Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The uses of adversity

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
( As You Like It, William Shakespeare)

I had fractured my left wrist on 19th August last year. The good that came out of it manifested itself after a while. As far as I was concerned, it was something that had happened, that was painful, but something that we managed to live through with a lot of help from the help! Family and friends were of course a great support. My part time helper, M, was a boon. She would cut vegetables, make chapatis, and help me put on difficult garments. She was, however, going through a tough time of her own. Her grown up son had been unwell for the past few months, and despite several consultations, treatment and tests, nothing seemed to be helping. I had given her some money for his treatment, but nothing seemed to work. There were days when she would be in tears with worry, and I was feeling utterly helpless in the face of her anxiety. When things appeared to be totally beyond my control, I consulted the spouse.
He said that helping her out financially was not an issue, but what we needed was a good doctor for her son to consult. I wasn't quite sure what his problem was, so I asked her to bring his medical records over for me to have a look at. A quick look through revealed that he had some kind of infection in his backbone, which was not responding to the several courses of antibiotics he had taken.
I took the papers with me when I went to consult my orthopedic surgeon, who had become 'mine' by virtue of being on duty at the hospital the day I had my fall. He examined the papers and asked for a particular x-ray to be taken. This was shown to him, and he diagnosed it as a case of tuberculosis of the spine. He advised hospitalisation for a few days, as he felt that injectable antibiotics were required, and he wanted the patient to be monitored closely for the first few days. He referred us to a charitable hospital where he was a consultant, which was neat and clean and where the charges were not exorbitant.
I went with M and her family for admitting her son in the charitable hospital. M's granddaughter and her husband supported her son, A, who could barely walk, up the three steps into the building. The doctor came, examined him, wrote out the prescription, and we completed the formalities. When we returned with the medicines, A was having lunch. He could not even sit up in bed, but was lying on his side at an awkward angle, and somehow managing to eat.
A few days later I dropped in for a visit, and was pleased to see A sitting up in bed, a lunch tray propped in front of him. Another couple of days found him walking in the hospital grounds. He was discharged on Eid last year, and remained on daily injectables for a while.
His oral drug treatment continued for several months, and he went for checkups as required. His latest check up was this past Friday, when the doctor whacked him hard on his back, and declared him fit and fine.
On Saturday M told me that he wanted to send us some sweets to celebrate. This Independence Day we enjoyed the laddoos and rasmalai (the SRE's favourite) that he'd sent over with his mother.
God's ways are strange indeed! I think that fracturing my wrist was a small price to pay for getting to the right doctor for A. This 19th August is indeed the happy anniversary of a broken wrist!

19 comments:

ChoxBox said...

Yay to the Dipster! :)

Lekhni said...

It's a touching story. At some level, it also shows how the poor aren't able to get good medical care despite spending money :( Whichever doctor M was consulting was not only clueless, he was also referring her son to a specialist, thereby actually harming him :(

The poor also aren't assertive enough since they would never question a doctor about his treatment..

dipali said...

@ChoxBox: Thanks! I think it's Godji working in mysterious ways:)
@Lekhni: My doctor said that if A had been better off, he probably would not have recovered, because most private doctors would be trying out more new-fangled medicines that are not likely to cure TB. He went in for very basic, old fashioned drugs. Even if you are educated and well to do, you are lucky if you get to a good doctor. Since we are relatively new to Kolkata, we don't really have a network of doctors whom we are familiar with, so it was sheer good luck that I was treated by this excellent one.

Three Drinks Ahead said...

What a happy story! :)
Luck to A. Hugs to you. :)

The Bride said...

Aw lovely story! You are right about the importance of a network of good doctors.

AA_Mom said...

Love Love Love your positive attitude Dipali.

Banno said...

Great going, Dipali. How wonderful that the young man was able to get the right treatment. Agree with you totally about doctors. No guarantee with them, unless you know them really, really well, or are just lucky to find the right one. I like the old-fashioned ones best.

Phoenixritu said...

Such a heart warming post. I am so glad the boy is okay ... coincidence? or is it one of God's mysterious ways .... one never knows

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

Hi Dipali, this is such a feel-good thing to read.. I needed this. I really admire your glass-half-full attitude :)

Sue said...

Phew. Thank god he recovered.

Unmana said...

Ooh, you and the SRE are really nice! And glad the young man recovered.

eve's lungs said...

How heartwarming .And just like Dips.

Sands said...

That is such a nice gesture and effort on your part! Now if only I could find the upside of my twisting my ankle at the beginning of this year other than all the weight gained from not working out ;)

Anil P said...

Touching story. Some days will thus remain imprinted as a result of the turn we take on a calling we had not anticipated.

Uttara said...

Godji and you.
God Bless.

GettingThereNow said...

Such a heartwarming story Dips! I have often wondered about such coincidences too. One seemingly bad event turns out to be pivotal in a good outcome of yet another event. A good friend of ours had to undergo an emergency operation to remove a ruptured spleen that had ruptured due to a car accident. Because of the spleen's removal the doctor's were able to diagnose the reason for his never receding fever (for which he had already made 3 trips to the emergency room) - lymphoma! Luckily it was still only limited to his spleen and he is now doing fine.

kbpm said...

what a wonderful way of thinking about things!

mnamma said...

Your kindness just shines through Dips!!!! Such a lovely post!!!

Thinking Cramps said...

Hey Dipali, sorry haven't been regularly visiting your blog. Dropped by to say "happy birthday" to it and saw this post. This is really admirable and I'm so glad you could (and did) help M. It's that old lesson, isn't it, to look for the good in everything? Thanks for sharing.