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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hey Stethoscope, Do You Have A Soul?

I seldom wonder, what all whirls in the mind of a patient who happens to be at the wrong side of consultation desk with a doctor. The heightened hope, the abundant anxiety and the heaps of anticipation; all make a confused assortment in the shallow sulci of patient’s brain. The doctor is observed and studied with electric eyes, whether he is paying enough attention to the array of symptoms; or seems pre-occupied? If psychomancy would have been as easy as humming a nursery rhyme, the patient would have deciphered every smidgen of scientific knowledge dwelling deep in the cerebral cortex of the clinician. The patient normally comes with pre-occupied set of answers, only if the clinician is clever enough to pop the right question at the right time.

The white-coat syndrome threatens to attain monstrous manifestations to the ill prepared patient. The sight of sphygmomanometer and stethoscope, the smell of fumes of formalin, the sound of tongue-twisting medical syllables; all make the patient feel like tittle drop of water in the gory fire of tropical forest. The occasional question put forward by the all-knowing clinician that trespasses the mental boundaries of the ordinary person, makes the patient dilapidated. The Greenwich longitude starts settling with flashy pace. The patient finally adjusts his focal length to dire measures and attempts to observe the illegible handwriting of the doctor; the hopes get dashed again.

Now comes the counseling time. The good doctor will give ample of time to the patient and his most scintilla of concerns with big ears. The rapport establishment exercise does half the work for ideal acquiescence with the treatment. I feel that patient should be given every opportunity to express himself as many tangled cases get solved with the focus on seemingly inconsequential points in symptomatic narration by the patient. We are here to treat illnesses; we should make our personalities more approachable, more interactive and gentler.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Frozen Frowns

They say that body mass decreases when a person dies due to flight of soul from the body. They say some theories have crawled to the point where this has been proved in the labs. What I want to ask, whether emotions (e.g. love, faith, anger etc) also have measurable weight? The abstractionism is mysterious, as it is not visible. The abstractionism has powers (you would agree, how else we can explain the evolution biggest of history changing events from a fit of faith, love, anger or other thoughts). My point is why the powerful has chosen to remain invisible?

Forgotten faith leads to forbidden fear. Fear is the recipe for disaster. In every disaster lies a potential escape. To hunt for the escape is meant for the intelligent intuition. Intuition is the offspring of belief, intelligent intuition eventually born by intelligent belief. What is an intelligent belief?

A needle is a needle when viewed from a certain angle. It can cause you optical illusion of a small dot, if seen from another angle. The perceived length of the needle depends on angle of viewing; for some viewers, it is shorter, for some, it is longer. Which angle are you viewing your life with? No matter how much potency and efficacy has been bestowed over your life, if your viewing angle is wrong, you will perceive it as a blemished dot that hardly exists.

They say before any unaccustomed happening that is going to affect us, our body’s senses react in aberrant way. And we don’t become aware of the same, until it happens. How strange? How do our body’s deepest senses know of the impending future? Are things pre-planned? What is the role of brain in our bodies then? Don’t you think that most of the sights are illusionary and most of the thoughts are misleading? What blindfolds us?

Death Is Dark (And Secrets Are Kept In Dark)

Death is the shell, death is the seed. Without death, birth is impossible. Bodies die and decompose; soul is ever youthful with indescribable wisdom, it changes bodies in accordance with the most mysterious laws of nature. A body is the virtual reality that is seen; a soul is the factual reality that is unseen. The laws of nature are locked with the bushel of convolution; and the key to open the locks of secrets has been rendered out-of-bounds for the ordinary minds. Death is metamorphosis; the transmutation of sable smoke into lustrous light.

My initial reaction was that of stupefying shock when I heard that Spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away at the Sathya Sai super speciality hospital at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district today (24-04-2011). Though I was watching closely about his health affairs, the tiny flickers of hope refused to die down. But it happened. I felt all 5 phases of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance) in quick flashes (Denial, Depression and Acceptance predominantly). Why can’t our souls be allocated one body for the soul’s lifetime? Why do bodies have to wither and decay? Why don’t souls identify each other, as bodies do?

