Young At 98. Secret?
©️Dr. Rajas Deshpande
A few months ago I had received an emergency call for a stroke case. The resident doctor informed me that the patient was a lady of 98 years. Her basic tests were normal.
Worried, because stroke is a dangerous diagnosis at any age but more so at that age, I ran to her room as soon as I reached the hospital. A group of her worry-faced relatives waited outside her room.
I entered the room and introduced myself to the patient. She got up.
“Namaskar! How are you doctor? My name is Champadevi Gupta” she said with a big smile and such gusto that I wondered if she was the right patient.
“I am ok, thanks. What happened today?” I asked her.
“Nothing much. I had some giddiness but my children worry so much about my health that they rushed me here”.
Although her examination revealed only mild signs, her MRI had shown a small block in a blood vessel supplying a crucial area of the brain. I explained it to her. She laughed aloud again “I feel okay now. When you feel ok, let me go home”.
She was discharged next morning.
She came in thrice after that, every time walking in with a big smile, lighting up everything around her, keeping her hand upon my head and sumptuously blessing me, inviting for a meal at her home.
Today she came with her youngest son. She is as fit and fine as any young teenager, only happier and more content.
“She has always been like this: happy and content with whatever life brings, in good and bad times” her son Satish told me, “we are 5 brothers, we all look after her, but she still lives alone near my home. She is like a treasure and source of life for all of us”.
Indeed. A laughing, smiling, truly happy, positive and content person is probably the most precious form of human being, and so rare now, that sometimes I want to tell those running behind one thing after another, killing themselves every day: “Look at this lady’s face! This is the secret of a good life, the best health and happiness”.
It is so sad that we are evolving into a “Want more” type of materialistic, selfish, disconnected world with misplaced icons! I was amazed at the willing, involved enthusiasm with which this lucky lady’s children cared so well for her! Incidentally, I had had a tough argument with my teenager kid that morning and had left home in a slightly bad mood. After meeting Champadeviji, whose eldest son of over 80 years still visits her regularly, I was relieved. Parenting is a long term, never ending activity, and may be my own stresses of being a doctor were also distressing my kids sometimes.
As I told her that she was fine and need not visit me for another year, she held my hands, hugged and blessed me, and with mock-anger said “Now if you don’t come to my home I will come to yours without telling you “.
I am now in a true dilemma.
©️Dr. Rajas Deshpande