Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Excess sympathy is problematic

After my stroke, as was to be expected, many people made suggestions about how to treat me. But the problem was that most of them were not sure what exactly had happened to me.

Some assumed that all strokes are the same. So whenever they heard that some stroke patients had recovered completely, they would insist that we meet the particular Doctor. I think some did not know that a stroke happened in the brain. The doctors they recommended turned out to be someone other than a neurologist. One guy said we should consult the doctor who had cured a wound on his son's neck which other doctors could not cure. Some ayurvedic doctors will say their medicines are only effective if taken orally and not through the feeding tube. Why should this make any difference?

Some people will hear that a paralysis patient had recovered and pester Jaya to meet the concerned doctor. That paralysis can be due to a variety of reasons was a minor matter that was always ignored. And there were constant recommendations of various quacks and godmen, about whom the less said the better. (Although I will have more to say about them later. Hope breeds irrationality and there is no dearth of charlatans bearing fairly tale palliatives to provide succour to suckers. I increasingly agreed with Mark Twain - 'Man is a Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute.')

At the end of the day, handling them was a difficult task. On the one hand we knew that their suggestions were made in order to help me in whatever way they could. On the other hand we could see that there were huge holes in their understanding of what had happened to me.

After many wild goose chases, when Jaya expressed reservations about yet another tall tale, some of these folks had the gall to insinuate that her reluctance was because she was not concerned enough about my plight. Of course, these snide comments will not be made face to face. We will hear about them sometime later from another source and we will never be sure whether and how much noise has distorted the signal.

When solicitousness is in measured doses it is gratifying but if it results in a constant stream of spurious "cures" it becomes irritating. Giving a blow by blow account of the various incidents is not possible because most of them happened a very long time ago and I don't remember the details. Suffice it to say that they were wearyingly repetitive. If we had listened to all these suggestions that we had received then we would have been on the streets by now.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kesu,

    Like Gops I am an avid follower of your blog except that he gobbles it absolutely hot off the web every time whereas I end up doing it in batch mode. What a flourish, Kesu, you psyche people out with your command over the language as well as the depth and width of the content (expanse as Sowri had posted in his comment).

    I also see from the comments the blog is reaching the world at large beyond the circle of friends and batch mates as expected. Now, for all those who have'nt visited Kesu at his home, it's like a visit to a Temple for me everytime that I do. Not for a moment I am idolizing here, but the serenity, the happiness, the cleanliness, order and of course the warmth of uncle/aunty/Jaya/Kesu and last but not the least the absolutely bubbly Sujith, it's such a beautiful home. God bless!