Monday, December 14, 2009

Age old old age problem ..

The elderly already anxious lady on my dental chair was startled by a loud booming voice from the reception area.Doc,someone sure needs immediate attention ,she said.I continued my work knowing fully well who it was outside.It had been quite a while but the tone,the voice,everything was too familiar to miss.The older staff also exchanged knowing looks,smiled and went about their work.Newer staff was curious ,some marched towards reception to investigate.The voice in no time would get louder, I knew from experience ,forcing either my husband or me out from our  respective operatories.
 This very old parsi gentleman has been coming to us for his dental treatment since the inception of our clinic . back then , we would get intimidated and call him in immediately .He never believed in taking prior appointment nor ever will .Over the years we grew quite fond of him but no amount of requesting,pleading,reasoning with him to take appointment, has worked.We have at times sent him away,wished he would change dentists but of course he never did.
       I was particularly busy that day so I sent him in the opg room for x rays and asked an associate doctor to examine him.Mr.'know all' rubbished the idea when he was told that he needs a root canal in the painful tooth,demanded as always that he be allowed to meet us ,just to make sure..
      I sighed and moved out to have a word with him . "Stop making a fuss kaka ,I saw your x ray ,you do need a root canal ," I said.
"But I want you to pull that tooth out , I do not want anything that troubles me in my life now.",he said aloud.
"I will not remove that tooth when it can be saved kaka ,'I said patiently.You can go somewhere else and get it removed.I knew the answer, we had rehearsed it umpteen times over the years before each root canal of his.
"You knhow dhikra I weel not go ainywhere "he stressed on each word. Ok kaka, let us go to the hospital and remove and throw your heart out first as it has been troubling you since years.You will cease to be a heart patient then,all your troubles gone!
 He pretended he was  busy reading something,fiddled with his bag ,mumbling  and I left him there with himself to talk to.
 Five minutes later he was inside the cabin waving his frail fingers in the air."But no cap for me after root canal ,then only you proceed."he said .Sure thing,only next time when you fracture your fragile bones,we will only allow the orthopedic to align it and no plaster cast will be said, not once looking up from my desk.
  You always do this ,you know very well,main idhar hi ayega. you win , do what you want.
   Next few days we all were entertained by his life's interesting anecdotes ,political and social debates with anyone available in the waiting room.He would demand tea and sip it slowly,enjoying every sip noisily.
Funny man, intelligent,interesting,extremely well read, but sadly, very lonely in old age with no one to talk to .Such visits give him a break from his loneliness.He cribs about extended appointments and multiple visits ,blames all of us for troubling him in his old age but we know that  he looks forward to these visits.We indulge,knowing that  very few people  around will understand and most of them will not,...this age old problem of old age...


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