Thursday, 6 March 2014

My AIIMS scare - Part 1

So most of you have been to the Taj. Not the hotel in your cities guys. But the Taj Mahal in Agra! Visiting the Taj Mahal and absorbing its beauty is deeply ingrained in us Indians. And why just us, its a worldwide phenomenon. I have been there too (I am normal that ways) but my take out of its beauty might not confirm to the majority. I didn't enjoy it so much due to all the filth, mismanagement and the fact that's its not White-its yellow. Anyways this is not the point of this post. The point is that all of us are aware of key symbols of pride of our country and at some point in our lives either we get to visit them or experience them- whether we want to or not.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS is one such symbol. I have lived in Delhi all my life and hence it has been a part of me like for any other Delhite. Either we have had relatives in it or we have been around it for some reason or the other. AIIMS in Delhi is located on the Ring Road which is its lifeline. Hence I cross it at least once a week and sometimes three or four times too. But I must confess, every time I cross it I say a silent prayer that I should never come to this place for any sort of a treatment. Simply because having to go to AIIMS would mean something really serious and that disturbs me. I have been inside it only once. Long back, along with Dad for his Cataract operation but that was literally in an out- thanks to the nature of that surgery. But those are faint memories and I never ever want them to be refreshed. I always wish that none of us should ever suffer enough that AIIMS is our resort. So what is again the point of this post?
I have mentioned some time back in this blog that I suffer from a joint disorder known as TMJ syndrome where my Jaw, in a layman's sense, is sort of dislocated. Actually there is a lock and key kind of mechanism in our knees, shoulders and jaw and Jaw lock is loosened. So while all of you can yawn, shout, chew vigorously and talk loudly, I cannot as my mouth clicks and hurts and I have to manually put the lower jaw back in its place- I know it sounds bad :(. For the past two months I am suffering even more as the condition got worse. So worse that we knew it needed medical intervention. Now for people like us such interventions are of two kinds-
1) Taking an appointment at a specialised and suave private clinic which has white walls and glass partitions. We dole out a thousand bucks to a pretty receptionist and the young Doctor then calls you five times before he gives the correct diagnosis. By then since you have spent 5000 rupees in his fees and half that price in petrol, you feel- He is a great doctor!
2) This option is actually never an option. But lately due to a relative who has some 'jugaad' in AIIMS, my Mother in Law has been visiting it for random health problems like an eye check up, usual diabetes check up etc. Every time she got back she would tell us gory tales of how crowded this hospital is and what kind of people throng it- poor, needy and in pain. These tales reaffirmed my views that AIIMS is a place God should never take me or any of my family member.
Hence when she and Saurabh were convinced that I needed help they went in their own networks to figure out a solution. Saurabh obviously took the first and most known route and zeroed down on a specialist in an upmarket residential area who is an Oral and Maxillofacial Expert. Mom in Law obviously took the second route! She went ahead and booked appointments too and was all prepared to accompany me to this giant of a hospital. Her steadfastness made us nervous. How much ever you dread AIIMS, we are all aware that it IS the most trustworthy and advanced place for all your heath needs. Saurabh got on to the Internet (saviour of our generation) and assured me that AIIMS in fact was the first institute to have the Oral and Maxillofacial department in the country. He was convinced his Mom had made the right choice. I got more nervous as even he left my side that we could choose a private clinic and a handsome Doctor over a place I dislike- for no known reasons.
I cancelled the first appointment (somehow I managed it) but mothers are mothers. Ma took the second appointment quickly and her efficiency (driven by her concern) at doing so left us with no choice. So Saurabh took a half day from work yesterday and we were out of our house at 9 am, headed to AIIMS!
(I am in pain right now-you will know soon why hence I am going to write this post in two parts. I hope I have created enough curiosity for you to wonder what could be so fascinating about a simple appointment at AIIMS? Second Part tomorrow- I am off to resting now)

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