Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sunday mornings: Then & Now !

Sunday morning, not much workload, pleasant Bangalore weather, Heart-Brain-Kidney soothing songs in the playlist! I must say it is a typical Sunday. Now a days though things appear under control on Sunday mornings, it is usually followed by unending mental exhaustion in other days of the week. When I look back & compare the Sundays during my childhood I find drastic changes over the years and I am sure that it is a story that belongs to all; journey that everyone has traveled, moment that everyone has cherished.

Let's go back to nineties ! Being normal kids from middle class families, we were completely devoid of stress during school days. The only thing that used to bother is the homework given in school but homework could never penetrate the comfort zone called 'Sunday'. Getting up late in the morning was itself a bliss & Sunday is special in the sense that it is the only day when the parents are less authoritative in terms of dragging their
kids out of the bed. I can't comment about others but now a days it is hard to sleep beyond 7.00 AM even on Sundays as some personal & professional stress constantly occupy the grey matters. Getting up in morning without the noise of alarm, putting the tooth brush in mouth for more than 1 hour & getting scoldings for the same reasons were indispensable part of Sunday routines.

How Can I forget the show in DD national called 'Rangoli' ?
If someone says he/she has never heard about 'Rangoli', he/she has missed the tunes of childhood Sundays. The super hit Bollywood songs on Rangoli were the vital cogs in the Sunday's wheel. I used to feel as if all the stars like BigB, Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini, Madhuri & Khans are wishing us a very good morning while watching Rangoli. Frankly speaking the 'Maggi culture' was not very consolidated during my childhood as this brand of noodles was just entering the market. So eating noodles was itself a charming activity those days & If I remember correctly my mother used to give me Maggi only on Sundays (Pavlov's experiment!!) Distributing the noodles between the two sons was not an easy affair for my mother as we used to compare & quarrel over the quantities of noodles in each other's plate. The breakfast usually used to end with a mug of Complan/Bournvita. If I compare it with current breakfasts I must say that Maggi still exists & quantities are as much as I want but the test has no comparison with when it used to come directly from mom's kitchen. I seriously feel that quarrels with brother to get more amount of noodles had its special charm (Things which you get after struggle are usually pleasant!). Complan & Bournvita are of course replaced by Nescafe & Tata tea !

Breakfast over; let's get back to television! 'Tom & Jerry', 'Duck tales', 'TaleSpin', 'Tiny Toon adventures', 'Hey Arnold' ! If you can recall these cartoon shows then it can be the best test for your remote memory. Kids in those days were crazy for these shows more than adults are crazy for Sunny Leone these days. Again the fighting with brother regarding the issue of who should take possession of the remote control was irritatingly amazing. When 2-3 kids are watching TV, then the guy having the remote controller really feels like a short-term king (personal experience). These shows used to be followed by some exciting Hindi
serials like 'Chandrakanta' & 'Vikram Betal' ! [Oh Kroor Singh; you beauty ! I am missing you like hell!]

Then used to come the king of entertainment called 'Shaktimaan'. I must say it was the show which most of the Indian kids (even some adults) were strongly addicted to. On Sunday 12-1 PM, even Yamraaj wouldn't dare to touch Indian Kids as no one can keep them away from Shaktimaan (Gangadhar Bidyadhar Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri) during that duration. The 'Chhoti magar moti baatein' at the end of the episodes used to have a strong impact than advises given by parents & teachers. It used to be invariably  followed by an non-veg meal. You can have a costly & sophisticated lunch at the Barbeque nations or at the Marriott but the taste of the simple chicken/fish curry prepared by Indian mothers on Sundays are pleasantly incomparable.

Now a days we are mostly occupied by sophisticated smart phones, laptops, facebook, twitter etc. electronic communications seem to be more prevalent than actual interactions. We can say we are having a so called smart life with all the electronic items in our arsenal but nothing is as naive & as charming as the childhood. As kids we didn't have autonomy over money but we were full of energy & time. At this stage we have autonomy over money & energy but time seems to be highly expensive. After few years in old age we will have autonomy over money & time but energy will be falling out. Life is moving on with a great speed so are we. So enjoy whatever comes in the way as life is a divine chaos & an irreversible costly affair.

Monday, December 23, 2013

SURGICAL SUMMARY OF DELHI ELECTION!

1) Arvind Kejriwal is like the medical student who has been asked to operate because the patients have boycotted senior consultants as they charge too much & they are very error-prone. The poor patient & the relatives know that the student is extremely talented, has passed out from reputed colleges & has won plenty of awards. They also hope that he'll charge nearly 50% lesser than the old consultants & he may give free medicines worth Rs 700!!

