“Wealth is Health”
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“Please don’t tell my wife Doctor”, requested the young husband who had had convulsions and was better now, “She does not know about my convulsions. Her sister also has convulsions, but we told nobody in our family has any such illness.”
Why? For superiority / Upper hand that he will always have over her, inducing a complex in her to get things his way.
“I am getting married, Doctor” said this girl with a beaming smile.
“Great! Congratulations!!…Does your fiancé know you had a young stroke and are taking steroids?” I ask.
The Mother interrupts:
“No doctor.. we tried telling some because we wanted to be truthful… but then no one agreed to marry her.. I can’t afford not to marry her.. she is 26 now, and has recovered completely and this prospect is very good, well settled”.
“But you will have to disclose that she has an autoimmune disease that can cause blood clots, abortions, paralysis, paralysis etc…. She will face problems in future otherwise”.
“We will handle those problems later doctor. Her uncle is in Police. Once she is married, I don’t think her in-laws can do anything to her”.
“Doctor my Fiance’s family is coming to see you to ask about my illness… Please tell them everything is all right.. Tell them that this was a one time illness and I will not have blindness again”
“But you may have it again, it is not something one can predict or prevent”
“Do you plan to break a family doctor?” Asks an angry aunt.
“No, I want to help, but a doctor must not lie or falsely reassure”
“Ok then, we will go to our family doctor”
“Doc please don’t tell my father that he has a cancer… he will be scared to death”
“Doc Please don’t write there about my real illness, but I need atleast a week’s leave”
“Doc please don’t mention about my past illness, smoking, alcohol intake, drunk accident, diabetes, blood pressure etc. in my insurance papers”
So many illnesses that should not be hidden when you fix a match are hidden, lied about, and couples are happily married away until the “Honeymoon of Trust” ends and the “Hell of Allegations” reigns forever thereafter.
An illness is NOT always a patient’s fault, and everyone deserves dignity, support and best treatment. But with all this also comes the responsibility of sharing the truth that may affect any other person’s life. There are rare true lovers who marry knowing completely about partner’s illnesses, some where one partner is completely healthy. God bless their courage and love. But there are also many cases that once the wife develops any major health problem, she is sent back to her parents / brother to be taken care of, both medically and financially. I must also mention here that when the opposite happens, when the husband gets disability, mostly wife keeps working AND attending the husband’s health issues, looking after the family, and neglecting her own life, doomed to slavery.
But many Psychiatric issues, Neurological problems, Major childhood illnesses that can affect future health are hidden by most. Ongoing treatments are often not disclosed. Most educated people now know about common infections like HIV, HBsAg, MDR Tuberculosis etc. as diseases which need attention, but beyond these there are many other health conditions that need revealing and understanding when a prospective match is being made.
Habitual lying, temper tantrums, severe panic disorder, mood disorders form one end of this problem, while seizures /convulsions, cardiac rhythm disorders, liver and kidney problems, Sexual / Genital / Skin diseases, bleeding / clotting disorders, autoimmune diseases are the other. Head injuries and surgeries in the past, abortions, antipsychotics or some other drugs may increase the risk of future health problems in some.
While love marriages are encouraged, they are also confused with “Lust Marriages”, “Money Marriages” and “Family Marriages”, which will never survive health storms. In a country where in most cases a prospective couple does not interact with each other for more than a few “Heavily Guarded by 100 eyes” seconds, there is hardly any question of looking beyond a face much hidden behind gold. No wonder, considering that there are more associations denouncing and violently attacking Love rather than Terrorism in our country!
There are less examples of acceptance after disclosure of a health / psychiatric issue after marriage. Mostly divorce ensues. While the “Chill” people happily quote laws that allow divorces in such cases, nobody thinks of the scars that are being carved upon two hearts forever, scars that extend upon the face of our society! And the horror of such a marriage, if it does not end in separation but in perpetual quarrels and domestic violence, damages the futures of offsprings of this unfortunate union.
The next generation suffers in many ways when health issues are bypassed in a marriage: from genetic diseases to heavy quarrels and divorce among parents affecting the kids’ psyche permanently, from continuous health problems of one partner imprisoning the whole family and exploiting them directly or indirectly, to complete neglect of necessary healthcare, and so on.
No disease is bad, no patient is guilty, no doctor should lie.
In a “Health-Unconscious” Society, we not only need good support groups, we desperately need premarital counseling and screening.
The society should become better health conscious and more open about truth especially when health is concerned. A doctor has to respect both the patient and his / her privacy, but if someone else’s health is at risk because of a patient’s health condition, the role of a doctor is not well defined. Unless sought the doctor cannot reveal health facts, that too only with the permission of the patient. It is wise to discuss with your own doctor and accept reality.
For trust is the oxygen of any relationship based upon love.
©Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Please share unedited, with credits.