Published on: October 30, 2016

It is happening all around us, every day. It is happening to our near ones. We suffer with them and feel helpless.

Read two heartrending stories published recently in PatientsEngage and the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.

In the first, “The medical system failed us“, Usha Ravi, an intensive care nurse working in Australia, narrates her mother’s harrowing experience in the ICU. Eventually the author saves her from the torture chamber and takes her home only to find that she has to move heaven and earth to obtain some pain medicine.

In the second, “When Pain is Medicine“, Sindhu S. writes about the horrendous suffering that her father had to go through. This narrative also describes the feeling of helplessness. “I didn’t want to infuriate the doctors in whose hands we had surrendered his body, and who had broken down his body into isolated segments only they could put back together again, if at all,” she writes. Eventually, she hears about palliative care and decides to move him out. But the father dies that morning.

We thank the authors for sharing their story with the world. Both Usha and Sindhu must have died a thousand deaths as they relived the agony of those days, in the process of writing down their experience. Yet they did it, so that others could learn from it. How many thousands of such stories will be necessary to wake the medical world up and to infuse a bit of compassion into health care?


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