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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Fine Thin Line

This is a balance act.. really is. Where you draw the line between love for your little one and excessive love which just about begins to spoil your child. The fine thin line barely visible.. and the line i,m beginning to search for frantically as my three year old is turning out to be four..

My three year old like I guess all normal three year old these days is fond of mobiles, laptops, televisions, DVDs and different gizmos. What do i do... forbid her, concede to her demands or as obvious stop somewhere in between and where is that line.... and the line is obviously different for different parents. She started with my mobile not so high on technology clicking pics, playing games , i introduced her to laptop... you tube basically along with story books and different puzzles. Television, child discovers on her own and is basically used as an eating aid. Yes i know healthy eating habits and family time not withstanding my daughter still has her food rather food stuffed inside her mouth with television on. Opinions would vary, several brows would frown but kudos to all the parents who are able to inculcate healthy eating habits in child. Though still i am yet to see a child and i have seen very few adults (wouldn,t include starving girls surviving on a bowl of fruit or overweight aunties dieting on salads) who takes their regular helping of fruits and vegetables as a part of normal diet. With love and sympathy when i hand over a pack of fried crispy or a pack of candy to my daughter after coming from office...is this love really or an exercise to be guilt free... Then the regular or once in a while visit to any junk food joint and watch with pride the little one carry the tray full of all sorts of unhealthy stuff and binge merrily. Again where do we draw the line to the point it does not become excessively unhealthy.

As we saw our daughter get addicted to Chota Bheem and Doraemon we used it to our advantage, leave her with television and sneak out for office or shopping, or when she used to create a major fuss to stay over at our neighbour,s place for extended play dates. Though i read in mommy blogs ad hear some mummies claim they restrict the time of viewing upto one hour or so but how would you do it...obviously get her distracted ...more toys , educative puzzles, books.. we did just that and soon it was puzzles, puzzles all around and we were involved as well helping her...then there was a ' scribbling' phase and then colouring phase.. where we went around buying more colour books still the fever was over. My smart phone gave her another new thing to do... Angry Birds, typing incoherently, shooting videos, playing you tube...where we watched stories and songs. But somehow it became her regular habit to fiddle with the phone before sleeping switch on some ' zoo' apps or anything else to the point of ruining her sleep... so again i got stories to the rescue. Problem is to find suitable stories for children...Cindrella Snow White Hansel & Gratel where every time the mother is dead , father remarries and gets a wicked mom!!!! Tried Panchatantra tales...fox in grave hunger trying to get grapes but unable... the story loses its moral and i end up feeling sorry for the fox. We have tried Dr Seuss after the rave reviews either i am not a good story teller or this is not my idea of childhood story telling.. so Dr Seuss didn't work much. I got a few books from the Pepper series, both me and her loved his stories simple with a message and something she could read looking at the pictures and something we could reframe at night without looking at the book. Also i tried Bengali children Ramayan which is again difficult considering it begins with king and his four wives.. second wife conspiring for throne.. too much for little one and she ended up liking Hanuman,s antics and Lanka Kand. There is a dearth in Children Literature it seems while in my time it seemed i was spoiled for choice...

All these quite well.. but now after shifting to the twelfth floor of a high rise apartment in Gurgaon, and keeping my daughter away from the sleek iPad  the neighbouring six year old carries with him..we just stare helplessly as he plays on and my daughter stares hungrily.. after being forbidden and told  she cannot have an ipad in clear terms..( though she demanded a pink iPad once she is as old as neighbouring Dada!!)  How do i forbid her when she asks me ' can i go to their place  ma ' while her main intention is to have a grab at the iPad and play a game or two. I was about to read her a story last night which i could never finish off as iPad man (who spends his weekends in the Gaming zone at Ambience Mall) embarked in after his so called ' tuition classes'. We have a good family term and knowing them well cannot interfere after a certain extent... so the dilemma...Though somehow i told him either it,s 'simple playing' between the two or he and his iPad at his home.. But then where is that fine thin line... which would stop my daughter from getting spoiled and how do i save her from all the techie attacks of the brat, the looks of envy for the device and the settling for games in her mom,s comparatively tiny mobile... Do i sound a bit disappointed...not really i hope.

Splurging on toys to save us from a major fuss in public.. and yes i have seen other parents facing the same dilemma with a sulking child at trail. My husband would say learn to say ' NO' and i,d say i reserve my ' No,s' for all the times when it is needed most. Most of the times we accuse each other of our parenting methods, each disliking other's...While he feels i am spoiling our child rotten by conceding to her whims and spending my time in internet,  i would feel this is an impractical old school trying-to-be disciplinarian father...guess we would be always at loggerheads..

Parenting..to create a world for my child like my parents created for me.. books.. pictures... stories... where as Mobiles, games, cartoons.. the world of my daughter. Somewhere is the line, somewhere is the healthy blend of both the worlds.. the quest is on.. only patience is needed.. lots of it..

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Touching Lives, Missing Souls....

I read about this contest...and.. well at first decided not to contest. And practically i am not. Yet i had something to say which might be down rightly rejected by the sponsors. But when you have something to say  and you want people to listen.. why not give a try.

I will come to the point. This is about my personal experience in ' Modern Healthcare' and to be specific with Apollo Hospitals. I will clarify a bit, maligning an esteemed institution is not my intention, just i want to draw the attention to the incidents which happened with me exposing a very bitter facet of life and might happen with anyone can definitely be avoidable and may be then  ' Modern Healthcare' may  ' touch our lives'.