The life is a mirage; and death is the end of it. I believe death is the closest clue that nature has given us to decipher the inevitability of life. I am not sure whether the holy grail of life can be cracked by us, lesser mortals. The constancy of a thing reminds of its importance; and death is the only constant that we know. So if I assert that death is the most important thing in nature, would I be rendered wrong? And you would agree that the important thing is important because it has vital essence; it has some uncommon thing which is of extreme importance. So if the death is a prized phenomenon and not a conjectural occurrence, why don’t we take it as the biggest clue of nature’s super secret laws and study it? Death is dark and most of the secrets are kept in dark, which is human tendency. Does God also think like humans?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Benumbed Blitzkreig

All of a sudden, your eyelids get a life. They get away from the mutually cuddled position and resume the usual role of visual sensory watch guards. As vision enters your retina, the neuronal circuits get a life and occipital cortex takes a sigh. It’s the onset of another morning; the bodily clocks never fail to astonish you with their cold-hearted accuracy. Who invented the clock? Who invented the necessity of slogging for money? Who invented that night is meant for dizzy galore? You appreciate the heightened lassitude of your body with snail-paced-velocity of crisscross thoughts. The order started appearing in your thought processes with noteworthy inclination. You sit, you yawn, you stretch your stiff musculature, and you step down the bed.

You think for the day’s schedules, the apprehension disseminates in the billion cells of your body. The iron-fisted day has blazoned its arrival. You hurriedly finish up with the daily rituals and get armored to fight for your existence yet again. Where is the time for self appreciation? Where is the time for discovering unknown horizons? Why do we allow ourselves to get occupied in the whirlpool of humdrum? You glare yourself in the mirror, tuck your hair, watch those fine wrinkles in your forehead, those crowfeet besides your eyes and you turn away. Did you really see yourself in the mirror? Can you identify yourself? When was the last time that you were turned to see yourself in the interior mirror; that is your soul?

You ate a little with you thoughts ricocheting like the bubbles of boiling water. You are almost ready to move out of your house. Haven’t you already moved out of your house? Were you there in your house? Where is your house? Who are you? Why do you exist?

Where Is My Bed?

You just exhausted your last kilo calorie meant to be burnt for tedious professional commitments of the day. You relished the succulence of your otherwise ordinary supper, the food smelled like alter-ego of divine vapors. The presumptuousness failed to die down as you feverishly gagged the buttons of the slain remote control. Effrontery caught the craze with a gall and soon you were submerged in some old classic film or the vehement debate over some breaking news. The law of relativity smells you as a potential victim and you swim in the sky of thoughts, mesmerized and frozen.

Your eyelids soon started turning soporific, nothing can help it. The signals have turned green and hypnosis would prevail with indefatigable might. You turn your posture in that comfortable cushion once more and have a glance at the old wall clock. It’s already midnight. The nature is workaholic and its machinery has no match. One more day passed with eyes open, one more night will pass with eyes closed. What are we here for?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Designer Brain For The World

1. Start a new hobby every 3 months.
2. Join a fitness club.
3. Adopt a child.
4. Devote some time for prayers daily.
5. Don’t forget to wish birthdays and anniversaries.
6. Learn to cook.
7. Read a book.
8. Smile more often.
9. Complement your colleagues.
10. Watch sunrise.
11. Drive with ease and patience.
12. Donate in charity.
13. Take out some time for self-organization.
14. Get your finances structured.
15. Learn to play a musical instrument.
16. Take care of your parents.
17. Write a blog. Regularly.
18. Post your facebook status often.
19. Avoid stimulants.
20. Dream big and start with a detailed plan.
21. Don’t mix personal and professional life.
22. Think of the ways to contribute towards society.
23. Don’t keep grudges.
24. Give your spouse pleasant surprises.
25. Pay taxes on time.
26. Don’t join too much social networking sites. Join the selected ones and remain active on them.
27. Don’t keep too many expectations from anything.
28. Purchase Greeting Card and Post it.
29. Write letters to your friends and family.
30. Carry a photograph of your family when traveling.
31. Let your calmness dominate over outbursts of anger.
32. Read biographies.
33. Watch cartoons.
34. Savor fruits.
35. Love animals.

Dilemmas Of A Resident Doctor

1. You are facing your first job interview. You are asked whether you have intubated a patient solely. You mutter and fumble and succeed in arousing a lot of doubts in the interviewer’s mind.

