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A Discussion with Dr. Buddharaju on How Better Sleep Leads to Happier Life

Tell us about yourself I was born in a small rural town nestling on the banks of Godavari River, East coast of India. My father worked really hard, studied engineering and brought my family to a bigger town where I studied Medicine, came alone in my 30s to USA in 1992 with a dream of […]

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Dr. Buddharaju
Dr. Buddharaju

Tell us about yourself

I was born in a small rural town nestling on the banks of Godavari River, East coast of India. My father worked really hard, studied engineering and brought my family to a bigger town where I studied Medicine, came alone in my 30s to USA in 1992 with a dream of achieving something big in medical field for a better life of humanity around the globe. My dreams got a temporary pause for a decade, rather focused on my studies of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine education and training in Albany Medical Center, NY in late 1990s, survival and support for my wife who sacrificed her time to take care of my sons, now they are settled, one works for US government in DC after graduated from Notre dame University Indiana, the other one in medical school now in NY. I continue to work hard all these years including thoughts of writing a book of my life experiences , Medical device patents and products useful to the patients , finally in 2018, I started writing  my first book  “Better Sleep Happier Life”  finished in 2019 and  published in April 2020. I have also started a Medical Device Company in 2015, Acanthus Medical Creations ( Acanthusmd.com) , now I own medical patents, FDA clearances, one of the device : Acanthus Condom Catheter is expected to come into the market this fall. The other strapless nasal pillows for cpap use in sleep apnea and other breathing problems is coming next year. I have been working in Chicago uptown neighborhood hospitals  overlooking Lake Michigan for the past 20 years as an Intensivist ICU Critical Care, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine.

What gives you energy?

a) Intense drive to help whatever I can in the fields of practice to save lives, comfort those I cannot,  Improve quality of life with education on life style modifications on sleep, a burning issue in modern society.

b) Intense desire to inventthrough my imagination and curiosity to make useful medical products that are cost effective and comfortable to patients and make a difference in the life of patients with breathing problems and ICU care.

c) Strict discipline to stay healthy, happy and strong so that I can do something to help others.

That is the reason , I run 3 miles at least 5 times a week, drink my cinnamon , turmeric lemon water ( CTLW) described in diet section of my book) every day in the morning, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits , vegetable and nuts. Try my best to get at least 7 hours of sleep between 10 PM to 5 AM . Practice Mindful breathing, listen to lots of music and sing whenever I can so that I can be happy all the time.

d) I enjoy spending time with my wife talking many life stories and memories we had together for over 3 decades of marriage.

What is your greatest challenges experience and how did you overcome it?

The greatest challenge in my life early on when I came to this country is for  basic survival 4 of us with limited money during my education and training to support my both boys and my wife and depend on my stipend alone during my training . My wife’s greatest intuition on spending helped me to navigate the crisis.

The most recent challenge was when COVID -19 hit my ICU and  I was working  as a front line Critical Care doctor , Intenivist learning quickly, working very long hours with tremendous work load like a Tsunami in Chicago in Late March to Late May. I felt like, I will get it and die especially when I saw many health care workers got sick and some died. I was also afraid, that I was going to give covid to my wife and children. I worked really hard, maintained good health by continue to exercise , drink my CTLW, eat well, protected myself with PPE, mask etc. saved many covid patients and sent some of them home.  Now I don’t see that many covid patients in Chicago.

I remember the days of intense depression like feelings, almost to the point of crying while driving back and forth from my home to work. I recently tested negative for Covid antibody. I don’t know what that means anyway, but I am very healthy, happy as usual.

Name a book that changed your life.

Outliers– The story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell inspired me to say that hard work  leads to success no matter where you come from and who you are, of course America is a great place on earth for the opportunities…

Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

No I sleep.  But phone is not, because of my work as an intensivist ICU doctor, however I don’t get that many calls at night when I am not on call. Very rare I get up once in awhile to answer phone from the hospital to help patient care.

How do you deal with email?

Hate to deal with clearing and cleaning my primary email folder filled with junk. Google or others need to do something more to classify  and index it may be AI can help in the future….

You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

For 10 min, I Listen to my favorite song, sing and dance where my soul finds real happiness like a peacock in the forest, bird flying over trees somewhere on the banks of a river where no one is around except nature. The other 5 min, I take a short nature walk  and get connected with nature because I am a nature lover..

When was the last time you felt burned out and why?

Same answer for Q 4. Covid -19 Crisis as a front line doctor, felt like a soldier in the war weaning all the PPE and going into the battle field of ICU every day trying to save patients on life saving ventilators , luckily I was able to extubate and liberate some patients using my knowledge, constantly learning on covid what’s best from lessons learned elsewhere china, Europe where it hit first…

When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?

When I start to write my first book in 2018 and left it for a while due to work stress and not finding time to do research on chapters that I was going to write, however I bounced back finding time and completed eventually. I felt failed, when I get letters of rejection from US patent office on my medical patents and working to overcome those rejections by writing back and making a case for novelty and usefulness of the products. I felt failed multiple times during the trial and error of my medical devices testing and finally getting into the best possible product with more improvements down the line. I guess the perfection has no ending, it goes on…

Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.

1. “I love sleep, my life has the tendency to fall apart when I’ am awake, you know?”

Ernest Hemingway

2. “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”

                                Franklin D. Roosevelt

How can you be reached?

You can reach me via below links:

https://www.drbuddha.com/

https://amzn.to/3b6iitq

https://twitter.com/drbuddharaju

https://www.facebook.com/DrBuddharaju

https://www.linkedin.com/in/venkata-buddharaju-7874871a3/

https://www.instagram.com/DrBuddharaju/

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