Who to trust – Medical System or …? My brother’s story /Part 2/

As I wrote in my previous post my brothers health became worse a year later. I don’t want to comment much on the events but can’t hold me back from doing it completely. I give real facts leaving suppositions on your parts.

Soon in winter my brother caught a cold which evidently infected his lengths and he started coughing terribly. He stuck to his bed again as his whole body was in unbearable pain, but yet he could move. Again we were on search of someone who would tell us distinctly and properly what was happening to him. His temperature wouldn’t reduce again. We did all the necessary blood tests, x-rays, he gave even HIV/AIDS test. So with all these stuff my parents started knocking at the doors of different doctors and the best specialists and professors ever existing in Armenia. And outrageously each of them put different diagnosis. None of 12 opinions coincided with each other apart from 2 or 3 who where dubious that it might probably be ‘Bekhterev’. That is when all the muscles in the body become petrified. Especially after hearing these last diagnosis there was a moment that my mum wanted to give up struggling any more, particularly when they started explaining what kind of disease it is, the worst ever existing which turns a person into a disabled. We were being deluded into false diagnosis by the doctors.

But did we have any right to trust them after our bitter experience? We tried to turn to the homeopath again, but sooner realized that even he couldn’t help in this case. His state was getting worse and worse day by day. Some measures were to be taken, but what? After many quarrels, disagreements and tortures with him taking from this hospital to another when it was so hard for him to move leaned on our shoulders, they came to a conclusion: brucellosis had developed to quite something else- Reactive Arthritis.

Now having that diagnosis my brother was taken to the main specialist of arthritis professor Ara Beglaryan. The latest just looked at him, touched him here and there and said to bring him two days later, charging 10000 dram for 15 minute examination. But 2 days later my brother wasn’t able to move at all and he was just groaning in his bed misery . My mum called Dr. Beglaryan begging him to come to our place as he would keep on saying that he didn’t examine patients at their homes. But after my mum’s stubborn persuasions a car was sent after him. He came around, examined him another 10 minutes, prescribed medicine and said that he would treat him, not forgetting to charge another 10000 dram for his visit. To trust him? And were we to pay 10000 drams for seeing his face only 15 minutes every time?

This time we categorically refused to turn to traditional chemical medicine treatment hoping to find somebody who had some other methods in store. That turned to be from the same Erebuni hospital. Khachik Khachikyan, another doctor came around with his computer and some facilities connected to it. Do they call it “scanner therapy”, I don’t already know. He put ear-phones on my brother’s ears and by computer started finding out the infected parts he had and the problems in his organism in general. Wow… this was impressing! If it lasted long! He prescribed medicine from German company “Heel”, whose product as he confirmed was of natural substance. And he left.

My brother’s condition got worse like it never was before. We called that doctor asking him to see his patient, he said that the aggravation was normal as it was the part of the treatment – to aggravate it at first then to treat all together. And he gave orders by the phone saying what to buy and that he would call at our place whenever he had time. And those drugs are not cheap, each of them costs at least from $40 to $100, and we had to order some of them from abroad. While Dr. Khachikyan would bother himself to see his patient, my brother’s condition was getting worse day by day. His hands swell up to the point that he wasn’t able to move his fingers or approach them to his head. As well as his knees, legs swell that he wasn’t able to walk. He would shout unhumanlike if we incautiously touched lightly every inch of his body. He wasn’t able to move his back, his head, any part of the body. He wasn’t able to sit and he was lying motionless on his back all the days and calling us for help if he wanted to turn to his right or left side. He was refusing to go to the toilet as not to move and not to feel that pain, although his room became a toilet for him, as the most he could do was to make a last attempt and try to sit.

But our discovered doctor wouldn’t appear and only would order what to do saying that the aggravation was normal and he would pass to the main course of treatment after the 14th day. My mother was rushing to search the names of the drugs in the internet, to find out what they were made of and what could they change. The 15th day passed without a change. My parents literally made that doctor come and see my brother. He was silent. He said to wait several more days. Certainly, he could wait, he was not spending sleepless nights at my brother’s bedside, he was not spending all his nights praying for a change to the better, he was not listening to my brother’s crying and moaning, he wasn’t the witness of his sufferings and his heart wasn’t squeezed as that of ours, and he would never know how it is when in a month my mum’s hair grew white. Could we wait?

