Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Healing souls, touching lives....





“Transverse Myelitis”, he said.

 “Transverse …err… what?”  I gasped.

“Transverse Myelitis. It is a neurological disorder causing inflammation of the spinal cord. Look at this, can you see this bulge? This is the problem area”, the neurologist said, as he held the MRI film against the brightly lit board.

“But, how did that happen, Doctor?” I still could not comprehend what exactly was going on.

“Can't say exactly. It is a very rare condition that affects one in a million people… Almost all people affected by this condition get paralysed. You are lucky that your husband is still ok, relatively that is….”

The whole world seemed to spin around me. We had just returned from our backpacking trip to Europe. My husband, still in his late twenties, had been complaining of numbness that seemed to have originated at the feet and crawled its way up to the chest, throughout the trip. I had in fact been mocking at him, for imagining things. However, by the time we returned, we knew something was terribly wrong. And unfortunately, it was.
Initially, I hadn’t understood the gravity of the situation; I had taken my husband to consult a family physician. Only when the doc gaped at him like a specimen in a science lab, we figured out that this wasn’t common at all. After all, the doctor hadn’t seen even a single TM patient in his entire career!

He was then referred to a super-specialty hospital. A team of neurologists assessed his condition. He was immediately hospitalized and a high dose of steroids pumped in to decelerate the numbing process. Though the doctors were non-committal with the prognosis and recovery, they were almost certain that he wouldn’t be paralyzed after this point. And I should say that they were spot-on, my husband indeed miraculously escaped from the clutches of that dreadful condition.  

 After a week at the hospital, my husband was discharged. He could barely walk, let alone resume work. However, we were extremely positive. “This too shall pass”, we kept telling ourselves. True to the word, that too passed. Today, my husband is almost cured and till date, I cannot thank those neurologists enough.

Ah! That was just my husband’s story. I have one more personal story that makes me vouch for today’s modern healthcare. It is my little son’s story. The dreadful story of acute bacterial pneumonia turned into a gruesome empyema. A keyhole surgery (Laparoscopy) was performed on him to remove the puss and to drain the infected pleural fluid. Thanks to modern healthcare, my son has just a small mark today, instead of a huge scar cutting across his thorax.

The two stories penned above have an eerie coincidence. Yes, they happened at the same time. It all happened like clockwork, with the two most important people in my life battling with indescribable pain and agony, almost concurrently. And there lay my battered soul, clinging to the hope that the doctors provided. Looking back, I realize how lucky we were to have access to excellent healthcare facilities, without which there wouldn’t have been a ‘normal today’.

Minimally scarred body, maximally healed life. That’s one of the greatest promises today’s modern healthcare provides. If not for its intervention, my life’s trajectory would’ve been poles apart from what it is today. Till date, when illnesses invade our peace, I keep telling myself, ‘This too shall pass’. That word slips my mouth, JUST because of today’s healthcare.

Thank you God. Thank you doctors. You’ve not only touched my life, you’ve made it livable. 

(This post is an entry to the Apollo Hospitals - Indiblogger 'Touching lives' contest. you can read more about the hospital here: http://www.apollohospitals.com/cutting-edge.php)

18 comments:

  1. very nicely expressed ! All the Best for the contest !

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  2. Hi Malini
    Thank God for timely and good medical intervention. Stay blessed.

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  3. This is an unbelievable story! Yes, modern healthcare is amazing nowadays! Thank god, you have come out of the bad phase. This is a lesson for everyone, Malini!

    I had never heard of T.M. until now. Take care.

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  4. Thank God that that too did pass. And the doctors too

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    1. hmm, yes Suresh! Life is all about passing clouds right! This just happened to be a thunderstorm, that's all :)

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    1. Welcome to my blog Innerdialect! Thanks for the compliment. By the way, you have a lovely blog. I guess we met at the Indiblogger TOI meet.

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  6. Oh! Must be really difficult times for you. My FIL is bedridden, God knows what's the problem. He was working as a Dean, fully active till last month.

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    1. This happened a couple of years back Saru! And the courage that it implanted in me has stayed with me since then. I'm sorry about your FIL's sudden health issue. He is in my prayers.

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    2. I know, lessons learnt in tough times are permanent. Called him just now, nothing serious, he needs to take rest. He was working too much.

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  7. If only I could write as well as you, Malini, your post struck a chord. Have had a share of those hovering clouds so could relate to the post.I am glad it is all over now. The two men in your life should be proud they have a super strong woman with them.Good luck for the contest.

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    1. Thank you Sonia. Glad that you could relate to the post.

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  8. This too shall pass - how often i say that!
    Glad you overcame them well.

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  9. Hi Malini,

    One of my very good friends was recently diagnised with TM and is currently being treated at NIMHANS, Bangalore. But the doctors are not giving them a clear understanding of what will be his position, his treatement options etc. Can you please suggest any good docs or hospitals who have successfully treated TM patients.

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