A poem to the Guru, the eternal teacher who’s soul reincarnate who pervades all and guides the wandering seafarer home. Without fail. Everytime. Until the last one.
Winds are getting rough, The sea churns, Sharks jump unforeseen, Vultures circle for prey afloat, Path is dark, no stars above, My boat leaks, filling slowly, The three sandbags of gold, Hang anchoring me to churn, From far away land a twinkle, Catches my eye, amongst mist, Swirling and spray amidst the clash, Hope springs anew, there's land ahoy ! Desparate I turn and whirl the wheel, With all my might, to keep it in view, The dim yellow light , my pole star, Light gets brighter but my sandbags, Stall and fill my boat, tossing more, The final stretch alas, run aground, I hurl myself in shallow water, To swim to the sandy beach and race, Ahead to meet the light house that, Guided me home, standing tall, Unshaken, uncaring, unyielding, On the rocks, amidst crashing sea, I join my brethren on the beach before, Me as they welcome and we join chorus, Of praise to the lighthouse, as full moon, And stars are all there again.
My Clinic restart has been delayed due to Covid situation and we have noted that children with fractures are having difficulty getting consult for emergencies.
A speciality Fracture clinic for Children run by Dr. Easwar TR is operating at Malabar Hospital Palakkad.
Treatment is provided for all types of children’s bone problems, sports injuries and fractures. The service is available around the clock in association with Orthopedic doctors at Malabar Hospital, Palakkad.
For Emergencies and Appointments please contact Malabar Hospital for appointments.
On #WorldCPDay this year, amid the pandemic, we’ve managed to launch a new rehabilitation facility in association with Karunya MVRC, Palakkad, Kerala, India ( @Karunyamvrc on Twitter )
Kerala State loves Sports, and specially loves Football. We married care for children with Cerebral Palsy and Sports, to setup a one of a kind Adaptive Sports Environment where children would be trained with Physiotherapist’s support by well known Sports Coaches.
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon’s service is also available to assess these children and triage then into various categories from where they can be rehabilitated.
Our Cerebral Palsy Adaptive Sports Team
Ms. Valarmathi- Physiotherapist
Mrs. Valarmathi- Senior Special Educator
Mr. Ravindran – Retd SI and Kerala, Police state and national team Football coach
Ms. Dhanya Ravi- Change Maker, mentor, PwD, National Award winner in the Role Model Category under Empowerment of People with Disability
Mr. Anudarsan – Director , Karunya Medical and Vocational Rehabilitation Center
Adaptive Sports is a special type of Sports training given to children with special needs by adapting the requirements of sports to the specific difficulty the child faces.
This would often involve some change in rules, some Assistive device support, fall prevention and a completely tailored coaching system to enable the child to play effectively.
Why Adaptive Sports ?
Well known rehabilitation method for Cerebral Palsy is Physiotherapy. Often times children find repeated therapy sessions boring, painful at times and many fall out of care. We’ve seen this happen over the years.
Also, there are several limitations to traditional physiotherapy approach when given as a single rehabilitation modality.
Sports training allows much the same benefits of improved strength, coordination and improvement in function that we get out of Physiotherapy but also improves the quality of Physiotherapy session as the child is a willing participant because of the interest in sports.
What are the special challenges in setting up Adaptive Sports in India ?
Coaching for Adaptive Sports is a patient art and the skill is much in dearth. The Sports coach has to tailor his or her expectation to the unique medical issues of the child and training method is customised accordingly.
Often these children have profound muscle weakness, spasticity ( unusual tightness of the muscles ), contracture, ataxia ( issues with body balance ) and inability to selectively more a body part. These result in delayed improvement a ability to perform in Sports activity. These children need care and support of their team to get ahead.
The coach has to be understanding of all these aspects and train the child.
What have we launched in Palakkad ?
Details about our effort to train children in Adaptive Sports here :
I am writing to this now after I had composed an artwork. It had been brewing for about a week since my friend forwarded me an appeal for medical/financial help by a patient with #AnkylosingSpondylitis a medical disease which causes destruction of joints and loss of movement at spine and hips.
This particular patient was bedridden for past several years and last few months have been extremely troubling
He lives in a small tin roof hut built by kind neighbours with his young family. He himself is in prime of hia youth abd his ilness had crept in on him and progresses considerably. Without medical and financial help he is not taking any, and cannot afford any. As a result his joints have become immobile and he requires somebody to come to turn him around in bed or prop him up. The pain while moving is excruciating he says.
