Just Emkaying: What happened in Dec 2017

Mar 19, 2018

What happened in Dec 2017

Hey there!

Nice to see you back on the blog. I must say that I wouldn't blame you if you thought that three posts in 2017 more or less signalled the end of 10 years of this site. But, nope.

I think this post has been a while in my mind and I don't think I've debated so much about writing a post as much as this one. Some of you might have noticed my prolonged absence from Social Media till about March, and even then hardly on facebook at all. It has been a choice to silence all the noises and questions in my mind, to keep it calm and not jump at the very tempting stimulus that the online world has to offer.

After a long time, I've decided to write this as a way to overcome and accept the changes that came into my life on Dec 5th 2017, around 7 pm. My mother called me to inform me that they were rushing to the hospital as my Dad had a stroke.

Long story short - my dad had a weakness in his right hand since morning, and was feeling weak. We took him to the local doctor who knew Dad's medical history, and hence asked us to do a scan at a nearby city. While we travelled two hours to get the scan done, Dad seemed perfectly fine, and was behaving normally, albeit a bit weak. The scan results showed that my dad had suffered a light stroke and needed medical intervention, and asked us to head back to our town and the doctor there. By the time we reached, my dad was very weak while he was still speaking and telling people who recognised him that he had suffered a light stroke. After an hour of some drips we rushed him to the Manipal hospital which was a further 2 hours away. He was admitted in the ICU by 1am, a good 12 hours after the stroke had happened.

I reached the next day morning taking the first available flight out, reaching the hospital by noon. What followed was a journey of 40 odd days across 2 hospitals, a diagnosis that took 3 days and a prognosis that made us really wonder what would happen.

The diagnosis was that there was a floating thrombus in my dad's artery in the neck, basically a floating blockage or time bomb rather that had restricted blood flow and had to be resolved. The problem was that it could not be operated on since the slightest pressure could push the blockage into the brain. So for 10 days, mom and I visited him twice a day, for 5 minutes in the morning and evening, one at a time, with basically very little response from him. The rest of the day we spent waiting for the doctors. Mom kept company of the rest of the family members of other patients, in which I guess she found solace and had her mind free.

Family and friends kept visiting, but not with much results because they couldn't see him.

After 10 days, they moved to him the general ward next to the ICU, just to keep an eye on him. He was fed via a tube and had all the things attached that a sick disabled person has. Day after day, doctors would come, check him, and leave. Some would say its best to discharge him and take him home for a quicker recovery, others would say he needs to be stable and at least start eating before they could discharge him. And other days the doctors would say something else.

Anyway, after 2 more weeks, a scan revealed that his floating thrombus had vanished thanks to the medicine, and he was out of immediate danger. Even then, the doctors gave us a grim prognosis that he would probably get back movement in his right hand and leg in 6 months to a year, and probably not speak or recall anything for a infinite amount of time. We then proceeded to move him to an Ayurveda hospital, where we could begin a more proper form of physiotherapy and healing massages.

The Ayurveda hospital is probably one of the best I have seen when it comes to peace of mind, approach and overall ambience, set amidst a massive garden and a small forest full of a variety of trees and plants. Needless to say, when dad left the hospital about 15 days later, he was walking with our support, able to go to the bathroom with our help, completely aware of what was going on, and trying to converse with people who came to visit him.

On his last visit to the doctor in the first week of Feb, he walked to the doctors office for his check up. In terms of his recovery, he's walking around comfortably by himself, has almost all his motor skills in his left hand, his right hand moves up and down but that's about it, has a lot of recovery of his memory and comprehension, but is only able to speak to about 30% of his capacity. He has trouble linking what he is thinking to the right words, while he easily repeats what we say.

There's been about two more doctors that we have been to, and there is practically no other medicine or magic cure left for us to have attempted. For now.

So that's what happened.

For someone who lived a fairly simple and healthy life, eating on time, sleeping in the noon and early in the night, waking up early to some physical work and spending the rest of the time at his shop working and chatting with customers, and non stop activity around the town, it's hard to fathom why this happened. He didn't have any lifestyle disease.

Yet that very question - "Why?" is the one that was least important. I credit my training that I was able to manage myself, the situation, mom and everything else in between with sanity - except for the first day where I was like - "this is the end of my life as I know it".

But if you think about it, every day is the end of the small life of the day as you know it. Change is inevitable, and it was another reminder of my mantra, its all about the choices you make, and you need to make them consciously.

If you think about what happened, a hundred things could be different. And yet things might have been the same or even worse. But what you can impact is today. Of course, it's easier to say it and live it, but there will always be something or the other that will throw you off course.

Often my mind would race to what would I do if I have to travel for work? What do I do if I can't go home? What about my plans for this, What if that, but I had to pull my head back and focus on "let's take this day as it comes today, focus on what can be done today."

Anyway, things are better now. Better than yesterday. And tomorrow is another day - but let's take that tomorrow :)

My deepest thanks to all my friends and family members who were there in spirit and in person, to help me through this moment. Thank you.

My sincerest request to anyone who needs help, please reach out - I realise that in the past three months I have seen more people fall seriously ill than I have ever in the last 30 years. People getting heart attacks, Strokes, young people, middle aged people, and all kinds of situations. It's too much of a common occurance this year - I hope it stops soon.

Thank you.

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