One thing my parents never succeeded in teaching me was fear. Topmost in their wish list when we were kids would have been fear of teachers and doctors. Now the teacher bit, I had my way around— most of my teachers adored me. The doctors however were a different ball game…
Now I was a sickly child, so at least two visits a month with any parent who could drag me to the doc was mandatory. Back then, my parents usually measured the efficiency of a doctor by the assortment pf pills he prescribed. Whenever we moved house, we also moved doctors, and after a visit to the local doctor, my dad would come back with the verdict, “Bah! He doesn’t know anything…just two pills….” But they never missed their jaunts to the doc.
I could never see the point of going to a place which was infested by sad, sick looking people, and then being thrust an assortment of evil looking pills in white, blue, yellow and pink, not to mention that half or quarter pill in orange. So I did the unthinkable. I asked them why? I thought the clinical examination room was an extension of my classroom and it was time to ask questions. I wanted to know what each of those pills planned to do in my body. The doctors bristled, and huffed, and wished me out of their sight as soon as possible, and I noticed a parent turning nervous..
Things never changed—in fact they got worse— I majored in Pharmacy and now I actually had the benefit of knowledge. I knew exactly when a doctor was taking the easy way out, or making you a guinea pig for a drug he was trying to promote. And since I come from a family of pill poppers who consider the doctor as god, I had plenty of opportunity to ask why.
The beau joins the ranks in my family as another benign soul who never questions the doctor. When he has a flu, he diligently visits a neighbourhood quack, who douses him with the same high-end antibiotic (which costs ten times as much as the more common ones for respiratory infection). He has been doing this for the last four years, and not once has the beau asked him why. I don’t get this. It’s not that it makes him feel any better—in fact every visit gets him even more annoyed…but perhaps not enough to exercise his right to information, or opinion for that matter.
I wonder what it is about doctors what intimidates people—and I think I know what. It’s the clinical smells of the examination room, the combined aura of all those certificates on the wall, the stethoscope and the asking you to pull your tongue out to look at your throat, the intimidating and aseptic smells of disinfectant—the sterility of it all creates a fear bubble, and the doctor knows that. If you were to meet a doctor in a lift, or in the gym, or at the multiplex, would he have the same effect on you? I hope not…
I am finally in a place of holistic healing, and swear by my homeopath. Even though friends and acquaintances and just about anyone who can get a word in always asks, “Are you sure?” or , “Why don’t you see a real doctor?”
Yes, I am bloody sure I don’t want to dump myself with antibiotics, antihistamines, cough suppressants and pain killers for a flu which anyway deserves its 5-6 day cycle. After all, every germ has to get its due.