Have you ever looked around and realized that the world is just replete with promises of satisfaction? Think about it!

Blockbuster movies, parties with friends, breakaway shopping sprees, travel trips, hunting for music, chasing good books, enjoying food, and all the colorful product advertisements everywhere – do they not all target at our search for satisfaction? And the world is just full of such promises of satisfaction – that it is blinding.

Many of them are short-lived. Some of them are lies. We all know. Yet it is easy to get lost, and in the process, all we end up thinking and speaking of is about ourselves. All of this is like “a chasing after the wind”, as the book of Ecclesiastes aptly puts it.

There is much more to say, but I’ll stop. It actually takes some effort to think about this in the context of our personal lives (yours and mine)! But tell me what you think.

(There are 10 responses to this post.)

Three wishes

This is a story during my week of attachment with the Paediatric Outpatient Clinics… (names anonymized, of course)

Clarice’s aunt was her carer. She had brought Clarice in due to concerns about her oppositional behaviour at home – trashing her scooter into windows, hitting her brother, skipping school, coming back home late without informing her aunt, and so forth, according to the referral letter.

But walking into the room was a surprisingly rather demure young teenage girl, dressed in pretty pastel colors with a little flowery handbag on the side. Perhaps she was just more reserved around strangers, especially before the doctor?

Her mom was in prison for drug abuse. Her dad had been gone for several years to somewhere nobody knew. Her aunt was single, but was taking care of two more children in addition to Clarice, all whom had to be taken away from their parents for child protection issues. She was really running quite tired, she said in our discussion, coming to her “end of wits” in trying to manage the behavioural problems in her house.

But we didn’t think that Clarice had any “medical problem” such as ADHD that we could address with medicines. The most we could do is to recommend her to give counsellors and child psychiatrists another try. I felt a little bad for what seemed to be like pushing the onus away, but it was perhaps the right thing to do.

At the end of the consultation when interestingly not much else could be said from us, the paediatrician turned to the teenage girl sitting quietly on her seat. “Clarice,” she said, “if there were three wishes you could make and they would come true, what would they be?”

“That I could have a hundred wishes more,” Clarice replied without too long a delay, but she laughed when she realized it was a silly answer.

“Um…, that I would never grow old,” she added with a self-conscious grin, “andddd….”

“… And that mom, dad and I can be together…,” she said after a pause.

(There are 10 responses to this post.)

Have you heard of the term “quality of life”?
Palliative care, being probably on the other end of the medical intervention spectrum compared to curative care, naturally emphasizes a lot on the concept of quality of life.

Hmm, you may or may not have wanted to know that the proper definition of palliative care is “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual”.

(In other words, as I understand it, improving the quality of life in patients with untreatable terminal illnesses, as opposed to taking a curative approach.)

Question: What is quality of life to you? Have you ever spent some thought on what things make your life have quality?

It might not be pleasant to imagine ourselves being on the bed in a hospice, having not long to go before our lives end… but have you ever thought of the things that you would want most, if you were in that situation?

Research says…

(There are 8 responses to this post.)
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