Case Study 2, Diabetes
The old man with glasses and wrinkled skin, sitting on a cot in his courtyard is 65-year old B Meena. His health problems started when he first complained of frequent urination and having a burning sensation while urinating. His son took him to a private doctor at Aaspur, who referred him to a diabetes clinic in Udaipur. There, he was diagnosed with having Diabetes Mellitus and was given medication accordingly. Once B got some relief, he became careless in taking the medicine and never went back for a follow up. His son would buy the medicine from a medical store, showing the previously bought medicine’s strips.
Around the same time, B also developed cataract and was slowly loosing his eyesight. His son took him to an eye camp, organized in Salumber but when his blood sugar test was done, Bheriya was found unfit to undergo the cataract surgery due to high blood sugar levels. The doctors asked Bheriya to undergo treatment for Diabetes and come back when his blood sugar levels were under control.
Bheriya and his son did not pay heed to the doctor’s advice thinking it was a ploy to get money from them and decided to wait for another eye camp to get him operated. In the meanwhile, B lost his eyesight completely, making him totally blind. His life became miserable as he could not see at all and had to depend on his family for everything starting from going to the toilet, taking a bath, putting on his clothes, and even eating. “This was a new experience for me as I could see well till recently and now it was complete darkness. I was fed-up of this misery and thought it better to die than living like a burden on others,” he says sorrowfully.
B’s wife was also very sad due to her husband’s situation. ”Every time we had to go out for any family function or events at our relatives’ house, we were never mentally present there as we always kept thinking about B and how he would be managing at home,” she says, sadly.
“One day, about a year ago, I was informed about a meeting that was being organized at the Panchayat office where a senior (bada) doctor was to tell us about a new clinic coming up in our village. The doctor and his team informed us about the AMRIT Clinic and its services, also informing us that the clinic charged only Rs 50 per week for all tests and medicines. After the meeting, they also conducted a free health checkup for all present,” B’s son recounts. “During my checkup, I enquired with the staff whether they also take up diabetic cases, and was advised to bring my father to the clinic after the inauguration. My father was having loose motion at the time and was also a bit disoriented so I took him to this newly opened clinic immediately. After checkup, the senior doctor informed us that that my father had very high blood sugar level and his situation was very serious so they needed to admit him immediately for treatment. I also informed the doctor about his irregularity in taking medicines and that he had not taken medicines for the past two days. He was admitted to the clinic and was given intravenous fluid transfusion and some medicines. The next morning, they checked his sugar level before eating and after having food, based on which the doctor gave my father medicines to eat regularly. The doctor also informed us that if my father did not take his medicines properly and on time, his condition could become very serious. Within a few days of taking the medicines, my father felt much better.”
Besides uncontrolled diabetes, B also had cataract in both his eyes, which is a common condition in patients with diabetes. Ramlal, the Community Mobilizer at the AMRIT clinic, says that whenever B visited the clinic for medicines or for tests, he kept pleading to the staff, “Help me to somehow get my eyesight back; my life is miserable without it.” His son could not take him to the specialty eye hospital in Udaipur for lack of resources. When AMRIT Clinic had a tie-up with a specialty eye hospital in Udaipur, B was kept under a close watch for a few days to control his blood sugar, and then referred to the hospital with a few other patients.
B’s son says with an expression of satisfaction, “The clinic is a blessing to us. It gave back life to my father. Earlier, we had to go to Salumber for everything and sometimes even to Udaipur. We were not given any importance at these hospitals and were made to run from one table to another. They did not even respond to our queries about our illness, thinking that we were illiterates and would not understand anything. But our experience at AMRIT Clinic has been a different one. We are treated like human beings and the doctors and staff explain all about the disease and the medicines being prescribed. The treatment here is very good and affordable. We feel blessed to have such good health facilities at our door step and request the doctors to open more AMRIT Clinics in our neighbouring villages so that they also have access to such good facilities.”
“I was operated about a month ago and now I feel like a new man. I can see clearly from one eye and am quite hopeful that my other eye will also be operated soon. Now, I can walk alone to the AMRIT Clinic, which is about two kilometers from my village. Both me and my family are very relieved and happy. I do not know how to express my gratitude to God and AMRIT Clinic, for giving me a second life,” says B, with tears welling up in his eyes.