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Love among cadavers and other stories of the cardiac specialist kind from Chandigarh

Valentine’s Day: Dr Saxena’s hormones definitely ran riot when he met his love (Dr Smita) in an anatomy class, but the story of their romance could set anyone’s pulses racing - albeit out of fear .

punjab Updated: Feb 14, 2018 12:05 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Love among cadavers,cardiac specialist,Chandigarh
Dr Sudheer Saxena and Dr Smita Saxena(HT Photo)

The life of a cardiac specialist is not easy - always on call for emergencies, constantly on their toes caring for critically ill patients, they don’t have much time to dwell on matters of the heart, especially of the romantic kind.

However, though they know exactly what’s going on when the heart skips a beat and starts pounding as lovers set eyes on each other, many of these doctors have very romantic stories to share when it comes to matters of their own heart.

Dr Sudheer Saxena, an interventional cardiologist with Max Hospital is very matter-of-fact when he explains: “Actually, hormones dopamine and oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, make the heart beat faster.It is the brain which plays the game and the poor heart has to bear the brunt. The brain sends the signals and the heart only reflects those emotions,” he says.

Love at first sight

Dr Saxena’s hormones definitely ran riot when he met his love (Dr Smita) in an anatomy class, but the story of their romance could set anyone’s pulses racing - albeit out of fear . “I saw her (Dr Smita) for the first time in an anatomy class. We were surrounded by cadavers (dead bodies) in a class and she fainted when she saw them. I rushed towards her, sprinkled water on her face and it was a love at first sight,” he recalls. Together since 1989, both make sure they don’t forget to celebrate their day of love when they can.

Dr Harinder K Bali, director- cardiology, Fortis Hospital, says, “When you are attracted to someone, your heart does skip a beat, but it’s the brain which controls the emotions and the ‘poor’ heart only reflects it either by beating faster or by skipping a beat.”

The whole attraction process is physiological in nature. “When you look at your beloved and your heart starts racing, then it is because of an adrenaline rush,” adds Dr Bali.

For Dr Saurabh Mehrotra, additional professor, cardiology, PGIMER, “These are l physiological things. There is a sympathetic nervous system which sends signals to the adrenal gland, which secretes a number of hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones cause the heart to beat faster.”

Dr Bali says it was 20 years ago when he met her (Dr Neeru) at a friend’s house and it was love at first sight. “Since then she is my Valentine and I love to spend some time with her and give her surprises on Valentine’s Day.”Dr Mehrotra is still searching for his Valentine.

How to keep the heart young forever

“Don’t let the child in you die. Start appreciating small things. After all, real happiness is in celebrating the little moments of life. Also, stay away from stress,” says Dr Bali.

Dr Mehrotra feels “love is essential for a healthy heart. If you want to keep your heart healthy, make sure you have enough of it. So, if you don’t want to visit a cardiologist, start loving others!”

“Keep meeting people,” says Dr Saxena. “Celebrate your life. It’s not money or materialistic things that will keep you happy and your heart healthy, but your social life.”

Dr Rana Sandip , a cardiac surgeon, PGIMER says,“One should exercise, eat balanced food and adopt a healthy lifestyle to keep his or her heart young.”

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 12:05 IST