Monday, December 12, 2005

Our sense of dignity.


Today I spent a lot of time thinking of how important it is to preserve one's dignity. My thoughts are based on three instances.
1 -the picture alonside is my grandmother who got her set of new dentures.. finally! - we had to let the last set be literally pulled out of her mouth and then hidden- she didn't want to let them go - but they were sitting badly and causing her ulcers. The dental department has been working on her new set of dentures for the last month and when they did her final trial and they fit -everyone in dental clapped! Why didn't she want to part with her false teeth even though they were causing her pain - dignity.
2- Chemo and hair - If you surf the blogs on cancer and chemo -hair falling out is something that really upsets people (maybe women more than men). I don't think it's affected me all that much, but even an old teacher of mine who had Hodgkins said that it hurt her a lot to loose her hair. Though hair falling out means that your Chemo is working (chemo acts on rapidly dividing cells)- but still it can upset you and people try wigs or false hair- dignity.
3 - I refuse to use a bed pan - When ever I'm admitted for chemo and even after my thoracotomy in the ICU, using a bedpan to pee - even if I was assured privacy was something I just could not do. That's funny - even though when you have a chest tube in your thorax and walking about in the ICU is not the best thing, or if your hand moves and the IV cannula slips when running chemo you can burn your hand - something refuses to let me be that vulnerable. - dignity.

Sick man lookin’ for the doctor’s cure
Lookin’ at his hands for the lines that were
And into every masterpiece of literature
For dignity
So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I’m at the edge of the lake
Sometimes I wonder what it’s gonna take
To find dignity
Bob Dylan - Dignity

Tomorrow I see my 5 month baby on scan - today the antenatal checkup went off well, except a painful TT injection.

There is so much rain going on - I guess this state is having more than it's fair share......... "fair share" - ???

5 comments:

silverine said...

Hi tarun,

Came here via Kerala Blog roll. What an amazing blog you have here. I was wonderstruck reading about you and your battles. God bless. Here is one more person praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tarun
I came across your blog through one of my friend's blogspot.
My heartful wishes to you and wish a speedy recovery..........
Keep up this cheerfull and smiley face...........
God is great!!!!
Take care
Swapna

rachel said...

Hey cool, My grandmom used to be as possessive about her dentures(and her hair). I've never thought bout the link with dignity though.:).And the truth is minus her teeth(mine may be equally bad..but my dentist is really good), everything else used to work at 80 better than mine does now at 20 :p.

rachel said...

Hey cool, My grandmom used to be as possessive about her dentures(and her hair). I've never thought bout the link with dignity though.:).And the truth is minus her teeth(mine may be equally bad..but my dentist is really good), everything else used to work at 80 better than mine does now at 20 :p.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tarun,
This is Uma from Chennai.I heard about u from my friend Bharath who was ur school mate.Read thro' this . Miracles do happen.It is a matter of faith.

What Does a Miracle Cost ?
Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment.

Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise.

Nothing.

She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster.

No good.

Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a miracle."

"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well-dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money".

"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the Money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents-the exact price of a miracle for little brothers."

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents.

Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. "That surgery," her Mom whispered. "Was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost... one dollar and eleven cents ...... plus the faith of little child.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law......

(A TRUE STORY)