Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mr. MN is a regular patient in our hospital. A 70 yr old hypertensive and a diabetic, he comes for regular checkup.
Every one abhors him.
Cos of his rudeness.

He picks up a fight with everyone. To the op counter clerk, to the doctors, to the sisters, to lab staff’ to the x-ray technician’ to the pharmacist.

Added to it he has patches of leucoderma all over his body and his snarling face.

Today morning I walked towards my room. And there stood Mr MN commenting rudely about doctors arriving late for duty. The fact that I was a bit late added to my irritation. I walked in head high as if I had not heard him.

The lady hospital attendant walked in looking fraught.
'Horrible man.' He was abusing you very badly.
Before I could reply. Before I could lay down my bag and take my steth out Mr. MN barged into the room muttering loudly about doctors coming late. He sat down on the chair.
I couldn’t trust my self to speak. I just placed my bag on my table and walked out.
To control myself or to teach him a lesson? I don’t know. Maybe both.

I returned about five minutes later. He sat staring at me coldly.

‘Come sit here. I pointed on the stool besides me.’

‘ Oh ! You have only a stool for examining patients? ‘
He glared at me.
I pretended not to hear.

‘Hmm tell me your symptoms.’

‘I have pain abdomen and numbness both legs and feet.’

'Hmm any vomiting?'

‘No. I had told about my pain abdomen to the doc who had seen me last time. He gave me some stupid medicines. I have no relief.’


‘Is your blood sugar under control..? Show me the results.’

He took out the report.

‘That’s the report. Who knows if anyone can trust the lab reports?’

It went on and on. Me asking questions softly and him being bitchy.

I asked him to remove his shirt and lie down on the couch so that I could examine his tummy. Then I examined both the legs in detail. Talking very pleasantly and softly.

Slowly the rudeness started to crumble. He started to wring his hands shyly while answering my questions. His voice became soft.

I came back and sat down.

‘You seem to have hyperacidity
Are you under any tension?’

‘Yes doc. He said quietly.’

He then talked for forty minutes non-stop. Yes he had a lot of tension in his life. His wife suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
Since the past thirty years.
She doesn’t go out of the house. She is paranoid of every one. Doesn’t trust anyone. Even their grandchildren.

He talked and talked I listened.

Finally I advised the tabs he had to take and the diet he had to follow. In detail.

He quietly listened.

He got up to leave. Reached the door and turned back
He smiled at me.

‘I’m sorry doc. Sometimes I cant help my self. I behave rudely I know.’
‘I understand. Its cos of your family problems. I smiled back.’

The poor poor man.

I had been seeing him for the past several years. But I had not bothered to find out the kind of life he lived.
‘Treat the ‘person’ not the disease.’ I remembered reading somewhere.
So true.

I looked forwards to seeing Mr. MN the next time.


Shruti said...

So true and caring..
Take care

Beena said...

good doc..
usually the perosn who is rough outside hve wormlie griefs haunting them..
only thing is we need to break th e ice..
nicley written

తెలు'గోడు' unique speck said...

"treat the person not the disease" well said...i like ur blog...it makes my day pleasant!

wanderlust said...

Very True. Most of the time, we are caught up with our own problems, feelings and impressions, we just do not take the trouble to understand others!!
Guilty many a time.

A said...

very well written and bravo to you for handling it well and being cool!
he's the damn lucky patient to get a doc like u.

silverine said...

That was so touching!

Ajith Prasad Balakrishnan said...

Wow..that was amazing.. :)

Jo said...

Such a lovely post Doc. I learnt a lesson today. :-)

Arunima said...

lovely post...i think it was robin williams' movie- Patch Adams treat the person and not the disease.

Dhanya said...

I came to your blog through Silverine's post. You write really well and I can identify with many a things that you write.. Description abt veli and the lady there is nostalgic (I did my proj in VSSC and was a regular visitor to veli)..
And can I ask which hospital you work? My friend used to be in Medical college n I know many docs there :)

Emmanuel said...


Angel-doc.....so true.... :))

The way u handled the situation was so touching.....humans always require someone else to understand them.......i feel that even the grown-ups are basically like kids who cry to get attention........ :)

the post was so beautiful....great going....btw, how are ur sons doing??? :))

N@nc! said...

"treat the person not the disease" its so true, you are good doctor for acting in that way! i smiled when i read your story

Lancaster Gardener said...

Poor man? What are we to make of the insolence then?

hope and love said...

thanks everybody. actually i am not so angelic always.i was equaly bad to him several times. thats why i posted it that day itself to share it.

Life said...

hats off to you doc.But do we have doc arround us the way you are. NOOOOOOOOOOO atlaest here in mumbai. Here doc see no diff btw animals and human.We look god in doc, coz after god the one who save life is docs.But here they kill ppl for sake of money..pls dont take it personally anu. This is the present secene of docs in bomaby

I am proud off you anu..pls never change, atleast for ur patience, coz they see god in u.

Take Care

Anonymous said...


hope and love said...

vikas, txs dear. im not that good always.
is it so bad in mumbai ?i didnt know..

Alexis said...

"Treat the person and not the disease" Dr. Patch Adams—the real person behind the movie “Patch Adams" said that. He has an institute Gesundheit! which is in West Virginia.

It must have been a relief for Mr. MN once he told you his problems. Half of his symptoms must have gone by the time the session was over.

Great work doc...

venuss66 said...

Touched my heart. Take care.

Anonymous said...

That was a very moving story. Situations can bring out the worst in people sometimes. You handled it beautifully.That must've made u smile the whole day!!! :-D