How can you fight a situation without being aware of it..! If there is a demon in the room and you pretend otherwise, wont the demon eat you up!!! Being oblivious to the reality can never let you overpower the demon in the room.
As the Madat volunteer was waiting to counsel the next patient in the Thoracic OPD of TMH, a young man maybe in his mid 20’s was helped in by a family member. This young man, was struggling to breathe ( he was wheezing so much that he had broken out in sweat). The Madat volunteer watched the doctor speak to his family members.
The good news was, the intent of the treatment – “curative” ( how magical its to hear that word. Most patients in thoracic are deemed palliative). After they left, the doctor asked the volunteer counselor to counsel the uncle and Aunt who had accompanied him. The uncle came to the volunteer, followed by the aunt and the patient’s brother.
A tired middle aged woman( the mother of the patient) was huddled at the door trying to peep in. The uncle told the volunteer ” हम ने अभी बच्चे को नहीं बताया है, बाद में बता देंगे” . The volunteer thought to herself ” how can the patient not know. How can he fight something he is not even aware exists”.
She took a deep breath and told the relatives to call the patient. They protested but finally gave in. The young man was in a wheel chair. The volunteer took a chair and sat in front of the patient. After asking his name, the volunteer’s question was “Do you know why you are at TMH?” He replied “ठिक होने के लिये“. The next question was” आपको पता है कि आप को क्या बीमारी है। टाटा हॉस्पिटल में कौन सी बीमारी का इलाज होता है?“
And then the volunteer called his scared mother in too. The counseling went on for another 20 minutes . First the volunteer made the patient aware of the intent of his treatment. Made him and the family understand how very fortunate they are that the disease is “curative“.
The volunteer took another 5 minutes to speak to the mother. “ठिक तो हो जाएगा ना मेरा बेटा” The volunteer held her hand and said “डाक्टर पे विश्वास रखो“. The volunteer then turned to the patient, patted him on the head and said “get ready for the biggest battle of your life and emerge victorious.”
He, who was wheezing so much , gave the volunteer the biggest smile ever. All the family members with tears in their eyes said “thank you” and left. Tears in the eyes and smiles on their lips, was an indication of a counseling session having gone well. A huge sigh of relief and the volunteer moved on.
“Facing reality is the biggest challenge. Once you accept ‘what is’, the ‘how’ falls in place.”
— Vandana Mahajan
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