Wednesday, August 11, 2004

What's worse?

An insight: People who carp and whine about life being full of problems have no real problems at all...

A couple of days ago, I visited my friend Ro. One of her twin boys, K, was just back from a week long stint in the ICU. In the last five months that they've been here, little K has been hospitalised almost every month for a variety of infections. During the last ICU spell, the hospital didn't permit parents to stay overnight. So when K was back home, he became a little insecure about being kept on the bed. He cried if he wasn't carried all the time. During the time I was there, his eyes were heavy with sleep, but he'd fight it off and keep an alert watch. He still had the remnants of a bad cold and his tiny frame heaved feebly as his lungs threw up copious amounts of phlegm.

'Poor boy is going through so much,' cooed Ro, stroking his curls. 'But you're going to get better, you're going to be a strrrrong boy,' she nodded and smiled at him. And K beamed in response, his eyes flashing.

She turned to me and said, 'We're so fortunate that he's mentally alert. At least we know he'll get better. We might have to do a couple of operation, but he'll be well for sure.'

I was astounded by her attitude as usual. And then she told me of the woman who's 3-year old son shared the ICU room with K. Chatting with her, Ro discovered that she had twin sons as well. But the child who was at home was stricken with cerebral palsy.

'I tried telling her that things would be ok,'
said Ro, 'but she shrugged and said that it was irreversible'.

'But would you believe it,' continued Ro animatedly, 'she was saying that she was fortunate that she lived in a joint family where everyone took turns to look after the palsy-afflicted boy. And then she started telling me of someone in a worse situation!'

Apparently this woman was expecting triplets. But the doctor's insistence on delivering the babies without a caesarean meant that one baby died at birth and both the surviving babies had cerebral palsy.

I wonder what this woman would have made of her situation. But I've reason to believe she would have considered herself fortunate because of someone who was worse...

An Insight (contd.): People who carp and whine about life being full of problems have no real problems at all. People with the real problems are busy counting their blessings.

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