My First Post

Something pertaining to today’s topic:      Doctors – their duties and responsibilities




[My father with my daughter, in 1987 in Chennai, and with my son, in 1989 in San Francisco]

My father suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed with the disease in 1984, the year I got married. But he probably had it for a few years before the diagnosis. It is a progressively degenerative disease which affects the motor skills of a person among other things. There is a secretion in the brain called dopamine which stops secreting for PD patients. So he was chemically dependent on supplemental drugs which had severe side effects. But he fought the disease valiantly for so many years and was the embodiment of positive out look.

With this disease you can imagine how many doctors we would have seen and how much research we would have done to alleviate his suffering. Dr. K.V.Thiruvengatam was his primary doctor. My father always used to tell us to count our blessings. Dr.KVT was our first blessing. He gave my father the best medical care any one can ask for in this world. Dr.KVT is undoubtedly the God of medicine. He will never prescribe a drug which was not in circulation for at least three years and was fully sure of its merits before prescribing it to any one.

I lived in San Jose for many years and I have taken my father to the Stanford Medical college hospital for evaluation. The doctors there were surprised to see how well he was doing with about ten years of having the disease. The resident doctor prescribed him a new drug in the market which became allergic to him and he had severe reactions. Not complaining, because the doctor did tell us it was new in the market, but my father he being who he was would not mind trying anything new if that in case brought him a cure.

He got PD when he was around fifty but was diagnosed when he was fifty four. In his seventies he was hospitalised several times mostly in Apollo. Many times straight into the ICU. His speech became impaired and he was totally bed ridden, was fed on ryle’s tube. So hospitalisation was always a nightmare especially if he was in the ICU because no one could follow what he said except me and my mother. To the nurses and doctors he was just another patient, but to us, dearest dad. So, many times I would sneak up to the ICU by any means possible to see what he required. His leg would be caught in the steel rails of the hospital bed for hours together and sometimes blood oozing out, as he could not communicate his discomfort. But I would still say that the doctors and nurses did their best to save him every time, though his condition detiriorated further after every hospital visit.

This PD is not a common disease here as far as I know. You hear more about it in the western countries. So I cannot blame the doctors or nurses for their mistakes, though it was negligence on their part.

Our family doctor, Dr.Visalakshi Muthiah used to make house calls, which is unheard of these days. She often treated him for the recurring chest infections which resulted from immobility of my dad and feeding through ryle’s tube. Her husband is also a doctor and we have not seen a more compassionate doctor couple than them.

We have used many many nurses and physiotherapists in the past twenty years to assist my father at home as our house slowly turned into a mini hospital with oxygen cylinders, heavy duty suction pumps, nebulizer, oxygen saturation/pulse meter and what not. All those who assisted us have always shown compassion with an exception of may be five percent on the whole. In fact at one point we did make a conscious decision to not hospitalise him any more because of the agony he went through there.

There have been mistakes committed by hospital doctors, and we have always had to be vigilant in monitoring the care given to him and correct the mistakes immediately. I have encountered rude doctors, cynical doctors, even clueless ones. But I can honestly say that doctors are great as they have the capacity to pull back a departing soul and bring hope and happiness to millions of families around the world. My family doctor was in our home at my father’s bed side when he left his body on December26 2008 at 5.30pm.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vijay
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 15:43:47


  2. PVR
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 15:44:46

    Very touched. Especially because, someone killed a 53 year old lady Doctoras if she was the cause for the death of the killer’s wife


  3. Keshav Keshav
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 15:50:54


  4. Madhavan
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 16:08:16

    Nice! Straight from the heart. I can identify with many of the situations you’ve written – while trying to ‘save’ elderly relatives with hospital-like setups at home. All resulting experiences with nurses, doctors, ICUs and ambulances tend to be in extremes – very good or very bad. Have you read Dr B. M. Hegde’s articles on medicine, health care, etc? He writes in the Bhavan’s Journal too.


  5. amas32
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 16:17:28

    Thank you Madhavan. Will read DrB.M.Hegde's articles.amas32


    Jan 04, 2012 @ 16:31:55


  7. Natarajan
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 17:02:16

    Great ma! U had such a respect for the doctors’ profession. Every patient who is alive says Docs r god and the RELATIVES of patient say Doc is yama (who in turn is also a god). When it comes to doctor profession medicine does matter but what creates impact is the sincerity and the care. When it comes to wrong medicine I seriously thought once will a doc perform a same kinda check or trial prescription to his/her near and dear ones. I wish all the doc mind this when they are touching their scribbling pad where every patient’s fate is written! 🙂


  8. Maitri
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 02:39:39

    Beautiful thoughts and expression. If that were to happen to my parents, I would flip out, but hope lies in wonderful doctors and our own unknown strength.


  9. BarnabyHM
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 02:41:45


  10. amas32
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 04:45:57

    Well said Natarajan. Yes we should hope that all doctors imbibe in them socila and moral responsibility.amas32


  11. amas32
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 04:46:47

    Thank you Maitri 🙂 You have a beautiful name :-)amas32


  12. amas32
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 04:50:06

    I thank Vijay, PVR, Keshav, Rekha Raghavan, KRS, BarnabyHM for your comments :-)amas32


  13. சிலம்பரசன்
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 05:30:42

    Good One…


  14. Panju
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 18:10:02

    Very moving. Can you please post one about the Mama about whom you tweeted a while back, the one who passed away while holding the hands of his wife and son ? Glad to find some real life stories instead of media spin. Thanks


  15. amas32
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 01:31:46

    Will do Panju, thanks.amas32


  16. ப.செல்வக்குமார்
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 12:05:16

    மிக மிக அருமையான பதிவுங்க. டாக்டர் கே.வி.திருவேங்கடம் அவர்களைப் போன்ற மருத்துவர்களும் இருக்கின்றனர். மருத்துவர்களுடனான அனுபவம் ஒவ்வொருவருக்கும் இருக்கும். நிச்சயம் ரொம்ப அருமையாக எழுதியிருக்கீங்க :))


  17. amas32
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 14:03:33

    ரொம்ப நன்றி! ஏன் அடுத்தப் பதிவையும் படிங்க 🙂 amas32


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