The Iyer Clinic is a fully equipped health-care clinic delivering Adult Primary care, community prev The Iyer Clinic is a full service Primary Care Clinic & COVID-19 Testing and Treatment center that has been serving the communities of Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, Chantilly, South Riding and Broadlands since 1997.
Social media is a very poor educator. Let me tell you a story about selection bias. In WWII the RAF did a review of the need for armor in the planes that were returning from bombing missions across the English Channel. The technicians noted the places where the planes were being hit to determine which portions of the airframe needed reinforcement. But after a few months they noted that the efforts did not increase the survival rate of the aircraft or their pilots.. Everyone was puzzled by the disconnect until they realized that the planes that they needed to have studied were the ones that did not make it back from their bombing run. Those were the aircraft that were being hit in NON-SURVIVABLE areas of the airframe!
It was not the successes that held the secret of the win but the failures!
On Facebook no one displays their failures. Except for one or two exceptions, I seldom see anyone showing the raw process of their journey. And everyone goes about studying and changing their program or strategy based on the successful stories and 10 second TikTok videos.
But the real lasting lessons are the failures. I learned more from the IGP2 that I failed with on my 2nd dog, Anakin, and with the BH that I failed with on my current dog, Fokker, than the IGP2 Vice Championship trophy that I earned subsequently on Anakin or the 96-point IGP3 track with Fokker.
I learned more about business from the people who cheated me or who I had to fire or the factory that I closed than my most successful sales month! I learned more from the patients I could not help than all my successes.
You want to learn? You want to succeed? Then start embracing failure…. And don’t get snared by the pretty pictures and 15 second clips of carefully curated TikTok fame.
At The Iyer Clinic, we combine the ancient knowledge of herbal compounds, natural remedies, and physiology with modern scientific research and biochemistry to provide our patients with every opportunity to achieve a life free from pain and the support they need to live a life without limits.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to cold, flu, diabetes, COVID-19 or need a wellness visit, please call our office.
Thank you for choosing The Iyer Clinic.
At The Iyer Clinic we value each and every patient we serve. Thank you for choosing The Iyer Clinic as your preferred primary care physician office.
If you have any medical concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We appreciate the opportunity to help our patients enjoy life without limits!
The Iyer Clinic - Herndon / Aldie-South Riding The Iyer Clinic is a fully equipped health-care clinic delivering Adult Primary care, community preventive health and COVID Testing & treatment services. With state-of-the-art equipment and expert staff, the clinic is equipped to meet most medical needs.
Learn more about the steps Loudoun Medical Group and The Iyer Clinic are taking to improve care coordination and enhance health outcomes with PRISMA - Interoperability Search Engine.
It never ceases to amaze me how Science manages to discover what we have been saying for 40 years! 🤣
“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance.”~H. Jackson Brown, Jr..
The Marble in the Spoon:
Every year I take break from writing my newsletter articles from July till August/September. This is not to imply that I completely stop all work each summer. Quite the contrary I use this time in a manner that I call internalization. I still see patients and go to the clinic daily, but summer is my time for meeting family, re-establishing old contacts wherever possible and learning… Oh! Boy learning, learning, and learning! This summer I learnt one of my life’s most enduring lessons from my cousin’s husband.
My extended family is filled with successful people of various statures. One of my cousins in addition to being very successful in her own right is also married to one of the most popular writers on the Asian subcontinent. His success has resulted in his growing presence on the speaker circuit, and I was privileged to read a speech that he had given on the occasion of a college graduation ceremony, wherein he urged the students to look at life in the manner of a spoon-and-marble race! All of us know this race… where you try to get to the finish line while balancing a marble in the well of a spoon. If you finish first but you drop the marble behind… You Lose! If you are successful in balancing the marble but make it to the finish line slow…. You Lose!
It took me only 15 minutes to read that speech but that powerfully graphic analogy resonated deeply within me for a very long time, making me look back at my own life with that story as a mirror.
All of us usually have a very firm grip on the spoon of our life…. however, regarding that marble…well that is a whole different story. That shiny, iridescent, transparent, many-colored glass ball represents all in my life that makes my victories worth having. It is that essence of my life that makes the pain of every stumble and the hurt of every failure worth experiencing. Without that unstable fragile essence, my life would be an empty spoon, impotent and bereft of worth. And even if the spoon that I held so firmly in my grasp were to be made of gold and encrusted with diamonds and precious stones it would be as devoid of value as if it were carved out of wood.
Each one of us needs to know which is the spoon and which is the marble in our lives. For me, it is my wife and children. Not just one or the other but the whole package together. Neither the approbation and accolades nor the accusations and acerbic judgments that may come my way have any value in their absence.
So, when I looked at my life and onwards at the lives of the successful but burdened executives who come to my clinic, I began to see how often we all raced towards our individual finish lines upon that distant horizon. I began to see how often our marbles teetered on the precarious edge of our spoons, how many times those precious balls bounced and lost the safe contact with the surface our spoons as we in our distracted ambitions removed our focus from them. And I began to see the great good fortune that we all had in that our incalculable treasures had not yet fallen from our spoons to be lost in the dense grasses that bordered our crazed paths.
