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Saturday, 24 November 2012

43. THINK BEFORE YOU LICK


It was the winter of 1992 and I had been suffering from persistent cough for over three months. I had tried all possible medicines but the rogue cough wouldn’t go. I even went to a TB Hospital to have myself checked up for a possible onslaught of tuberculosis but all reports were clear. To say that I was miserable would be an understatement!

It was at this juncture that someone suggested, “Why don’t you consult  xxxx Vaidyaji  ( an Ayurvedic practitioner)? He is really good.”


My response was lukewarm and I said hesitatingly, “I somehow don’t believe in Ayurvedic treatments.”


But my well-wisher was very persuasive, “No, no. He’s not like those ordinary Vaidyas. He is a Gold Medalist and also the personal physician to the President of India… And he sits in this building only. Govt. of India have also recognised him and given him a place in their office building.”


I finally got persuaded and went to consult the famous and highly revered Vaidyaji.


Vaidyaji checked my pulse and advised confidently, “You will be alright in no time but you will have to take this pudiya (powder) with honey twice daily, in the morning as well as in the evening, at least for a year. As of now, I will give you the medicine only for a month.” I was highly impressed with his confidence and expertise.


“See me after a month and don’t stop the medicine under any circumstances,” he gave parting advice.


Two days of licking honey smeared in the grey-white powder and lo and behold! ... my cough had vanished. I just couldn’t believe this miracle and was on top of the world.


A month passed and I went and picked up another month’s supply of powder from Vaidyaji. I admit honestly that I had never respected a doctor more in my life. I was now perfectly alright and bubbling with energy all the time whether it was sitting late in office or saying yes to a suggestion for going for a late-night movie on a working day or arranging a dinner for 50 persons at home. I had become a fountain-head of unstoppable energy. Such was the magic of Vaidyaji’s medicine!


In one such dinner organised by me, my brother who is a doctor and another friend who is also a doctor were present and I could not help bestowing effusive praises on this great man who treated me as if with a magic stick.


My brother laughed and said, “Are you sure, this Vaidyaji of yours is not stuffing you with steroids?”

I felt belittled and snubbed him immediately, “Now, this is the problem with you allopathic doctors. You can never accept any other system of medication.”


I must have been on the verge of losing my cool when this other doctor friend intervened, “My son is also suffering from similar perennial cough and I would like to show him to the Vaidyaji too provided the medicine does not contain any steroids.”


I nodded understandingly. He continued, “If you do not mind, can you give me one of the pudiyas of the medicine. I’ll have it tested in my lab and then seek an appointment with Vaidyaji.”


I immediately obliged him with two pudiyas of the medicine. He put them in his coat’s pocket and left.


I waited anxiously for his call which came after six days, “Hey! Are you aware, what you have been eating for the last two months?”


I was shocked at the revelation he made to me, “This powder is full of steroids…unaccounted and unmeasured. How long have you been taking it?”


I felt as if the carpet had been pulled from under my feet. I knew the side-effects of steroids and had always been against eating them even in small quantities. And here I was, eating them morning evening happily for over two months now. I could not stand any longer and had to slump in the nearest chair.


With great difficulty, I mumbled, “Now, what do I do?”


“Stop it. But you can’t stop it immediately. It will have to be tapered down over a period of three weeks at least….,” he went on and I was thinking why I did not listen to my brother earlier. I was feeling dazed now.


Over the next three weeks, I gave up the steroids and reverted to my normal though low energy levels.

A year later, I was diagnosed as having Diabetes Type II although no-one in my family has ever suffered from this dreaded silent killer. Recently, while surfing the internet, trying to collect more information on the causes of Diabetes, I was shocked to read somewhere “excessive use of steroids” as one of the probable causes of non-functioning pancreas! It took me no time to connect the threads.


How I wish, I had not undergone that ‘miraculous treatment’ by Vaidyaji !


(A real life experience)

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