At this moment as I sat down to write the third and final part of my ‘Jaundice Days’ I am rather glad to inform you that the last test has revealed that Bilirubin levels have fallen below one (0.5 to be exact),that is, technically I am out of Jaundice. However, the restrictions associated with it still remains. The entire experience has been a total revelation for me, giving me an insight how people in our country deal with diseases for which they have little understanding. Alexander Pope has once said ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ the quote aptly applies to what I have heard, listened and faced during these days.
There are many unanswered questions in Medical Science, and Jaundice is one of them. It is still hard to believe that this widespread disease still don’t have any direct particular medicine. The treatment basically rests on prolonged bed-rest and regular doses of energy tabs. Unless you consult a liver expert. To add on to it you will find many people who know everything about the disease and can prescribe you a medicine for it, medicines which are not recorded in any proven medical journal of India or the world. Its peculiarity also hinges on what people do to deal with it, stop taking proper diets, living off fruits and top of all stop taking anything yellow. Why yellow? The answer what you will get that since your body has turned yellow, yellow is now poisonous. But note down the turmeric has anti-septic properties; they’ll just shrug it away. The more common this disease is, less people are certain about it.
‘Have you consulted the doctor? Is he on medicines? Listen usko jhaad bhi do(get him treated by a witch doctor)’ This is from one of telephonic conversation my mom had with our educated relative, and mind it, this is not the only one. It is very surprising for me that even in this age and even with level of education people believe that something purely internal can be treated by something external. I do believe in god, and I do believe there is something like budi nazar and all that, but how can a thing which have a proper medical explanation, but no straight treatment can be treat to so things. I don’t know the answer, I simply don’t. But strangely enough, many people, from our house maid to electrician to the fruit vendor everyone knows a foolproof medicine for this disease. The medicine which can cure the disease in the matter days without any hospitalization. One of the most convincing examples was given by our electrician; I would just like to quote him about what he said after thoroughly checking me.
“Are you on a doctor? I know a person who makes the medicine for jaundice. When I had jaundice I consulted five doctors, one almost send me to a nursing home, which could have resulted in loss of Rs. 25000 and many days. I got to know about this person, he was in government service. He diagnosed me and asked me to come in the evening, by that time he would have completed his medicines. Medicines which has to be taken twice (or thrice) a day, would be provided by him every day. Within 3 days I got well, and then he advised me to go to a lake in Jhajjar, Haryana where there is a pilia kund (Jaundice Lake) where on every weekend people came from various corner to take a bath and drink water from that lake, and get cured. It is almost full on weekends, just like village fair. And then when you get well, take some roots of a particular plant, it will increase your hunger as it will open up the stomach. Hardly in 15 days you would get well. Do you take paan or banana? Medicine can only be taken by that only. Now since the person has retired, he will ask some charge, otherwise it was free. But you have to stop your medicines that you are taking.”
Phew! My mom only got impressed till I scolded her for her stupidity. It’s with my liver, I told her. But one thing became rather certain, many will give you suggestion but it is your brain that you must apply.
Lectures, Lectures and more Lectures
One of the most enduring memories of this period will be the amount of lecture I have to endure and amount that I am presently enduring. When you are ill, almost everyone seems to know the reasons for your illness.
‘You eat out a lot’
‘You young people don’t listen, every time you go outside do you need to have anything’
‘Have more pizzas, burgers, momos, go have it, shall I bring some more now?’
For the first fifteen days, I listened to them, almost to the point of agreeing. But water has crossed it limits, and I have to let it go. Jaundice is a water borne disease, I countered, and I eat only at good restaurants and most of the time we order mineral water, and outside eating is mostly a weekend affair when most of the friends have weekend off, and if it happened because it happened due to eating out, at least 2 more should have gone down with me because I never eat alone. After this, my mom picked up the gauntlet for me, telling almost everyone who raised that damn point again. Jaundice is water borne disease and water could have slipped into my mouth from any place, even my home. I had had my last eating out sometime in mid July, how can I get infected in mid August for something I did one month back? Well there are no answers; speculations don’t have a proper explanation. But still they continue, giving lectures from food that should I eat to amount of rest I should take.
Jaundice is water borne disease and one doesn’t have to stop eating everything. Proper diet, proper rest and proper consultation with a good doctor (a Liver Specialist) are the mantra. I have seen people giving me all sorts of lectures about what to do after getting well, some of them abstain from oil for more than a year and suppose me to do the same. Many didn’t have any spices, many lived on boiled. But these are not the solution these only aggravate the problems.
When I first consulted the Liver Specialist he told me to have everything, take a proper diet, less spices, less oil, but proper. When my mother pointed out about what elder say, he said these golden words which still echoes in my ears,” If you go outside my clinic you will see an Aggrawal Sweet Shop, ask the owner about a medicine for jaundice. I am sure he will tell you a nuska. But it is up to you whom you listen, an expert halwai or an expert doctor.” The doctors words got proven when on my second check-up I complained about the gas problem, and that I only had boiled stuff. He said that time, if I keep taking boiled things, recovery will take time as liver is not getting all things properly and he was right. I have to say, after seven weeks, whatever doctor said would happen to me, happened to me. The Jaundice followed the same course as he said. It increased, it got stabilized, it fell down and on last Saturday when I got myself checked he remarked it might be over by now. And it is.
All during this time almost everyone I know became interested in the color of my shit. Food I eat. Almost everyone has a solution. But a very few people talked sense. I had proper diet during my jaundice days, not oily but proper, I abstained myself from tea and non-veg, and I listened to my doctor. Now there is a piece of advice that I want to give you, whenever you have jaundice always, always consult a liver specialist, it is a water borne disease which severely affects the lever. And listen to him. Have a proper diet and never listen to anyone who wants to give you a nuska. It is your liver, and you have to take care of it.
PS: This is for the comments that I received for my last two posts. I was not negligent about my health. BP is hereditary; more was due to the situation, my result, my health and lectures. It never occurred to me that it could happen to me, since I passed out of my college and started working I seldom had anything from roadside. But it was just my destiny, just couldn’t change it. Yes, it was an ordeal and how I passed my time sleeping, reading and watching TV. More on that especially about TV on next entry.