Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 30, Tuesday December 23, 2003






Interpreter of Maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist

Q. My father will retire in January. He seems a little upset about it, even though he is quite prepared. He just had an open-heart surgery, and we just want to be very right in dealing with any depression that he might have. Please advise.

Ans: Any big change in lifestyle can be perceived as a stress and a healthy coping strategy is needed to deal with the situation. It seems that your father is dealing with major health issues and change in life style. You didn't mention his age or if it is a voluntary retirement or not. Actually several factors come in to play while considering retirement. Financial situation, responsibilities and overall functioning level will determine how best he can handle this transitional period. People, who find a feeling of self-worth in work, may be willing to find an alternative way to make meaningful contribution to the society. Retirement does not mean one has lost all his capabilities. With age, short-term memory may recede but judgement is enhanced. So, "either use it or lose it" is the general rule for both body and mind. Retirement may mean enjoying a less structured life and more freedom. According to psychosocial developmental theory, "generativity vs. stagnation" is the main conflict of this middle adulthood (35-70yrs) of human life cycle. In order to resolve this conflict and grow positively in a forward direction, one needs to deal with unfulfilled desires of life (e.g.; pursuing higher education, social commitment, religion or loving relationship whatever be the person's interest) and overcome the feelings of stagnation. Exploring newer interests and voluntary works can contribute to the feelings of self-worth. Actually every age has its own charm. Accepting ageing as a reality of life instead of denying it will enable him to cope better with this new stage of life.

Dental wise

Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS (Dhaka), PhD(Japan) Oral & Dental surgeon BIRDEM Hospital

Dear Dr.Mahfuj
My 12 year-old daughter is complaining of bleeding gums when she brushes her teeth or eats hard food. Her tooth setting is not good; she suffers from severe crowding. Her dentist told us she needs orthodontic treatment. This seems like a very expensive treatment, which we cannot afford. Please give some advice how we can get rid of this bleeding gum.
Shila Hossain,Moghbazar, Dhaka

Dear Ms Shila,
I think her dentist's advice is correct. If someone has misalignment of teeth, there is a definite chance for gingivitis (inflammation of gum tissue). It is at the same time quite a hard job to clean crowded teeth by oneself. In that case she needs professional cleaning every six months. For her case, the permanent solution would be to go for orthodontic treatment. By doing this treatment she will have a good smile, correct alignment and get cured of recurrent gingivitis. About costing; yes it is a costly treatment, but you can go to Dhaka Dental College and Hospital (Govt.) and get a good deal. Please don't wait, this is the perfect age for start this orthodontic treatment

Dr. Khan
I am from Rajshahi, doing business. I have few questions regarding my oral health. I always have bad breath even after maintaining strict oral hygiene according to your published article about bad breath. I feel too frustrated to consult with any dentist. How can I get cured? Do you have any other advice for special investigation? Can I consult with you in future?
Nasir Hossain, Rajshahi

Dear Nasir Hossain
Don't be frustrated. Every disease has definitive treatment, but the diagnosis should be correct. I think I should point out to respected reader that causes of "bad breath" originating from oral region is about 50-60%, whereas rest comes from other systemic problem. I do understand that you are maintaining strict oral hygiene by yourself, but did you have professional cleaning in every year, did you check whether you have any caries or not? Sometimes or it is a real difficult job to clean your hidden plaque/tartar by regular toothbrush and paste yourself. Please try to use dental floss and inter-dental brush for cleaning in between teeth. Without examining you, it will be very hard for me to advise you on any further investigation to evaluate other systemic problems. Yes, you can consult with me anytime, but my suggestion please visit any dentist in Rajshahi before coming to Dhaka for further special treatment.

Dear Dr. Khan,
I live in USA. I have been reading your column in Lifestyle for the last one year. Recently I went through your website, and Aiko Dental looks like the perfect place where we can have our dental treatment during our vacation tour to Bangladesh. My questions are whether Bangladeshi dentists are capable of doing porcelain work and are they maintaining maximum hygienic environment nowadays like other western countries? How can I get your appointment?
Will appreciate your kind responses.
Javed Ahmed, New York

Dear Mr. Javed,
Thanks a lot for reading my article regularly and for your appreciation about my website. You will be happy to know that nowadays some dental clinics in Bangladesh are providing world-standard porcelain crown and bridge at reasonable prices. About hygienic environment; I think every dental clinic should give/have highest priority in maintaining germ free environment to prevent cross-contamination like HIV, Hepatitis virus etc. Yes I can assure you that some dentists are maintaining this germ-free environment.

Dear Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan,
Though this is a personal mail to Dr. Khan, I feel I should send it through Lifestyle magazine, as I became a patient of Dr. Khan through Dental Wise. This is Saima Naz from UK. Can you remember me? I was your patient and I had a surgery and porcelain cap done by you on my upper front teeth on January 2003. According to your advice I had a follow up X-ray in the UK to check whether I had any residual infection on that operative area. Yes, according to my British dentist it is absolutely infection free and the operation was quite successful. He praised my porcelain cap a lot and expressed his surprise at the discovery that Bangladeshi dentists can make such world standard porcelain work?" Thank you Dr. Khan, you just upgrade our nation image. Hope Lifestyle will publish this.
Ms Saima Naz,UK

Dear Ms Saima Naz
Thank you very much for your appreciation. Actually nowadays some dentists in Dhaka are providing world-standard porcelain (Ceramic) Crown and Bridge works. I believe that we should further improve our standard of treatment, and not only treatment, but also behavior towards our patients because our primary responsibility as dentists is to ensure the well being of the patient.