He has been fighting it out though and making paper Ballpen abd Umbrella for a living. There are some steady clients but past few months have been terrible. He has been unable to send his products due to lockdown since courier and speed post services also have been stopped due to #COVID.
I had bought a small number of pens under my personal capacity to encourage this chap and give him a morale boost.
Today I decided to doodle it for #ArztForACause project and raise awareness about Ankylosing Spondylitis a medical condition where joints lose mobility and spine hunches forwards and bend over acutely; so acutely that one cannot even look up
What I’ve attached below if the drawing I made just now.
About Ankylosing Spondylitis
It’s a medical condition where there is an inflammatory process in the tissues and joints.
This inflammation is relentless, progresses fast and is an extremely painful process.
Usually this disease affects spine and other major joints like Hip Joints causing pain, inflammation and stiffness. Overtime the joint itself ‘fuses’ much like how a metal hinge can we welded and rendered immobile.
This happens frequently in spine and hips. As a result the patient becomes completely immobile at those joints and cannot move about.
The entire process starts around the twenties and progresses fast and by late thirties or forties patient is bedridden.
There are basic medications and some expensive injections called ‘biologicals’ which can ease or slow down the process but none can stop it. Supervised Yoga or exercises have be extremely gentle as risk of fracture of spine is very high. Deep breathing exercises for chest is very important as all the ribs tend to join at the breastbone instead of staying flexible. When ribs fuse with breastbone the chest wall becomes rigid and doesn’t expand when patient breaths. As a result he has to use his diaphragm muscle and abdomen muscles to breath.
Early intervention is paramount along with physical therapy and supervised exercises.
Consult your Doctor to know more about Ankylosing Spondylitis if you’ve symptoms of back or upper back pain, tightness in chest, early morning pain, pain while sleeping and joint pains with swelling.
Some patients also have symptoms of irritable bowel, inflammation inside their eyes which causes them to water and many other symptoms.
We are all going through a tough time with #COVID19 #Epidemic. It has been a testing time for doctors, public and administrators alike. The poor have been hit badly and are under threat as the epidemic is still spreading in various countries as we speak. Access to healthcare, paying capacity, travel are all issues that the citizens of various demographics have to confront.
We at MedTatva [ https://medtatva.com ], have been trying to solve accessibility to healthcare and diagnostic tools by using technology.
Past few days we have put together the best recommendations from CDC and WHO to build a symptom checker that is simple and which could be completed in less than a minute by a non-medical person.
My routine broke, as they hushed “Don’t !!”, Muffled voices echoing faintly across time, Didn’t care listen, in a hurry, who has time ? Am in hustle to put one upon my fellowmen, To Conquer .. the conquest and the victory, Surrender and subjugation, The Happiness …
But nature cares, for a mother can’t but, When she sees her child wandering thus, Her patience for the truants runs short, Her rebuke, a gentle slap of no avail as she, Unleashes pestilence, her stormtroopers, To sweep, clean the home; they do, ruthless,
It seems best is to stay put, clear off streets, Voice low, no splurge and abide in quiet self, Closetted with partners and one’s own clan, Coccooned in quiet contemplation on the ills, Waiting for her anger to wash over the kind, It’s message is to mend ; stark one too ..
Seems my teachers said, about this too, The material, evanescent like the wealth, It seems he said a time would come, when, The money is not worth the paper it’s in print, What to say of success, more than the King, Who’s mortal hand, as empty as a newborn, As his mortal was led down the street lined,
Seems they said much more ; now real too… It is time to hear those faint echoes of time, Ancients, strange habits seem so in tune, Let’s put our ears on the ground, let’s listen, To the faint voices of teachers across time, For we can hear it better as troopers near..
Great program on #rare #genetic #disease at #iccons covering #neurogenetic disorders and it’s genetic basis.
My talk of Cerebral Palsy and Genetic trends
I will be speaking on #cerebralpalsy and genetic trends this noon. Cerebral Palsy , while not under rare diseases does have some very interesting new genetic trends emerging which promises positivity in the care of these children.
Future Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic
I will also be interacting with doyens in field of Genetics in India and Paediatricians with experience in rare diseases to setup a rare Disease clinic at ICCONS that caters to Skeletal Dysplasia like Achondroplasia, Pseudo-Achondroplasia, Hypochondroplasia, SpondyloEpiphyseal Dysplasia etc..
Many of these disease are rare with rare mutations. Setting up a clinic with many specialists is very important to cater to this group comprehensively.
