Archive for the 'Experiences' Category

01
Oct
16

Trust.

Trust, is a fickle thing. Fickle as fuck. One day it’s there, and the next, poof. Sometimes, I can’t remember why i lost it. And I feel only worse for having burnt another bridge. But, when everything is so transient and often contrived, what, I ask myself, is the point then, of putting much of me into anything at all. So, I just cut it all out and move along, all the while wondering, how it might have been, how I would have lived that day in my old life. Yet, as I live in a bygone past and imagined future, a little voice reminds me what the dissatisfaction felt like and why I chose to brutally and abruptly knock a part of my being off. And then suddenly I feel that there might still be the tiniest hope that the right stuff, the good shiz still lies ahead, and if I plod through what I have to, I might still make it.

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26
Jul
14

final divide

The deepest chasms remain uncrossed,

The final leap untaken.

Time goes on and moments draw close

But as courage is yet hard to gather,and

Wits still difficult to collect,

The unknown is but dark and scary

Fears, impossible to face.

As the fires get oncemeore lit and

Horses harnessed,

Power reigns in from every quarter;

There just may be a one last chance,

To take heart and believe

And cross this last abyss.

06
Jul
14

Somewhere along in the bitterness.

 

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

Where did I go wrong I lost a friend somewhere along, in the bitterness, and I would’ve stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life.


I needed ‘inspiration’ to write. And WordPress seems to want me to bare all and tell. Well, there – I picked my line. From How To Save A Life by The Fray. Well, although it doesn’t define my every breath anymore, it did for a considerable amount of time. Now it’s mostly just about any song that either asks the world to bloody quit judging me and bugger off or some little alternative rock stuff that tries to infuse some hope and vigour into my life. Not that there are too many happy ones, for the most of it my playlist has angsty sad songs. Damn…what does that say about me?!  Oh well, coming to the point at hand. How To Save A Life.

So, the first cue WordPress gave me was to pick a moment that changed my life forever. The second was the song thing. I picked the song thing,but I think I can effectively tackle both. Firstly, know that the event itself was rather silly. However, I hold my ground that it CHANGED me FOREVER. Forever and ever and ever more. That sort of thing happens to children when they deal with even small stuff all by themselves for too long. Looking back, after finishing both Psych rotations and Psych theory, I was clinically depressed well into mid year 2 of med school.

People change as they grow up. Your cute little next doorsy but fucking pretty best friend turns into an I’m too cool for you plain Janes socialite at 15 and you’re basically a football playing knee scraping teen already sadly enough, fed up with ‘the system’

Yep. So my friend, she was practically my sister, right? And although she was a few months older than me, I was the ‘older’ one. The bigger of two scrawny babies. What would you do if over one vacation your own little sister just started to ignore you it refused to admit it and just slowly began to make the embarrassed face where they go “oops peeps, I know she’s my sister, but don’t lump me with her” when you tried to make it to their hang outs. Embarassed! Of me! Anyway, so you call a bunch of times, but always get told she’s out or busy, but then you wait for the returned call. It never came.

So on my 16th, I probably very unwisely decided to ‘disown’ her, or rather make public her rejection of me- in public eye. Fuck that was brutal shit. I shouldn’t have. I think that shaped me. I spiralled further into the lowest of lows. And have only just, 6 years later, managed to creep halfway up the deep well. I still can’t see the light, but it seems I’m getting breaths of fresher air than I’ve been used to these parts years.

I meant to write in more detail, but it now looks like I should let the diary post rest in my diary and the blog read like a blog.

Mirthfully, maniacally laughing at my little high school self, who’s hoping against hope, that it’s all a bad dream and tomorrow I’ll wake up and find I’m not this dependent, that I am some high flying successful person, studying in those hallowed halls of the world’s best like I imagined I would. I wish I’d worked instead of imagined.

Well.