2) The out of favor old consultants feel bad about it & offer unconditional surgical assistance to the student during the surgery. But the student is little hesitant to accept the offer because he has gained a lot of name & fame by striking against the same consultants 1 year back & he was involved in the movement to suspend the consultants from the job as many of them had surgical malpractices.

3) The medical student is highly talented but unable to take decision, 
                 If he doesn't: He will be known as an incapable, timid bad student 
                 If he does: His activity will be regarded as unethical   

4) 
Hence he asks his friends in students' union of the medical college regarding the next step. The students' union asks most of the students of the college about the issue & gets the conclusion that 75% of students wants him to go ahead with the surgery !!


3) Being enthusiastic & being encouraged by the students' opinion he agrees to enter the Operation theater & deep inside he pats himself & students's union for the decision because help from the consultant is inevitable considering the critical status of the patient & the complexity of surgery.

4) He declares in the public that he'll be operating the case & the old consultant surgeons will assist him.

Now the patient & relatives are scared because of the presence of the same costly & error-prone consultants in the OT, BJP is the doing the job of the anesthetist by monitoring the status in the OT & criticizing the surgeon for every mistake ! Dr Gandhi [an horrible student  in another medical college] who is the son of an Italian consultant surgeon is very happy with all proceedings & declares that they should learn from the Dr AK !


Let's hope for a successful surgery & a successful professional life of the young, dynamic & talented student.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

PDA: PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION

All those medical & engineering nerds who are claiming PDA to be the acronym for Patent Ductus Arteriosus or Personal Digital Assistant, please don't give a frowning expression for this full from of PDA. Brain says I am going to generate numerous emotional enemies by writing about this version of PDA but heart whispers me to ignore the brain !

Richard Gere did it with Shilpa Shetty in New Delhi ! Christiano Ronaldo did it with Bipasha Basu, Former Vice president of USA, Al Gore set off a media storm when he kissed his wife after accepting his party's nomination of president in 2000 & it was quoted as a 'Can't-wait-to-get-back-to-the-hotel' type of kiss by the Time.com. Many people argue that Ronaldo, Gere & Gore have been groomed in western culture so it is unfair to drag them into controversy but undoubtedly these are some of the classic examples of PDA. Though the on-stage PDA is not very common & not very intentional in our society, the online version of PDA is a sky-rocketing phenomenon. Believe me or not, the most common & the cheapest platform for PDA is Facebook. In the pre-facebook era, Photography was a very limited activity but in this era of Facebook (& digital cameras) photos are becoming a significant catalyst for the PDA. The frequency & intensity with which newly married  people are posting their marriage pictures makes me feel as if marriage is a highly audacious & challenging job. I have personally seen people getting married within a month after a break up with the ex-boy/girl friend & posting updates like 'Finally married to Ms/Mr X, really a DREAM come true' !! There are others who give so many pre-marital romantic updates in Facebook that their marriage seems bigger than the news of Rahul Gandhi defeating Magnus Carlsen in Chess. Since last 2-3 years, there is a growing trend for hiring struggling photographers to freeze some of the artificial romantic moments in the camera. Those photographers seem to have a great symbiosis with the PDA aspirants as both have something for display i.e Talent & affection respectively. 

I know that many of the recently married couples have already started giving nasty looks towards this article. OK hold on, let's discuss about honey moon !! During school days I came to know about this sweet & hot word only from the movies; now I can feel it from the Pictures posted by newly wed couples. Honeymoon pictures in hill stations/lonely beaches along with hyper-romantic updates in Facebook must be giving an orgasm to Mark Zuckerberg ! Small faced girls with over-sized goggles & Sindhur of 0.05 mm diameter look funky in the Honeymoon pictures with their husbands wearing shorts & sleepers !! It is great to share happiness but I have seen few people sharing this kind of happiness even if they are in the borderline of infidelity. Honeymoon over !, Let's celebrate the birthdays/Anniversaries now! The nascent couple, candle light, cakes on the cheeks; what else do you want ?? LIKEs, oh yes we like it, but again too much of anything is good for nothing ! Ok, Whats next?? Frankly speaking, after marriage these ultra-romantic pictures usually appear in Facebook till 1st birthday/anniversary. What happens to them is only known to them. Facebook gradually turns into an abandoned planet. I am afraid, I have gathered many online emotional enemies !


[The above article is typed just for fun with a free spirit without targeting anyone. I apologize from the core of my heart if this has hurt anyone's sentiment, ; even I am going to post same pictures so you are free to take the revenge in future ;) ]





Saturday, October 19, 2013

MUTUAL MISUNDERSTANDING !

