years younger to me, but we still connect. And in an emotionally charged email a few days ago; he wrote that the most precious thing Kochi has given him was our friendship and he will miss me if he ever had to leave Kochi at some time in life. I have absolutely no words to express how good I feel about having found a new friend like him.

Oh Dear Boy, Thanks for being my friend and for making me feel better!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What an Idea Sir-ji !

"An !dea can change your Life"

What an idea Sir-ji! This is the famous catch-phrase of an ad of a Mobile Telephone service provider. Though I have no Idea about how it changes life, I sure am impressed by the line.

When I look at my own day to day life; so many ideas come and go. It is like, you are standing on a highway and see a lot of vehicles zoom past you all the time. They could be bikes, cars, SUVs, trucks or buses. There might be people in them or they might just be trucks carrying goods . But almost always a million ideas can pass through the matrix called the mind. But very few will leave an impression. Fewer will come to a halt next to you to register their presence. And only one or two will actually take you on a ride that is worthwhile and that will take you some place worth going.

I get so many ideas while I am exercising, or in the loo or while in a traffic jam or when I am working. Very often I am so impressed by that thought; I immediately would love to pen that and spread it out on my blog. Sometimes I am able to give a shape to it on the blog. But more often, I fail to convert the idea into words. That perhaps is the difference between a good writer and an upstart like me!

Another hurdle I face is my lack of enthusiasm in gizmos. Since I am surrounded by Computers at home as well as in my office, I have somehow never liked the 'Idea' of lap-top. The only 'Laptop' I ever fancied was my daughter when she was very young. Now even she has grown too big for my laps. I am generally poor in 'Gizmology" and will not be able to differentiate an MP3 player from an i pod. That means mobile blogging and blog on the jog are not my cup of tea.

So, what I am left with is just good old fashioned 'ruminating' technique. I just sit back when I get time; and then try to carve out something out of one or the other idea that sounded promising. This is just a way to beat the "Blogger's Block' that had overtaken me for the past week and a half. Hope some idea can change the 'life' for me... at least for the coming week!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Matters of Historical Importance, Part - 8

Let me first apologize to all the Women of this planet for writing with such generalization about women being unreliable with history of illnesses in my previous post 'Matters of Historical Importance, Part - 7'!

This happened last might, perhaps to teach me a lesson. A lesson that men can be equally confusing if not worse.

Due to a Continued Medical Education program conducted by the Kochi IMA today, I had to attend to the ER as well as the ICCU last night. Though it wasn't very busy, the night was pretty bad for me. Main reason was I lost my temper and actually admonished a patient which I don't do when I am sane. I wanted to catch some sleep so that I won't be caught napping during a day-long CME today; so went to sleep by 12:40 AM. And soon there were those usual fevers and earaches pouring. By 1:15 AM, I was able to settle down and thought I will finally be able to catch a few winks.

But by 1:50 AM, I was woken up by the nurse saying there was a case of pain abdomen. I am translating our our actual conversation in Malayalam to English. I am afraid some effect of the whole story will be lost in translation, but I still shall try. Thus goes the story...

When I walked into the ER, I saw a young man sitting on the cot and his mother chatting to him. Seeing me, the lady moved aside and the young man actually stood up. It could have been a mark of respect. But I was not amused because I always expect the patient to be lying down in the Emergency Room. You don't expect silly cough and cold cases in the ER at 1:50 AM.

I asked the young man, "Do you expect me to examine your tummy while you're standing?". He immediately rested on the bed. After asking his name and age [He was in fact 19 years old], I proceeded with "His-story"...

Me: So what is the problem?

He: I have pain in the tummy...

Me: Where?

He: Here... Pointed to the lowest part of the tummy, and then he told as an after thought, "I had pain here also" pointing to the upper part of the abdomen.

Me: Since when did this begin?

He: Since quite some time...

Me: Does quite some time mean about 2 - 3 years?

He: No, no... it is only since SOME time...

Me: Can you tell me how long is this period between 'Some time' and 'Quite some time'?

He: It is about 4 hours. But I had pain in the morning also...

As I was getting exasperated, his mother stepped in to help... "He had pain at around 9:00 Pm and we showed him at a local clinic and that Doctor gave these tablets" and she pulled out some medicines. I took note of these medicines as the usually prescribed drugs for Acidity and Flatulence.

Me: Do you have any pain now?

He was smiling widely now: Not very significant pain now, but some pain here... This time he was pointing to the left lower abdomen!

I had lost my bearings by now and almost yelled at him, "What do you expect me to do? You can't tell me where you have pain. On 3 occasions you've shown 3 different sites. You can't even spell out when it started and how long it lasts. All generalizations and no answer. And the best thing is at this point of time, you don't even know if you have pain. What medicine will I prescribe if I don't know what is your complaint?"