“You’ll begin to wonder why you came”

I wish I’d just talked. But I wanted to take control. I did it too suddenly. The control I tried to wrest sotnof slipped out of my grip because of how forcefully I pushed away the hands that had held the power for so many long years.

 

27
Sep
13

Posts

Post by Deepta V Narayanan:

Today I saw this 8 year old child admitted in the Paediatric ward.
He is around 32 inches or 77 cm tall. His arms and legs are stick thin – the diameter of some two or three of my fingers put together. His hair’s withering. He can only walk, and feed himself and use the toilet. He hasn’t developed speech, he can’t see very well, cannot hear very well, or even if he can, he can’t really understand, and only makes monosyllabic noises and clicking sounds – the kind one makes at a horse. He led me and a friend of mine around the beds. He had a surprisingly strong grip for one so frail and malnourished. But apart form a brief moment of a tantrum and flailing hands and trying to hit somebody when too many students had crowded around him to ‘examine’ him, ‘see’ his eyes – as if he were some curio and Bitot’s spots some special display, he was a smiley, happy appearing child, unknowing of the injustice and neglect and suffering he’s been subjected to.

He’s eight years old, stands as high as a tall 2 1/2 or 3 year old, can’t understand the world. Has no idea that he’s in a hospital, sick, and has been underfed since he was a baby.
His mother lay on his bed, smiling for some reason. She didn’t look too old. She said she’d been to a doctor when he was 4 months old and that had been told he would get al-right and that she never bothered to go again. She left unsaid why. She didn’t look worried.
I’ve seen other sick children’s parents. They might talk normally, but one can tell their anxiety from their faces. She was just – I don’t know.

I told my mother about the child. I could hear her perturbation. I thought of my aunt’s son – my little brother. I can’t till this moment stop thanking whatever forces – call it God’s grace, call it Karma or just anything on earth – for the impeccable, wonderfully ordinary childhood we’ve had.
I can’t stop. I wanted to take a picture of his, the child’s, I for some reason stopped short. Maybe I will tomorrow.

His mother probably isn’t much older than my 20 years. Or wasn’t when she had him. Barely world savvy, poor, married to a man who is in all probability not very nurturing. I still don’t think any of that is an excuse to have left him to deteriorate to mere skin and bone. I mean to say, if she could come now, she could’ve earlier.
I remind myself not to blame her. I have absolutely no right to.

He’s eight years old, and the parts of his cortex responsible for speech and understanding, and even hearing and comprehension are probably not only underdeveloped, but also degenerated to some degree.

I remember studying about how speech and hearing if not developed by a certain age -giving it a maximum of around 5 yrs- won’t develop. And I’m pretty sure that understanding and cognition also need similar early stimuli when the neuronal plasticity is still high for complete normal development.

And here I am, sitting day after day, feeling bad about my own ‘short comings’

He might be dependent life long. Being poor, and having a pathetic family (I’m sorry, I’m angry. It’s not my place, but I can’t help it right now), he’s not likely to get support. Even if our doctors manage to get him to put on weight, I don’t know how his hypothalamo-pituitary and other such hormonal pathways and complex neuronal circuits will ever just overcome the immense early neglect.

I don’t understand what he’ll do when he’s older. When his parents decide they can’t support him anymore.

Tomorrow I’ll find out about his siblings. I was too scared to find out today.

But today, regardless of what he may have to face tomorrow, he was an active child -probably because of the food he’s been getting in the hospital for the past couple of days.

When I was 8, I’d known for atleast 2 years that I wanted to be a docotr. I was reading a Harry Potter book, loads of Enid Blytons and in general having parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles all tecahing me things and caring for me.

To all urban Indian children who go to the ‘prestigious’ schools, and well, live like all the well to do poeple in the world, here’s a very sombre reminder – you’re in the top less than 2% of India as far as income goes. The poverty that everyone showcases? It’s bloody darned well real. There’s no getting around that.

