Friday, November 11, 2005

TB - my experience

As a former suspected TB patient (turned out to be some other bacterial lung infection) i can tell ya the society induced scare is the worst part. I was like ok even if it is TB i will take the medication big deal but everyone else was shitting in their pants about it. I guess some acquaintances even rushed out to write an obituary to me. "Hai Ram , kitna accha ladka tha, abhi abhi to phadai khatam kari thi, honi ko yahi manzoor tha, kismat per kiska jor chale hai". In most movies the hero gets a sympathetic heroine clinging on to him, trying to make his life better, no such luck for yours truely.

The doctors surpised me too. They first did a spot check which was inconclusive to one , positive to another, negative to a third one. My hand became a medical school student testing ground. Yes / No / Maybe. Then came the other tests that proved that it wasn't TB, it was something else which required *gasp* the same set of antibiotics or so i was told. I was like ok give me the medicine and lets move on, shall we. But no ! The doctors wanted to just say they were right and make more money with more tests. I was like will this change the medication I am on? They said no you have already started the course. So i asked them how will this help, they said we will know if you really needed the medication that you now have to finish anyway. To which my response was - middle finger. I went off to a friend's dad who was a doctor. Dude fumed at the other doctors, called them up , gave them a ear full and told me to show up every month, just to make sure the medicine wasn't harming my lever. In US i would have made a killing on such gross over medication i guess. All in all i got to experience the incompetent money hungry noobs that we have for doctors in India. And this is in Delhi (Apollo hospital) so Lord have mercy on poor patients in poorer / remote places.

I had to tell all my friends to cancel the final booze party, stop buying white cloths and be prepared for me living yet another day. I got duely cursed for committing the atrocity of getting their hopes up and still keep on living. All the attention i was being dotted on by distant relatives went away. Thanks to medication all i could eat was Daal and subji with no oil, no spices. And i was supposed to not exert myself too much so the only sport i played was Pacman and chess. No cricket, no swimming and the entire vacation being burnt away. My mom got to spend full 4 months of me being a good mummy's boy eating at home, staying at home, no partying late at nights with friends and in general being so good I became boring. There were no stories i could tell her that she could pretend to exasperate or chide me about. I think the week that medication ended and i was out partying every night, she felt a sense of order restored to her world.

The biggest problem with India and othe countries with TB problem is the poor / uneducated patients. The moment they start getting better dumb shits stop taking medicine get back to work and start preparing in a way to make sure they die. That makes the bacteria drug resistant, eventually killing them and making medicines less effective for everyone else. In the recent times magazine US edition there was an article about some doctor from vietnam who is trying to cope with that so that's a must read.

So this was my TB experience without getting TB. If you do get it rush to the doctor, get atleast 3 cross checks and even then take the medication anyway.


Blogger Sunil Deepak said...

काली जी, जब मुसीबत गुजर जाती है तो उस पर हँसना आसान हो जाता है पर सच बात है कि जिस पर गुजरती है वही जानता है कि समाज के डर और श्टिगमा (stigma) का कितना बुरा असर होता है! :-)


11:29 PM  
Blogger Kalicharan said...

yup that is exactly what i was pointing out with respect to acquaintences. It depends on the people around you. The circle of people around me then happened to be young, highly educated, techy crowd who just did web searches, talked to their doctor friends and found the truth. But if you have TB in a poor, uneducated area to bhagwan aapka malik hai.

8:12 AM  

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