Deadly Diagnosis published in Daily Dawn Magazine

Deadly Diagnosis and Hospitals

HOW would it sound if your family doctor revealed, “Your ultrasound shows stones in both the kidneys.” Certainly it would make you feel terrible. The world would suddenly appear gloomy and life would seem meaningless. You often hear the saying, ‘health is wealth’. But you never understand it literally until you get seriously ill or a routine check-up reveals that you are suffering from a serious disease. You die a slow death after learning about the ailment, which is precipitated by vicious tests and treatment.

Sometime back, I was suffering from severe pain in the lower part of the stomach. When the ultrasound specialist passed her judgment before the final report, “You have been punished for consuming less water. Look here, you have numerous stones in both your kidneys,” I stared at her rather nervously. The physician advised me to get the IVP (Intra-violet pelvic X-rays) done to verify ultrasound results. It is an extensive test requires special preparations. Two days prior to the test were full of tension. I felt weak, sick and vulnerable. My family members were upset too, blaming contaminated water and unhygienic food for the problem.

A typical ultrasound and Xray room in a local hospital

A night before the IVP, I took four dalculus tablets as the radiologist instructed me to visit him with an empty tummy. The next morning, I found myself unable to stand on my feet due to an upset stomach. With difficultly, I reached the clinic but was told that I was still not ready for the test.“You should take two more tablets and come tomorrow with a completely clean stomach,” the radiologist suggested. But I opted to wait and after an hour was able to fulfil the test requirements. It was a trying experience of two hours. Drained and weak, I could not recover from the test effects in the next few days. However, my exertion transformed into anger when the reports showed no signs of stones in the kidneys. When I protested, the doctor concerned commented in a lighter vein, “Should the report be positive to satisfy you? You must be thankful to God. Go, pray, and hit the bed.” She did not realize that my family and I had suffered a lot due to her wrong diagnosis and hasty judgment.

To wrongly diagnose is a dangerous practice. It can become even life-threatening if a patient receives wrong treatment because of that. One of my uncles lost his life due to doctors’ sheer negligence. The only son of the family, he was diagnosed with ulcer when he had just turned 30. As it was required for the treatment, he ate only boiled vegetables for a year that turned him from a healthy, lively young man into a frail figure. Afterwards, taking a friend’s advice, he consulted a renowned Hakim who aggravated the disease by prescribing him strong Majoons and Khamirs. In the last stages of his life, an oncologist discovered that he had developed acute intestinal cancer, spread in the entire body. “Had the ailment been traced earlier, it could be cured. Now we can just try to make his death less painful,” the doctor informed his wife and parents. He died only after a month, but the incident sprang many a question to our minds. One of them was: “Is there no way to penalize his killers — the so-called mesiahs who have taken many lives because of their ignorance?”

a roadside quack often trusted by native public in search of quick and afforable cure

Be it a general physician or a homeopath, you can’t trust any of them. To provide verity to the observation, a neighbour told me how her wish to have a child was exploited by a homeopath practising in the PIB Colony. She was referred to him by her in- laws when she couldn’t conceive in the first three years of marriage. The homeopath gave her an injection every month that stopped her menstrual cycle. As a result, she put on weight and was declared pregnant. The quack strictly prohibited pregnancy test and medicine for safety of the child. However, when the woman didn’t notice any other symptoms, she secretly consulted a gynaecologist. To her shock, she discovered that she was not pregnant. The homeopath simply deceived her and looted a large amount in the name of treatment. Consequently, she suffered severe hormonal disturbance, obesity and depression.

Famous hospitals and specialists mean greater hassle for patients. Long waiting lists for appointments, hefty fees, costly medicines, infinite tests and eternal wait in labs and clinics are enough to unnerve a person. No matter if you are pregnant, severely ill or injured; most hospitals follow routine procedures, irrespective of patients’ condition. Many a time doctors prescribe unnecessary tests and treatment. Even for minor ailments like flu, fever, dehydration and aches, they hospitalize patients on the pretext of observing an unseen complexity. Whether the patient gets better or not, the hospital is sure to be benefited with huge hospitalization charges.

Human beings are prone to err, but a doctor’s mistake can cost a person his life. So they must be very careful, competent and efficient in their profession. May Allah bless us all with good health, Ameen!

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