How old are you? 09/04/2012

Recently we had the World Health Day celebrated  and I was wondering about what ‘health’ really meant. Has it got to do with the general health/ well being of a person I asked myself. Or has it got to do with the mental health  true to the saying ‘He/she is as old as he/she thinks’ or  ‘You  are as old as you look or if I may add Talk? or your health depends upon  whether you are able to dictate the function of your arms and limbs or they dictate you  with their limitations  for what ever reason? The questions can go on and on considering that there is a specialist for practically every organ and vein in our body not to speak of the mushrooming  Scan and  ‘Fitness Centres’ all over the city.

Talking about specialists,  sometimes the experience patients have are amusing for the questions they  are  asked. One  such patient consulted an Ortho for  pain in her legs and the doctor asked her to take a few steps in his clinic. When she took her seat, he asked her how old she was. Instead of replying she had asked him to guess her age and he promptly  said she must be past 75.

‘yes, doctor, you are absolutely right, that’s the age of my legs’!

You could well imagine his reaction.

I n another case a middle aged lady consulted a specialist  for an eye problem. As expected he wanted to know how old she was and she said she was past sixty.

He had  scrutinized her from top to bottom and  said,  ‘Well, madam, perhaps  cataract is setting in, it normally happens around your age, he stated. (The lady had  deliberately quoted  a wrong  age,  increasing it by  10 years!).

Yet another  lady went to an Ortho for pain in her shoulder. He asked her whether she was a working woman. She told him she worked as a cook in three houses.

Amma, I think  working with your hands so much is the cause of the pain, the doctor had said and advised her to reduce her work load!


n.meera raghavendra rao


4 thoughts on “How old are you? 09/04/2012

  1. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Very thought provoking musings.

    But If I were to be a doctor or super specialist, I would feel so very uncomfortable with a patient like you. You would be asking many inconvenient questions for which they might not have definitive answers. Doctors prefer patients who do not use their brains. You are much too intelligent for them.

    Btw, Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental & social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity ( weakness of old age or being bedridden with bandages because of injury or accident)…….. [WHO 1948].

    1. Its true that Doctors may not like to be asked inconvenient questions because answering them will involve more time which means less patients and less money to take back home!

  2. V Raghavan

    A relative of mine went to the doctor complaining of pain all over the body. The doctor asked her age. She told she was past sixty. The doctor quipped: What else can you expect at that age! He advised to go home, telling her that all the time she has from now onward is bonus from God!

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