2. It’s your 4th day of posting in Accident & Emergency Department. You are virtually surrounded by a flurry of patients with near similar presenting complaints with near equal anxiety. You gallantly finished the test by scribbling at every patient’s prescription slip, only to realize that for 2 patients you prescribed Inj Perinorm instead of Inj Stemetil. Now what? You gushing like maniacs to find the piece of literature (available with every medicine) with fine prints to evaluate to possibility of potential side-effects. Life in the fast lane with blinding beams.

3. You did not bother to examine the patient completely and the senior consultant appears from nowhere. You are asked about abdominal findings and you get only 2 abbreviations in your mind; NAD (No abnormality detected) & WNL (Within normal limits). You follow your mind; only to be taught the basics of abdominal palpation with an annoyance. After all, it was no body’s fault that patient’s spleen was massively enlarged with beautifully palpable anterior margin.

4. You are in the middle of the night with virtually no patients to attend on emergency basis. You feel nauseating with the combined effects of nicotine with drawl, hunger pangs and drowsy eyes.

5. You are explaining the consent for surgery and anesthesia to a patient; and this guy is serious. The moment you tell him the rare possibility of dreaded complications (including but not limited to death), he appears shocked and betrayed. And in a knee-jerk reaction, he orders you to arrange a meeting with the senior doctor, so that he can re-decide whether he wants to be anesthetized and operated upon or not. Now who will call the senior consultant; and what sort of explanation can save the resident doctor’s already compromised authority?

6. You feel thrilled to have a sight of a beautiful intern in the ward. You steal glances while organizing your hair with an electric vigor, only to gather in coming minutes that she is blissfully married and preparing for USMLE to settle with her in-laws in Philadelphia. Life is a crap!

7. You are assisting in OPD of your Unit Head. You are told to write ATT (Anti-tubercular Medications) to a patient, you gladly wrote AKT-4 Kit, to be taken once a day. But your Unit Head seems unhappy, he asks to write individual drugs with their dosages and your pen virtually slips with the flood of sweat between your index finger and ring finger. What if he asks about individual complications of each anti tubercular medication? What is the full form of DOTS?

8. Its post midnight. You are in duty room. You get a call regarding refractory febrile spike of a child. You collect yourself to attend him. You get another call about the routine blood sugar (RBS) value of 24 of another patient; you shout on the phone for 25%D infusion. Another call for a patient (Post Operative Day 1 of Hemicolectomy) complaining of severe abdominal pain and increasing distension. Another call from Emergency ward to attend a family (which just arrived in dehydrated and lethargic condition in the hospital) suspected to be having food poisoning. Another call for repeated failed attempts of peripheral canulation of a 5 day old infant. Oh God!!! Why ME?

9. You were set to cool your heels this Saturday evening with your girlfriend in the swanky interior of PVR Saket. In the late morning of Saturday, you are told by ever arrogant Roster Incharge that your shift has been revised and you are supposed to do a 24 hours duty starting this evening. What lies in a Sabbath?

10. You observe with great wisdom that your Unit Head is not able to make a diagnosis; you scratch your brain and the missing piece pops up with a flash. You tell your opinion with puffed torso and somber voice, only to finds its utter triviality in milliseconds. Is there any software for erasing recently acquired memory? If it is there, I would like to apply it to my Unit Head to save my already negotiated self-pride.

My Favourite 10 Films With Medical Theme

1. Angels in America (2003), a fantastic HBO production that explores AIDS in the early 1980s. The Barbarian Invasions (2003), a French-Canadian comedy-drama that looks at the end-of-life decisions of a patient with terminal cancer.

2. Dirty Pretty Things (2002), a peep into the lives of immigrants in London, one of whom is a physician from Nigeria.

3. The Painted Veil (2006), Set in China in 1925, the movie tells the story of the marriage of a young London socialite and a bacteriologist living in Shanghai.

4. Ikiru (1952), a Japanese masterpiece that explores how a bureaucrat finds meaning in life after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

5. Miss Evers’ Boys (1997), a screenplay that explores how racism and research intersected in the United States from the 1930s to the early ’70s.

6. Motorcycle Diaries (2004), a beautiful portrayal of the real and metaphorical journeys that medical students often blindly follow.

