The greed out there has consumed us
N J Ravi Chander
A firm advocate of nature cure and Ayurveda, I seldom seek allopathic treatment to cure minor ailments. But there were times when I took the plunge and opted for western medicine only for the plan to boomerang. Here is one episode!
A few moons ago, bouts of eye pain gripped me. In search of a quick-fix, I trotted off to the local chemist seeking eye drops, but its administration provided only temporary relief. An ophthalmologist friend and yoga mate invited me to drop into his clinic and get my cornea examined. Three months of treatment followed, and I donned a fresh pair of spectacles. But the pain refused to die. Not wishing to dilly-dally anymore and fearing loss of vision, I knocked on the doors of a reputed eye clinic. A battery of tests followed as I shuttled from Hosapete, my workplace to Bengaluru, my hometown.
The tests followed with the doctors administering a shot of steroid in the eyes and scaring me by hinting that I might be a victim of tuberculosis. They referred me to a pulmonologist at a reputed private hospital and cautioned that not heeding advice could cost me dearly. I paced around the hospital room, trying to figure out what to do, but my nervous wife, R Shobha, convinced me to toe the line.
As directed, we made a trip to the referred hospital. The pulmonologist whom we met showed more interest in gleaning details of my job (a ploy to fleece the gullible). After poring over the reports, the doctor pushed me to get an x-ray done. The prompt manner in which the ‘gentleman’ dug out the devils from the details and suggested getting an MRI scan done raised eyebrows. But we heeded the doctor’s advice and trotted off to the diagnostic lab. As the attendants shoved me into the machine to get the scan done, a sheepish grin enveloped me.
The tests burnt a hole in my pocket, and for the first time made me doubt their credibility. Doubts also arose in my kins mind that the hospital was resorting to a ruse to fleece me. Post the scan, and after checking the reports, the pulmonologist clean bowled us by suggesting that I had to go for an expensive, invasive procedure as there were telltale signs of my health deteriorating. The doctor’s words were difficult to shrug off, and I spent many a sleepless night wondering what to do.
Just when everything appeared to be going topsy-turvy, my brother-in-law, R Sridhar, strode in like a knight in shining armour. He pleaded with us to hold our horses and seek a second opinion, and this piece of advice was worth its weight in gold. We hopped to the government-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and took the simple tests.
There was a turn in fortune as the doctors at the government hospital gave me a clean chit. A miracle also unfolded as the nagging eye pain that had unnerved me for a while disappeared. But for my brother-in-law’s advice, the doctors at the private hospital could have easily hoodwinked us. Besides, I avoided going through the rigours of a needless procedure and incurring a sizeable expenditure. The ugly breed of doctors are indeed a dime a dozen today, and filling up their coffers appears to be their primary objective. It pays to double-check when in doubt, especially in health matters.
(The author is a former banker who has taken up writing as a pastime. He write4s for the Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express, The Tribune, The Hitavada, The City Tab, The Hans India and Kashmir Vision)