                           
Nothing is more pleasant than getting some free moments in the day after a long time. Utilizing that free time in doing one of your favorite activities is even more exciting & personally rewarding. Fortunately, today I am refreshed because of the aforementioned reasons. Expressing the old frozen thoughts on a new unadulterated day in the background of the Kishore Kumar songs is ultra-soothing. You must be wondering about the title of this article as the words ‘Mutual’ & ‘Misunderstanding’ usually don’t coexist. But if you try to have a deep sneak of modern era relationships, very often you’ll witness these two words happily coexisting.



Most of the people (with normal IQ) on this planet will agree upon the fact that the most common non-scientific phenomenon occurring in the society is ‘Love’. People fall & rise in their life either for something or for someone. If you want to read the issues regarding ‘Someone’, you are reading the right article (If you want to read issues regarding ‘Something’, follow Rahul Gandhi/Rakhi Sawant in twitter). Believe me or not, 90% of the people on this planet fall in love with someone (rest 10 % are liars). Now- a-days it is not surprising to see the rates of break-ups exceeding the rates of falling in love with someone. If you go back to the 1980s or 1990s, you will find one little beautiful thing which used to be a recipe for an ever-lasting relationship i.e. ‘Tolerance’. But it is hard to find the material called ‘Tolerance’ in the anatomy of modern relationship. The word ‘Sorry’ used to carry plenty of values & feelings in the past but in the current situation it is just another word. Most of the relationships end in the fashion similar to the breakup of Saif & Deepika in the movie ‘Love aaj Kal’. With slightest of baseless micro-mistake both the lovers create a hidden desire to end the relationship but they wait for their counterpart to commit another mistake that is good enough to fetch an allegation. They mutually & manually want to end a relationship but wait patiently for misunderstandings. That is what I mean by‘Mutual Misunderstanding’. Now you can think why this mutual misunderstanding is much more common than it used to be in the past. I personally feel that the social phobia among lovers & the strong sense of commitment that used to be an integral  component of a lover in the era of Kurt Cobain is lacking in this era of Justin Beiber. I am not at all blaming the people with current mindset as I am also a part of the infected crowd. The factors which have drastically reduced the tolerability factor in a modern relationship are pressures. Yes all kind of pressures; Peer pressure, Beer Pressure, Shear pressure, Gear pressure. People want to be fast & furious with plenty of options surrounding them both personally & professionally. The term ‘Break up’ is no longer a mental/social stigma; rather it has virtually become a connecting link between a bitter life & a better life..


[If you feel this article is Cardio-toxic/Neuro-toxic to you by any means, then close the browser & get back to Disney & Pogo. I am not in a mood to apologize as I don’t find anything wrong in it ;)]


Monday, July 22, 2013

CLINICALLY EMBARRASSING

Life is full of uncertainties, some are positive enough for you to be inspired & some are negative enough for you to be expired. Yet, there are few uncertainties which are pleasantly embarrassing, which make you smile & which in future occupy a large area in the brain/heart. If you are working as a health care professional, uncertainties become unavoidable parts & parcels of daily life. Variety of diseases, variety of people will simultaneously embrace & embarrass you in field of healthcare. When I look back in my nascent career, I find few experiences which are worth recalling.

Summer of 2012, I was having a clinical rotation in the department of Pediatric nephrology in one of the
reputed American university hospitals. It was the 3rd week of my rotation & things were going very smoothly as per my expectations. It was Friday & I was feeling very good as I had to return to India after 10 days. Let me remind that people in USA work like donkeys in 1st 5 days of the week & behave like monkeys in the last 2 days! Energy level increases gradually from Monday to the Friday. So my adrenaline was overflowing because the weekend was knocking the door. My pager beeped at 2.00 PM which said, ‘Abhishek, you have to take history & physical examination of the patient having appointment from 3.15 PM to 4 PM, I’ll meet you at 3.40 PM’  Then I opened the patient’s file to know that she is a new patient to the hospital coming for evaluation of her hypertension. At 3.15 PM I entered the patient examination room. The patient was an 11 year old African-American girl. Biggest thing about that patient was her weight; it was 260 lbs (117 KG)! You can imagine how big she was. I was wondering how she could enter the room through the relatively narrow door. Her BP was more than 150/90 mm Hg which corresponds to stage-II Hypertension for her age. I didn't find anything abnormal in her clinical history. Nothing was abnormal in the physical examination too. As per hospital guidelines, every patient coming for evaluation for HTN has to do an ultrasound of the kidneys (renal USG). In this case, the USG was absolutely normal. As per the message in the pager, the attending nephrologist entered the room at 3.40 PM. She double checked my history & physical examination & labeled it as a case of essential hypertension. Then after a brief discussion, we decided to start treatment immediately as her BP was too high to observe. Drug of choice in Pediatric hypertension is Lisinopril but it is associated with risk of birth defects (teratogenic). So the attending physician asked me to recall whether I have asked the patient about any history of sexual intercourse. I recalled the following:-
‘Me: I know it sounds odd but I have to ask this. By any chance, are you pregnant at this moment or did you have any sexual intercourse recently?
Patient: Oh...Nope
Me: Are you sure?
Patient: Oh…Yep’
I confidently said yes to my mentor. Since it was a Friday, we decided to put her on Lisinopril and asked her to have another appointment 1 week later to recheck the BP. As per the hospital guidelines we sent urine sample for pregnancy examination. Then the patient went to her home & we went to have a review of all cases we saw in that day after which I came to apartment. It was the time to enjoy the weekend. My weekend in USA always included blogging, movies & trying out the Indian restaurants in that locality.

