Sunday, 6 March 2016

Demystifying Down: a poem by Dr. Bharati Dalal, MD

Demystifying Down
                               
When I handed over to a patient, her triple marker report,
that her foetus had a very high risk for the syndrome Down,
& that she will have to, her child abort,
she tearfully, completely broke down !

"But how can the changes in my blood chemistry,
affect the chromosomes of my child ?
Please narrate to me details of the history
of discovery of this syndrome most unkind !"

I replied that it was not her chemistry,
that had caused her foetus such misery profound;
But it was truly a Mother Nature's mystery,
and that matters were exactly the other way round.

The shock and grief written all over her face,
brought tears brimming into my eyes,
I thought I should show some pity and grace,
to stop her from taking more sighs and cries !

I explained to her the normal karyotpe,
and how a meiotic non-dysjunction
of the sperm or ovum, gamete cell-type,
had caused the trisomy twenty-one.

For a long time she stared at me aghast,
then finally broke her silence,
" I am thrilled at your knowledge so deep and vast,
and your keen interest in the Medical Science !

Thanks to the untiring efforts of people like you,
the world is becoming a safer and better place to live;
I accept my fate with all respects due,
to GOD, who has decided what to me, give ! "

Dr. Bharati Dalal, MD

...................................................................................

Demystifying Pathology Laboratories,
is the hardest aspect of a PATHOLOGIST'S role;
Sometimes, to make laymen aware about diagnosis of diseases,
is like fitting a square peg in a round hole !

To know the significance of all laboratory investigations is easy,
and to clinically co-relate them, a mere child's play;
To keep pace with technologic advances is breezy,
and working with smiling affable technicians, makes your day !

But to explain what is urea, bilirubin or cholesterol, to patients
ignorant of the SCIENCE of function of kidney, liver or heart,
is a tough task taxing your time and patience,
and of testing your iimbic system in vivo, an ART !

Those who know EVERYTHING about trekking the HIMALAYA RANGES,
are ignorant that 5% of NORMAL population have results mildly ABNORMAL;
They know NOTHING about the limitations of REFERENCE RANGES;
and that some of the DISEASED population can have their results NORMAL !

To handle such grouchy griping grumpy persons, somehow,
has never been my cup of tea;
At the fag end of my career now
I have voiced my thoughts in public openly !

Dr. Bharati Dalal, MD

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