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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..