I walk on a road lush with dreams,
a road of forgotten and veiled dreams,
sometimes slowly, sometimes gaily,
sometimes lost, sometimes profound,
I walk a road of unknown mysteries,
fervently finding my way through the endless path.....

Friday, May 31, 2013

If only...A mother's regret

If only....I sit in the court of law with only these words ringing in my mind. There are endless tears. Tears of remorse, tears of failure. Failure to be a good mother. Failing to see and understand the innumerable warning signs that my child's progressing disorder gave me.

The only reason for my smile,my 16 year old boy Abhay stands in the trial box today.
Abhay has AUTISM. Yes, I accept it today. But If only....I had visualized and accepted it earlier things would have been so different.

When Abhay was born on 23rd September 1996, our happiness knew no bounds. After a series of miscarriages he was my first 'live' child and nothing less than a miracle for me.

As days passed, it was him my life revolved around. His every movement, each smile and cry, those little gestures, I awaited for them impatiently. For him I lived and he lived in me.

Everything was perfect EXCEPT that Abhay as a little baby almost never smiled. He never reciprocated gestures of love like hugs or touch and made almost no baby sounds.
I noticed it. Noticed these SIGNS everyday but IGNORED.

At the age of 2, my dear boy Abhay avoided any conversation. Whatever little words like 'maa' and 'papa' he had learned, he seemed to be forgetting using those too.He made no eye contacts.

While other babies of his age laughed,chatted and played he sat on his bed or cot silently.

I noticed this too and got worried. But my ignorance took the better of me and dismissed it as 'mere shyness' of my sweet boy.

When at 4 years. Abhay joined school, I was happy and hopeful of him becoming 'normal' and 'cooperative' but things never got better. On the contrary he developed a strange obsession for 'tin cans'.

He would collect them from everywhere and arrange them up in rows, piling them on one another.
I could very well sense his behaviour as rather 'inappropriate' but my love, my blind love dismissed this too as my kids 'new hobby'.

Infact I started buying him cans. I woulds get them for him and he would silently retire to his room and sit for hours piling and re-piling them.

At 10, he was facing major problems at school and almost everyone could sense there was something wrong with his attitude, except me. Once when his teacher called me to discuss important matters regarding my child's progress I IGNORED the meeting for I hated to hear anyone call my little bundle of joy as 'abnormal' and 'mad'.

I chose a private tuition as the solution. Mrs. Riya was a wise lady.

 She WARNED me several times about Abhay's behaviour and that his avoiding eye contacts, his reclusive attitude and decreasing grades at school all very clearly suggested 'Autism'.
But blame me, my blind, ignorant, selfish love- I IGNORED this clear and red line sign too! Asking Mrs. Riya to leave then and there.

And as she had warned, thing never got better. My child never laughed or played with me. Never behaved like an adolescent would.

Now at 16 after changing innumerable schools and hearing the children of his age pass rude and cruel taunts with no therapy or medical treatment Abhay's condition progressed to a new phase.

He had developed a violent and criminal frenzy.
And as a doting mother I was still unable to decipher those SIGNS.  If only....I had realized them even at this stage, I could have saved my child's future.

The judge's loud gavel bang broke my reverie. And I heard the unbelievable words reach my ears - 

'After listening and hearing to all the witnesses this court has come up with the decision that juvenile criminal ABHAY GUPTA, 16 years has brutally murdered his classmate on 21st August. He is awarded an imprisonment of 3 years along with rehabilitation and education.The court is adjourned for the day.'

I listened in regret more than disbelief as the court passed its judgement. My little boy Abhay was behind the bars today. My ignorance has cost him his future.I stood there like a complete loser. A helpless woman who destroyed her family.

 If only I had realized that loving my child doesn't mean over looking the imperfections.
And not taken for granted the warning signs that lay before my eyes each day, each moment, in all his gestures and actions.

If only.....

MORAL : Our strength can also become our greatest weaknesses and vice versa if not rationally channelized.

