Thursday, November 29, 2012

# Beyond the clinics


It so happened that I came across a man in the medicine ward, two years ago. He was in his mid-twenties. He was so thin, so yellow with jaundice & totally disoriented. One look at him, anyone would recognize it as hepatic encephalopathy. Hepatocellular failure or simply decompensated LIVER FAILURE was the functional diagnosis.

However, there was something strange that kept me staring at his chest. There were strange marks on his chest and shoulders. Some 30-40 small circular scars (as if he was scarred of molluscum!) So I asked his attender how they appeared. I was told that they were cigarette butt marks which he self imposed on himself.

I scanned through his physique. I saw something else on the inner surface of his right forearm. Something in Tamil was tattooed in bold and large typeface. I took hold of his hand and lifted it up so as to get a better view of what was imprinted. 

It was a name of a girl.

The real diagnosis was LOVE FAILURE and not just LIVER FAILURE.

A broken bone can be fixed. But a broken heart??