My Chronicles With Dr KK Aggarwal
My Chronicles with Dr KK Aggarwal, of the last three decades.
Edits | May 18, 2021
Dr KK Aggarwal (d. 17th May 2021) was a unique human being. Besides being highly qualified in his #medical profession, he was a great human with in-depth knowledge of human psychology, laughter and things which mattered. I have had the good occasion of spending many-many valuable hours and days with him, cracking and hacking life threatening situations of family members and loved ones. Citing one example, my nani was caught by a very interesting disease when she was almost 75 years of age. This is in the year 1998. Her blood would disintegrate. She was transfused with almost 20 bottles of blood but it would not retain in her body, her haemoglobin fell constantly. She was admitted under the care of Dr KK-HK unit as their team was called at #Moolchand Hospital, New Delhi. As her situation worsened and she had little chance of survival, I asked Dr KK to experiment, consequently he handed me four books to consult. That night and for two more Dr KK and I read these medical books, to understand what the problem was. He reached a decision that she had drug induced #haemolysis and the only way to save her or conclude the diagnosis was to cut down the medication and see how the body react. I am not a medical professional but just by applying common-sense, a go ahead was given. The medication was cut. This made her condition deteriorate. But then suddenly the next day she showed improvement and was out of the woods. She lived on till May 2008, when an oversight by her #gynaecologist killed her through sepsis.
Dr. KK treated varied patients like maybe any other doctor, everyone with the problem of alcohol abuse to complicated multiple disorders. One of my relatives spent more than 2 months getting rehabilitated at his clinic in #Defence Colony. The couple found a cure for alcohol and for togetherness at the same time. All under the guidance of Dr KK.
In the recent stench of #Covid cases, just before the first lock down in March 2020, I had the occasion of visiting him when the pandemic had just started. It had not yet hit India, and in his clinic at the #Asiad Village in 2020, probably in January, he was very concerned that this virus will take away a large part of humanity and the human life, if allowed to spread. He said that unless precaution is taken, people will lose a lot of kinfolk. I didn’t believe him. He said if the government acted vigilantly and closed everything down like their western counterparts, at least in India we will be able to eradicate tuberculosis. That was quite a statement which for some reason has not been highlighted in the ongoing Covid crisis. In March 2020 there was a lock down. But I continued to visit him for my family and friends. One elderly person close to me had a problem which was not being solved despite specialized medication and the works in medical jargon. I again spent time with Dr KK with all his reports and the doc came up with a solution, for the gentleman, that he needs to breathe deeply and chant Om. Though I am not of a large religious descent, but I understood that the matter was more to do with breathing and oxygenation of the body. The gentleman followed the treatment and today he seems to be much better. He was also diagnosed for being bipolar, which then turned out to be the real diagnosis from specialists in that field.
Dr KK spoke to his patients not entirely as the patient but as people. His short, two line and two sentence diagnosis at times did not work well with patients who are used to being spoken to a lot. He would think for 10 seconds and then say something for the next 10, and then put down the phone, before you could ask the following question. His seasoned patrons got used to the idea that the follow-up question did not matter, or had been already answered. In November 2020 most of the people in our house got Covid. The few family-friends who came to attend a birthday during that time also got Covid. So, we were all in all about 9 people under Covid distress, and in teleconference with Dr KK every morning. Dr Prachi and Dr KK presided over our treatment through zoom. He gave us a very simple prescription. This is at a time when the entire world was running after drugs which greatly altered metabolism and the body chemistry. We were there every morning speaking to him and delivering reports while our relatives were taking long prescriptions with IVs. The wait on the zoom meetings was roughly 30 minutes to one hour, but it was well worth the advice and those 10 seconds. The others in the peer group, not being attended by Dr KK used to be concerned at the treatment that we are getting from him, since he did not prescribe methylprednisolone, running at the same level of infection.
We all got better with his prescription, and today his prescription of 5-6 medicines has become the most widely circulated prescription, at least in our circles. I’m sure it’s the most widely circulated Ilaaj for Covid in India and is very effective. Like any senior doctor Dr KK would take a look at you and tell you the state of being. Then he would inspect and make you introspect. At times that used to be 50% of the cure. As Dr Harish Diwan a very well-known homoeopathy Doctor at Hanuman Road, New Delhi used to say – I prescribe, He cures. So did Dr KK.