When we knew of my pregnancy five years back...after some ifs and buts we settled on a gynecologist in Apollo Hospitals Delhi through reference by common friends. I must say i was impressed in my early visits (though i never knew my association would be so long and painful)..and apart from the hefty sum to be paid as fees.. i liked almost everything... the ambience, the food at the cafes which me and  husband would invariably munch during our long wait for the doctor.. we didn,t seem to mind we were excited with the baby inside me and staring at fellow patients, some expecting some with tiny infants we didn,t mind initially. We liked the doctor, more or less followed what she said and things went smooth till  the final stage of my pregnancy. She didn,t stress much on  normal delivery and i abstained from doing any particular exercise or classes to aid in delivery. Though today i feel if some exercises really help...dotors should advice and surgery can be avoided. Anyway.. since my baby was ' oblique' with a ' floating head' she advised surgery and we obliged. So there came my daughter..i loved all the attention and care by the hospital stuff. We had taken a two bedded room and the nurses appeared at the ring of a bell. My husband was sitting beside me when they were undergoing surgery and i remember the lovely pediatric holding my daughter, smiling , as she brought her to us. I recall the anesthetist lending me support overall i had a fabulous feeling and wasn,t scared a bit.

After her birth though sometimes i had a tough time communicating with the nurses mostly from Kerala i guess but i liked  the way they took care and helped me in all regards. Post my surgery and long tiring times with a new born, my husband left us at my home town and went for some three months project abroad . Only he didn,t knew the project here he left so incomplete... Back at my home town we were coming to terms with the new one as i began having stomach aches followed by jaundice. Ultrasound.. and i knew of my gall stones and not only that stones have blocked my bile duct causing jaundice. We flew to Delhi immediately.. and before i knew i was again in Apollo Hospitals and my one and half month infant at home.This time without husband around and in the ' general' ward story was a bit different. The doctor obviously was sensitive to my situation and expedited the process. Being a lactating mother at that time i was squeaking and screaming at night with pain...i told the stuff to take me to the children ward since i knew there was a machine to ' express' breast milk there..it seemed hours before they could coordinate a wheel chair , (though i didn,t need one) and since i was all alone at hospital with parents at home with the infant..it seemed hellish. At last i managed to go to the children ward.. but i knew if this was the process.. i got my own machine from home the next day and somehow survived. Then my stomach ache, i didn't know how come there was no doctor at night to help as i cried of pain.. finally i called my doctor at 2 am..lucky that he picked up and instructed the sister. Still shudder at the thought...

Somehow stones in my bile duct could not be removed and they put a stent inside me. i stayed with the stent inside, a month.. with frequent fevers because of the object inside.. several round of antibiotics and my two month infant. Without husband around and the baby her check ups and vaccinations and my follow ups with doctor, small town parents in this huge city..life surely gave a different 'thumbs up' to me...

After a turbulent month, somehow all friends disappeared at that time..or may be i wasn,t loved enough.. and who knows persons with '100' likes in facebook were popular enough...anyway these were or still are negative thoughts..one day again me and Baba set off for Apollo Hospitals again...thrice in three months!!! Surely the hospital was bewitched by me!! ERCP ( the painful process of inserting suction type something through nose and extracting stones) was successful this time and after i shivered and bleeded through my nose doctor gave me this news. Me and my relieved father.. and phone calls from in laws i thought this was the 'end' and i had survived...

But no. I was without food since last night as doctor instructed. Dinner was served to me at night.. I did not meet any doctor post the ERCP process apart from the consultant doctor near elevator while i lied barely conscious  in stretcher . I was in doubt if i was supposed to have food and since i met no doctor.. my father enquired from the nurse and after her consent i had little bit of dinner. I still don,t know whether i was given the food by ' mistake' after anesthesia anyway my hard luck i had huge stomach pain and vomited through out the night and yes could not ' see' any doctor. I had fever in the morning and i think by evening i met my doctor who tried to say all this was ' normal', my body reacting after the process, or that i lay there unattended what was normal anyway i wasn,t sane enough to ponder... and the third night we didn,t know what to do with my father spending two sleepless nights at the easy chair in general ward and clueless how long would i be kept and what treatment i was undergoing...

Finally home.. by that time sisters knew me at the hospital!! Since my veins got blocked due to repeated antibiotics, they had to pierce me again and again. The nurse who was admitted by my side due to typhoid.. how she got up from her bed to aid the sister in piercing my veins... her jovial happy-go-lucky boyfriend. It took a long long time to recover.. may be i never recovered fully, went without solid food for several days, paranoid at another visit to the ' hospita'

I know ' modern healthcare' saved me, being treated in one of the best place in the country.. i got my life. But  the shudders of the whole process...and when i think of the care and attention i got in my two bedded room and should i use the word ' negligence' in the general ward...the doctors cured me all right but is that all the health care industry do.. where as i met the dietitian many times after the caesarian operation advising me about what they would serve when liquid, ' soft' diet, semi solid etc etc me and here as i lay alone nobody had any idea what food i was supposed to have and nor it seemed anybody cared.

Only when i checked the bills later before submitting to the insurance company and i saw the charges labelled  against doctor ' visits' , visits which were invisible to me... may because i did not have an attendant to always take care of..i don,t know really. But consultation charges without consultation.. So many questions.. and yet i was an educated woman with ' insurance' as they would invariably ask..( does having an insurance imply they would retain you and charge you unnecessarily) and had the same thing been in a small place with a woman without financial support would she have survived... Modern Health care has indeed come a long way, taken that ' filthy' ' smelly' stuff from hospitals made them indeed a better place no doubt, almost all things can be cured so is the power of medical science but so many things needs to be done.. lots of love, care for patients of all ' wards' and i know an impossible thing to ask for.. make modern amenities accessible to all... all of us who has a right to live....and yes this has to be an effort by all, the country, the health care industry and us ordinary people who can make a difference..