Apr 16, 2015

"I cant go on, I'll go on"

Paul Kalanithi with his daughter (image taken from here)

 Few weeks back, I heard about a young talented Neurosurgeon who was taken away by a metastatic lung cancer. He was a good writer and I happened to read his essays and blog. Being in one of the country where there is scarcity of resources, I know it’s not a big deal when one dies out of infection, malignancies or whatever. We could only blame our fate.

But, here is a man from Stanford University, who gave a live telecast of his life through the terminal illness, till his last breath - Paul Kalanithi. So I would like to share his blog here. I felt little pain after going through his essays. Being a doctor knowing everything from the pathology of disease process to the prognosis in every stage, he would have been in great trouble. Old proverb reminds, a little knowledge is dangerous; very true.

During the course of study, and till now, I have observed many people with terminal illness both in medical college and family and what I got to know is that, patients well literate who had various options to explore and know about the disease succumbs to the terminal illnesses sooner when compared to the illiterate people who are never bothered about it. Psychological factor plays a great role.  

And here, Paul Kalanithi was so brave enough to deal with his illness and went through it, shared his experiences rather than finding his dark lonely corner, accepting the reality, raising all his doubts about existence to the readers making us feel his pain. After reading his essays, "Before I go" , "How long have I got left?" I could only empathize and now I know the importance of palliative care in the field of medicine.
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  1. One day the whole world thanksful to u, for your little words to thems

  2. Sad about the doctor ..but some things are inevitable and unstoppable ...palliation is an important aspect of medical care . I m glad u started to appreciate the importance of palliative care .if u are inspired by the essays of Dr Kalanidhi ,then I recommend you the works of Dr Atul Gawande and particularly the book Being Mortal . It's a very interesting read and an analysis of mortality and medical care in the dusk of human life ...more on geriatrics , gerontology , hospital care , hospice care , the mental state of a person in the last days , the economic , emotional aspects and stuff like that ...you might know this book already ..was a best seller last year ..also I wish to suggest u to go through Kubler Ross model of grief which is actually a series of emotional states experienced by survivors of an intimate's death . Being a medical student , u might find it interesting ..also the talks of Dr. Vikram Patel might help you to be more compassionate to patients and give importance to the mental and psychological aspects of medical care . Doctors nowadays tend to be just machines and treat patients as if they are just an organ system and deliberately forget the person behind the skin and bones .many a times elders who complain about vague pains all over the body suffers from some degree of depression. Most doctors miss this and treat it with some oral analgesics or topical preparations .what direct effect can analgesics have on healing the mind . sometimes words of comfort and consolation might prove very effective ...and every patient expects doctor to be like a friend . It may not be possible in this fast pace world and everyone has a a lot of responsibliities to meet .however it will be nice if doctors listen more and be sensitive to issues of patients and uphold the dignity of the patients .....I hope you will come out as a good ,great and compassionate doctor .....:)

    Wishing you A Sky Full Of Stars (Coldplay )


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