Saturday, April 18, 2009

I wish I were a doctor

I'm an engineer by education and profession; all along I've been happy and so satisfied about it; but not any more.

Engineering explains most of the things that happen around you every day. As I remember
  • 'newton's 3rd law' while walking;
  • 'doppler's frequency shift' from the horn of a speeding car/bike;
  • 'raleigh's scattering' looking at the orange sky;
  • 'frequency spectrum' while on a traffic signal pondering about why red is stop and green is go;
  • 'acetic acid' when the bearer serves me vinegar for the fried rice;
  • 'potential difference' when a crow casually sits on a metallic electric wire;
(and more ...)

....I've always enjoyed my education (as if I were Neo looking at The Matrix :P). No doubt that I still enjoy my education, but there is rather something else that is much more important to understand than all these --- yes, that's our human body.

=== what follows is my own understanding of a disease; do not rely on the information here if you are looking for some critical information on this disease. ===

I was totally devastated when I got to know about this disease (not sure if I can call it a disease) called 'Guillain-Barré Syndrome'; commonly referred as GB syndrome. It is mentioned that this disease is very uncommon and the chances of this disease is just 1 or 2 in 1,00,000. What took me to surprise was the complication of the disease; I never had imagined such a problem was possible. In simple terms, GB-syn is a situation wherein our body's immune system starts destroying our own nerve cells! OMG!!! Apparently there seems to be a generic term for this kind of complication -- autoimmunity. As time proceeds, the disease gets worse, wherein there are too many antibodies generated to act against our own self. A friend of mine is affected by this disease and hence I know about this; the disease progresses at very fast pace -- to given an example, my friend suspected some abnormality on 1st day and went to the doctor; on 2nd day he felt so weak but managed to go the doctor with his friend; on 3rd day he was paralyzed literally and could not move :( The disease is so complicated and the attack is so acute that lack of an immediate medical intervention might even result to death.

In spite of understanding so many things around us, there are things within us which we don't understand and those can put us to stop. To me, if I don't have any idea of how my body works, I don't have to be proud of knowing how a computer works!! after all nothing is more crucial than our lives. Now that it is too late for me to realize or react, I can only wish I were a doctor, to have understood at least a portion of my body!!

One thing is clear that happiness/sadness is subjective and relative. Someone who has GB-syndrome would really not worry about this economic slowdown or losing job or about a huge homeloan on a declining real-estate; there are always worse things in this world; so be happy for what you have and enjoy your days!!


  1. Gerald,
    Still people are dying of Cholera and Typhoid which is even extinct in few countries.

    I am growing indifferent to these anomalies and these non-uniformities. But few posts like yours do something to the heart.

    My prayers for your friend.

  2. From scientific to philosophical... nice post. How is your friend doing?

  3. Hey Vishwa, He is still in recovering phase. He is yet to walk!!!

  4. JJ, how's he doing ? checked with Sujin few weeks back & heard he's recovering. It was so shocking when i heard it :-(

  5. I wish I was a doctor too.. just completed my master's in mechanical engg. It was the 2nd year of my bachelor's degree from when this thought constantly comes to my mind and I feel why I am still doing engineering.. but I was not that courageous to change my major after two years of bachelor's and two of high school..