A stitch in time saves nine! The well–known idiom tells us that if we act on something in time, it saves many future issues. It is right in every field of life, especially about our health. Some people are lucky that they do not have any serious medical problems throughout their life, but others are not so lucky. The luck plays some role in this, but many times it is procrastination that comes in the way, and we delay the action. Such acts can cause lifelong damage or even death.
But then it is human nature. Another important aspect is what type of treatment should one take. People try Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurved, or some other kind including going to the sadhus in the belief that they will cure you.
It is an individual choice! Though we know the effects of delay, we keep on continuing the same mistakes.
Jaya and I usually act fast if we find some abnormal symptoms, but that does not mean that we rush to the doctor’s clinic the moment we sneeze. Some families have less knowledge about medical things, in general. It can cause delays and difficulties.
More than a decade back, I was diagnosed with a hernia. The doctor said that surgery is the only option, earlier the better. He asked when I can find time for the surgery. I said, “Tomorrow morning. Do I get admitted tonight or early tomorrow morning?” He smiled and said, “I am already booked for the next two days. Why don’t we do it on Friday?”
In Nov 2013, I had a bad throat, and my voice changed. I went and saw my ENT doctor. He suggested the usual medicines, gargling in the first week. In the second, he gave me antibiotics. In the third week, he thought that he had no other option but to try steroids. When steroids also did not work, he suggested that I get stroboscopy done. I did it on the first of December, and it was concluded that there was a small growth on my vocal cord. The doctor said that there is a 99% chance it is a cancerous growth. Within one week, a biopsy was done. Patho results confirmed cancer. Within one week of confirmation, the treatment for cancer was started, which included 34 radiations besides immunotherapy! By god’s grace and also because of immediate action, I came out of cancer. I could have easily delayed by going for a second opinion, third opinion, and so on. But we took a family decision to start the treatment as early as possible.
I want to tell you one important aspect. The delay in meeting the doctors is also done by some people who are doctors themselves. I will tell you a story about someone who is a doctor. That friend was having weakness and continuous indications that something was wrong. The friend was getting tired after walking about two–three hundred steps. Another close friend was regularly following up and prodding the friend to see a specialist. Somehow the procrastination was coming in the way. Finally, the friend reached the doctor’s clinic. After checking, the specialist doctor said, “You need to go to a hospital right away. Don’t even go home. Call your husband and tell him to come to the hospital. I need to start your treatment right away.” After eight days of treatment, the patient went home. It took almost six months for that friend to come back to normal. I met the specialist doctor last week at a function. She said, “If your friend had delayed coming to me by a couple of days, there was a possibility that your friend could have been paralysed below the neck!” How that friend of mine, who is a doctor, did not understand the seriousness?
Jaya recently underwent cataract surgery for both her eyes. She is perfectly healthy now. A relative of ours had come to meet her during that period. He had also gone through cataract surgery about one and a half years back. During the discussion, it came out that he cannot read the newspaper except the large headlines. I said cataract surgery is supposed to cure all these issues and he must recheck and take one more opinion. I coaxed him to see Jaya’s surgeon. We went, and my relative was checked. The surgeon found a significant flaw which was in his right eye after cataract surgery. The surgeon advised him to meet the top–notch expert in that field for further action. Now my relative will have corrective surgery.
In both cases mentioned above, the patients are of my age. With the current improvement of longevity, both are likely to be around for say the next ten years. Imagine being paralysed for ten years. Think of being blind for the next ten years! Why do people not think of going to the doctor on time? What do you achieve by delaying the meeting and treatment? Such delays can land you into serious trouble, and the quality of life could be drastically reduced.
As against this, I had a friend who got a heart attack more than twenty–five years back. He was in a hospital where they did not even check his cholesterol! His financial condition was not so good. I referred him to my nephew, who is an excellent physician. Open heart surgery was financially not possible. My nephew told him that it is possible to get better with medicines which may be needed to be taken lifelong. The friend followed the instructions to the T, and he changed his lifestyle as per the doctor’s instructions. He was a big smoker; he stopped it. He is still following the guidance and well and hearty.
Getting an excellent doctor is also part of luck, (not all doctors are competent!) but reaching them on time, and following their advice is what we must do. There is no point postponing that inevitable visit if it is needed. Another important point that comes into picture is people ask that question why me? Why so and so disease happened to me? Never ask that question because there is no answer to it.
Along with this, there is one essential point. Which pathy to follow is an individual choice. But out of all pathy’s, Allopathy is the only pathy in which a massive amount of money is spent on research. So, there is a possibility that it might cure you better and fast. There are some diseases like jaundice which have no medicine in Allopathy. Only Ayurvedic medicine called Liv 52 works. But the overall experience of life suggests that there are some illnesses like heart attack, major kidney issues, cancer are handled efficiently by Allopathy. Strong allopathic treatment also is not able to cure such ailments. So, in such cases, it is not a good idea to go for trial and error. One should avoid another pathy’s in such cases. Side effects of allopathy are going to be part of life, but getting better is a priority, is it not?
I will end this with a story about a hypochondriac! In my office, I had a person working with me for almost 18 years. He is still less than 40. Since the last ten years he keeps on feeling that he is unwell, sometimes would feel feverish. Sometimes he would feel chest pain, then once a while there would be fear that he might die. My nephew used to treat him. Occasionally he would check his BP, once in a while he would take his ECG. Sometimes his blood pressure was found slightly on the higher side, so BP medicine was prescribed. In last one year, he had four such anxiety/panic attacks. During his last attack, he had chest pain, and his shirt was thoroughly wet due to sweating. So, he was kept in a hospital for a couple of days. All test results were excellent, and he came out of the hospital fresh! My nephew then called me (during this episode, I was in Canada) and suggested that it is time to take him for psychiatric treatment. I have coordinated that for him, and he has had one session. According to the psychiatrist, except for some anxiety and low feeling, there is nothing wrong with him. I sincerely hope this helps him.
Now my friends, especially those in the Golden phase of life, don’t procrastinate about that ‘dreaded” visit to the doctor. A cat has nine lives; we have only one!