06 October 2009


When I cleared my HSC board exam with better than average marks, my dad wanted me to be a doctor. I however had other plans. When I went to submit my admission forms, I was getting admission in both engineering and medical colleges. I opted for engineering. My dad was so mad at me that he didn't speak to me for a full week. Till date, he maintains that I'd have made a good doctor. I was reminded of his words recently due to the following incident.

My aunt's (mother's sister's) 24-year old son has been laid up with high fever for last few days. So much so that he had to be admitted to hospital for observation as doctors were unable to diagnose the cause of the fever. All pathological tests were negative. After 4 days at the hospital, with no specific diagnosis for his recurring temperature, he and his parents were understandably at their wit's end and very, very worried.

I had been a silent spectator while all this was unfolding. I tried to lift their flagging spirits with humor. Most of the seasonal and rampant diseases had been ruled out as one after another all the tests gave negative results. Finally, one blood test gave positive result - leptospirosis. It was heartening, as well as ironical, to see the joy on my uncle and aunt's faces at the positive lab result :) At least now the cause, and therefore, the treatment was clear. But I was not satisfied and told them as much to their chagrin. For this same test had given negative result a couple of days earlier. The only reason I could think of was that there was another virus(or bacteria) in his body which was still latent. That is why none of the tests had clear positive result. And sure enough, this morning, my aunt called to let me know that the peripheral blood smear sample taken a couple of days ago, and treated as culture in the laboratory, had shown signs of typhoid bacteria. So, it was indeed a cocktail of bacterial infections!

I remembered my dad's words and had a moment's misgiving that I'd missed my profession after all! But then, I consoled myself, I'm not doing too badly at my current one either.


Veena said...

That was good work Neel ! There is so much of difference we can make , if we are alert to the tests and things happening around us .

Shruti said...

I had no idea your dad had wanted you to take medicine. My mom too. She had almost persuaded me but luckily, I did not qualify. I shudder to think what I would have done in medical college. I would have done great as a doctor, I know, but the 4-8 years of intense studying would have been beyond me. :)

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