Monday, June 16, 2014

Humor in Uniform - MEDICAL CATEGORY ENIGMA

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

MEDICAL CATEGORY ENIGMA
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. Please read this article only if you have a sense of humour. This yarn is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


MEDICAL CATEGORY ENIGMA – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

During my long service in the navy, I “enhanced” a lot of things.

I enhanced my academic qualifications, I enhanced my knowledge, I enhanced my expertise, I enhanced my world-view, I enhanced my personality, and I even enhanced my physical attributes.

But the one thing I could not enhance was my “medical category”.

When I joined the navy my medical category was S1A1

And when I left the navy, more than 33 years later, my medical category was still S1A1

I could not achieve even a small enhancement in medical category, even temporarily.

Throughout my entire naval career, my medical category remained constant at S1A1.

The only time I was hospitalized, towards the end of my career, was for malaria – and I thought they would enhance my medical category – to S2A2 – maybe to S3A2 – or even to S3A3 – or higher.

But nothing happened.

After a couple of days, when my malaria began to abate, and just I was beginning to enjoy my stay in hospital, they suddenly discharged me, and threw me out of the hospital, straight back to work, as they were short of beds due the sudden arrival of a few “serious” cases.

And while discharging me unceremoniously from hospital, they did not even have the decency to enhance my medical category.

So I remained in my lifelong medical category S1A1 from “womb to tomb” (to put it metaphorically).

Well, if there is a Navy Doctor reading this, maybe he will be able to explain the significance of medical categories from S1A1 to S5A5

Since the Army likes to do things differently, so they have named their medical categories from SHAPE1, SHAPE2, SHAPE3, SHAPE4 and SHAPE5 (though I have seen many “out of shape” Pongos in SHAPE1).

In the Air Force they call their medical categories A1G1, A2G2 …. A5G5.

It is all very confusing to me.

“Fauji” Doctors keep changing the colour of their uniforms, like chameleons, as they flit about between the army, navy and air force.

But basically, all “fauji” doctors are the same, and all of them belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC).

The three services have the same doctors, but different medical categories – maybe, one more feather in the cap of “jointmanship”.

“Enhancing” your medical category gives you a lot of advantages, like it did to my friend “D”.

“D” was a master at malingering.

An ex-NDA officer, on the very first day of our training, he was missing from morning PT.

When asked by the Senior-Under-Training-Officer (SUTO), “D” answered triumphantly: “I am a medical category.”

(In colloquial naval parlance this meant that he had an “enhanced” medical category).

During his entire training period, his “medical category” was his all powerful universal trump card to be excused from any painful activity that “D” wanted to avoid, like PT, games, divisions, parades, cross country, route marches, outward bound camps etc.

The biggest mystery was none of us knew what was wrong with him, for what “disease” he had got the medical category, from where he had got his medical category, and what exactly was his medical category.

Maybe he had managed to “enhance” his medical category at the previous training ship or unit, or maybe in NDA, or maybe even before that at the SSB – or maybe “D” was born with a medical category.

“D” looked perfectly healthy, and whenever we asked him about his medical category, he told us not to be too inquisitive.

In fact, I once suspected whether he had an “enhanced” medical category at all, but then the way he flaunted it around, I thought that there must be some truth in it.

Of course, his medical category did not prevent him drinking to his heart’s content every afternoon and evening, or generally enjoying himself to the hilt and having a jolly good ball of a time.

His medical category did not prevent him from getting promoted and he got nominated for all the good courses.

And, of course, he got the best of ships and no hardship appointments, thanks to his “enhanced” medical category.

Inspired by “D”, I tried my best to “enhance” my medical category, but could not succeed, and throughout my navy career, I remained at the rock bottom S1A1

Once, a doctor said I was overweight, and I thought he was going to “enhance’ my medical category.

But he did not do so.

He sent me in a spin, made me do all sorts of tests, got me examined by all sorts of specialists, and then delivered his final verdict: “Officer is Asymptomatic. He has been advised to reduce weight. Officer is fit in S1A1.”

I was back to Square 1.

I have not understood the medical category enigma.

Have you?


(Disclaimer: I am totally clueless on the subject of “medical categories” – so if you have any queries please contact your nearest military doctor)


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
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