Then his mother pulled out a pink card. This was a Discharge Summary issued from our own Hospital in the month of April 2009. That had recorded his complaints as pain abdomen and he had undergone blood, urine and motion tests and even an Ultrasound Scan. All the tests were reported as normal. And the Doctor had discharged this boy after 2 days of hospitalization with a Diagnosis of "Nonspecific Pain Abdomen"

And at the bottom of the card, it was written in the remarks column: Confusing history and unreliable patient. Treatment: Placebo!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Matters of Historical Importance, Part – 7

I am continuing with my favorite topic... Matters of Historical Importance, this is the part – 7

It is accepted in Medical field that eliciting a proper history from a lady is very difficult job irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Ladies seldom give an accurate picture of what, when and how they are suffering.

We hear generalization on a regular basis. They are sometimes funny, sometimes irritating and very often confusing. I am recollecting some of my encounters with ladies here.


This is my first encounter with a 47-year-old lady who worked in a Bank.

Me: What is your problem?

Lady: Nothing actually. You see I am working in a Bank and have to manage the Cash everyday. I really can’t explain it. Actually I don’t have a problem as such but sometimes I generally feel tired even before noon. Though officially I am a Special Assistant in my branch, I have to actually take more responsibility. And occasionally I am not able to concentrate and then I get some vague difficulty.

Me: Okay, what exactly is the difficulty and since when are you getting it?

Lady: See, it is nothing very serious I suppose. I occasional feel like something is sitting on my chest and some dizziness like thing. Actually I am not feeling dizzy but somewhat like dizzy!

I believe this is enough for anyone to understand how exasperating it is to get anything out of this lady!


This one was a 69-year-old homemaker, who had lived some years in the Middle East before coming back to God’s own country. She was very warm when I greeted with a good morning. And so it went…

Me: So, what brings you here?

Lady: See Doctor, I am 69 years old and have a lot of problems. I am suffering from Diabetes, Pressure, Arthritis, Libranitis [Labyrinthitis is what she meant] and Uric Acidity!

Me: What is Libranitis and what is Uric Acidity?

Lady: Don’t you know what is Libranitis and what is Uric Acidity? Libranitis is the dizziness and Uric Acidity is increased Uric Acid in blood.

Me: Okay, I got your point. Now since when are you having all these problems?

Lady: Mmmmm… Let me think…. Okay… I have Diabetes since some time. I can’t recollect when it started exactly. Pressure was always there since my young age. Even when I was pregnant, I had pressure. Libranitis was born with me. I can’t say how long it has been there. Uric Acidity was accidentally detected. I can’t remember details but even that is these since some time. I think everything generally is there for some time!

Was I any wiser than I was, before I met her?


This one was with a young lady of 25 years who had chest pain.

Me: When did the pain start?

She: About 3 days.

Me: Where does it come?

She: In the chest… Where else? Chest pain comes in the chest…

Me: No, not like that, I want to know which part of the chest, the left or right or upper chest or lower chest and does it radiate to the shoulder or hand… like that, understand?

She: Oh, okay… the pain started 3 days ago. It is actually on the left side of my chest and that is why I am worried. But how it started… I can’t tell you.

Me: Why? Errr… why not?

She: See Doctor, you can’t expect me to divulge everything about my personal life. I believe it is enough if I tell you WHEN and WHERE. I prefer to give the HOW a pass…!

I was totally surprised and said, “Okay, as you wish” and proceeded with physical examination. When I was examining her, she had significant redness on the left side of her chest and I also found her wincing in pain when I pressed my stethoscope over the left side of her chest. I apologized to her for causing pain. Then she said, “Doctor, you are such a nice chap. My husband who caused this pain and the swelling, never once apologized. He just slept off after he was finished with his job. I haven’t slept for 3 days because of this swelling and pain!”

Now I knew ‘WHY’ it was difficult and 'WHERE' was the problem for her to reply for the ‘HOW’!

Monday, August 3, 2009

How do you react when...

I am surprised by how different people react differently to similar circumstances in life. I have a childhood friend Sreehari whom I have never seen getting agitated. Even during our teenage, he used to be a calm and composed guy. Whenever I got angry or upset; he would sooth me saying, "What man Govinda, why do you want to waste your energy and get sick by over-reacting to silly things?" I could never understand how he could maintain his equilibrium. Even today, I have a problem with my temper, though I must admit I am much better now.

So I am starting a new series on how people will react in those situations that invariably get me agitated, angry, upset or generally bring out the worst out of me.

I am going to title this with How do you react when...

Let me start with just 3 questions for today...

How do you react when...

You are driving in a heavily crowded traffic. You see a crack-pot youngster comes from your left, crisscrosses you and then overtakes you from left; only to cut sharply before you just as you start to move your car and turns right leaving you stone cold on your tracks?

You are in a queue at the supermarket to pay the bill and you see a Smart Alec come rushing from behind you. He just brushes you aside to pay his bill ahead of you and walks away singing some English song you don't understand?

You are waiting on a main road to take a right turn. You have a lady on a scooter in front of you. A private bus driver is continuously honking behind you because he wants to overtake another bus that is to his left. And as soon as you try to squeeze your car to let him go, he will come and bang your car from the back?

Hope these questions will interest people to post some measured responses. I would love to improve myself as a human and hence want to study 'Human Behavior"