Two years ago, as I swiveled on a chair in the ultrasound room, I felt a crushing pain in my knee, an emotion I have felt to varying degrees before but never something as excruciating as that. It left me gasping, as I collapsed back into the chair. 24 hours later I was in the intensive care unit after an emergency arthroscopic repair. Two days ago, innocuously my back hurt, a vague uneasiness at my low back. It persisted, discomforting, creeping slowly to disrupt my daily routine. I opted to topical and oral pain relievers. It’s plateauing down now.
We have plenty of experiences of pain, right from something as small as an insect bite to the extremely traumatic ones. But do we really understand somebody else’s pain?
How much of weightage do you give a child who comes to the hospital for an abdominal pain? Is he malingering to skip school? Or is he really in some discomfort? Any pain that prompts a person to come to the hospital has to be taken at face value.
More often than not we say, “I totally understand what you are going through.” Now that would make sense only if we also went through a similar situation in the past and yet, the other person may still not be going through the same ‘load’ of pain.
As I encounter various patients, right from neonates to the elderly, I see different pathologies, different levels of pain, and as each day passes by, I learn to respect that unpleasant experience even more.
I had just returned from Sabarimala after a satisfying reunion with Swami Ayyappan and my close family. When I enquired at the Medical HR in my hospital, I realized I had 16 days of casual leave left in the calendar year.. 16 out of a possible 20! I could not believe I had only taken 4 days off the entire year!
That prompted me to seize this rare opportunity to return to my birthland, to reunite with parents and to take a much needed and deserved break from the rigorous routine of a post graduate doctor’s life.
The immigration officers at the Cochin airport were cynical as usual regularly concerned when I travel on a visit visa. (ya like I am gonna go and work in the Gulf and bring big loss to the nation!). The Kuwait airport was more receptive with amiable ladies at all points. I have heard poor things recently about the national carrier, but having travelled on this carrier for like forever, I did not notice any difference – efficient on flight attendance, on time as always and of course I did not lose my luggage. For the first time, I did not watch any movie in flight, as I did not close my eyes one bit the night of the flight having had a long week at work and couldn’t risk sleeping and missing the flight altogether! So I slept through most of the flight.
On Kuwait soil
There was chilly current of air as I stepped out of the aircraft despite the sun shining bright in the sky. The cold waves were out, but my light sweater was good enough to keep me warm – it really hasn’t gone that cold as it usually does at Christmas time. So it is not just in India – the Climate is getting screwed all over!
Dad’s new Camry – technically new to me since I am visiting the country after 3 and a half long years – had a feeling of luxury tuned to it with the wooden internal panels. If ever there was a brand faithful, Dad is the one. He has not moved out of the Toyota world ever since he bought his first car and to be honest, Toyota is worth the deal.
Uneventful – apart from the fact that I did not wake up to do my usual Sunday chores of laundry, cleaning the room, making a presentation or working et al – the usual stuff that dwindle down my SunDAY to Sun(few hours). Quiet mom’s own food, home time catching up with parents and exchanging the gossips. I did miss the Premier league action since we don’t have the ESPNStar network here.
Day 2 – Turning the clock back
I love rummaging through my old briefcase stuffed with school nostalgia. I came across a few and am sharing them here just to relive the moments.
It feels great to be back – and am glad I got the opportunity Hope to relive a bit of the good old days and catch up with a few buddies as well on the way.
Its been so long since I blogged that I actually need to check the page to see when was the last time. Restarting after a long break with my snaps from my last road trip to the southern most tip of India. A trip that was born out of nowhere in the middle of a hectic work routine and when a mini break seemed ideal.
We set off early in the morning before day break, within 2 hours reached the Kerala Tamil Nadu border. As soon as we entered the latter state, the road was full of gigantic potholes!
The landscape with the sun rising behind the mountains was simply gorgeous and we stepped out to grab in the fresh air.
From there we headed with much difficulty on pot hole ridden road to Thirparappu Falls. We took the luxury of having a nice shower and also enjoying some of the kids rides 😀 Though the water falls is artificial, there was no mad rush and we enjoyed the mood.
Then we packed off to Kanyakumari. En route we decided to visit the famed Padmanabhapuram palace. Here are a few shots from there. Clearly the kids visiting the place had only one word popping up in their mouth.. the blockbuster Manichitrathaaru!
After exploring the humongous palace with innumerous hallways and unbelievable wood craft, we settled for a small hotel for lunch and then drove over to Kanyakumari. Decided to first visit the Vivekananda Fort.
After watching the sunset at sunset point, we returned next day via Ponmudi. It was my first trip to the place. The drive uphill is crazzy to say the least. But once you get there you just don’t feel like coming back. Simply loved it. Next time I hope to plan out a solo trip to Ponmudi. If you haven’t been there, you are missing a lot!
As much as a dry routine we have in our PG life, these sort of escapades help rejuvenate big time 🙂
A year ago I had blogged on the same. 365 days down the line, we are both one more year younger. Time seems to have run away from me. The never ending post graduate life limits all social life to the small computer in the corner of the hostel room. And yet I put my hands up and plead guilty and I have promised myself to do a lot better henceforth. This is for you daddy..love you 🙂
Had a fairly quiet day today at work, though it was all a bit rushed since I surprisingly woke up very late. Midday after my morning duty, I had headed over to the ultrasound room to cover for my buddy. While doing a few scans, randomly I was doing the scan for a young female in the late 20s for assessing the patency of a surgical shunt as she seemed to have some persistent pain at the site following the surgery 2 months ago. I follow this routine of normally coming to the region of interest (currrent symptoms) towards the end so that I don’t miss out on some other finding while getting carried away by the presenting symptoms. So while I was scanning her pelvis, I realized her urinary bladder was empty. (Normally we need a full bladder to use as a window for seeing the uterus and ovaries).
Nevertheless I still swept over the lower abdomen to look for the pelvis when it took me by surprise to see one tiny fellow sitting inside her uterus, heart flickering away to glory. I was so not expecting a little fellow there that I reflexly asked her. ” Are you pregnant?” She retorted: ” AM I????? ” Her face was an admixture of emotions.. one of surprise, followed by a beaming smile and I involuntarily let my guard off and replied with a big smile “Yes”. It took me by surprise, her even more, but at the end of the scan, in addition to assuring she has nothing to worry about her shunt, I wished her all the best for the little one 🙂
Everyday we learn something and one thing that makes our profession so special is that everyday we get to share the happiness or dissipate the sorrow of one person or the other.