Three events in the recent past are responsible for the awakening of this page…finally!
First is the decision to set up my own blog.
Up until now I’ve been a closet writer. Much like a bathroom singer, I like to write but am not sure it is ever good enough for public viewing. Over the years I’d write on situations I felt strongly about, usually pertaining to my profession as an oncologist. Sometimes it was a straightforward, factual tabulation of a particular case. Others times I would base the story on an actual case but dramatize it to get my point across. Occasionally I would bounce some of them off ‘safe’ people who I knew would never criticize. My aunt Carmen was one of these. Apart from being one of the nicest persons I know, she, despite her years, is a whizz at proof reading (she was the editor of a leading magazine of her time) and is computer savvy enough to suggest changes online.
Apart from these rare forays to the outside world, the articles would stay firmly resident on my hard disk, for personal viewing only!
Every once in a while I’d bring them up. When housekeeping my hard drive, for instance. I remember I started writing a story based on a young girl with bone cancer. When I pulled out the story, many years later, I realized that I had not completed it, the story stopping abruptly midway through her therapy. I racked my brains to try to figure out what did eventually happen to that girl, but for the life of me, just could not remember. Did she complete her treatment? Was she cured? After doing a bit of research with the senior staff and colleagues (who may have been connected with her treatment) I did sit down and complete the article. On another occasion re-reading was prompted by the belated visit of a girl I had treated when she was 13. Then she was told she was incurable. Now, 4 years later, she was healthy and disease-free, and had returned from her village simply to ask if it was okay for her parents to start the elaborate Indian ritual of finding a suitable bridegroom!
But by and large these articles did not budge from my hard disk. And so, despite setting up my blog and visiting it regularly for the past few weeks, I was reluctant to add content!
Then the second event took place. Steve Jobs died.
I am one of the millions touched by the death of this iconic man. I’ve been an Apple fan for the past few years, gradually acquiring their products: Imac 27” desktop…Airport extreme router…Macbookpro 13”. (No, not yet the iphone; I still have my android based phone!) The desire for perfection is evident in all Apple merchandise, right from the packaging to the construction to the actual functioning of the device. I’ve seen a number of videos of Steve’s introduction of new Apple products. The gleam in his eye and the sheer pride and pleasure is unmistakable.
“Be young, be foolish!” is one of his more famous quotes. For me, ‘being young’ is, unfortunately, only possible in the metaphorical sense. Being foolish however has no such age constraints. So… Never mind the critics. I’d say what I have to say.
All that was left was to find a topic and the time to write on it…
…Which was taken care of by event number three.
For the past 3 weeks I’ve been having these severe headaches. A week ago, the pain was unbearable. Which is why, while on my way to my Out Patient Department, I thought I’d take a slight detour, and request my radiologist colleague to perform a CT scan of the brain. To cut a long story short, a diagnosis of a chronic subdural hematoma was made and my world turned upside down. I realized that I was dealing with a potentially life threatening problem.
In the blink of an eye I migrated from the safe world of a practicing clinician of life threatening illnesses to the uncertain, nervous one of being the patient himself.
My initial surgeries are now over. The only pain I feel is due to the surgery itself, and that too is reducing rapidly. Fortunately I have recovered completely with no neurological or physical disability. I do not need any medication. The only advice I’ve been given by my neurosurgeon is to take a month’s rest at home.
Plenty of time to put pen to paper, or more realistically, fingers to keyboard, and get this blog on the road…