Sunday, August 9, 2015
It is really sympathetic to see old men and old women suffering from diseases. More than the sufferings, their misunderstanding about the nature of their diseases is awful. I could make this statement from my own experiences with the ailing old people.
My experience started with my own grandmother who was very old even when I was a boy. She had perpetual swelling in one of her legs but however she managed to walk and do household works. She was not taking any Allopathic medicine. She used to eat moderately, as I remember, sometimes skipping her dinner or having just a bun for her supper. Only when she was down with fever I used to bring in a doctor to our home. Unlike today, doctors those days were service minded and could understand the difficulties of elderly people. The doctors used to analyse the symptoms. They were using simple instruments like thermometers and the stethoscopes and with that and by their knowledge of observing pulse rate they treated their patients with very little medicine and with abundance of love. They liked to be respected as doctors more than being respected as rich men or women. With that kind of treatments and food habits her journey through her old age to death was smooth. She suffered only briefly before she died as an octogenarian.
Then I saw the old age ailments of three of my septuagenarian friends. Two of them were government officers who knew very little about medicine. They thought doctors can treat their diseases and medicines can cure their ailments. They were never bothered about the foods that they ate. No doubt they were diabetic and their understanding of diabetes is that they should not take sugar or sweets made out of sugar. If they felt like taking, they ate the sweets and gulped down an extra dose of the medicine for controlling the extra load.
One died of complications in angioplasty after a heart attack. The complication gave a block in the blood vessel in the brain that lead to paralysis and he died daily mentally and one fine day died physically also.
The other one died in his late seventies after a prolonged illness though he had lot of hope that he will recover since some astrologer had predicted that he will live beyond 85 years of age. He had faith in medicines and astrology but never understood what he had to eat for food.
Now it is the turn of my parents. The ailing has already started. I have consulted a dozen Allopathic doctors all with masters’ degree in medicine and surgery. One Homeopathic Doctor and two Ayurvedic doctors were also in the list of doctors who were so far unsuccessful in treating.
The obvious problem that I see in them is that they don’t accept any moderation in the food they eat. The ‘Stomach-full’ eating habits could not be changed. They challenge that eating doesn’t cause any disease. The excess that they eat aggravates the diseases and the quality of their daily life is becoming worse day by day.
They only complain that I am not able to spot the 16th doctor. I am really confused because I could not logically make out how a doctor could ever treat if my parents don’t want to change their food habits. However just like everyone else I follow the myth that the doctors can cure in spite of the bad food habits.
The whole purpose of writing these stories is to bring in awareness to the readers that they need to take active steps in understanding what healthcare is all about. The modern hospital health care system is damn good in overhauling and plumbing works. They have also started doing spare parts replacement jobs. Plenty of money is there with us and so we absolutely do not mind spending a portion of the fortune that we have accumulated.
However we must be concerned about the quality of daily life we will have. We will live a long life but with lot of ailments and dependency on medicines.
So it is high time we start understanding our body, mind and the foods that we eat. We will have to devote time to understand what kind of daily exercise will keep us in good health. We will also understand the role of mind in our physical well being.
So do not wait for the day to start the learning process. Nobody is going to confer you with a university degree for doing this but you can be of least trouble to your kith and kin when you are old.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Twenty five years ago I expressed my wish to one of my friends that I was considering to join a social service club so that I could meet many people and could engage myself in meaningful social service activities. He suggested me an International Service Organisation in which he was a member and suggested me to attend a meeting of that club. I attended and I was well received by the other members. The then club President was an academician and because that I am a graduate from a premier institution he liked me instantly. I was inducted as a member and I happily paid the subscription.
Then on wards I was actively involved in various events. I got many friends from different professions. The culture of our club was very good that all the family members attended most of the meetings. Ladies and children were very happy since it was like a family recreation club. No doubt there were meaningful service projects like eye screening camps etc. . We also donated to educational aids and uniforms to poor students.
After a couple of years, I was chosen to be the secretary of our club and it was a very easy job because the President who preferred me and proposed me as his officer was a great administrator. During this period I could develop close relationship with many members. Since I was tech savvy and knew to drive a car as well, our then President liked me very much and that year the club was excellently administered that we were encouraged with many awards.
A couple of years later I was proposed to be the President of our club and in fact I was a very young President who had a very senior Government Officer as secretary and another Government Engineer as the Treasurer. Every one cooperated very well since two of our club senior members occupied higher administrative positions in the district of the organization. The district consisted of people of high status and high caliber as leaders. The members, especially the club officers had wonderful opportunity to learn relationship skills, public speaking skills and leadership skills.
It was the time that every one of us could develop a good personality and could do continuous services to the society. Money was scarce during those days and people eagerly accepted whatever services we could provide.
Today things have changed. Money is in plenty. To become an officer one needs to spend a some amount of money that he or she can get back by way of benefits offered by the rich and affluent candidates who want to contest to become the District Leaders. Cocktail parties have become open and the candidates are happy supplying the members with sophisticated alcoholic drinks that are golden coloured or pink coloured and sometimes even colourless. However all these drinks reveal the true colour of the members. The members are ready to vote for the candidate who is lavish in gifts and drinks. Very few clubs do some social services but many file false reports of the services. The trend has changed for the worst.
Some of the members from our club wanted to join yet another service organization. It was also international. It was not ruled by money as in the earlier set up. We formed a new club and hoped that we could look for an elite association. Since our club was formed with likeminded leaders, things were very comfortable. A couple of times our members could also raise to higher positions in the districts but the inefficient people in some other clubs who were surviving by sheer false reports did not prefer the active members or the organization to grow. This organization was offering some fringe benefits and one administrative unit occupied a large geographical area. The growth of the organization will result in the bifurcation of the unit and the benefit of wide contacts will be lost to the selfish people who were the king makers.The new club that we started has been shifted to cold storage.
Now few more international service organizations are left for me to join but again only when I join them I might understand the specific problems. In general there is something wrong with the mindset of the people. After independence they have spoilt the politics. After globalization they have spoilt the service organizations. Money assumes different dimensions these days.
The value system has changed. We have accepted the new way of politics, the new way of academic trade and heath care business. We have to similarly accept the new ways of the service clubs if we want friends outside our professional contacts and neighbourhood. There is some resistance to change in me that is quite natural. Women are fast in adapting to changes and I hope to change my values also if I have to move with the new trend.
Long ago I joined a club for elite friendship. Now I may have to settle for expensive gifts, cocktail and dinners in return for the hefty amount I have to pay in American Dollars towards membership.I am not interested in any of these three benefits. With my experience in service organisations I can form a new club but I am not convinced of the benefits that a new club can offer to the new members. Moreover I a have to devote more amount of time for building a new club. Since I am holding on to my business as the leader I don"t want to do that. So ultimately I have become a misfit to service organizations.