Multivitamins and Love: Tales from the Medical Camp at Prasanthi Nilayam
Volume 2 Issue 18 Oct 2004 Window to Sai Seva

The old man said that he had come from far away and had walked many days to get to the camp. He pleaded with the doctor to do something. The doctor said he was sorry, but medical science had no cure for him. The man was simply getting old and suffering from arthritis. The elderly man was crushed and asked how the doctor could let him down so. The doctor apologized again and turned to leave, but hesitated, turned back, and lovingly told the elderly man to wait in the hallway, because his prescription would be ready shortly.

What did the doctor prescribe? Multivitamin tablets—the little orange pills that I had counted thousands of times at the pharmacy to fill the hundreds of multivitamin prescriptions needed by the many severely malnourished patients. Filling all these prescriptions became dull at times. But knowing the story of the elderly man, I realized that every little orange pill I put into the envelopes was going to make a difference in someone's life. Although the multivitamins probably had a small effect on the elderly man's health, it was the sweetness and love with which the pills were given by the kind doctor that was the real medicine.

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