Incidentally, during that time when we turned to the Ministry of Health Care for advice, they mentioned all the names of people we had already been to, and when my mum corrected the girl on the phone with the name of one of the doctors, the most she said was: “ I see you know them better then we do”.

Several days later, when the doctor wouldn’t even pick up his phone, my parents went to his office and made him put everything clearly. He confessed that he didn’t know how to treat my brother and even how to bring him to his initial condition. He had already taken half of the money and I don’t know did he blush that moment, or did he feel guilty, but two months later we learnt that his wife died of cancer and they didn’t know about it…

What else to say, everything was the same and even worse.

But there is always light at the end of the tunnel for those who believe, struggle and never give up.

One day a man meets my mother on some affair. In the conversation some third person says that incidentally that man is a doctor and that my mum’s son is ill. That man immediately wants to see my brother. After talking to my brother for several minutes, after some questions and examining some test results he says that he is more than sure to treat him in 3 months. He doesn’t want to talk about money and says that he is ready to start the treatment as soon as we are. He mentions that he doesn’t admit traditional medicine and everything he does is based on alternative medicine.

As we had nothing else to lose after what the previous doctor did, we agreed. He opened a wound with garlic on his both legs and put peas, covering them with cabbage leaves. He visited us every day. The treatment included drinking some water, injections and massages and unlike others he said to feed my brother with everything he wants and not to deny him in food. We never knew what medicine those were and what he was applying on my brother’s body during the massage, but as far as we saw the difference we weren’t against that obscurity. My brother’s appetite returned, although he had lost so much weight that his bones were seen under his skin. An awful bloody stuff was coming out from the holes on his legs. First days he couldn’t walk, then he got used to the peas and later on he was already running with them in the open wounds.

When people learnt about the change of my brother and the miracles this man was doing they all rushed to our place for a piece of advice for themselves or for asking him to treat them. So every evening of every day our house was unusually full of people with their questions and answers to their problems. And the answers seemed so simple, so primitive, that when you really realize them you also come to the conclusion that each person can be their own doctor’s and that there’s no need to rush to the hospital every time something goes wrong. We learnt and still are learning a lot from that person, whose attention along with his knowledge, which is so different from that of the traditional medicine doctors, proved that he really cared for our situation. And that so far he was the only person who could indeed help us.

Slowly the situation was getting better and by the 4 th month everything fell into its place. My brother is walking now, working and driving a car. That person became a true friend of our family, not mentioning that he treated most of our relatives as well, and everyone are so obliged to him.

Now I really do tremble when I am about to finish my post, because while writing this I lived it once more and it is so difficult for any of us to remember the sufferings my family went through. Would any of the doctors understand us then? Would they care of the future of the 15 year old guy? We never received the help from the Health Care in Armenia and the only thing they could do was aggravation and taking as much money as possible. Now we don’t and will never believe any of the doctors here, sorry we had to taste our bitter experience to understand that. And don’t ever try to blame those people who rather prefer treat themselves with the means they know, then to turn to a doctor, because there is not a proper one. And never try to convince me that there are good doctors at Hospitals, because the more they know is to swot up everything theoretically. Twice my brother was saved thanks to the people who the traditional medicine doesn’t see as specialist and doesn’t admit. Instead they have better not be so short-eyed and self-confident and take lessons from those who practically treat and save people from diseases known as incurable in traditional medicine.

Be well, healthy and wise…

One Response to “Who to trust – Medical System or …? My brother’s story /Part 2/”

  1. Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Armenia: Medicine & Trust Says:

    […] Zarchka has more to say about the medical system in Armenia. In her latest post, she explains who her family had to turn to when traditional doctors were little help. Nathan Hamm […]

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