Thursday, December 2, 2010

Straight From Heart

  This post is on the winner's list of YOUR LIFE CHANGING DEVICE CONTEST at Blogadda.

This one just mine!

"Give me your steth” so says the consultant to his junior doctors to examine the patients during the ward rounds.And then does rest of the hospital come to know that if a doctor does not have his stethoscope hanging around his neck or is not wearing his apron he has to be a consultant.Exceptions are those in a few specialities which rarely require one.When in the undergraduate period we start learning with a basic model which cost a few hundred bucks,there will be two or three elite ones in the class carrying a Littman’s which either is a gift from someone who is mighty proud seeing them become a doctor or they are those lucky kids of awesomely rich parents.

These days this little device comes with varied features possible,thank technology.Something what we people of this globe eat,sleep,talk,work and live with today.The elders have accepted it with some hesitation but keenness to keep in pace with their young peers whose life is totally dependent on it.From love letters to salary slips,all are mails in our inbox.We all have turned tech savvy,most of us will agree that life no more feels so very boring and same.

People who attach their emotions to objects are not to be considered materialistic always,their reasons can be manifold which may even seem peculiar to the rest of the world.We value things for the person who gifted it,or because it is one of the first ones we bought from our salary,or for the memories it carries,or the experience and learning it has given us,or simply that we liked it at the first instance and bought it.Everyone owns at least one product of technology which has brought a difference and made our lives easy.

Doctors are not any far behind,there are innumerable advancements in the field of medicine which has made our work complicated yet beautifully precise.Robotic surgeries,PET scans,painless needles,genetic therapy;you name it and we have begun it all. But there are some things which we cannot afford to do,even more are things that come under the ‘not to dos’.Such confusingly difficult decisions and actions may be pardonable by law or it may even escape punishment but no technology would satisfy one’s conscience,though not many own it.

Amongst the many gadgets and gizmos that make living a pleasure,this might be a weird choice but for a doctor like me the first stethoscope will always stay special for a lot of reasons.It has made me listen to a newborn’s heart beat and a frail heart stop,and now I have learnt to respect death as much as life.

During houseman ship it has made me hear many lungs breathe and bowels rumble.It has helped me measure blood pressure of countless patients every five or ten minutes in the ICU and post operative wards.There were days when we had to pay the chronically admitted patients in the free wards just to auscultate their chest and listen to all sorts of murmurs their hearts carried,sadly their disease was the only way left to earn a living.At the other end the kids in pediatric wards detested the presence of  us monsters who carried the big rubber tubing in their ears and went close,no amount of chocolates could help us make a deal with them!Sometimes it was given on a free rent to a senior and more than often it was lost and found in the nursing station,operation theatre,intern's room,canteen,dressing trolley or the patient’s bed.Frankly it has been in every nook and corner of the hospital and seen it all. 

The traditional ones make just heart to ear conversation.There are polished versions now in the market,the electronic and digital kinds which are acoustically sophisticated but more than helpful.But they are not worth owning until there is knowledge enough which deserves them.I remember one of my professor saying in a clinics class “What the mind does not know the stethoscope does not make you hear,auscultation is an art and you all have to practise” which I guess has to be done all through a doctor's life.I sometimes am amazed how little things help us with diagnosing life saving conditions,provided one knows how to use it well at the right time.And a stethoscope is one of them,the woooooosh” and “clickkk” between the lub and dub” and a myriad of other sounds are the most difficult to catch but they have so much to tell.

With whatever little technology it works,my stethoscope is my life changing and saving device for it has made me listen to one of life’s most wonderful calls that say  “I need some help”, “I am feeling alright” ,“Thanks for listening”and more,straight from many a heart.

Even Old Uncle Santa might need some help from one,after all the travel in the cold this Christmas!

A merry one to all!








-R.


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24 comments:

Beyond Horizon said...

Hey...lovely :)
dont hve words 2 express how it touched my heart :)

Ugich Konitari said...

What a lovely post, Raksha ! Enjoyed your life and sounds with the stheth......

Pratibha The Talent said...

being a doctor I could feel the love for the first stethoscope.thanks for sharing and good to see doctors like you blogging so beautifully.

D2 said...

Lovely read. I can certainly understand why the stethoscope is so close to a doctor's heart, even when it is always close to her ears! NIce one. All the best. :)

Team G Square said...

Very well narrated .

Obsessivemom said...

Great post and the choice quite unexpected .. Tho I'm no doctor I once considered buying a stethescope becz my son used to start wheezing at the drop of a hat and by the time I came to know things were out of control. The doc laughed at me and recommended a nebuliser instead. Over time I have learnt to diagnose his wheezing simply by feeling his chest. God bless docs and their 'steths' :-)

Always Happy said...

absolutely brilliant Raksha.

Nalini Hebbar said...

Like it that you enjoy your work and can see people as entities and not as just a machine that needs repair...:)

Raksha Bhat said...

@Beyond Horizon: Thank you so much:)

@Ugich Konithari: Welcome here Ma'm and thanks a lot:)

@Prathibha The Talent: Glad to see you here and a special thanks to a wonderful fellow doctor:)

@D2: Yes indeed...they are special...thank you for liking the post:)

@Team G Square: Thank you:)

@Obsessive Mom: Thank you and wishing your kid good health:)

@Always Happy: Glad you liked it..thanks:)

@Nalini Hebbar: Thank you Ma'm...glad to see you here:)

Sumit Sarkar said...

I understand your feelings quite well...
My father is a doctor himself..and he has the stethoscope always around his neck..
I loved reading your post :)

Raksha Bhat said...

@Sumit Sarkar: Thank you:)

Bedazzled said...

Lovely heart-warming post !

Someone Is Special said...

Raksha, this is wonderful post right from your heart.. I am happy to read this heart touching piece.. All the best for the contest..

Do stop by Wrong Call and let me know what you feel :-)

--Someone is Special--

Raksha Bhat said...

@Bedazzled: Thank you for being here and liking this post:)

@Someone Is Special: Thank you:)

Laxman said...

Very unusual and interesting subject.
Gone through your blog. A beautiful and very well written blog.

Raksha Bhat said...

@Laxman: Thank you Laxman,no new gadget is better than what is used in our lives daily and a steth is something a doc cannot do without..being one I chose to write about it:)

subtlescribbler said...

so very different and written with a touch of nostalgia and beauty. i m a medical student and i loved it even more for that matter, stethoscope and the white gown r truly the most spcl part of a doctors life :)
i wish u win this one..goos luck :D

sarah

Raksha Bhat said...

@subtlescribbler: Hey Sarah thank you for the wish,straight from the heart:)

Atith said...

Great post I was always curious to know about this..When I was little boy I used to fight with my doc for stethoscope. Finally got to hear my heart beats.
If possible pls update your profile. We want to know more about the Author+Doctor

Raksha Bhat said...

@Atith: Thank you for liking this post..read on to know more...we cannot read a book in a blink..can we?;)

Obsessivemom said...

I'm back just to say Congratulations..

Raksha Bhat said...

@Obsessivemom: Thank you:)

Pythoroshan said...

lovely post... totally agree with it.

Raksha Bhat said...

@Pythoroshan: Thank you:)