Dr Suri was immensely patient wth Deepa and gave her undivided attention for over half an hour .He had a good opportunity to see her steroid affected behaviour and confirmed that indeed her behavioural quirks were due to the side effects of steroids .Since her myasthenia was under control, he commenced the next round of weaning her off the steroids.She willl now be on 10mg on alternate days for the next five days and then drop to 5 mg on alternate days and will then weaned her off completely ,we hope .
Deepa was remarkably co-operative that evening although it meant long drives in the car too and from the hospital and over two hours of waiting for the doctor . She was getting irritable and tired but gamely held on . We were very keen that she "passed the test " and she seemed keen on passing it herself !! She did respond with brusqueness and agression every time she spoke to the doctor, in answerng his queries but this was good as it gave him a good first hand experience of her changed behaviour. In addition to the reduced steroid dosage he recommended an increased dose of the anti psychosis tablet Qutipin. Over the last two days Deepa has been fluctuating in her moods and temperament but we do see light at the end of the tunnel.
When I loook back at the early days when she first displayed these abnormal symptoms , I cant help reflect on the below par patient handling at Apollo ICU and prior to that at Dr Sabarwals Clinic .In both these places she was made to feel as if she had serious mental problems and the patient handling techniques , while as per the book , didnt seem to have patient care as the foremost requirement .Being brusquely asked her name and allied questions in a "test" mode to check her alertness and awareness put her off completely and lead to non co-operation and agressiveness on her part ;which was handled by the hospital staff with doses of anti psychosis tablets. These left her drugged and drowsy .In a mattter of days she was reduced from a person recovering cheerfully from an operation to a sickly patient. Some times I think if she had been at home patiently and lovingly nursed by all of us as she was weaned off the steroids she would have been immensely better off.