Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Life with Victory Gods: Jayadeva

June 14-17, 2013: an unprecedented devastation in Uttarkand where floods and landslide killed and trapped hundreds and thousands of devotees who thronged to Amarnath and Kedarnath Temples in their annual pilgrimage, shaking perhaps their faith in gods  as solace. Something beyond Faith, Gods and Reality as known and knowable that would govern human and world affairs has occurred. The Faith that bestowed a sense of security and ownership of life is shattered. A much greater reality than our faiths and gods has acted either as punishment for the ills we committed against Nature (greed resulting in reckless deforestation, for example) or as restoration of balance in the cosmic world or in the multitude of cosmos.

June 17-July 5, 2013: was my life in Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research. I too had lost the sense of ownership and governance of my body, had shaken in my faith, in my yoga and "healthy lifestyle"; something beyond my faith, my knowledge and the realities that aided my growth so far has occurred. Months of stomach gas resulting eventually in chest pain and giddiness rushed me to cardiac check up at Jayadeva where a coronary CT scan(on 17th June) revealed which no other tests such as ECG, EKG, Tread Mills had discovered: artheroscelerosis,  thickening of the one vessel ( artery ) in my heart, the calcification was so hard and thick that it is not amenable to angioplasty(either for balloon inflation or stent) as the angiogram on 20th June revealed  and it had to be an open heart bypass surgery(CABG-Coronary Artery Bypass Graft of LAD) that was done on 26th June. Perhaps, like the Uttarkand devastation, I too did not heed to the voice of the reality that is beyond my faith, knowledge and practices; I too was punished for it and a corrective measure taken.

Victory Gods: At my age of 70 years, I thought I have seen it all and I would rather welcome death rather than taking pains. I was expecting yamadutas, messenger of death, to take me away. Instead, gods, the doctors at Jayadeva, were sent to restore me for a longer life, "we do not let you go so easily" had quipped my Surgeon! It was indeed a pleasant surprise to see so many competent and committed healers at Jayadeva. Dr. C N Manjunath, Director of the Institute and Head of the Cardiology, an Angioplastic Surgeon, who did a angiogram on me, is humanity personified, always showered love and respect on patients, took care to see that best care is given with least damage in treatment. Dr. P. S. Seetharama Bhat, Head of Surgery Unit, who did the open heart bypass surgery(CABG) on me, is competence and confidence personified, oozes the same to his wards, is pragmatic, witty and awakens patients to a sense of reality and realistic ways of life with tremendous authority. Dr. A M Jagadish, Registrar, an Anesthetist, an administrator with a human face especially to the downtrodden, took precise and effective care of me. Dr. Jaipraksh, the Rhythm Specialist, perhaps a pioneer in the field in the Country, who takes such pride in his work, a thorough practitioner, who watched and assured about my cardiac Rhythm, was indeed an inspiration to patients. Every doctor who assisted in the team, be it cardiology - Dr. Prahavati, Dr. L. Sridhar and others or Surgery - Drs. Raghavendra, Girish Gowda, Surabhi, Dvya  were on their toes and visited and examined patients with such frequency and regularity that I always felt that I am in the best care possible. Dr. Jayalakshmi of the Department of Clinical Nutrition has a multitrack wholistic approach to food and nutrition, combines Eastern and western wisdom, quick and volatile in educationg patients, always displaying a motherly concern.  Nursing care displayed quiet efficiency and affection. The PROs - Gowri and Prema Rao - too were vastly helpful and supportive in Reception as well as in navigating through Hospital Services. Last, but not the least are the Physiotherapist who were thorough, clear and insistent, and although their regimen to the patient was painful but on hindsight I discovered it hasten the recovery.

I wondered how it is possible that such extraordinary specialist were assembled in a Government Hospital in our country. Perhaps, leadership and people at the helm matters most. First, it got out of the bureaucratic(power without competence) clutches by obtaining an autonomous status for the Institute which enabled giving incentives in addition to the poor government salary to attract and retain the best professional talent for the Hospital. It has made best use of Public-Private-Participation and brought vast and highly updated technical tools and equipment to the Institute that is comparable to the best of its kind in the world but with a highly affordable cost ( for BPLs at no cost ) to the vast majority of our people. It has all that is related to cardiology in one roof including a Dental Unit and Dr. Manjunath explains how closely it is related to heart and patients need not go out to get dental check up done. Kudos, and my hats off, to Dr. C N Manjunath, Director, and his team who made all these possible. People of this Country, especially the poor even more so, remember you all in Jayadeva in pride for making it possible the way it is done in our own Country.

Personal Care givers: Having last my only child, a daughter in her 30s, an Engineer, twelve years ago and my wife four years ago, I was living alone and as a principle cooking my own food and taking care of the house. In my worst crisis it was my students -Dr. Mrs. Gayathri Shabaraya, PhD and Dr. Romate John, PhD in particular- who chipped in and took charge . Gayathri not only took care but even took all the trouble to see that I shift my residence to a place where her brothers and mother live nearby before she left for US to join her husband, Praveen H M. She flew down all the way from California to take care when bypass operation was announced. In fact, her husband said she won't be happy here when you are undergoing treatment and it is he who insisted her to join us here. It is she, her brothers, her mother and Romate who made things easier  and enjoyable for me. My gratitude to them is unbound.

I started this note with a reality beyond our faith and knowledge that is much larger and that which governs us in a cosmic perspective. Yet, it is not out of reach/access to us. If only we listened to the the inner voice/signals that is connected to everything that exist-organic and inorganic- in the cosmos we could sense and regulate ourselves in tune with that larger reality that supports and nurture us. I read that calcification in the artery could begin even when we are twenty although blockage would occur as we grow old depending on other factors such as food(prefer less of salt, sugar and fat and more of fruits, vegetables and whole grain),life style (avoid hurry and worry), habits (smoking is most dangerous and its damage is irreversible) and stress (have an attitude to life and relationship that is positive and tension free) . If we could turn our eyes/ears/smell/taste/kinesthetic and vestibular senses to our within either always as we function or at least a time during the day, perhaps we connect to that larger reality and sense those that are not in tune with the Reality and correct ourselves accordingly for a healthy and robust life as well.

My views on medical system practiced to day, which was presented as a Convocation Address at M S Ramaiah Medical College some years ago, which was also put in my blog whose link is given below:


shubha madhusudhan said...

sir, your writing or speech will always leave us misty eyed

mandabuddhi said...

Respected Praacharya Avaru,
The sense and the diction in which your blog is being presented just reminds me ofDr.S.Radhakrishnan & Rajagopalachari who ,of course, wrote inTamil.
Yes Mahodaya, government hospitals in our country are almost like hell holes for the needy and the poor, where even the ward boy seeks gratuity for the simplest of services.
The Jayadeva Institute, with its autonomy, has shown that the team of distinguished doctors,you have acclaimed for their competence and compassion,indeed do exist.It is a fallacy to believe that such expertise is available only in private hospitals and nursing homes.I join you sir, most humbly in paying my respects to the most competent doctors at the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology.
I had been advised by Dr.Praveen, that you had undergone heart wrenching privations in your personal life and lived alone.
It is God's Will that made you go to Jayadeva for a check up, for, without that we might have missed you.
At 82, I often feel, that longevity ensured with modern medicines and surgery techniques, may be good for compassionate souls like you deeply involved in social welfare.For persons of the Engineering Educational Fraternity to which I belong, there is hardly any compassion noticeable.Introspection is indeed a much rarer thing to come across.

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