Last time I saw this patient was in August 2014, when Saagar was alive.
Last week I saw him again. I looked at my notes and read through them. I had written them when Saagar was ill but alive. There was my handwriting and my signature. The patient was the same one. The hospital setting was the same. But, was I the same?
Who was I then and who am I now? Am I any more human than before? Any wiser, any kinder, any better or worse? Any more compassionate? Could my patient and others tell the difference if any? Do I feel any different within myself? Is it different being with other people? I haven’t analysed any of this as it is too subtle for words.
Music occupied most of the space in my head then. Now it is Saagar, his suffering, mental illness and the wrath it unleashes on families. Working took up most of my time then and now it is meeting with people and finding ways to reduce this suffering. I didn’t pay too much attention to my feelings and those of others but now I do. I used to be so critical of my writing that I never sent out ‘global’ e-mails to my colleagues. I kept a personal journal into which I made entries maybe once a month or so. Now I write everyday for myself and for anyone in the world who might want to read.
While there is something within us that never changes, we change all the time. Change is the only constant.