This is not just one case. I found out that the average rate of admission of such cases is 2-3 per month in the hospital where I study. And this is supposedly one of the health wise ‘better’ regions of the nation.

I’m afraid I’ve digressed. It’s about this child for now. I hope he does well.

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26
Sep
13

The Price of Knowing

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.   Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North

Knowledge, wisdom, judgement – all come at a cost. The most balanced, self-assured seeming, if not calm, decisive person you know, whom you look at and wish you could be like in some respects, is probably one who’s been in the same situation a trillion times before. And hasn’t extricated themselves from it, and is stuck making the seemingly ‘safer’ choice whence you glimpse their seeming cool countenance. On the inside, the person’s remembering every last time and wondering how they got there again, and trying to make the one choice they’ve not tried as of yet, hoping to get out and leave it all behind. The ghosts of their past will likely haunt them for a while after this time, even as you think and ‘envy’ their ‘decision’. The more a person knows about avoiding death, more the likelihood that his/her wardrobe has a jumbled heap of bones – skeletons waiting to tumble out- people they watched die & in all likelihood killed.

The ghosts of mistakes and by gone blunders haunt the house at night, leaving me tossing at night, not knowing why I’m tired in the day.

The longer I stay in a situation, the more the things I want to put behind me, and the more I try to stuff them away, the more they seep out from beneath my feet, behind my back and above my head- all around.

The more enlightened (experienced, learned) our houses are- more ghosts the walls ooze.

02
Apr
12

Resplendent Cattywampus

Roughly conveys the meaning of ‘brilliant, sparkling disarray’.

Now that is at the face of it, the sole outcome of letting life just steer itself down whatever course it wills. Apparently, flying with one’s hands free, on autopilot comes at a steep price.

But, let me tell you, living life as it comes has a HUGE plus side. It ensures that regardless of what my next door neighbour may say about my unruly shenanigans, I will have at the end of the day truly lived every moment that the day had to offer. Every single moment – to the fullest.

Not that a day should be spent meaninglessly doing nothing in particular. The day should be spent doing as many things as possible, as well as possible. And most importantly, doing those things that one truly loves doing.

So, that ideal, so resplendent, promising and inviting, calls out to one and all I’m sure. To live a day, to cherish and drink in the wonder of every given moment that passes by and to feel fully satisfied with everything done during the day is pretty much that one  thing that has eluded me since the I was old enough to know that’s what I really want. Somehow the very idea of being able to exist as that ideal creates this astonishingly brilliant image, and I’m afraid that if I open my eyes to look, the pure white light will blind me.

Well, when all had been said about the ideal life, I tried to get it done too. Sadly,  I was broken to find that it really didn’t work the way I felt it should or the way it does in a dream.

My life pretty much slipped out of control. I was doing everything that I’d ever dreamt of, or at least the evil forces of the world had me believing that everything I was doing was everything I’d ever dreamt of. But in actuality, all hell had broken loose and I had shards of my life lying scattered all about me in utter disarray.

As inviting as it had all seemed, it turned out that such designs in  life were only meant for the higher, more evolved, controlled ones who could find it in them to both practice and preach. In trying to live each moment I found it so easy to lose sight of the future…my future. It was so easy to just remain suspended in time, at that moment, to imagine that that was the only moment I ever had to live and just keep drinking in its essence and beauty.

But alas, clocks ticked on and alarm bells rang, and as the hours passed me by all I was left with was tonnes of work to be done and so much else undone, albeit accompanied by a glorious memory or two, but I had to choose… which was worth more? Hundreds of decent, enjoyable memories or just a couple of amazing, breathtakingly exquisite ones followed by ages of pain and labour?

I tried living life as it came by,and  it didn’t really feel that great. I didn’t like the after taste it left. Bitter-sweet and sour.

What I had was a glimpse of brilliance, almost blinded eyes, and no grip over the future. It was all mayhem. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t hear, I didn’t  know.