After a lovely weekend, it was time to return to work on Monday. Sharp at 8.00 AM, I rushed into the pediatric conference hall to attend the weekly grand round. Suddenly I got a page from my mentor in which she asked me to meet her immediately. I went to her chamber with the blink of an eye. She gave a frowning expression & said me ‘OMG, according to lab reports, that Friday patient is pregnant!’ I too was shocked! Then we decided to call her parents immediately that day & set an appointment at 3.00 PM.

Dr X: hey, during our last meeting you told that you don’t have any sexual intercourse & you are not pregnant by any chance.
Patient: Yes, I told
Dr X: Well, the lab report tells a different story. It says you are pregnant!
Patient: What??? Oh, how can that happen? It was just an experiment with my boy friend.
Dr X: But you told Dr Abhishek that you never had any sexual contact with anyone!
Patient: Oh, actually he asked me about RECENT sexual intercourse. I said him NO as I didn't have any sexual contact since last 3 months.

I was shocked to hear her reply! Then the nephrologist immediately ordered an USG of abdomen & pelvis which revealed a live fetus corresponding to 16th week of Intra-uterine life! Both of us were damn surprised to have such an opening of the weekend. We stopped her lisinopril & asked her to have an urgent appointment with a Gynecologist. All these happened because of the combination of two things; my wrong approach in history taking (didn't ask open-ended question) & excessive fat in the abdomen which obscured all the physical findings of pregnancy.

I still feel very embarrassed because of this patient. Yet it feels good to have such a useful experience. I am badly missing my mentor who really supported me during that hard Monday. I still remember her words, 

‘It doesn't matter whether you are a doctor or nurse or a patient or anybody else, you have to expect pregnancy while dealing with American girls. God bless America’.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Doctors & the Cheap medias!

[PS: - I am not directly or indirectly associated with any news channel/print media/political party/student union etc. There is no conflict of interest while framing this article]

Some say doctors are second only to god, some say doctors are the noblest professionals. For some, the
above beliefs may not hold true all the time & the reason is amalgamation of variety of factors like; quality of treatment, behavior of doctors, work load etc. Because of the diversity in working atmosphere & payment structure, we shouldn’t expect every doctor to be second only to god. Frankly speaking, no doctor wants that tag too. It doesn’t matter whether you are in cricket field or in Operation Theater; you would be either over-praised or over-criticized. We, the Indians are emotionally extreme. We can worship & kick the same person in different situations. You can well visualize the situation in the scenes of old Hindi movies where the actors scold the God while facing crisis but deep within they tend to carry limitless devotion. The same thing happens in real life of doctors. People will praise you when you successfully remove gall bladder in 99% of the occasions, but they will voluntarily & seriously defame you if you injure the bile duct in 1% of the cholecystectomy surgeries. One single mistake turns the God into a Dog!



            Mistakes are unavoidable byproducts available free of cost in all types of professions. But the
mistakes committed by the health professionals get the unwanted limelight because they are in direct contact with society. If a software engineer commits a mistake while programming something, it never affects the general population directly. On the other hand, doctors don’t get the privilege to rectify the mistakes they commit. So these factors project a pseudo-magnification of a doctor’s professional/personal mistakes. Now coming to the term ‘Cheap media’, I admit that I have developed life threatening allergy to them. These are the ultra-low profile TV news channels & news papers owned by some of the illiterate & tadpole-brained politicians. Government hospitals are bread& butter for some of these Medias. Their journalists are well aware of the fact that people are highly sensitive towards news related to health professionals. Believe it or not, in >90% of the educated Indian families you should find someone who has prepared for medical entrance exam & >90% of them don’t get through. So I don’t rule out the jealousy factor out of my equation. The cheap medias always take this advantage by negatively exaggerating a news related to doctors. When the relatives of a patient beat a doctor for a wrong reason, it is never telecasted/ printed in these channels/news papers. But when the reverse happens for self defense, the reporters run faster than Usain Bolt to publish the news. There is nothing called ‘Self Defense’ in a doctors life! Nobody realizes the amount of workload & stress a doctor has to handle in real life. Guess what is the biggest joke by the judiciary system? It is the act that if someone beats a doctor on duty, there will be non-billable arrest warrant against the person. I have never seen/heard it being implemented anywhere in India.

