samedi 8 août 2015

EL INDIO IN MEXICO: A CASE OF DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

EL INDIO IN MEXICO: A CASE OF DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP
We hear about the importance of doctor-patient relationship but we don’t hear about the extraordinary relationships between Doctors and Patients.
I have one such friend, Dra E who practices in Piedras Negras, in Mexico.
She graduated from Ozone Therapy programme in Cuba (medical degree from Monterey) and over the years I had seen the importance of Ozone therapy in the arrest and retardation of inflammation in the body.
When I began talking about Inflammation and chronic disease in the body, in 2005, it was met with laughter, mainly by Family Physicians working in the Indian Health Service. My observations were after watching the evolution of disease among the American Indians.
Why did a group of people who were all lean become all overweight or obese? (Greater than 95%) with Children becoming obese earlier and earlier in their lives? The mantra of less exercise and more food did not make much sense to me, when I got to know them better. The lack of understanding of chronic disease and its care by American (and other) doctors, forced me to go to London to study the Anthropology of Medicine which turned out to be a great education. Armed with this new vista of the universe of maladies, it opened up with clarity the suffering and illness among the Indians and allowed postulation of theories which were proved scientifically many years later. Most scientists agree that propositions or intuitions are later on followed by truth. Because I work with Indians, an oppressed group, the work or propositions arising out of our work are not respected but regularly years later they are proven scientifically. The instances are too many.
El Indio, as I would call my friend/patient has an unusual inexplicable form of renal problem. The kidney doctors, interested in dialyzing for dollars, living in a city close to his reservation, recommended dialysis, without studying the problem in detail (they were too busy with other things I suppose). Dialysis was not acceptable for him, and neither was it was an option in my opinion.
How to get him some high intensity anti-inflammatory, non-damaging, non-pharmaceutical, treatment? In Cuba, it would have been very easy, but in the USA where the practice of medicine is highly influenced by Pharmaceutical companies and their peons, no such things would be available easily.
(ayisha has completed her studies in Hospitality and is doing a Commerce degree. She is Bombay born and brought up)
On Wednesday morning, CST in the USA, I was leaving my hotel, Niyati Boutique Hotel in Fort Cochin in India. A silent self-absorbed driver took me to the airport about 42 km away, through traffic that belies any logic. Comfortable stays in the lounges of Air India at Cochin and GVK Lounge and Lufthansa Lounge in Frankfurt, United Club in Washington DC along with comfortable flights, and 36 hours in time spent on air and on the ground, I found myself in San Antonio. 
(Meals on Non-USA based airlines, this one in Lufthansa, tend to be better)
A bleary eyed stay at a hotel and I was at the Airport once again to receive El Indio who had left his home few hours earlier and arrived by plane. 

We rented a car; off we went towards the border with Mexico. Stopped briefly at a Taco place for a place of Chicken Fajita Taco, as El Indio had not eaten all morning and US based airlines don’t serve anything on their flights.
We arrived at Eagle Pass on time, watching the mesquite trees lining the entire distance with their less than interesting glare at us. As we turned into the highway that would take us to Mexico, two eagles circled us, which in the mind of El Indio and I was an auspicious signal of the hours ahead. We parked the car and walked the short distance on the bridge to Mexico. 

We had not taken into consideration the immense desert heat, the mercury hovered around 105 F or around 41 C. I felt bad for El Indio, to expose him to such an extreme heat, but a short ride on a taxi found us in the air-conditioned but crowded offices of Dra E, the most humanitarian of General Physicians I know.
We set up the Ozone Treatment for him; O3 is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, routinely used in Cuba and many other countries around the world. For Cultural and material reasons it is not allowed in the USA.

Treatment went without any problems. He later observed that the gentle nature of the doctor and the nurse was soothing to him.  After a nights rest, he had yet another treatment with O3, which was followed by a delicious Mexican Breakfast at El Salsero Restaurant. During all the time he was in the office and undergoing treatment, he was made to feel comfortable, the tone of conversation was one of respect and the smooth flow of the ambience in the small office crowded with patients made him feel at home and cared for. Why don’t we have doctors like this at home? He asked. I assured him that even in Mexico she was unusual and that she was just born that way to parents who were very socially conscious people.

I felt confident that we can avoid Dialysis in El Indio for a few years, as I have seen good results with O3 therapy in the prevention of the deterioration of chronic kidney disease.
(a very friendly waitress at El Salsero Restaurant in Mexico)
We crossed the border back to USA and then I drove him back to the San Antonio, booked a hotel for him to stay and then organized his trip back home to his reservation.
As the husband of the doctor said, after a lovely dinner at Baraka’s Restaurant, our stomachs are full and hearts are content.
The most content person was El Indio, who had to travel a long way, much longer than his usual sojourners but he returns home with great hope that he may be given reprieve by the Great Spirit and he is grateful. I told him; whatever the Great Spirit has in store for you is what will happen. What we have tried is to make sure that the inflammation is taken care of and that dialysis for dollar transaction will not take place in his case.
(a waitress in San Antonio, friendly Texan student of Nursing)
(on the other side of the shallow river lies Mexico)
This is a good example of Doctor-Patient relationship. All philosophies insist on
Gratitude
Humility
Mindfulness
All of us are grateful for various actions by the various individuals
The humility is our hope for our patient, knowing well that this treatment would be of help to him
Mindfulness is the aware of the present, enjoying the travel, the unbearable heat, the treatment, wonderful hospitality of the Mexican people, needless to say the superior food there.