Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lessons learnt from DENV

I have developed a newfound respect for nurses. Yes, nurses of the medical kinds, who take care of the sick, and, well, nurse them back to health.

As my big bro put it, diseases have a way of teaching us stuff. In this case, a dengue fever attack on my sis did it for me. It gave me a whole new perspective towards caring for the sick. And yeah, the whole respect thing that I’ve mentioned above.

Patience is not one of my best virtues. And as all of you most probably already know, without patience, it is almost impossible to care for an ailing person.

One has to put up with complaints, fusses, tantrums and what not.

Over this past one week, I have been worried, frustrated, annoyed, extremely worried, freaked out, guilt ridden, scared, stressed and relieved in that exact order.

I’ve probably cooked for so many days at a stretch for the first time ever, and that too not masaaledar, sinfully creamy and oily food which is usually my expertise, but bland food with no oil or chilli or spice of any kind.

I’ve probably spent so much time sitting and watching over my sister (or anyone for that matter), and worrying for her constantly for so many days at a stretch, for the very first time.

And it has taught me some really good lessons.

For instance, if a person is suffering from fever and says he/ she wants to eat maggi, never give him/ her it, unless you want them to throw up so you can clean up the mess later.

Ok, ok. That is the least of the lessons that I learnt.

What’s more important is that I learnt to listen and pay attention. I learnt to make decisions. I learnt to reach out to friends for emotional support. And most importantly, I learnt to be patient.

Learning patience from a patient. Funny that, eh?!

Ok getting back to what I really learnt, more than the physical pain that a disease inflicts one with, I learnt that it is the emotional pain/ starvation/ isolation that an illness brings along with it which is more dangerous and devastating.

As I sat watching over my sister this past one week, trying really hard to stay awake and help her with everything that she needed at all hours, I learnt that more than me giving her that extra blanket when she felt chilly, it was my tight hug that made her feel warm; more than me giving her those pain killers when her bones hurt like crazy, it was my touch on her aching body that made the pain lesser; more than me sitting with her throughout the day so she wouldn’t get bored, it was the conversations that I had with her that made her feel less depressed.

Now, in all this, how did I learn to respect nurses, you must be wondering.

Looking after my own sister, that too just for a week was rather tough and taxing on me. Imagine the nurses, who constantly do this, all through their life, for people they hardly know.

And not all patients are cheerful cherubs like my sister; there are grumpy ones too, who like to complain, and crib and blame the people around them and make them feel as miserable as their own sick selves.

Hence the respect bit.

I salute those kind souls who do everything to ensure that the sick are well looked after. And the next time I come across an impatient nurse, I’ll just recollect my own experience with nursing, and forgive him/ her.

Thank God I am just a copy writer. The burden of being a nurse would have just killed me for sure.

By the way, DENV is an ssRNA positive-strand virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus. It stands for the Dengue virus which is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is the causative agent of dengue fever, and is currently one of the most significant emerging disease challenges to global public health. (Source: Wikipedia.)


  1. :-)
    glad she recovered.

  2. that definitely was something worth learning. And honestly, you have come across as a patient person.
    Didn't know you had a a blog!
    Keep 'em posts coming.

  3. @George
    Thank you! And now that you know, do keep coming and leaving those comments! :)

  4. Yes, I can so relate to this. Poor nurses. I do have respect for them :-)