Being a member of the medical fraternity has given me the opportunity to work very closely with human beings and their sufferings , and to try and alleviate their pains . Any illness is a cause for concern , as it affects the social and economic structure of a household, but nothing affects a family more than when the youngest member falls victim to some ailment. Even though the little one is the least likely to bring about any financial support to a family, he/she is the epicentre of happiness around which a family's aspirations evolve , and dreams are structured , so their illness causes great concern all around.
In my internship days, I had faced anxious patient parties in hospital wards , enquiring about the prognosis of their admitted patients , but never did the anxiousness appear more palpable , than when a little child was brought in the emergency , draped in cloth , with the parents in dishevelled appearance . Often , the mother would be crying inconsolably , while the father would be making frantic calls to other family members, trying to bolster their morale by acquiring some peer support. The paediatric ward would invariably have a host of visitors everyday, for each little one admitted , and as the days passed by, with the child improving gradually, the change in emotion among the relatives was more than evident . Family members who would previously tip toe into the wards and peep in apprehension at the little ones cradled in the cots , would walk in more relaxed , with broad smile on their faces . A smiling child returning home after a bout of illness, waving bye-bye to the health care providers, was the best gift that a parent could have , far surpassing the joy that any amount of bounty at workplace could afford .
We as junior doctors had to devote the maximum time at the bedside of these little kids , and we could sense the plethora of emotions that a mother of a sick child went through , as she lay curled in the small cots , with her child . So , when the children went away cured, we were thanked profusely , for our services ,and we felt as if one of our own family members had been cured!
However , long before I had become a doctor, it was an altogether different scenario in my household only. Being the first child of my parents, i was a source of great joy for them . But, from birth, I had been a sick child, getting admitted to hospital twice , within a lifespan of first 6 months . True , that I don't remember my infancy, but from the stories that I've heard from my parents , and other family members , with me, it was always a case of walking the tightrope for my parents ! If I was doing fine, our flat in the doctors' quarters, right in the midst of the North Bengal Medical college ( my dad is a doctor as well,from that college) , was a hub of happiness, songs , games . Dad's juniors would come over , and sing , play cards , and all the time , I would sit in their midst , soaking in the fun , staring wide-eyed at the proceedings. But if I was ill, the same flat would resemble a Silence Zone,as people came to pay courtesy visits , to check how I was doing! When those juniors of my Dad see me nowadays ( all of them are now senior doctors themselves), they are incredulous , that I've grown up so much , as they still remember how I regulated the usually jovial atmosphere at my home, long back!
Hence, it is the health of a child, that determines how the environment within a house would remain ........so it is paramount to ensure that children stay safe , and happy !