This sod tosses hapless, to the left and then to the right, As the Lord’s poetic beauty pulls at it, to have it whole, He pulls at it with his beloved’s and their poetic beau, Written on palm, written by him, timeless, faded but kept alive, Sung by devout, heard by this sod, loved by all, Helplessly pulled to the beloved it sings, Like the garland tossed worn once and then twice, First to the right and then to the left, Each as beautiful as other, What to choose, Between the fathomless fire and the conch’s grace, ‘Tis the last month of the westerners days, With his twelve books under lock, The Lord in his grace and yearn, To meet his beloved and unite, As a morning lore to the sleeping devout, Sung by friends to raise her to union, Thus the song goes sung by the Lord, This month where he yearns his children back, How beautiful is the next month, when a child sings, Waiting for his Grace to swoop down on holy bird, The union she craves, to her Lord she prays, alas, To the lover demigod she then beseeches and then to her brother, One month and then the next she waits for her Lord, His grace does come and she does unite, as, They call him to receive the palm leaves he scribed, As Sun moves North after it’s sojourn south, He moves me from south up to the north, The south facing Lord pushes my swing, As it sails north to the hands of the Lord with the conch, The new rice boils over, sweet jaggery crusted, Thimble can’t contain the ocean that swells forth.
Maarghazhi is the Tamil month which falls between December – January. Thaai is the next and Maasi after it.
These three months also coincide with excursion of the Sun and it’s travel north, uttaraayana, as per Indian calendar. This is considered auspicious. The festivals of Samkraanthi and associated Tamil festival of Pongal, Paavai Nonbu, Manmadan Nonbu are all done at this time.
Paavai Nonbu, Manmadan Nonbu are Vaishnavite vows where they simulate Aandaal, a lady Vaishnavite saint of Tamil Nadu and her intense longing to unite with Vishnu.
Similarly in Shavite tradition this month is a time where the twelve Thirumurai books are kept under lock and only a section from Thrivaasagam, the ThiruvenPaavai composed by Saint Manickavaasagar is sung. This is a long followed tradition.
Thiruppavai sung by Saint Aandaal and ThiruvenPaavai sung by Saint Manickavaasagar are Vaishnavite and Shaivite hymns that attract the devotee with sheet poetic beauty and surprisingly composed around the same theme raising the devotee to an union with the beloved.
Disability Day programmes we are organising at #ICCONS, #Shoranur, #Kerala
We are covering all levels and types of disabilities with medical camps, parent awareness and other community programmes designed to raise awareness, promote inclusiveness and improve accessibility to services.
This year we have an elaborate programme with Pediatric Orthopedic disability, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Hearing Disability, Genetic Disorders all included in the programme. Please find details below and do share among your groups.
Attaching the brochure below this with programme details.
Time and Place
Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neurosciences , Shoranur , Palakkad
October 6th we will join the world at ICCONS, Shoranur , Kerala in celebrating #WorldCerebralPalsy day.
What we are lining up this month ..
We are starting the programme by joining the #GoGree4CP movement to dedicate ourselves to the care of #CerebralPalsy affect children.
We will be lighting up the entire building in green for the entire month and put prominent placards, posters and banners in local language of Malayalam and English to spread awareness about CerebralPalsy among general public.
Lined up after that is our free medical camps in both Paediatric Oethopaedics and Paediatric Neurology and Developmental Paediatrics along with cultural activities, parents education seminars, assistive technology programmes, research on Cerebral Palsy, Counselling for parents and other events.
We have dotted the events across this October to keep the awareness and dedication alive.
Attaching below is a poster and a banner of our medical camp and GoGreen4CP initiative.
Childhood in Kerala growing up was a pleasant time. There were no mad rushes, lot of rain and then, Onam. Onam celebrated on the Thiruvonam (Shravana Nakshatram) star day is a festival that is steeped in Hindu Puranic lore. The story involves the great King Bali (sometimes referred to as Maha-Bali ) and Vamana ( an Avatar or Incarnation of Lord Vishnu ).