Once I visited Dr KK at his East of Kailash residence. His daughter is quite a media savvy person and I had the good fortune to meet her. At his residence he had so many patients who were being prescribed medicines, without any fees. I also don’t remember paying him a fees for his asking, for a long time, though there were donations sent to his foundation. It was an amazing experience since you could walk into his clinic early in the morning, wait for him to finish his sessions on his laptop, and start discussing the problem. And this is not just now, but has been so for almost last 20 years. I remember waiting outside his Moolchand room, where he would attend patients even in the corridor. From what used to appear at the time of sitting down waiting for him, he helped a lot of people in matters of ailments of the body, the head and the heart by a genuine need of his own, for the well-being of the person.
It would be a debate between a lot of people who knew him closely, and benefited from him, who were his audience, whether he worked for the benefit of a person or for the benefit of the society. One interesting thing about Dr KK was the shelves full of prizes, medals and trophies that he received at functions. At the time of waiting at any one of his clinics during the so many years, I used to read who gave them to him, in that long shelf 6 ft high and seemingly a mile long.
During his days at the Moolchand hospital, at another time when people in my family were hospitalized, he used to come to the bed, sit cross-legged in a very different position, and speak to the patient, my grandparent, about different things. As mentioned, that was 50% of the cure. The very sight of him used to be self-assuring. Though a person of small words when it came to medical diagnosis, he had essays on life to be narrated to the same person. It appears that could have been the rest of the cure. His medical prescriptions were short, precise, worked and were also written in good handwriting.
I have known him personally since 1990 onwards. He treated over 35 near dear ones, and I have seen him in many phases. Dr KK was hospitalized at #AIIMS for varicose veins, and as per his own accounts he had almost lost his life. This was maybe 12 to 15 years back. He came back to treat us all during this difficult time. Dr KK was a magician for people who had faith in him and in his medicine. It appears that both the matters are interconnected and people do not realize when they go to a doctor that they need to have faith. Again, God has got nothing to do with it, and it is the medicine which has to work not only as body chemistry but as a general system of healing.
Another interesting incident that I would like to share, for it not to be lost in oblivion and for the want of privacy, is the way he was a supporting doctor to so many other doctors who obviously knew him very well. This was the case of a mother and child, The mother being pregnant with the child and having infected with a terrible bronchial condition. #Dr Prabha Manchanda a very senior gynaecologist in Delhi attending on the mother who had the dilemma of saving either the mother or the child. I consulted Dr KK. We all sat down and made a plan. Without going into the nitty-gritty here, and details of the plan, which may sound like an American scene of an American drama, I would like to say that both the mother and child were saved, by the resulting very unique medication process, which otherwise would not have been administered, in normal pregnancies.
And then there was this case of my grandfather, who was 84 and broke his hip bone. We took him directly to Moolchand, and to Dr KK. He lined up Dr Arora to do the operation. Since my grandfather was 84, the hospital was reluctant. We made an amendment saying that the age was only 75. Under the guidance of these two eminent doctors, his hip was replaced, and he lived till the age of 99, walking almost till his last days.
For me, he always insisted on regular exercise, breathing, yoga et cetera since he diagnosed my father who had a heart condition. Now that I think about it subconsciously, that helps me to continue doing yoga. Dr KK did advise people out of turn, which was often the case with me. I’m sure others have had similar experience. One of my regrets remain that I could not get my father treated at the hands of Dr KK.
To say that I am sad at his departure would be falling a lot short of the actual emotion. To say that the medical world has lost a great doctor would also be short. To say that we have lost a Doctor who along with being a medical professional, was also a great human will still be short. Dr KK was a celebration of life and he treated his patients as his own. A person who was full of emotion, but never displayed it with but a short precise medical diagnosis, will always be fondly remembered for those who were treated by him, and for those who are close to him and listen to him. To find another Dr KK in this life time seems quite not possible. Medicine will go on and people will get cured but the Dr KK effect, will be missing. On a final note, my last walk with him was in the herbal garden at his present Asiad Village residence, and those are good memories. End.
CA Divesh Nath
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