I could close my eyes and remember the light I’d once seen.

I swore to strive to get there…to the stage where I could truly let my life steer itself and know for sure that it was going down the path that was best for me, to know that I would not lose control even in face of the strongest winds regardless of whether or not I stood at the wheel, whether or not I steered.

But at that moment, surrounding me was nothing but sparkling debris of magnificence that was once whole.

Resplendent Cattywampus

03
Dec
11

Being There, Doing That.

It’s been a while, and again, I think I have lost ‘touch’.

Also, that means this one’s going to be long.

So well, since the last I bothered blogging, a new term’s started, and is about to end in less than two weeks from today. That now begs the question, why on earth would I be blogging now of all times? Maybe, with the exams around my brain’s functioning again, or maybe that’s just how it is…. I post four times a year because that’s how many major exams I have.

Anyway, as we started clinical postings at school, I got around to interacting with lots of hospital staff, doctors, nurses, attendants, orderlies and most importantly, patients. I realized that although someday I might float to the top of that hierarchy, I start at the very bottom. As of today, the nurses at the hospital sure do know so much more, and I don’t think I could get through any thing at all without their help…. starting from finding my way around the hospital to actually taking patients’ histories. They keep a huge section of the hospital running.

But the incidents that made maximum impact on me were my interactions with patients… young and old… and I had my share of pleasant ones and bitter ones, but I learnt lessons all the same….1. Whenever I’d walk in the hospital with the steth dangling around my neck without a book or a bag announcing that I was a student, there was sure to be at least one lost patient who’d come over and ask for help. Maybe in directing them to a department or telling them which department to go to, or once to my horror, if they’d got the name of the medicine right. To add to the trauma, I happen to not know the local language. I’d feel so traumatized and well, slightly ashamed of my inability to help, and I’d always just point at a nurse or an orderly or a resident or try to ask the poor soul to ask at the inquiry desk. There was this once I was looking through a patient’s file and going over her charts looking at her progress and stuff, and her son I think it was, he came up to me and ever so ever respectfully but so worriedly asked of me how her condition was and how long it would take her to pull through. She was sick, and had multiple disorders…. endocarditis and hypothyroidism and pleural effusion and had just been treated for septic shock,and still had a GI infection. Now I just about know the meanings of all those words and the basis for their treatments. As I looked at the boy with a blank face, they wheeled his mother in, and he turned to her giving me a slightly helpless look…

Lesson : These people around here, especially the relatives of the sick ones… they respect the doctors beyond anything else and often have their hopes pinned on the race of medical men.

2. When I did have a text or notes in my hand, or when I’d stand over a patients bed, poking and prodding and fumbling as I took his history along with two three of my batch mates, more often than not, the patients realized that we were but students and that we weren’t going to be of any help to their cause as far as their recovery was concerned. This would make them resentful, and they’d want us to just go. They wouldn’t answer properly and would assume a ‘couldn’t care less…go to hell…don’t bother me I’m sick’ attitude. Why, one man even said something as ridiculous as “you people can’t become doctors if I don’t come to you as a patient, so don’t bother me”.

Lesson : I really don’t know. I think it is that if people who are in need of help are getting it from somewhere, they won’t turn to help anyone else who needs theirs. Odd, I know.

3. There was this one lady in the Surgery wards, she had a very large leg ulcer on her right leg, and it undoubtedly hurt like hell. She beckoned to us and said in her tongue “Children, you people must become good doctors, and please ask me whatever you want to, and look and examine the leg all you want, just stop if I ask you to because I’ll only say so if it hurts too much.”

Lesson : Every cloud has a silver lining. To every person that denies you a helping hand, there’s another that will lead you all the way through the tunnel to the other side.

But above all, what I learnt, is that every single one of those interactions was worth it. They didn’t affect me, I was only thankful for every day’s experience in the hospital. I found out how much I want to be doing this for ever and ever.




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