The Upper Storey Problem

-Rajesh K. Jha

psychiatrist 1

A day earlier, I took ill in my office. During one of the routine meetings, I suddenly started feeling uneasy. Sweating profusely, I came back to my room switched on the fan, though it was still a little cold outside. I lay down on the sofa for a while and felt better. I was advised by the office colleagues to go and get myself checked for any heart related problems.

Early next day, I went to the Central Government Health Services (CGHS) centre in my area. To my surprise, the centre did not have many patients. My turn came within 15 minutes. I entered the cubicle in which the doctor was sitting. I had carried all the previous medical records with me as I had a similar episode a couple of months back.

‘So, what is your problem?’ Doctor asked me, looking straight into my face.

‘Sir, Yesterday, I had sudden sweating and felt uneasy in the office.’

‘Ok. Most of the people feel uneasy in office. You know, who wants to work these days.’

‘No sir, it was not so. I actually felt uneasy and I was sweating profusely. I am worried if it has something to do with heart related issue….’ I tried to reason with the doctor.

‘That is fine but how do you know that it was a heart related problem? ‘ Doctor’s voice was now a little raised and it had assumed a mocking tone.

‘No, I am not saying it was a heart related problem but I want a thorough check up as I have a family history of heart ailment and this problem has recurred within a few months.’ I was getting a little nervous arguing my case with the doctor.

‘Oh, I see. You are quite knowledgeable but you are not a doctor. I am the doctor and I know your problem as I see so many patients like you every day.’ I thought the doctor was irritated.

‘ You are quite right sir. I am not a doctor that is why I want you to refer me to a specialist so that I can get his opinion. If you could refer me to a private hospital, that would save me time.’ I was marshalling all my arguments.

And then I added, in the expectation that he may consider my case as genuine and partly also to impress him, ‘I am a Director and can’t afford to spend so much time for check up in a government hospital’.

Suddenly, I heard a roar of laughter coming from the doctor. ‘I know what kind of people are now becoming directors. Haven’t you heard about politicians becoming Directors in banks? What is their qualification? Most of the directors are like that only.’

I was taken aback by the turn of event. The doctor was visibly happy, enjoying his own sense of humour at my expense.

‘ I come from a fish eating area and don’t mince my words.’ Doctor stared into my face. ‘Do you want to hear the truth?’

I meekly nodded.

‘You have a problem of upper storey’.

‘Upper Storey?’

I was thinking furiously to decipher the meaning of this coded expression.

‘Yes, the entire problem is of upper storey. For most of the people it is the upper storey problem only.’ The doctor indicated towards his head.

I understood the meaning. The doctor had started keying in something on the computer with his index finger.

The person behind me was getting impatient as the elderly lady with him was moaning with pain. I wondered if she too had an upper storey problem.

The doctor gave back the prescription. He had referred me to the specialist but I was still unable to decide whether he wanted me to see a psychiatrist or a heart specialist.



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