Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The noble profession is not so noble!

It’s sad to know there aren’t too many competent and dedicated doctors in India anymore. I am not sure how many were actually there earlier but I know for a fact that I don’t have much faith in the Indian doctors for innumerable reasons. I have seen my grandmother suffering till her death because of many doctors’ callousness and over confidence. I suffer from acute body pain from the age of 19. In spite of visiting a dozen doctors in Kolkata and Hyderabad my pain hasn’t reduced in 15 years!

My father-in-law went to a Diabetologist recently as he is diabetic and is suffering from a kind of nervous disorder. The moment he walked to the doctor’s cabin the first thing she told my father-in-law that the small lump on his nose can be dangerous and cancerous. Now, how the hell did she know what the lump was all about, without even conducting any test! That was not all. She reassured my father-in-law that cancer can be treated if detected at the early stage, and she went on to getting him an appointment with one of her colleagues who specialized in such type of cancer… what type??? This Diabetologist works in a renowned hospital in Kolkata.

Now coming to my terrible experience, a family friend who is a doctor (read quack) saw thick hair on my chin. I didn’t get time to go to a parlour for threading. He said that I probably had Polycystic Ovary (PCO). He immediately got the blood tests done, and according to him I did have PCO.

He prescribed me to take Glyciphage and Crimson 35 everyday for four months. Glyciphage is a tablet used to treat diabetes, and Crimson 35 is used as a birth control pill. These two tablets are also used for women suffering from PCO.

Those four months were nothing but the most horrific time of my life. Within a month I broke into rashes on my arms. I went to a couple of skin specialists, they gave me some anti fungal cream; they were no good. One day I just decided to stop taking Crimson 35 as I wasn’t sure whether I should take birth control pills, and the rashes disappeared!

That’s not all. During this period I also suffered from acute stomach disorder. Now that was embarrassing! I would have to run to the toilet at any odd moment, and that was so difficult, especially while I was training. I kept on thinking whether it was because of my bad food habit or something else that I was suffering. When the problem continued for four months I decided to consult a doctor. I spoke to our family doctor about this but he could not figure out anything.

The other doctor I went to suggested a few tests and a few medicines for a week. After a week he couldn't figure out what was wrong and suggested that I go to a specialist. The specialist also suggested a few more tests and a tablet called Metrogyl, thrice a day, for twenty days. At the end of the twenty days I was left with a metallic tongue, lost my sense of taste, the doctor said that nothing was wrong with me, and the problem persisted. I can’t express how frustrating it was to be in situation like that!

It was on one of the days during a very hectic work schedule that I realized that I had exhausted the Glyciphage tablets. I thought of taking a break from the tablet for a couple of days, out of sheer laziness. After two days I suddenly realised that in the past two days I did not feel any discomfort and did not have to rush to the toilet while at work. I stopped taking the tablet and realized I was fine, the four months of suffering was all gone!

I called the family doctor to tell him what happened, but he did not take any responsibility for his ignorance. I later visited a few sites on Google and found that there are women who suffer for taking Glyciphage.

What I have been talking about till now are all common things that happen in our day to day lives, and no one talks about them. Life is bad enough already and enough number of bad things will anyway happen along the way. I don’t know whether there is a way to handle these situations. The least we can do is talk to people and spread the word around, rather than hiding things because of silly shyness; we Indians are great at that! At least by this way many people can be saved from unnecessary suffering. I am doing my little bit by posting my experiences through this channel.

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