I am not saying that doctors are universally innocent. But the way these cheap medias are projecting doctors makes me feel like being a criminal. Even the relatives & friends of cameramen/drivers/sweepers/peons of the news agencies show their red eyes to doctors while coming to hospitals. Unfortunately there is no media coverage for the red eyes. It is hard for the doctors to remain tight-lipped when these kind of people unnecessarily abuse in the stressful working atmosphere. So it is time for the people associated to TV/print media to have some introspection. They should recheck their credentials before prematurely abusing doctors without any evidence. What our health system badly requires now is a healthy relationship between the doctors & the patients; it will be great if the media can act as a vital cog in the wheel of the relationship.



[If you are related to TV/print media & you find this article offensive, then I am NOT AT ALL SORRY. Because I am writing my heart out & it feels true]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

THE CALCULATED AFFAIRS


So many new & unexpected things are happening since last couple of weeks!! Uneventful completion of my MBBS… (Sir)Ravindra Jadeja getting the man of the match award in a test match…..Archita sahoo in Miss India competitions etc…  With all these new things, here comes the ‘Holi: The color festival’& plenty of other holidays. How can’t I type a new blog in this festive atmosphere!! Well, no topic is better than ‘Love/affair/relationship’ as it makes the writings fairly spontaneous. But, is this ‘Love’ itself spontaneous?

Gone are those days when ‘Love at first sight’ used to sound to be a glamorous phenomenon. Those who were swimming in the sea of love were very much proud of themselves for being the components of ‘Love at first sight’.  Things were very much spontaneous in the past. Love, until otherwise specified used to be ‘TRUE’ ones.  But now a days, it is getting adulterated by so many impurities like ‘Simple Crush’, ‘Crush without feelings’, ‘Feeling without crush’, ‘Time Pass’, ‘Short-term relationship’, ‘Broad minded friends’ etc. Finding a Bihari servant in Raj Thackrey’s home seems to be much easier than finding a pure & spontaneous love affair among the ultra-modern youth. Now most of you must be scratching the head regarding the term ‘Spontaneous love’!! For me it is that love which begins solely from the soul…you see him/her & you fall for him/her….. Heart takes the important decisions & brain is just a spectator!!

Though I am extremely inexperienced & unsuccessful in the field of love, I have observed & thoroughly realized that most of my committed friends are in relations which are not at all spontaneous. Things are almost always CALCULATED in a modern love story. You can also use the term ‘Arranged Love’ as a synonym for this calculated non-spontaneous affairs. In modern age love stories, Brain opens & ends the innings & the poor heart plays the role of an out of form middle order batsman. Some of us are so obsessed with calculations that we first need a girl/boy friend, then if time (& wallet) permits, we dare to name it as ‘LOVE’. There are two types of calculations: Positive & negative.


She/he is a medico…She/he belongs to our cast…we will have good chemistry between us….  (Who cares geography!!)…..There is no significant unpleasant history’. This is a typical positive calculation. Other factors include compatibility in library, status as a student etc.  If a boy or girl is enriched with the above criteria, he/she becomes a fertile soil for lovogenic transformation for his/her counterparts. The exact opposite happens while rejecting someone. For example, ‘she/he is not a medico…she/he doesn't belong to my cast… My parents won’t like him/her….’ etc. Interestingly, the ‘Calculated Love affairs’ are extremely common in medical colleges because a medical student spends a very long period of life in the college & hospital & he/she has to decide (calculate) things with extreme care. But things are opposite in engineering life (Quick life, quick money, quick honey!!), so they can dare to throw ‘calculation’ into the trash can.



I am not saying that doing little bit of calculation in order to stay in the safe side is a bad thing but simultaneously I feel that conventional affairs had their own charm. Being a part of the infected crowd we have to accept the reality that ‘Love at first sight’ has nothing but historical importance.  What is mushrooming now-a-days is ‘Love at subsequent sights’ & the motto is ‘Always listen to your BRAIN’