Medical practice today.

Today’s topic has been suggested by Padmini who apparently has been inspired by this image doing the rounds in social media.

I have little to add to what the good doctor has to say but, let me share a personal story that my readers have already read earlier here.

Let me share another story that I have never shared publicly before.

During surgery for a revision to one of my replaced hip joints I collapsed and had to be revived and looked after in an ICU for a few days post surgery. This was in one of Pune’s renown hospitals and I recovered quite satisfactorily. When the bill was presented before discharge however, I was shocked to see items that should not have been there at all. I refused to pay and when told that I would not be discharged if I did not, I volunteered to stay on there indefinitely. I informed my surgeon about this who too was appalled at this and had to intervene with the hospital’s management to get those items removed and a fresh bill prepared. In all fairness to the surgeon he did not let me down and for my next revision, he operated in another hospital where I received excellent care, and more importantly no attempts at ripping me off took place.

These two stories show both sides of the divide. The money making non caring side of one set of people involved in medicine and the the caring and ethical behaviour of another set of people in the same business.

Unfortunately, the non caring money making side of medical practice today seems to be more prevalent now than the latter.

Having said that however, I must admit that I am blessed in that I have excellent medical resources, two within my immediate family, one GP who is also a personal friend, an amazing Psychiatrist who too has now become a friend and the orthopaedic surgeon mentioned in both the stories to whom I free access whenever I need. Thanks to these wonderful people in my life, I have not been led up the garden path except for the two occasions mentioned above and now I am confident that with these resources batting for me, I will escape future rip offs.

Sadly, most of us do not have such resources and will face unprincipled behaviour from the practice and that is sad.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, Padmum,¬† Raju, Shackman¬†, Srinivas and Conrad.¬† This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Story 3. The Room Boy.

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I would not have used quite the same language, but read on. In a cockeyed way, this relates to this story.

This story would not have happened had it not been for Prohibition. Most of India suffered from this bane for many decades immediately after independence but, sanity was restored due to sheer economics and all but one state in India have now totally removed that aberration or have liberalised regimes that do not consider drinking alcoholic beverages as a criminal activity.

My story takes place in Gujarat where prohibition is still in force but where one can easily get all popular brands of drinks at often lower prices than the neighouring states. In fact, Gujaratis claim that they enjoy their parties more because there is prohibition.

It was in 1986, just about a year after I had one hip replaced that this happened. Those were the days of wine and roses for me and I would not ever consider being without my sun downers anywhere.

I had to visit Gujarat as part of my official duties and I would mostly keep these visits to the bare minimum possible for the obvious reason. Whenever I had to stay overnight, my local contacts would arrange to purchase a bootlegged bottle of whiskey for use by me during the visit. I would gift away and left over before I left the state, much to the joy of the recipients.

In this particular instance, the hotel that I used to regularly stay in could not give me room due to a big convention and I was put up in a newer hotel. I checked in late in the evening after a full day’s work and a cheerful Room Boy carried my bags to my room. I gave him a generous tip and bade him good night and settled in. I took a shower and got into my after office attire of lungi and kurta, fixed myself a drink and settled down to watch some television.

There was a knock on the door and on opening it I found the cheerful Room Boy enquiring if I needed any other service. I thanked him and said no and said that I would order for food from Room Service and shut the door on him.

Fifteen minutes later, the same thing happened and this time he was more specific and asked me if I wanted a bottle of booze using sign language. I said no and sent him off once more.

Fifteen minutes later he was back again and I could sense that it was him again and was a bit annoyed when I opened the door and told him clearly that I did not want any liquor and that I did not want to be disturbed again. He cheerfully said, that he understood but whether I would be interested in “any other service” winking and making it obvious as to what was on offer. I lost my cool and told him that if he disturbed me again, I would kick his backside all the way to the staircase and decided to give him a demonstration for his troubles.

I came to after a few seconds. I was flat on my back on the floor, having tripped over by the kick not finding its target but my lungi. I lay there petrified for some time hoping that I had not damaged my artificial hip joint. I made tentative movements and having satisfied myself that I had not, I slowly got up and shut the door that was still open with no sign of the Room boy. I sat down on the sofa and telephoned my local contact to fetch me take me to an orthopedist after taking an X-ray. That was duly done and it was midnight before I came back to sleep.

I never stayed in that hotel again. And I never kicked anything or anybody again when wearing a lungi.

PS. Thanks Mitch.

Hospital Diversion.

My readers will recall that I underwent surgery to replace a prosthesis in my hip.

The evening before the surgery, I was subject to a pre surgery interview by an intern. To conclude the interview she asked if I had any medical problems not listed by her and I promptly said that it may not be relevant but I suffered from arthritis of the brain. The intense thing took it down and that resulted in the hospital’s physician ringing my surgeon up to ask what the matter was!

My surgeon, incidentally a good friend, assured them that he would take care of my brain and not to worry.

Post surgery, the Physician, now well informed about the cranky old patient and the Intern came for another interview and I told them that the surgeon replaced not only my hip but also my brain. I profusely thanked the Intern for the interview without which I could not have got two replacements for the price of one.

One of my little diversions during the stay at the hospital. Wouldn’t you like to have been that Intern?

Someone Needs To Work On Me.

Ursula, in her comments on my blog Balding And Spam, had this interesting thought at the end. “On a side note: Someone needs to start working on you, Ramana.”

In my book, a good thought deserves careful consideration and in this case a responsible response as well. So, here is my response after careful deliberation.

There are two types of work that needs to be done on me. Let me get the easier one out of the way first, work on my body.

I have had teams of surgeons, anesthetists, interns, nurses, and other specialists, work on two vital pieces of my body, my hips, on four occasions. On the last, they almost bid me final good bye, and I think that it was meant to be that I have a long distance betrothal in the future, that I did not oblige them.

Subsequently, I had an Orthopedist and and a Neurosurgeon work on my ulnar palsy for three months, just earlier this year.

On all five occasions, their efforts were supplemented by teams of physiotherapists who took perverse delight in working on me by putting me through impossible exercises. That they were inevitably very attractive young ladies, made the experience somewhat tolerable. My bald head did not influence their insistence on my following their orders.

Now, my GP is working on my weight reduction program with a vengeance.

Apart from all these worthies, I also have a choice to make from three excellent masseurs to work on my body every fortnight or so and that I survive them, is a measure of my body’s resilience.

To top it all, whenever my brain gets fried, I also regularly take what is known here as head massage from my barber on call at short notice.

So, a lot of people have worked on my body before and some continue to do so at regular intervals Ursula.

Let me now come to the second aspect of working on me. Parents, many teachers, my late mother in law, many well meaning friends and relatives, two spiritual teachers and most importantly, many bosses while I was in employment, have all tried very hard to work on my brain, without any success whatsoever.

Ursula, if you want to try, you will have to get into a very long queue of such well wishers. None of them are willing to give up despite my assuring them, that there is no brain to work on. Quite why they are not willing to believe me is beyond me.

Do you think that it could be my bald head?