So by way of a brief thank you to the wisdom of a young man who brought home a timeless reminder I pass on to all of you the lesson of balance in the parable of the marble-in-the spoon……..
Lack of Self Preservation!
My 40-year career as a physician has offered me an intimate view of the many faces of the human condition. But none have impacted me as deeply as those occasions when fate reversed the roles between the healer and the healed. Every now and then I would be brought face to face with a patient whose calm and confident demeanor even when beset by terminal illnesses would fill me with humble submission before such a greatness of the human spirit. These individuals, and every doctor who has spent more than a decade in practice has met at least a few of them, have not only taught me essential lessons about life, but also brought me face to face with the core principles that form the basis of my vocation.
I shall recount one such story as it was written in a letter of condolence to the son of the patient who will be referred here only as Leon.
“I sit with my mind filled with a thousand incoherent words as I seek to find the tongue with which I can console you. Leon breathed his last a few hours ago in his hospital bed. The struggle his body had for the last 2 years has now subsided with the ebbing sigh of his receding breath. It is customary to speak of the departed in glowing words. To embellish the canvas of their lives with bold colors of the nostalgic brush and in doing so portray them in our story telling as imbibed with great and saintly qualities. In the case of Leon no such effort is needed. The simple, stark story of this man is embellishment enough.
Leon was a man with a fundamental profound defect…. Lack of Self-Preservation!! By that I mean, he was a man who lived life with an aggravatingly stubborn disregard towards acting in his self-interest….. like stopping in the middle of a high speed freeway to remove a 4 foot piece of nail-studded wood, because somebody would get hurt!!!!
….. Know what I mean? …. Lack of Self Preservation!!!
I was his doctor and Leon would take anything I said, as if it was God’s own word. It was an incredibly humbling and at the same time terrifying feeling to stand before this man and realize that he afforded every pronouncement I made the same authority as a Divine Commandment.
I once asked him, “Leon, are you never concerned that I might make a mistake or that I may not tell you the truth?”
He looked back at me puzzled for a moment and then smiled and asked; “Now why would you do something like that, Doc?”
…….. Lack of Self Preservation!
Leon had a weak heart. Like a vintage automobile that had too many miles on the odometer it was not a candidate for a major overhaul like surgery and I would frequently treat him in the hospital for congestive heart failure. On one such visit, I was having a minor cold. He noticed my discomfort and offered me a Halls lozenge that he used to take for his perpetually stuffy nose. I accepted much to my glad relief. Next day when I reached his bedside, he had his wife present me with a whole bag of lozenges! This man who was struggling to breathe was ministering my little cold!!!
…… Lack of Self Preservation!
Leon’s weak heart meant that he would retain fluid, gain weight and his legs and belly would often swell up, much to his discomfort. At such times I would struggle to pull every pharmaceutical trick in the book to get his kidney’s to excrete a few extra liters of urine. On one such occasion, Leon’s daughter stopped me and took me aside.
“Dad is concerned that you are not eating right, Doc”, she said, “He says you have gained some weight.”
………. Lack of Self Preservation!
As Leon’s condition gradually deteriorated his periods of health between hospitalizations decreased and on his last admission I spoke to him.
“Leon, do you realize that you are very sick and don’t have much time left?” I asked.
He looked back at me, the twinkle in his eyes belying the gravity of his condition. “Now why do you say that, Doc?”
“Because”, I exploded in frustration. “Your heart can’t pump, your kidneys are not working, your lungs are filling up with fluid and you have a blood infection that I can’t get rid off.”
He looked at me silently, with only the soft pant of his breathing testifying to the gravity of his health, and then said softly with a smile, “Other than that I am doing Ok right Doc?”
Later surrounded by family members I struggled to explain the inevitability of Nature and the finality of the end of the road, while simultaneously struggling with my own sense of failure. Was this really all that could be had at the end of two years of fighting? Was I right in promising to Leon two years ago that I could fix his heart? Did I give him false hope? Have I let him down? Was this the only reward for all this toil and suffering? I had no right answers.
On the evening before his last day he was surrounded by his sons, daughters and grandchildren and he lay there luxuriating in their attention, like a triumphant emperor surrounded by loving courtiers. Later after they left, we talked about his life in rural America and he told me his story about bringing up a family successfully through the Great Depression and World War II. Then at one point he stopped and looked directly at me and said, “They are all good kids and I gave them only exactly what each one needed”.
I looked back at him and he met my gaze with a look that included me in his family and had the calm self-assured glance of a man who knew the full truth about himself, about his time on this planet and about the pride, privilege and perils of parenthood.
“Yes Leon”, I replied “You gave them just what they needed.”
Then in a flash understanding dawned upon me. By accepting my promise of health two years ago and believing in me, Leon had given me, a young doctor, exactly what I needed. …. that this time and this struggle was truly what was needed for the learning of lessons such as these.…. The learning by a young doctor of the purity of effort fueled by noble purpose that serves as the bed upon which rests the naked honesty of trust. ….. and the lesson of the immense humanity that is possible in man when he….
….. Lacks Self Preservation!
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