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Home Care Services

The Dhobi Story

10 years ago a 45 year old woman with terminal stage breast cancer came to us with severe pain that allowed her no respite with sleepless nights of screaming in pain. Taking a single dose of morphine tablet had led to severe vomiting that left her dehydrated and emaciated The family was at their wits end, distressed, and exhausted. On examination we realized that a sure shot remedy for her pain was to place a fine catheter in the brachial plexus of nerves that carry the pain sensation from the arm. Continuous infusion of pain medicine into the catheter is ensured from a specialized self injecting pump. This highly specialized procedure requires extreme skill and can be performed by pain specialists with particular expertise in regional nerve blocks. This was done immediately to the relief of patient and the family. However the catheter and infusion ideally requires a nurse monitoring. The family could neither afford a home nurse or an admission anywhere . So the son, (7th standard pass) was taught the basics of specific catheter and pump care. She returned once a week for refill of medicine and other treatment. After a fortnight, the taxi fare was unaffordable and the lady was too feeble to travel. So we sent a nurse home with the son assisting refills. She died a month later and the son came to meet us. When we offered our condolences he said  "Pichle mahine hum sab amma ke saat baatcheet karte rahe, zindagi ke bare me seekh paye. Cancer ke baad amma ko to jaana hi tha par shanti se guzar saki aur Amma ke liye ham itna karsake wohi bohut hai . Jab ham pehle aapke paas aaye, tab to ham sab himmat haar chuke the Aap ne hame amma ka dekhbal karne layak kiya, iskeliye bohut shukriya"

The humble ignorant dhobhi was echoing the Nobel laureate Albert Schweizer’s Quote "we must all die. But that I can spare him suffering, THAT is my daily and ever new privilege".