K.E.M. Radiology

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Department of Radiology

Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai , India

Twin therapeutic esophagograms

Padma Vikram Badhe

It had seemed like a routine day, with the hustle and bustle of appointments procedures and final reporting.

An older looking municipal employee came asking, ‘‘Is this procedure done here...ie is barium esophagogram done here?’’ Yes, I told him.

He said there were two patients...and quickly added, ‘‘Julve’’ in Marathi, meaning twins.

Since it was beyond noon when he came for the appointment, I asked the resident to give him one for the following day, at 10 am.

The next day, the patients arrived with their grandmother and mother and the municipal employee who had requested the appointment.

The twins were cute five- year-old girls, Riddhi and Siddhi. As usual, I asked for their history and the grandmother replied that the girls did not eat solid food. All solid food had to be ground in the mixie before it was fed to them.

Another worrying aspect was that they were not yet going to school.

But they proved to be good patients. They had a roller-coaster ride on the barium machine and the esophagograms were performed.

They were very cooperative.

It was a normal study except for a congenital abnormality. However,

that did not explain why the kids were refusing solid food.

Since they had come from afar, I decided to give their reports immediately.

They were asked to pay for the study. And soon, it was time to say goodbye to the girls.

I kept wondering why the clinicians wanted the esophagogram??

I casually enquired about the whereabouts of the kids’ father.

With moist eyes, the grandmother replied he had deserted his first-born kids, as they were girls.

He had never visited the girls nor ever met them. He had abandoned his wife at her maternal home.

Later, I had them come in for a follow-up, as they were acquaintances of the municipal employee from KEM.

What I learnt was heartening: they had been weaned off the mixie-ground food and had also been enrolled in a school.

It was as though the esophagogram appointment proved a therapeutic turning point for them. Because the journey they took to undergo the procedure was the first time they stepped out of their house in public domain without their father figure.

I thank Geeta Bhagat for editorial corrections