Dear Dr. M. H. Khan
I am a regular reader of Lifestyle since it started publication. My son is studying in Dhaka College and he really desires to become a dentist in the future. Now Bangladesh has several private dental colleges besides Government dental college. My question is, which is better for him to get admission to be a perfect dentist? If he gets chance in any govt. dental college, should we go for it? Do you think private dental colleges are better than govt. ones? Seeking your honest and valuable comment.
Atahar Ali Khan,Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Dear Atahar Ali Khan
Well, this is really a hot issue in our higher education in private sector nowadays. You will find a lot of private universities, medical and dental colleges in Dhaka and elsewhere. I can't comment about other private universities and medical colleges, but how many private dental colleges are maintaining the minimum educational standard? Do they have sufficient teaching staff, as well as required logistic support? The most important issue is, how often do the students of private dental colleges get chance to have regular clinical exposure in outdoor hospital? In the case of my own child, I will definitely go for govt. dental college. Now the question is, why? I personally believe that to be a perfect dentist, he/she must have sufficient clinical exposure, which I personally believe is more easily available in govt. dental colleges and hospitals. I think, most of private dental colleges, as compared to govt. college hospitals, have very few outdoor patients. So I believe that our govt. dental college is still much better than private colleges especially in this particular aspect. So before going to admit your son to any private Dental College, please check whether they fulfil the aforementioned criteria or not. This is absolutely my personal opinion.
For further information visit www.aikodental.com





The virtual actuality

You know it and I know it; it's only few www's away. A suitable boy a suitable girl or hundreds of them, all with unique names and some not so distinctive, waiting with best-taken pictures, describing themselves the best way they can colour up with. All in a halt full of eagerness for that one email of interest from Prince or Princess charming and then hopefully further…
a unique way of utilising the cyber world for an ancient desperation, the constantly crawling legs of a butterfly called Marriage.

I am talking about the wedding and dating sites, containing matrimonial of people from all races and colours, for the past ten years popular among the Bangladeshi Community. It has taken some of us further than our relatives and friends could have. Finding a life partner has become one step easier for the shy guy and gal. Over the net, he can be anything 007 and she can be Wonder Woman or Princess Leah, or anyone else she fancies. Initially, one submits the necessary information to these sites, usually with a vivid description and sometimes with a picture. Now, the submission of this picture depends on the sender's confidence; some are too shy to show their faces or too good-looking, fearing overload of response, but the rest put their sweet or sour faces out there and start their journey into the cyber world of match making.

I didn't know if it really worked until I heard a few success stories and was invited to a few of those cyber weddings taking place in the real world. The cyber couples are never ready to admit the source of their meeting. The world of cyber dating still is linked to real-life losers, which no one wants to be identified as. So these cyber couples usually make up stories like how they grabbed the same magazine in some coffee shop and met eye to eye and tangled themselves deeply in love webs or how during a visit to France they met on the flight back. Whatever it is, the truth always lies underneath like the deleted but still stored profiles of themselves in the dating sites.

Recently, a young Bengali man, deciding he was ready to be married, asked for a wife who would be educated and a devoted Muslim. She would cover herself head to toe, would stay home, cook, clean and not dare to work outside. According to him, a true Muslim woman's place is indoors. Well, the young fellow drove and scared away many Bengali women in a short period of time. Finally he got on the net to pursue his dream girl who would be willing to stay under cover. And he stumbled upon a Caucasian woman in a cyber chat who submitted to him and pretty soon I will be attending a cross-racial marriage with a newly converted Muslim bride wrapped in red.

Going back a few more years, it reminds me of time and of a Bengali woman, famous in many Bangladeshi Chat rooms, who made many Ronnies and Johnny's turn their cyber name to 'Romeo'. She caused fights amongst her different cyber boyfriends and finally married one of them and moved to a land far, far away. Except, after five years she ran away to a more distant land with another cyber boyfriend leaving her two non-virtual daughters with her husband. The thing about this cyber madness is, in real life nothing and no one is as sweet as the typed words on a white screen. This is because in the factual world, the voice and the face don't always live up to the cyber promises committed on the basis of nothing but imagination.

If we can forget our real-world worries for a few minutes and get lost in the web and the world of others there might be nothing wrong with it. However, when a computer-generated problem or solution jumps out in the existent life, that's when it makes matters big, to see how the world can be squeezed into such a small space and how paths of similar interests can cross and reside as one forever. So to all of those Bengali Romeos and Juliets who are waiting till their profiles are being hit on in some remote cyber dating/marriage site, Happy scrolling till you hit the right link. Be virtual, but remain actual.

By Iffat Newaz



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