The Onam / Vamana Jayanti Story, What it was and what it has become …
The story as in many Puranic lores is of the classic clash of a devout, efficient, benevolent King who is an Asura ( literally, one is not-a-Deva ). The benevolent Asura King usually causes flutter in the Deva Kingdom ( It’s king being Indra ) forcing the Gods to incarnate, kill the Asura and rescue the Devas. The story of Onam here follows this same storyline; only as in the other stories the symbolism is hidden, deep and often missed when one keeps celebrating festivals superficially. In the case of Onam there has been a systematic over-simplification of festival. I remember in my childhood we use to keep Trikkaakarayappan (Vamana) and Mahabali (sometimes called Maveli) as little clay pyramids in midst of the flower arrangements (Pookkalam ) we used to do in our home portico. Over the decades, this has all but disappeared from the celebrations. There is hardly any mention of Vamana anymore, no clay pyramids, many do not know Thrikkakarayappan. Some years back there was even a needless political controversy when Vamana Jayanti (Birthday celebration of Lord Vamana)wishes were given on even of Onam. The simple fact is, Vamana Jayanti is celebrated in our households and many Vaishnava homes just as it was earlier. It is just that with increasing commercialisation, securalisation of Onam and making it a harvest festival Vamana Jayanti seems to have been forgotten. This is unfortunate as Vamana Jayanti is Onam itself. There is no Onam without Vamana as much as there is no Onam without Mahabali.
In all this pell-mell of making it more secular, more harvest and less Hinduism, more commercial and less spiritual, more literal (Rich Noble Asuric King subdued by Brahmin Vamana and rudely pushed underground ) a narrative that suits the more left-leaning, liberal-leaning of the political spectrum has been woven into this mixture.
It is important that ancient India, it’s traditions cannot be painted with same brush. It is also important that one goes in to the original Sanskrit texts to reference stories of Mahabali and Vamana and read for oneself the narrative.
The Onam / Vamana Jayanti Spiritual Symbolism
Now is the time to resurrect the Vamana Jayanti Tradition, It’s symbolism, the true stature of MahaBali the Noble King. My poetic attempt at is below…
Symbolism Note : The reference to “Wild Sugarcane tasting ripe and sweet” is a reference to a Saivite Saint from Tamil Nadu, Pattinathaar or Pattinathu Swamigal. He was told by the Lord that he will attain Samadhi when the wild sugarcane tastes sweet. He used to go to the grove and taste sugarcane everyday to see if the day of his Moksha had come.
I am happy to announce that we successfully organised a Clubfoot Parental Awareness and Caregiving Programme at the Palakkad District Co-operative Hospital, Palakkad, Kerala on August 31st, 2019. This was done to organise parents into a self support group and to provide parents the necessary group counselling on Ponseti Method of Clubfoot treatment.
We have been organising World Clubfoot Day programmes, Free Medical Camps of Clubfoot and assiting children from underprivileged backgrounds get Ponseti standard of care Clubfoot along with CTEV Foot Abduction Orthosis via our charity trust https://mitratrust.org. We also described out #ArztForACause art and painting fundraiser which is undertaken originally to raise funds for children with Cerebral Palsy and now extended to children with Pediatric Orthopaedic Deformities.
The programme was well attended and was co-ordinated with our Obsterician colleague and all the staff nurses who are part of the Clubfoot Care team who counselled the young mothers on Breast Feeding, Child Nutrition, Clubfoot, Braces and Ponseti Exercises.
We were pleasantly surprised at the turnout on the day as it was organised in short notice. This programme will be followed up more such programmes on Clubfoot ( sometimes called CTEV : Congenital Talipes Equino Varus ) for Staff Nurses and train them in Ponseti Care .
#Clubfoot guide and interactive session for patents at #Palakkad Cooperative Hospital is being organized on August 31st.
The program includes a lecture by me on Clubfoot for parents and a interaction with our Clubfoot Care Team , Orthosis Check, Doubts about casting, checking recurrence of deformity and general clarification on Clubfoot care.
Parents will have an opportunity to interact with other parents exchange their experience about treatment, the issues and build a support community.
Attaching the Program details below. Please call the number for registration.
Cerebral Palsy is such a difficult disease to handle and treat for the health care professionals.
The treatment process needs to take the parents and family members along so that these children get optimal care. It’s important to reinforce on the parents and lift their morale throughout the course of long and arduous treatment.
I routinely arrange seminars and medical camps and arrange public events in association with groups serving these children to help them and keep caregiver morale high. It’s a fight, a relentless fight against Cerebral Palsy.
It never ceases to amaze and move me that the mother , however humble or rich , illiterate or well educated, they may be cares for the child and stays with child through thick and thin.
My Digital Art on a mother caring for her child with Cerebral Palsy – Drawn using Wacom One CTL 472 and MyPaint Open Source Software.
This painting is part of the #ArztForACause fundraiser for children with Cerebral Palsy , Autism and Movement Disorders
She literally is the guiding light of the treatment, showing the way and proving that she’s the true representative of the all giving , ever loving Divine Mother