'Continuing to believe in a lie is a lot easier then accepting the truth' but one should learn to be vigilant and accept the realities no matter how harsh and painful.

Friends, the early signs of almost all diseases are the most important yet easily neglected ones. Don't be ignorant and read on to know more about them.

This post is written as a part of 'The moral of the story is...' contest by Colgate and Indiblogger.
To know more about how to keep teeth healthy and avoiding troubles check My healthy speak blog.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Modern health care and you!

Mrs. Shah, a school teacher and mother of two teenagers has been diagnosed with stones in the gall bladder (cholelithiasis) . The doctor advised her surgery.

Surgery? asks an anxious Mrs.Shah.

I can't take a months break to undergo surgery, its just impossible! My job is demanding and who will look after my family? She continues helplessly.

The doctor smiles and explains her about the latest 'Laparoscopic surgery'. Also called band-aid surgery/minimally invasive/keyhole surgery.In this abdominal operations are performed through small incisions which reduces pain and bleeding.
 A week later not only has Mrs. Shah got rid of her stones but is also carrying off her daily chores with ease and health.

No doubt modern health care has arrived as a boon in today's health conscious yet extremely busy and nerve wrecking competitive scenario. Many like Mrs. Shah have been befitted by techniques like endoscopy and laparoscopy whether it be for gall stones or hernia's.

Laparoscopy being performed.

Take another case of Mr. Singh. He was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus about 3 years back.His work demands regular visits abroad.

 In such a situation it was extremely difficult to keep a check on his fluctuating blood sugar levels but thanks to portable blood sugar monitoring devices popularly known as 'Glucometer' testing is a just a minute away. All they require is a needle prick and the meter displays your sugar level. Very similar pocket size devices are available to keep a tab on your blood pressure and other vitals levels too.

Four generations of blood glucose meter, c. 1993-2005.
 Sample sizes vary from 30 to 0.3 μl.
 Test times vary from 5 seconds to 2 minutes
 (modern meters typically provide results in 5 seconds).

Technology undoubtedly, has been the greatest invention of our century. It has bridged connections and made not just communication but over all life easier and very comfortable. Our health sector has experienced a tremendous bloom owing to technology.

Being a medical student I very well understand the worth of a life, the cost of every single breath.

Thanks to well equipped modern emergency ambulances also known as 'hospital on wheels' the cost of life elevates many notches up. They have all the basic life supporting systems installed in them.
For an accident victim or a heart attack patient those few deciding minutes are in our hands now.

Now imagine if at the age of 75 you have all your check ups and vitals monitored without you moving from the bed? No worries of going to the hospital or tolerating the traffic and noises?
 you ask me if it is really possible and I say yes! 

All praises to 'Tele medicine'. It is the use of telephones in place of health care devices inside a patients home. This is indeed a great tool for patients who need proper health care but cannot manage to come to hospitals or clinics.

Tele medicine set up

What used to be the most painful part during growing up? And we all would say in a chorus its injections!

They have been dreaded by children and parents alike.
 But with the advent of new 5-in-1 vaccines called 'pentacel' which inoculates against diphtheria,tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and polio all at once! So visit to the doctor gets pain free now.
pentacel vaccine
(available in India)
Our medical infrastructure has been growing by leaps and bounds. The technology used in our country is at par with the developed countries like U.K. and USA but all cost effective. So its  not surprising that medical tourism is a blooming sector of our health care today.

'Medical tourism'
is basically travelling abroad for medical purpose in order to obtain a relatively cheap treatment than one's home land.
India has now become a hub from patients coming from Africa and other countries especially for heart surgeries,hip replacements and cosmetic corrections.

How things work - medical tourism

Heart surgery reminds me of someone called Mr.Anand. At 60 he suffered a massive heart attack. The doctors called it as 'coronary artery disease' which is basically narrowing or hardening of arteries due to excessive cholesterol levels.

