I absolutely detest taking antibiotics. So today when I read about the WHO getting all hot and bothered that the misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals was leading to the emergence of superbugs and strains of resistant germs, I went “HAH!” Not the evil scientist “BWAHAHAHAHA!” or the snide trouble maker’s “snicker snicker” but more of a relieved, ‘you can’t hurt me any more’ with a dab of ‘up yours’ thrown for good measure kind of ‘HAH’. Let me give you a bit of background here.
When I was ye high (approximately a foot and a half in my socks) I got the runs i.e. Dysentery. Now as I have only the foggiest memory of that period in my life, I rely on third party info here. Sources being my mum and various other family members. Long story short, the family doctor nearly killed me with an overdose of antibiotics, a child specialist was then brought in and I was cured but apparently the antibiotics damaged my immunity system so badly that I stayed very vulnerable to any and every disease in the vicinity. A shift to the clean air of Goa helped, but coming back to Bombay, now Mumbai, now even more polluted, brought on all sorts of new crap.
I have been on a variety of antibiotics and even one biopsy (DO NOT get me started on that). I’ve noticed that the young guns are usually the ones who make my sicker while the old guys who accept that allopathy does not have all the answers are actually the ones who cure you. My favorites though are those old doctors with tiny clinics and compounders who give out little packets of multi-coloured tablets in different shapes and sizes and detailed instructions on when to take what. I’ve noticed they always cure me. After about five years of messing around with different doctors/quacks I have finally shortlisted one gastric surgeon, one orthopedist, one dentist and one ENT. I still need to find one skin specialist, one optometrist, one gynac and most importantly one GP.
The benefits of my gruesome experience:
- Avoid Doctors with degrees from posh sounding institutes.
- Avoid Doctors who use a lot of new fangled equipment. They are usually too reliant on machines rather than instinct.
- Avoid Doctors who sit in well done up clinics. The posher the clinic the higher the overheads therefore the longer your treatment will take. If he has overheads to worry about, then curing you will not be cost effective. He’s going to take you for all you’ve got.
- Stick with the older generation doctors with smaller, dingier clinics. They tend to cure you and send you off. They haven’t got into the habit of treating patients like ATM machines. A quick trick to identify them, when you walk into their clinics and see files piled haphazardly in corners and various knickknacks shoved into cubby holes around, you’re safe. This guy has been around for a while. If it’s a pristine clinic, with teak furnishings, polished equipment… run away!
- Talk to your Doctor, if he acknowledges the impact of stress and a need for a healthier style of living, or if he just tells you to stop being a baby and get on with it, you know you have a gem. Never let him go!
- And most importantly, get referrals from people who have been living in the same area for years. They usually know the best doctors because they’ve been to them over the years. Beware of the hypochondriacs though. You don’t want a doctor who encourages that.
Expecting diseases to stay put just because the medical/pharmaceutical fraternity hasn’t been able to catch up is stupid. Diseases will evolve. Popping stronger pills will only give you an ulcer. Running to a doctor will probably just make you broke and ill. So get your priorities straight and enjoy till your time comes. And in the mean while, keep a little black book of doctors. Who knows when a superbug might get you.