Saturday, December 20, 2014

" ask,so it shall be granted "

The day she was admitted, she became known for her expression of a deer caught in headlights. 

I saw fear in her eyes, a fear of the days to come as her disease was progressing.
I always related fear with the unknown, until I saw her with the fear of the known. She was afraid, she was aware, and she looked like a deer caught in headlights. 
To some, their eyes are windows to their souls; you can see in their eyes your own destiny. Others have eyes which remind us of windows with curtains. Limitations of their bodies with their fears blinding them from living in the present moment.
I knew her and her disease, her diagnosis and the prognosis of what she had.  She was suffering from a drug and radiation resistant cancer. To see her suffering from a cancer which was changing her to someone slowly drifting away from life as her systems were shutting who was always in pain with no appetite, losing weight and hair, was not easy. She was down, as if she was a computer with an infected hard drive. One of the challenges we faced was her inquisitive nature. She wanted to live a little bit more.  She had many questions about her disease, treatment options, and prognosis.The dilemma in caring for her was one of a kind; the knowing of not knowing, the awareness of hopelessness and the certainty of failure regardless of cutting edge technology with our best efforts. The feeling of not being able to do much as a doctor while dealing with an aggressive cancer brought paralyzing emotions of lost hopes and powerlessness; a sense of not being able to do the job with grace.

To keep fighting with the armaments of modern day medicine with a sense of going in circles hoping to prolong life when tomorrows become uncertain, test the resilience of the soul in a dying body. But clearly there is always a hope to die in dignity. The concept of end of life care, staying at home surrounded by loved ones rather than an assigned room number, is probably the safest bet to inject some sense of control and the  possibility of a dignified death when medical treatments have limitations of care and cure. I wonder what if I would have told her sooner when I realized that there was no hope to prolong life, but there was hope to pass on in dignity. Life is not easy to live she knew; the pain of hanging on was severe but she wanted to hang in there and to fight to live.
She was dying in the hospital with her husband by her side, and he was there all the time as were we. She was asked if there was anything that she wanted to have. She asked for a glass of wine and her husband got it for her.

I remember that afternoon, she had wine and we browsed through her photo-albums of world-wide cruises, and pictures of waves and winds, rains and storms. She looked at me with a smile and rather strangely said, “I am glad I met you at this time, I can't thank you enough” and told me that “everything will be fine”, as her faith has guided her throughout her last days. I felt tears in my eyes; no words, no voice, our silence said it all.

I wonder how, while most lose hope, some take their gloves off and raise their arms up while kneeling down believing in the teaching of ask, so it shall be granted.  This may be a holistic approach to gain some hope for patients while they are contemplating the proposed medical treatments. The scientific mind may argue about the variability of results of the power of prayer, but those who know the science of it will keep doing what has always worked and always will.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"the other side of the story"

He was a nice and a caring man; he was like an angel. Those who claimed to know him were saying those words in past tense as he was not there anymore.That was not the fact. He was there among us then, but not there as we want people to be, present in our presence.

He was suffering from dementia, body movement disorder and variety of other health issues. He was just contained in himself with total dependence on others for his existence. I saw a gentlemen with a past history, a social history, a family history and a history of presenting illness, which we the doctors are trained to take down on a paper, knowing that history is also a story of a person in a reference point of time, and is made on the daily basis. I saw him as a man absent from his present and, who was unaware of something known as future.

The other side of the story was the history of real him, which is true for all of us. Even sometimes we as ourselves doubt as 'who am I" ; when a situation in our own life surprise ourselves when some hidden part of us were to reveal as a strength, we never knew was there in our DNA. No amount of truth or sharing of someones life will remove the burdens or blessings of ones own heart is also the other side of the often untold story.  He was that person as I knew him, a person who was not able to explain why it happened to him or was that supposed to be happening anyway. I admired him as he deserved, a soul who raised himself by offering what is perishable anyway as who saves one life as he has saved all humanity.  That's what the warriors of light do, I wonder.

