Saturday, April 6, 2013

Broken steth and a journey down the memory lane.

My stethoscope fell on the floor and broke into 2 pieces !
I still remember the day that I bought it like it was yesterday. I was using a cheap steth during the whole 3rd year, it was heavy, out of style, rubber one which was not the kind to be used by girls of my age. We were one of those middle class families with 3 kids and my parents were already fighting hard to earn enough for our educational needs so I never wanted a fancy expensive one. At the end of that year, my father asked if i wanted a good one. Finally I went to a pharmacy near town hall and got a grey littman ! which was with me for the past 7 years. It got me through many clincal attachments , exams and even finals. It was around my neck through the whole internship and post internship. One busy day I dropped it on the tile floor of our scanning room , while trying to find room to write the scan reports of a patient. the rim and the diaphragm came out which was the main part of the steth.

I was postponing the repair as I was in north. We usually have 2 or three stethoscopes in our wards. It was a pain during clinic times as none of us had the steths with us as we usually run between, the ward, the clinic the labor rooms and the operating theatre. So it was high time for me to repair it. 
husband couldn't take me around Colombo as he had to work. I own only a bicycle, which is still impossible to take around colombo.(yes, as I wrote once in my sinhala blog, I ride a bicycle to work) I'm too scared to ride it in colombo even though I've ridden it on A9 and north with bravery.Its eco friendly, and physically healthy !
We've got only this planet to live, so why should I ruin it during my stay on earth !

I had to take the bus and never thought the bus routes were this complicated. I had to go to several shops on the road in front of the carnival ground (sathutu uyana...) so I took a bus and ended up in near thummulla junction. took another one back ended up in kolpetti as I didn't know about the new bus routes ( gosh ! so much have changed since i was in vanniya) . Asked the conductor and finally got into one which went near public library.

Public library - colombo, or the pub as we used to call it bears so much of memories of my A/L times. I was a book worm since i learnt how to read. I used to go there when ever i could, as it was only one bus away from the urban apartment complex that we used to live during school years. It was a very noisy neighborhood , I never had the peace to study quietly and some of the cousins also lived with us for they found it convenient to reach their office places within minutes travel. So our home was a full house. I used to stay after school and study in the school library. but this was impossible on weekends. One of my cousin brothers who was a university student back then, said he studied in the study hall of public library...

that was one of the best ideas of all times. It was like the most peaceful place a nerdy teenager could find. the entrance pass for a month cost only 10 rs those days. Until my A/Ls I studied in the study hall. Later on few of my friends joined in. We found all the peace and calmness we wanted there. It was away from the noisy roads next to the viharamaha devi park. The food prices in the canteen was so cheap compared to the prices now a days  we had plain tea for 5 rs and lunumiris with 2 rottis for just 10 rs.

yes ! while walking down the  Anagarika darmapala mawatha , I was taking a trip down my memory lane. I was walking down the exact road  which I used to walk back and forth a decade ago with a back pack full of books, fears of exams and stress of a hectic lifestyle, but now I had no stress in my mind but a satisfactory bliss of all that I've achieved almost all that I longed for back then...that certainly made parents happy and most of all accomplished many of my dreams. life has changed a lot within these few years...back then i was a girl  who didn't even had a place to study but today I've come to a state that I could help everyone else in need.

But Only one thought bothered me much, I was on foot even after studying and earning a highest degree, while some of them who didn't even go to school gets to go in Prado's and Montero's. I guess that's the irony of being an educated person in this country. (well... I own a bicycle...if that is considered as a better vehicle)

So I found the diaphragm and the rim in a pharmacy near to town hall. (yes... i walked all the way down from public library to the Lipton circus.) The rim didn't match the color of my steth. It had got a darker shade of grey even though it was grey when I first ought it.
"why has this changed color doctor ?" the pharmacist asked me with surprise.
"its quite and old stethoscope . I bought it from this shop, in 2006. never had any problem with it. can u imagine ?" I replied.
"wow that's  surprising ! many wouldn't use the same steth for years. most of the doctors come here for the second one within years as they lose it often"
"yes that can happen easily. see .... there's my name ! written around the neck of it..and i always  remember the registered number on the bell. that's why I never lost it"
"wow you are lucky" she said with a smile.
yes, even though I had to walk around on foot to get things done, at the end of the day, I feel that I'm the lucky one, cause every penny that I earn comes from the service and goodness I spill around whole day by saving a strangers life !


  1. Though it's Eco-friendly and physically healthy never ride a bicycle in Colombo. Not only it's dangerous, you have to breath toxic fumes, too.

    Mmmm, I have similar memories about the public library. D'you know, one of the big ayyas who traveled in the school van with us took part in planning that building, during his internship as a Civil Engineer.

    Well, about the story. A doc who rides a bicycle (in Sri Lanka, it's not so odd in some other places), and who uses the same steth for years and who work in the north willingly and who won't grumble is a marvel. Something out of a fairy tale. But miracles do happen some times.

    (But it's not a sin to own four wheels.)

  2. I came here through Mage Denima". It's interesting to read another English blog written by a Sri Lankan which is rare in the blog world. It seems that you are a down- to earth person and I like that quality very much.Whatever you own, whether it is a pajero or an intercooler people will love for what you are.Recently one of my sisters was admitted to a basic hospital and I saw how she was treated. Very frustrating. She had been advised to have food from the hospital but no protein was included in the meals. One day, it was radish and rice. I saw it. Can u imagine! That's why we need humane doctors.