7. The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936), a melodramatic black-and-white biopic that reminds us how far we’ve come in terms of understanding and controlling infectious diseases.

8. Traffic (2000), a powerful story of how the illegal drug trade affects three individuals.

9. Yesterday (2004), a South African film that puts a face on the global AIDS pandemic.

10. The Doctor (1991), Based on the book A Taste of My Own Medicine. William Hurt plays an arrogant surgeon who is diagnosed with throat cancer. As he begins to see medicine, hospitals, and doctors from the patient’s perspective, he learns that there is more to being a doctor than doing procedures and writing prescriptions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Know More About Darwin, Einstein & Edison


Edison built his first lab at the age of 10
Edison was deaf and he liked it that way!
Edison has a mysterious tattoo on his arm
Edison proposed marriage … by Morse Code!
Edison saved a boy from a runaway train


Darwin once ate an owl
Darwin wanted to be a doctor, but he couldn't stand the sight of blood
Darwin received best birthday gift ever: a mountain!
Darwin was a backgammon fiend
Darwin married his first cousin


Einstein was inspired by a compass
Einstein failed his university entrance exam
Einstein’s first official job was that of a swiss patent officer in bern
Einstein, the war pacifist, urged FDR to build the atom bomb.
Einstein’s brain was pickled in a jar for 43 years and driven cross country in a trunk of a buick!

Top 10 Problems That Nurses Face

1. The venepuncture site (canula insertion point) gets blocked again.

2. The patient asks too many questions about finer nuances of the disease (The nurse invariably thinks about the silent glance and understanding gesture that the patient portrayed when senior doctor was taking rounds…. That was fine, but what happened to him now? Is he testing the authenticity of my medical degree? That’s fine. But please stick to the syllabus).

3. The patient seems to have a fascination with pressing the nurses call button (What lies in a reason?).

4. The little kid in the ward defies the boundaries of producible sound while crying inconsolably; and does not succumb to the usual baits.

5. A doctor is taking ward rounds and another doctor demands the attention of the same nurse for a different patient.

6. You have 5 trauma patients for whom you have to check vital parameters every 30 minutes. And it’s the busiest night shift already.

7. The anxious patient suffering with Hepatic Encephalopathy with Sub Acute Intestinal Obstruction is adamant at taking the Ryle’s tube out. He has done it 3 times in past 6 hours and you are mumbling divine hymns.

8. Before you take the over from the preceding duty nurse, you are called by a anxious looking resident doctor (its his first day of joining) in the expectation of getting a thorough orientation of the ward, the hospital and the life. Predicament can’t get louder.

9. Though you have finished with the Herculean forms and draconian quality assurance paper-works, you get thumbs down for that not-so-neat handwriting by never-pleasing horde of quality assurance guys.

10. The patient complaining to doctor that ward nurses seldom listen to him (though you religiously put every inch of an effort to help the guy in disguise).

Top 10 Patient Queries

A lot of queries are raised by patients during their treatment process to their health care professionals. I am enlisting some common queries that I come across from my patients who are planned for surgical intervention.

1. Is it a major one or a minor one?

2. What is the cost of the procedure?

3. How much time will it take for the procedure to be done?

4. When would I be discharged?

5. Will I develop weakness after this operation?

6. Would you be video recording the procedure?

7. When can I start eating?

8. For how much time will I have to take rest after procedure?

9. Can this problem recur?

10. Do you offer discounts?

(Note: These queries are not necessarily in the same order of appearance)

The Convulsing Confusions

How many thoughts can wander in a human mind in a minute?

How are thoughts related to intuitions?

How are intuitions related to outcomes?

If a pleasure causes mental fatigue, is it worth it?

Which angle are you viewing your life with?

How do you allow trespassing of your mind? Is it controllable?

How does mind harbors miseries and pleasantries in isolated existence?

If the soul has a life, what constitutes it?

Why do we seek divine intervention when we are unhappy?

What is the basis of programmed release of undecipherable happenings in our lives?

Do Dreaming and Day Dreaming have a common basis? What controls the same?

What are divine sensations? How can those be achieved?

Does a thought carry measurable weight?

Light is the basis of life, energy is the basis of light, what is the basis of energy?

What is more logical, life or after-life?