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Monday, January 02, 2017

My way of giving back!

This New Year's day, I decided to start treating all senior citizens (above the age of 70 years) free of cost at the clinic. Unconditionally. No strings attached. No hidden agendas. This is my way of giving back to our older generation with the hope that my kids learn the importance of respecting their elders and offering them their dignity.

A lot of people I shared this with had the obvious question ready - How come?

A couple of instances at my clinic really moved me over the past year. All this came in addition to my Mom's advancing age and her chronic and rather constant quarrel with pain (it's a quarrel because it hasn't turned into a fight yet).

My mother recently underwent back surgery for her chronic lower back pain. The surgery went off well and her pain and burning sensations started to reduce initially only to annoyingly come back every so often. It is getting to her. We all at home can see it. We see her struggling every day to keep herself as fit as possible, to exercise as much as possible without pushing it too much, to continue working for as long as possible because she will just refuse to sit at home and do nothing, such is her determination for independence. And still, it sometimes got too much. As is human nature, we first denied the pain, then tried to blame her for it, saying your doing too much or you aren't doing enough, anything but accept the fact that this could be a problem that is here to stay. It hurt her badly. Slowly but surely I realized what I was doing was wrong. It shouldn't have mattered if I was busy, angry, disturbed, ill, if my mother needed to vent out her pain, I should have listened. We generally don't like listening to our elders do we?

Another patient came to the clinic the other day. She had been abandoned by her family and was now living alone. She was facing what most elderly people face everyday - fear, loneliness and  abandonment. Their worst nightmare. She had avoided treating her illness for months for fear of no one being there with her and with the worry that she might run out of the little money that she had. I never want anyone to feel that fear again. It shook me up. I immediately realized that if our family wasn't as close or supportive as we are, this could have been my mother. Suffering silently just because of fear.

The last patient in this scenario just wanted someone to listen to her. All she needed was my time. She could not sleep and wanted a prescription for sleeping medication. She would stay up worrying about why she wouldn't get sleep. She broke down crying when I offered just a few kind words of support. All she needed was some love and kindness and a patient hearing. This reminded me of my father in law who also struggled with sleep. All he wanted was for us to believe him that he really could not sleep.

The elderly have earned our respect. They have sacrificed enough, been through enough, given us more than enough, taught us enough, faced more than we ever will and have been more patient with us than we generally are with them. They not only deserve our respect but have the right to command it.

I will not charge the elderly for any consultation or any procedure that I can do myself. It is the least I can do for them. I will offer them my time and lend them my ear because I think that little joy would help them for weeks. I will stay strong on this move for as long as I can. All I ask is for you to spread the word. That there is a Doctor that will see them for free, that he will not shoo them out of his office if they stay for more than 10 minutes, that he will do all that he can to help them feel better.

I found this on the net which I found very relevant.,.

Please do share with your contacts and feel free to contact me for any more details.


Ananya said...

I always knew you as a compassionate person. I'm very proud of the strong ethics you continue to operate from and the new step you have taken to become a lifeline for the aged.

Unknown said...

Wonderful, keep up the good work !

Techknowdoc said...

Thank you guys! Encouragement from friends always helps!

Unknown said...

Always good to find bits of evidence that our species is not entirely damned...yet. This is an incredible gesture, psychologically more than financially, for our elders.

Anonymous said...

Bravo!!! Good to know that Achhe din nahi rahe parantu Achhe log abtak baki hai

Unknown said...

Doc, absolutely fantastic. My 80 year old mother-in-law wants to know your qualification and area of expertise. She is keen to consult. Warm rgds, Aadil Haveliwala

Techknowdoc said...

Thank you all for the kind words

Dr. Dheeraj Mulchandani said...

Thanks for the very kind words. Always helps to receive encouragement!

Unknown said...

I m speechless....the whole article has been written so well Dheeraj...hats off to you for being so generous and loving. ...God bless u

Techknowdoc said...

Thank you so much. Would have loved to know who you are though...came through as unknown!

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