Mr. Anand has lost almost all hopes of life when 'Coronary stenting' came as a bright ray of life. 
It is the placement for a small wire mesh tube called a stent to help the artery open and decrease the chance of it narrowing again.

 Stenting is combined with 'angioplasty'  sometimes.

 The health care continues to make advancements every second. Robotic surgery, stem cell technology  gene sequencing, uncountable investigative techniques like CT-scan, D & C, MRI that continues to get better, cataract surgery, bypass, organ transplants and grafting and collaboration with IT are only a few names.

All we need is a better connectivity with the population residing in less developed areas and cost effective techniques. Once we are able to amalgamate modern health care with a practical reach and connectivity we would have accomplished one of the greatest achievements history has seen or will ever see!

Fortunately with hospitals like Apollo on the frontier it sure will touch not just skies but a million lives year after year! 
For more details, developments and what Apollo has to offer, check this-apollohospitals.

'Live healthy
Be wise
let modern health care
touch your!'

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Clothes - the 'masked' culprits

So you are out shopping with your friend in that LBD to buy another LCD (no not TV, its little cute dress you idiot)? Great I say but then why sneer when those ugly jerks fix their gaze hard at you? 
If you claim all rights to wear what you wish even they can command of every right to see 'whatever' they desire. No?

'Prevention is better than cure'- an age old adage we all know. But unfortunately most of us visualize prevention as a task too tedious and thereby calmly ignoring it until trouble bangs loud on our doors.

When it comes to protecting our selves as women we insist on carrying 'pepper sprays' and learning techniques of martial arts, which is all good undoubtedly but in the picture of larger things we forget of the basic tools nature and society conjointly has granted us - The right as well as freedom to 'cover ourselves'!

Yes clothes have been and will always be the greatest tool the greatest weapon against perverted and lascivious eyes especially in a country like ours where mindset is too reluctant to change.

No matter the extent of hue and cry one makes over upgrading your thoughts certain things are embedded within the very soil and society.

Choose what you wear wisely!!

Let me present you with a situation to explain things in a more coherent manner. If a madmen leaps onto you every time he sees you with a stick what would you do?
Would you continue appearing in front of him with the authority and so-called rights or would you rather opt a wiser and level headed way to tackle him?

The issue in hand is pretty much analogous. Hurling stones and sticks at a madmen would do no good and neither would trespassing the laws of nature. If you are so keen on exercising your rights and responsibilities then opt for modesty in how you present yourselves instead of giving those leering eyes all advantage to see what lies within you. 

I dare not say that this will deter the diseased minds from spreading dirt but we as women should not foster the obscenity in them.

Not long ago there was an incident of a little girl being raped because the guy reportedly had got all 'charged up' seeing a barely clad lady minutes ago. Here, I am in no way advocating the guy's action as acceptable but merely mentioning the repercussions and reactions of your actions and attire.

I know many of you will dismiss my thoughts as retrogressive since skimpy clothes today are almost De rigour but so is rape and eve-teasing my friends!
And if you accept that what you wear defines who you are to a great extent then denying the fact that our clothes play no role in how people around us see and feel about us would be so hypocritical.

This in no way means that dressing is directly connected to crimes like rapes but your attire is definitely related to how you are perceived. Why complain of being labelled as 'sex objects' when you proudly show cleavages in public places? 

Once we start appreciating the power of a modest dressing, the freedom one gains from it and your right to be respected rather leered at am sure many a things will jump up on the right path!

And in the end I quote Margaret Hale to sum it up all so elegantly:

“One of the first evidences of a real lady, is that she should be modest. By modesty we mean that she shall not say, do, nor wear anything that would cause her to appear gaudy, ill-bred, or unchaste. There should be nothing about her to attract unfavorable attention, nothing in her dress or manner that would give a man an excuse for vulgar comment. When we dress contrary to the rule of modesty we give excuse for unwholesome thoughts in the mind of those who look upon us, and every girl who oversteps these bounds makes herself liable to misunderstanding and insult, though she may be innocent of any such intention.”