Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hospital Highlights

The last I visited a hospital was when my sister in law underwent a cataract operation. As it has always been in our family, the entire jing bang consisting of my brother, my wife, my niece, my sis in law(it was her operation), her brother, mother and sister were all there. I do not know whether it should be termed concern, moral support or simply ‘love’. Yes, in our family, we are always there for each other. Just the thought is so comforting. We have been brought up that way.

The whole process took over three hours including the post operation rest. This is about what I witnessed during the time I spent there. I had my camera which has become a necessary appendage. I clicked some snaps which I think are worth writing about.
The first of course was about a placard fixed to the hospital bed with the title ‘Starvation’. Why on earth would people come to a hospital and starve? My curiosity was so overwhelming that I chose to ask the nurse for an explanation for the title. What she told me was amazing. The bed was for patients who had to undergo tests for sugar in their blood and urine for which ‘fasting before the tests’ was essential. By Jeeve, I realized ‘starvation’ meant ‘fasting’.

Next was about a stuffed monkey toy with a string attached to a pulley. What is it about, I kept wondering. The nurse came to my rescue and said ‘this was brought by a patient who loved monkeys and till he was discharged he used to play with the toy monkey by pulling the string. Whoever passed that way pulled the string and the toy monkey went up and down which was a great source of amusement to one and all. I thought this was essential to provide succour and relief for patients.
In all that transpired, I keenly observed a gentleman who was supervising the house keeping operations. An ideal supervisor at that. A stickler to cleanliness, and was all the time ensuring that his people put in their day’s worth. Personally, he picked up the broom and demonstrated how work was to be done. He extracted enough and more work from his subordinates and was of the kind who would brook no nonsense. He was everywhere and had the agility of a deer. Such kind are very rare today and I was wonderstruck. I called him over and made enquiries.

He is Gajanan Govind Shetye, on contract with the hospital and with a missionary zeal. He had taken Voluntary Retirement from Mahindra and Mahindra after working as a Machine Operator for twenty years, and came to work at the hospital. He told me the work he did in the hospital was his calling in life and hence vowed that he would put in one hundred per cent. I saw him commanding a unique respect from all those present and his enthusiasm was infectious. He earned around five thousand per month and told me more than half of what he earned was given to the poor and needy who sought his assistance. He added that the Almighty up there was kind to him and he had no complaints in life. I was dumbstruck.

Resting in bed that night I was thinking about the toy monkey, and the supervisor, Gajanan, who in their own ways brought life to the hospital, and created an ever lasting impact on me and the people around.


Lazyani said...

Your blog reminded me of the Steel Hospital in Durgapur.Every evening it resembles a small scale picnic /fair wherein all known friends and/or relatives of the patient descends on to the hospital resulting in an extended adda period.
I know such things are bad for the patient with the possibility of infection running high. But at times such enthu perks up the otherwise sombre stay in the hospital.

Dewdrop said...

Its so true na... we think our problems are the biggest, our time the most precious but when we see others earning far less with far higher responsibilities taking the time / effort / energy out to help those less fortunate, our excuses just fall flat...

TCGirivasan@Vasan, Puducherry said...

Mr.Gajanan's dedication and his helping nature is laudable.

Secondly it brings a lot of comfort and solace to the person admitted to see many of his close relatives visiting him in the hospital and helps healing.

The post is interesting and different.

Kavi said...

Sometimes the best of lifes calling are after retirement ! And this seems to be such a case ! Wonderfully documented and thanks for sharing. It is inspiring to look ahead !!

ugich konitari said...

There needs to surely be someone to advise the hospital on application of functional labels to places. (Seeing me on the "starvation" labelled bed might convince folks that it serves me right, but it might be worrisome to someone not terribly familiar with fasting tests etc.

And yes. Folks like Mr Shetye need to be publicized widely and applauded. They are so rare in this world, where everyone is on a me-and-more trip most of the time.

Very glad you wrote this post. Thank you.

EskimoBob said...

It was nice to see everything you could learn and experience in three hours of a day.

It was a nice peek into your life - and will be doing more. Not in a creepy way, just a friendly peek.

Amber Star said...

It used to be much the same here in our family when someone has to go to the hospital. The entire family turned up; however, in these days when so many work it isn't as much a crowd scene. The ones who work come in the evening.

Your questions and pictures were informative and interesting. I would have been quite concerned if the hospital staff had put a "starving" sign on my bed! The monkey device was sweet and I'm glad you saw it.

Thanks for sharing your day.

June Saville said...

Most people would walk around hospital corridors, share complaints about bad food and leave. You have eyes my friend.
June in Oz

June Saville said...

I meant to thank you for visiting 70 Plus and Still Kicking - we will see more of each other I am sure.
June in Oz (again)

nsiyer said...

Thanks Lazyani for your coments. It means a lot to me.

Thanks, Dewdrop.So true - we need to come out of the me and mine syndrome.

Thanks Giri.Its all aboutn dedication. I saw you so when we were in Penta. It has paid for you.

nsiyer said...

Thanks Kavi. Your comments always egg me on.

Thanks Ugich Konitari. Your appreciation motivates me to write on.

Sridhar said...

Very nice rendering,Iyer. I wish every hospital has a dedicated person like him, so the patients get cured faster.The ambience,environment and the kind word is one which cures people much faster in addition to the medicines. -- sridhar

nsiyer said...

Thanks EskimoBob. Please do visit and may be even post those creepy comments.

Thanks Amber Star. It was great to see your comments. Well a new connect and a new begining.

Thanks June Saville. My sense of observation has incresed more after starting the blog.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Your post reveals me of your observation quality, and makes me to appreciate that little things are more precious in life. I have no words to describe about the disciplined supervisor, and the other stuff like monkey doll, etc you have mentioned.

Wonderful observation and hope your relative is well now.

nsiyer said...

Hi Balaji. Thanks for visiting my blog.
Ya! my relative is fine and doing well. Thanks for your observation!

nsiyer said...

Hi Balaji. Thanks for visiting my blog.
Ya! my relative is fine and doing well. Thanks for your observation!

priya said...

I loved this post for a variety of reasons, but the topmost among them being how you noticed such routine things that usually get ignored. More importantly for being able to highlight lessons for all of us to learn.

The signboard error is just one among the many many funny signboards around. 'Starvation' for fasting! :D

About Gajananji... he is definitely worth a salute. It's really hard to find people taking to thankless services voluntarily... he's just one of them.

nsiyer said...

Thanks Priya for your comments. Its great to see you in our blog world.

sush said...

Greetings Sir!!
Reading this blog, the first thing tht came to my mind was-how can neone go to a hospital wth a camera to take pics?I can never see myself doing this.... I've always visualised the hospital (and more so dental clinics) as places one wud wanna get out asap..not stay there and enjoy:) I ges i ve to laud u for this:)

jus shows tht even the most mundane places which we take for granted have stories:)