Do What Makes You Happy!
Cuddles Nutritionist, Samina, helps 16-year-old Manish in his most difficult days by doing what she loves.
We all have come across the quote “Do what makes us happy”, but has anyone ever felt it? As a Nutritionist, I felt its true meaning with an incident that happened a few months ago. We all know about the adverse effects one has to go through during chemotherapy. 16-year-old Manish, undergoing chemotherapy at KEM, Mumbai was facing these side effects to an extent that he couldn’t even swallow his food. Along with this, he also occasionally complained of fever and respiratory distress. Manish had to go through this phase for 1.5 months. Now, here comes the challenge – Amidst these complaints, he was not in the state to eat anything orally and had totally lost hope in himself and always used to plead to the Doctors to discharge him soon. To sustain the effect of heavy medicines, nutrition was definitely one thing that was essential to get him through this. Working in a government setup and convincing the doctors to opt for other methods of feeding, has its own ups and downs. Of course, the Doctors had their own concerns about feeding him via an intravenous line or by tube feeding.
But, the Doctors were initially not in favour of it mainly because of the cost of the TPN bags, chances of infection in handling, and method of administration. It took me 3 consecutive days to convince the Doctors, from residents to consultants to even the Head of Department. Thereafter, the child was administered nutrition through an IV line continuously for 40 days with zero intakes orally and with complete bed rest. On my request, Cuddles sent across the TPN bags whenever needed, without which he wouldn’t have been able to fight these symptoms.
Gradually, by administering these nutrients, his condition started improving. Within 45 days of parenteral nutrition, he was able to sit and stand independently. Then comes one fine morning, while during my rounds with the Doctors, we spot him with his laptop logged into his Facebook account and browsing away. On seeing this, the Doctors applauded me for my efforts and my persistence for suggesting parenteral nutrition.
This was a very proud moment for my organisation and me, but the real appreciation was felt when the patients’ brother came to me teary-eyed and thanked me for my efforts, which made me feel the true meaning of the quote, “Do what makes you happy.”