Sep 032005
 

The last few months have been kind of strange. Work has beeen proceeding well. Business seems to have picked up. And there is a level of contentment in personal life, that is satisfying.
Yet, over the last 6 months or so – I have been in pain. Not earth shattering pain. But, pain none the less.

Shooting pains in my stomach – every so often. Pain that would lay me low. Excruciating back pain. Pain so bad that you want to roll on the floor – hoping that it would go away. And above all, a feeling of swelling on my right lung which would give out its own set of signals – indicating that it was not very happy. Anxiety attacks. A feeling that i was going to explode. A feeling that my heart was going to pack up. Essentially i had a body that was going on strike. And different parts of the body struck at different times. And, there wasn’t much that i could do about it. I did go to see the docs … but i will write about that slighly later.

The first stage was weight gain. I have always been big built but not blobby or flabby. in the last 8 months or so i began resembling a rather large amoeba. There would be days i would look trim and the others i would look as though someone had filled me with water with a hose. I couldn’t fit into my shoes. So i took to wearing sandles with velcr and adjustable straps. I realised how bad it was when i went out with the crew to shoot for Yazad’s Praja film. That was when i figured that it is not lifestyle or any of the esoteric terms that medical practitioners use – but something far more serious. The body was screaming for attention. And i was ignoring it for far too long.

My family doctor graduated from college the year I was born. He has been treating our family for the last two decades – and as such has been a good GP. He is not a pill pusher, and believes that our own good health lies in our own hands. He advocates proper breathing, proper diet (and i don’t mean atkins here), and a well balanced life style. But, i work in the media. In a start up. And to be very frank, i have always worked in a start up. And as anyone who has worked in startups will tell you – the thrill is something else. Put me in an well established company, i will probably go comotose in 3 months flat. So, high stress is a part of my life (and i really enjoy it), so are irregular eating and sleeping hours. To compound matters I smoke ( i haven’t in 3 weeks -but i am a smoker). Therefore, everytime i went to the docs, the resposne was standard – take time off. quit smoking. eat on time. sleep on time. Good advice. But, not very practical in this case.

Finally, things came to a head after terrible tuesday. I was drenched. waded through god knows what. And generally feeling unwell. With the Dengue and lepto scare going around – they sent me for a blood test. The Dengue and the Lepto were clear – but some other things weren’t. Given my history as a smoker & a former TB patient – off i went for a lung x ray. That was relatively clear.
But, the pain persisted. In sheer desperation i went to see my Gynaec. She is more or less my age. And sensible to the core. And best of all non judgemental. She took one look at the reports and said stones. And off i went for a sonography. There is indeed a stone in the gallbladder – the size of a ping pong ball.

The specialist has said surgery to remove the gall bladder. But i am not very comfortable with the idea of being cut open. Laparoscopy is probably the compromise solution. Next week is the surgery. And then i sit at home to heal for a week. And then get back to my life. It has been on hold because of this. Not because the condition is life threateining or contagious – but because it has taken them this much time to figure what is wrong. They ahve really looked at every body system to find out what is up. As a friend pointed out – they threw a dart – it landed on your lungs and off they sent your for lung treatment. that didn’t work – they said let’s try another dart – it landed in the stomach – so sonography.

I am quite angry at this whole thing. In my case I was lucky. Gall stones are not really life threatening at this stage. But, had it been detected 6 months earlier – i could have well used alternative medicine to heal the body. No surgery nothing. My doctor’s disapproval of my lifestyle, i think played a major part in delayed diagnosis.

I also came to another conclusion – no matter how high a pedestal we put them on – end of the day doctors are not guided by their scientific knowledge as much as their gut instinct. And if that is the case, will i not be better off going to a Tarot Card Reader (or a face reader) ? Atleast, they have better bedside manners, and you will come out feeling both better and superior.

Thankfully, all of this – except the Tarot Card Reader – is covered by Medical Insurance. And i am so glad that my dad insisted that i get some. My response when he first told me to get it, was ‘what will happen to me, i am indestructible’.

health, Gallstones, alternative healing, sonography, laparascopy, medical insurance,