Monday, July 14, 2014

"it is what it is"

Like me, you may have heard many times those words; he wants to die, she wants to live, he is not a quitter, he has lost hope. He is a fighter. And the question always was, what he was fighting with or fighting for. Why he was not looking for peace? Is death is the real enemy?

Life is a mystery as is the search for finding the truth. Life as such is an illusion so is the truth. Some may say that the journey of life matters a lot than life itself. As time change so do we; the beings as we called ourselves and the bodies those rock the world at some point of time in our own frame of references of places and persons lose connections. The body gets tired, breathing gets shallower, heart start sinking, mind getting burdened and the bladder gets weaker, and the race for fighting for life and more time getting cumbersome........

It is only then when some will raise but most will fall, as few has the capacity to say it out loudly;
'it is what it is'. No remorse, no guilt, just plain simple acceptance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

“ the moment of truth”

He was old and rusty from outside but nice and shinny on the inside. He had his mind, experience, money, family and  relatively speaking his health, as he counted his blessings. Then he sounded sad and told me that he had regrets of spending too much sleepless nights on worldly matters; counting his successes and failures while his was dying, nothing matters as such, he said.

The moment of truth is always at the hind side. The struggles and the process of going through those during our lifetimes literally blind us with temporary triumphs and setbacks. The bigger triumphs we achieve, the greater the illusion of forever life we get into.

He died of natural cause, we called old age that brought culmination to the illusion that success matters and failures counts in this life. To be honest life is a journey ,we all know but few remember, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey while travelling the road of life as nothing matters in the end except a clear conscious.Those were his last words before embarking into a journey on the other side.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

" mars or moon"

He was living and ticking as some will say at his best at age 94. He was blessed in many ways but the best part he told me was that he was able to escape from doctors until age 74 when he got his knee surgery. I saw him sitting in a chair doing his taxes and murmuring about how much Uncle Sam can take from his hard earned money.

He was suffering then from a weak heart and a frail mind. Being living was a privilege for him , and able to breath on his own was a true blessing.

He reminded me that life is a losing battle for us living beings; whatever we do will end one day and, nothing matters as nothing last so as to speak.

He died peacefully as he made his choices to keep him comfortable when he expected to be the most uncomfortable near his end. We did keep our words.

To some, life is a road of moments; one moment lead to another with no return of the same moment ever. Time well spent is the mother of all blessings. But modern day struggles of mind and machine, life and careers, us and them, power and freedom. money and food, and the worst of all, living in an age of political correctness. Our planet is not a happy place any more sadly.

To others, they believe in here and now;  no more mars or moon. They are the ones who wish to save our planet from our own mischief of wars and weapons by saying no to false promises.

We live once so lets live peacefully, eat healthy and live longer. Be happy and make others happy. I wish the secret of world peace was as simple like this.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

" the dance of recovery"

You may have heard this many times,but I will say it again. One day at a time, I told her.
She was recovering from her respiratory failure. She was being able to weaned then and was able to talk with a Passy Meuer valve. But that was not enough for her, and she was getting depressed with her pace of recovery.

She had a list of things she was not able to do like eating,drinking,walking,sleeping,eccetra, while able to talk with her speaking valve.

I reminded her of the day she was admitted after her life threatening illness on a ventilator. Then she just wanted to live, even never able to talk,walk,eat; even on the ventilator for the rest of her life. She just wanted to be there for her loved ones.

As she was recovering from her illness, she was losing sight of gains she had made. The dance of recovery: one step forward, two steps backwards,one step backward,two steps forwards was consuming her.

To some, understanding of the process of recovery keep them in sync. They move as their day swing,one day at a time.They do so like the magnificent trees standing while a storm pass by.They keep their ground, they stand to see the next good day of calm. They are the blessed one: thankful of what was left of them rather than what was not there, or may or may not come.

Others, suffer more while suffering from the initial illness. The dance of recovery continues till eternity for those; ungrateful of what was left of them, they struggle with demons of anxiety for what was not there, or may or may not come while time takes its course and fate reveals itself, as things were meant to be...........