Hello everyone.Every once in a while, there comes a time in my life when I suffer from a severe case of “exhaustion block”, diagnosed by the symptoms of extreme sleepiness whenever the computer is switched on and complete blankness of mind at all other times! The past two weeks, hence were used to read, both books and blogs, which sort of recharged my system.
One of the blogs which helped me out of my mental exhaustion is by an Australian called Phoebe(yes, just like the one from friends) called The Little Grey box. (I have not yet mastered the art and the science behind making a blog link open by somehow attaching the link in my blog, so you have to google it if you want!). She writes about travel and inspiration. It is how she writes about really philosophical things in a way that makes you understand what she means to say, that make the blog a good read. When down in the dumps, read Phoebe, has been my mantra the last two weeks! Then there is a cooking blog or website called the Edible Garden, which opens under the link www.cookingandme.com which gives you really nice recipes which are easy to make and the way the recipes are explained make you feel like as though the writer is speaking to you! So, I have also been trying out recipies in a frenzy!
Apart from this, I read a book called ‘All about Bacteria’ written by an Indian author Ravi Mantha. Got intrigued what someone could write for 230 pages about bacteria under the category of ‘popular’ non fiction. But the book is good. It is about the millions of trillions of bacteria which live in and around us and have been totally misunderstood as beings which out there to make our lives miserable! The book goes on to explain how all bacteria are not pathogens and that we needed quite a few to be healthy too. The bacterial symbiote is based on the premise that humans and bacteria have lived in harmony together for times immemorial, and only a handful of these bacteria cause us illness. Hence, just as a few bad experiences do not put us off the whole human population for good, a few illnesses should not make us believe that all bacteria are bad for us.
When we go through our MBBS degree, we go through a whole subject called microbiology which teaches us all about harmful bacteria and what damage it causes, and side by side we learn pharmacology which is almost manically dedicated to eradicating these pathogens. But nowhere in our training that I remember, were we taught about how to understand our body bacteria and work with them rather than against them for a healthier life! Have developed a new respect for these small creatures after this book (I know I sound weird, but its true!).
Apparently in China, till about a century ago, the village doctors who were given the charge of public health of an entire village, would be paid their monthly salary only if they managed to keep the whole village sickness free for the entire month! Great concept, right? The doctor hence needs to be a teacher, a community physician who also works a lot towards primary prevention rather than tertiary care. It also describes how the medicine we currently practice, is now more palliative instead of curative, hence giving rise to more resistant strains of bacteria and newer mutations of the older easier illnesses. The peanut allergy syndromes, the relation between peptic ulcers and obesity, how body defenses work and many more such interesting facts are explained really well.
Remember reading a similar book long ago called ‘The Survival of the Sickest’ written by Dr. Sharon Moalem. This book is all about why we need diseases to survive! Dr. Atul Gawande is another person whose books make me feel that medicine is all about thinking simple and logical. He makes the most simple statements, but they make such a big difference to the way we function in hospitals. I felt my work exhaustion dissipating and some new energy creeping in!
The aftermath of this was that I got so hyper interested in reading similar books and ordered a whole lot of them online and am waiting desperately for them to arrive! Will keep you posted how they are! Till then, have a happy weekend with your family and your body bacterial symbiotes!!