Aug 20, 2021

Expense or Investment?

 A few days back, K and I went for our weekly fruits and vegetable shopping. The bill is usually around Rs.1000. It has increased slightly in the past few weeks, given that more people are at home, but this is the average amount we incur every week. 

Anyway, this post got triggered by two comments. 

"You are buying too many fruits and vegetables for a week", a casual comment by a loved one.

"Junk food is so cheap but fruits, vegetables, cold pressed oils and millets cost yaanai vilai", a comment from a dear reader.

This is how I see it - "choose quality ingredients and invest towards your health NOW" or "save money by buying cheap, junk food and pay with a hefty interest towards medical expenses LATER".

Having spent the last 3 months with multiple hospital visits for Appa, I got to experience the sheer magnitude of medical expenses, running in lakhs. To give you a rough idea,

Doctor consultation - Rs.900 . This is for outpatients. If the same doctor steps into your room if you get admitted (for an inpatient consultation), it is Rs.1100.

CT Scan - ranges from Rs.10000 - Rs.16000

Blood tests - ranges from Rs.1000 - Rs.6000

Admission Charges - Rs.10,000 per room per night (non-sharing), Rs.5000 per room per night (twin sharing)

Nursing charges and Doctor Visit charges proportionately increase depending on the room type you choose. 

Adult diapers cost around Rs.600-700 per pack of 10 in Amazon, whereas the hospital charges Rs.700 per diaper.

All medical supplies used by nurses and doctors are charged to the patient's bill - right from disposable syringes, gloves, swabs, face masks etc. These add up to a sizeable amount if the stay is for 3-4 days.

A pack of protein drink that is given through a food pipe (for patients who are not able to eat/drink) costs Rs.1310 per kg. Lasts for 3-4 days, depending on the frequency of the feeds.

We had to go to a multispecialty hospital, given the health situation as well as the prevailing pandemic. So the costs might be on the higher side. The place of living matters too. These ranges will be similar in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. They may be slightly lower in tier 2 cities.

The intention of this post is not to spread fear but to share the current reality of the costs that we are expected to incur in hospital/medical bills.

Apart from financial stress, medical conditions pose a lot of physical, mental, and emotional stress both for the patient as well as for their family members. 

Let's take charge of our health right NOW. Let's make the right investments towards it NOW. 

Aug 12, 2021

My latest interest

Guess the topic I have become extremely curious about.

Astrology. Yes, you heard that right.

Over the past three months, my interest in astrology has increased quite a bit. I was looking for answers related to events that have been unfolding in my life in the past one year or so - multiple challenges, unexpected turns of events, situations beyond my control, and so on.

I wouldn't claim that I have got the answers I was looking for through astrology. But I could see a larger connection and correlation, something which helps me feel a sense of calm and acceptance.

Since childhood, I have always been interested in reading Sun signs and the daily predictions - be it in a random newspaper or a magazine. But I never paid closer attention to them. But in the last few months, I have been listening to monthly predictions and watching multiple videos to understand astrology better.

Instead of bluntly dismissing astrology as superstition/pseudoscience, I want to go deeper and learn the nuances of it, before judging or making a conclusion.

As though the Universe wanted to concur with my thought, I was pleasantly surprised to notice a mention of astrology in "Project Agni" in the Navarasa anthology series. That was my most favorite story, btw. It was brilliant and mind-blowing.

Are there any astrology enthusiasts reading this? Do share your thoughts and resources on how I can explore astrology in detail, preferably Tamil stars and signs.

Aug 9, 2021

Interconnectedness of the human body

 I vividly remember the chapters of my 12th grade Biology textbook. There were individual chapters on the various systems of our human body - digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, endocrine system etc. The chapters covered each system in detail and explained the various organs involved. But there weren't any mention of how each of these systems are interconnected and how they influence each other.

To elaborate on this interconnectedness, let's take the example of digestive system. School textbooks talk about the different organs involved in digestion - esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and colon. They also talk about how carbohydrates, proteins and fats are broken down in various stages through the digestive enzymes present in saliva, stomach acids, role of bile etc. 

From what I have observed and learned is that digestion is influenced by factors, apart from the organs of digestive system. 
  • Good dental structure is extremely important in breaking down the food through chewing (DENTAL HEALTH)
  • Taste buds get activated through our eye sight, implying that our eyes play a vital role in signalling our brain to secrete the right digestive enzymes (OPTHALMOLOGY)
  • Our mindset at the time of eating food plays a vital role. Eating while we are emotionally distressed impacts our digestion big time (PSYCHIATRY)
  • Lack of movement or physical activity leads to poor blood circulation and less oxygen availability, which leads to poor availability of nutrients to our cells (CARDIOLOGY / PULMONOLOGY)
  • Poor thyroid health slows down the metabolism, thereby impacting appetite levels (ENDOCRINOLOGY)
These are just a few factors that came to my mind right now. I'm sure there are much more. 

With multiple doctor visits for Appa in the past 3 months, with each specialist "referring" to another specialist, how a particular medicine/treatment/diagnosis impacts another parameter/organ/system, I can't help but wonder why there isn't a holistic approach in addressing health issues. Why is it that a diagnosis in itself requires the consultation of 5-6 specialist doctors?

P.S. No offense to anyone in the medical fraternity. Just voicing out my frustrations with the system.

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