Monday 7 January 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 5

5.1.2013, Mumbai
Hospitals and Seniors

What is about hospitals that make both the patient and their
caretakers so anxious? It is not fear of the unknown and it is
certainly not distrust for their doctor otherwise they would not be at
the venue and yet, strangely as the treatment progresses and the stay
extends, there is a slow and gradual feeling of helplessness, of
feeling trapped in a morbid, monotonous, stifling atmosphere which no
amount of luxuries like an internet connection or television can take
away. When you look out of the high floor window the neon lit street
by night appears like a distant dream…
The hospital lobby in sharp contrast to the rooms upstairs is buzzing
with activity and cheerful visitors of patients enthusiastic to catch
up with other distant relatives.
I visited two senior patients in two different hospitals in one
evening and both were desperate to go home. All they want, they said,
is relief from pain but in pursuit of better health they have
negotiated more investigations. Tied up in tubes and zealously guarded
by vigilant, devoted daughters, they are recovering but comfort is
still far away.
Every day, when the patient felt she was closer to getting home, the
doctor requested just one more test, one more x-ray and one more day
to wait and watch….
It reminds me of a story my old uncle narrated to me about my
grandmother. He compared seniors to ancient cars. Just in the way old
vehicles taken to a garage run the risk of being told that every part
of the car needs changing, so it is with our seniors. We should relish
them and preserve them as peacefully as we can indoors. This way we
will prevent rust and protect them from aggressive treatment.
I should know, I have walked the familiar lanes.

Bhawana Somaaya/

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