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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Living in Fear

Living in the United States has been drastically different post 9/11. News anchors try to scare you about anything and everything including and not limited to the state of security, the food we eat, the diseases we get etc. I was trying to remember if this was the same with media 6 or 7 years ago.

I still remember my first day in the United States 12 years ago. My cousin asked me to come and watch the news with him. Being exposed to DoorDharsan news in India, I was pleasantly surprised to find the headlines "one person was shot and killed in Allegheny avenue earlier today" a little tame. In India, death didn't make it to the news unless the count was in the 100's, or if children were involved. The media was not spreading paranoia in the United States in the late 90's, as far as I can remember.

Now that we have the internet to add to the media, it is a "scare culture" out there. Last month when we had the ultrasound test for my wife, we found out we were going to have a baby girl. We were also told that the "placenta was too low" and that this meant my wife may go through bed rest for 3 months !
We were also told that there was a possibility that the way the uterus expands, the placenta might come up and there will be no further cause for alarm.

We have probably prayed to every god we know and every god we don't know for the last 4 weeks. Finally, we found out yesterday that the placenta is not a concern anymore. One of the things our doctor told us was to stop reading internet reports from various official looking websites which just go on to scare the reader. My wife does have to go through another ultrasound next month, but at this point, we are relieved and happy.

Lesson learnt : No more google searches on "placenta previa" or "placenta too low".

The best part was my mothers reaction to the whole thing. "doctors tell you too many things in the States. In those days we got pregnant, went for a check up or two and then delivered without knowing anything about the uterus or placenta !". She may be right.


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