Contact me !

If you need to contact me , please write to me to this email ID : I will be happy to help.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dr !

Dear Dr,

It has been three years since I know you, and knowing you has made a huge positive difference in my life - thank you ! Before I knew you, I came across your blog (blog.drmalpani.com every article you posted. I learned a lot from it ; it also gave me enormous moral strength to go through my excruciatingly painful IVF journey. Your blog contains a treasure of information which every patient, especially IVF patients, must read.  I wonder how you manage to update your blog everyday - it just shows the passion you have for your profession; the passion for sharing information with the patients; and the passion for educating them ! 

When I started my IVF journey, everyone around me, including the doctors I met, asked me to stay away from internet. Whenever I went with some questions and suggestions about my treatment, I was discouraged and sometimes even ridiculed. I was made to feel that knowing about the treatment details of my infertility is none of my business. I was warned that knowing little is dangerous; I was mocked for trying to play the role of a doctor without a valid medical degree. 

The below picture, I took recently from an intern's FB post:

This is how most doctors react to their patients' eagerness to take an active part in their treatment.

I am a person who want to involve myself in my medical care. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I fell down and broke my crown. The wound was bleeding profusely. My mother and her friend took me to a nearby hospital. On the way, they were talking about how big the cut is and was wondering whether the doctor will give a suture. They were saying that, if the doctor sutures the wound, it will be very painful. I was hearing everything silently. Once we entered the clinic and saw the doctor, I told him very clearly that I do not want a suture as it will cause much pain. When I heard this incident from my mom, I was so proud that I was able to voice my concern even when I was so little. Although, the final, well-fitting decision was in the hands of the doctor, I made sure to let him know my wish too as per the information I received. If I haven't done so, might he would have sutured the wound. Might be after hearing my concern he thought of leaving it as such with a dressing. My mom said that he looked amused by his little patient and promised that he wouldn't do a suture. 

I am a biologist who could understand my treatment details very well. I could have an intelligent conversation with my doctor. Even then, I was discouraged to take an active part in my treatment. After five failed IVF cycles and a FET, after trying a therapy called paternal lymphocyte immunization therapy which is of no proven benefit, I was at wits' end. Infertility is an emotionally debilitating illness. Adding to that,  lack of proper information and guidance could instill lots of fear. I was haunted by many questions - "Is there anything I could do more ? Why won't my embryos implant ? Is there anything I could do to improve the outcome of my IVF cycle ? How long should I try IVF ? Is there a magical solution ? Why my doctor is not giving me any information when my IVF cycle fails, apart from saying, sorry ? Since the paternal lymphocyte immunization therapy failed to provide a successful outcome, does it mean I will never have a baby ? What is wrong with my body ?" My questions remained answered !

I started to look for IVF doctors in India. During that time I came across your blog. It was so good to see you introducing yourself as a patient advocate who prescribes information therapy. Your blog not only helped me to find the answers I needed but also counselled me. My fears calmed down. I found solace in penning down my emotions and opinions in your blog. You suggested me that I must write a blog too and it will be highly therapeutic.

That is how my blog came into being. You gave me suggestions regarding what topics will be helpful for the patients. You patiently corrected all my articles. My English was very poor, I even had no idea how to use proper punctuations (still I don't !). But, you always had kind words to encourage me. You are humble enough to say that you learn a lot from me too. The more I wrote, more I learned. The more I learned, more confident I became. As you said, writing a blog is very, very therapeutic - I started to look at my infertility in a whole new light.  Putting my thoughts and feelings in words helped me to look beyond my fears and failures. 

My blog is only  three years old and has 500,000 hits. I get lots of e-mails from patients. Helping them to find answers to their questions has helped me too - I learn a lot too ! Counselling them has helped me to overcome my fears too. Not only patients, even doctors write to me congratulating me for my articles. Once a doctor said that she would love to print my (our!) articles and give to her patients. Recently, a doctor wrote to me saying that, my articles will not only help patients but doctors too ! 

I am not registering everything here to boast about you or about myself.  I just want to let people know what kind of magic a good doctor could create; how he could help patients to help themselves and to help others too; how important it is to be a well-informed patient and also to find a doctor who will answer all their questions patiently and involve them in their own healthcare decisions.

Dr, thank you so much for everything you have done for me ! I have learned a lot from you. You have taught me :

Intellectual humility - You have shown me that there is something to learn from everyone I meet and from every situation I face. After all, life is nothing but a learning experience !

To think outside the box -  I have never seen you following the masses. You have an original outlook about anything and everything. For example, you never suggest some therapy to your patients just because everyone else is doing so ! You weigh carefully the scientific evidence and its pros and cons.

To be consistent and never give up - Your blog, website and the patient education materials you create are a proof of that ! You are blogging for more than 10 years and that too almost everyday ! You relentlessly update your website and create patient education materials.

To stand for what I believe in - Your efforts to promote information therapy says it all ! 

To be passionate about what I do.

To be a well-informed patient and the importance of it.

Apart from my blog, apart from the good things I learned from you, I am now extremely grateful to you and your team for helping us to have our little Anisha. Atlast our dream has come true ! She has made our life very beautiful and lively. 

If not for your presence and guidance, if not for my blog, I might have given up IVF a long back. I might not have had Anisha. Thanks a ton Dr for being there !

Today is your birthday. I wanted to let you know that you will always be thought of with so much fondness for who you are. I hope you will be honored for your efforts in promoting patient education and information therapy in India.

Happy Birthday, Dr ! May you stay very happy, healthy and blessed ; may all goodness follow you for many, many, many more years to come !


Wait Dr, Anisha wants to tell you something too :

Hi Dr :) Anisha here. Hope you are doing good. I am fine; amma and appa loves me so much and I am basking in that love and warmth. Amma said that today is your birthday - happy birthday ! Be very happy always !

Thanks a lot for helping my parents to bring me into this world ! May I ask you something - when can I have a picture with you, just like the above picture where you are with a cute little one ?

Love and hugs,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please do write to me! It makes me happy :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...