Let me first tell you that I am in my 20’s, and I now know the relevance of October 13 – World Thrombosis Day – in my life, because I know how it feels to survive with this condition.
It was supposed to be just another Monday in my life. With energy and a fresh approach, I woke up at around 7 am. Just two months old at my second job, I was all set to start my day. But wait! A minor headache encouraged me to nap for a few more minutes.
After 10 minutes, I finally gathered the courage to get out of my bed. It was, I guessed, a minor headache that was making me feel lazier compared to other days.
Somehow, that morning of April 24, 2017, had its own significance in my life. That morning! When getting ready for office turned out to be more than a painful headache for me; when moving out of bed felt like climbing a tree; when things were blurry everywhere: in my mind, in my eyes, in my life.
Aware of my situation and habits, my uncle understood how adamant I was about not bunking office. He tried all the possible ways to make me feel comfortable before I started my day. Assuming that it was a heat stroke, he prepared everything from aam panna, sattu, to nimbu pani and what not. Ironically, I puked out every drop that I had. The condition was getting worse by the minute. The puking became so disastrous that even getting out of bed to puke led to further injuries on various body parts several times.
Finally, after trying hard to strengthen myself, I broke down and started weeping like a kid. I couldn’t bear a headache, which was gradually penetrating all through my body. Soon I could feel the right half of my body going dead. Going to the washbasin was now a journey full of dangers, which included falling on the ground, clashing with the cupboard and much more. Moving out of bed and going to the washbasin to puke was as painful as a headache. Not only had the right side of my body surrendered, the left side was trembling continuously.
Both my uncle and I wondered what it was, if not a heat stroke. That’s when my uncle realized that it was much graver than just a heat stroke – and called an ambulance immediately. In less than half an hour, I was on a stretcher while glucose was being injected into my body. Almost unconscious, I could still feel the chaos around me in the hospital.
Within three days of being in the ICU, the doctors declared that it was Cerebral Thrombosis. My right limbs were paralyzed for more than four months. I was then made to realize that this problem could be solved by nothing but “strong willpower”. Proper diet, happy atmosphere, rigorous physiotherapy were the key elements – and are still the key priorities of my life. But those initial days of helplessness, when I could not move on my own to fulfil the utmost basic needs like attending nature’s call, bathing, eating, etc, were excruciating.
It was only after almost a couple of months that I could hold my cell phone and Google things, and learn about what exactly had happened to me, and why. Mind you, by this time holding my cell phone was like lifting something weighing 50 kgs. I am still struggling with muscle weakness and speed issues. According to my doctors, this disaster would take more than a year to cope with.
These six months were like re-starting my life from scratch: learning how to get up from bed to practising how to eat food on my own. It was a bittersweet feeling, as I could see my family feeling happy about my recovery. When I first got up from my bed, it was like a six-month-old kid had learned to sit on its own. On the other hand, every moment there was a scar in my heart, which reminded me, “This would not have happened if I didn’t ignore the minor headaches and tiredness which I used to face in my day-to-day life.”
Fortunately, I was supported by good physiotherapists and a motivated family, who were firm about the fact that the paralytic situation could be cured, despite it being a rare case in this age group. The best part of this chapter of my life is that I have learnt how precious one’s life could be for themselves and their family. Today, on World Thrombosis Day, I can proudly say it’s been almost six months and I have understood the real meaning of “unlearn to learn”.