Updated: Oct 16, 2019
How much are you aware of your BODY?
We live in times where we look at materialistic things or our intelligence as the currency for a living. This is not bad, but as the cliché goes, “we need a well-oiled engine to run” the rat race. But we don’t even stop in a while to refuel, be it to periodically check the engine.
I will come to, how much I was aware of my body before the stroke - When I lost my BRAIN (nearly) and how it helped me but for now, I want you to introspect a bit about yourself first. When was the last time you went and had a master checkup or when was the last time you thoroughly researched about what your doctor said or what medicines they prescribed or when was the last time you kept your scheduled appointment with the doctors or when was the last time you researched if you had adequate healthcare insurance (for Indian residents especially) or when was the last time you went to the gym for 3 months nonstop (at least 3-4 days a week) or walked everyday for 30-45 minutes? And if you did 50% of this or at least the exercise bit, then you will be aware of your body a fair bit, if not, then time to introspect.
The last few years – the beginning of the awareness
My family and close friends know how much my tastes and preferences have radically changed in the last few years. I was one, who would want half of my sub sandwich or pizza loaded with jalapeños or I would love Chilli in any curry or the works of the same, a decade back and I had no taste buds, all burnt, like most Indians. Be it living in Europe and eating just salad or sandwich for lunch or be it the single malts or beers or be it that the restaurants in Europe doesn’t serve up that heat in the dishes or all of it, I can’t pinpoint a pattern but suddenly the palette which was never there began to grow into me, the smells and the aromas got me going and a handful of Jalapeños would make me run to loo. The awareness of my body began!
The first symptoms (maybe)
The first symptom and I write “maybe”, because I don’t know and the doctors certainly don’t know till now, if it ever was a symptom or not, but I felt something different and it was the first time I ever felt that way.
A twitch on the right lip with a certain feeling of numbness which lasted for maybe 60-120 seconds. I just felt not right at all. Maybe it was the cold or it’s effect, because from December, you constantly move from freezing cold into heating and vice versa. I told my wife that I felt a strange feeling and would wait for it to re-appear before heading to the GP.
One week later, the same feeling lasting the same time and I was curious to know about it and went to the GP the next morning. The GP said what I was imagining; maybe the cold and said he can't diagnose anything for the moment.
It was a feeling of your brain clouding and for the time you can't remember anything at all, you feel dizzy and your awareness makes you concentrate on the lip which is twitching.
The medical parameters leading up to the 21st December 2018
I have been diabetic for a long time but my HbA1c was 6.7 (Less then 7 is said to be under control). The LDL (Bad Cholesterol) was 71 and the doctors want me to be under 70 after the stroke and if you are below 130 as a normal person without any health conditions is considered good. And the best of all I had lost 17 Kgs in 5 months before my stroke.
Why I am sharing this is; I was monitoring my health always and was aware of what needed to be done and more so because I hit the age of 40 and I want you to take it as seriously as I was / I am and be on top of your health game. The second one is to be aware of the numbers so that you do not just discount it as borderline or something else and share your research and your goals with your friends and family.
Finally, the awareness of my body is why, that I went to the doctor in the first the place and doctors who operated me said "You are so lucky that, the stroke wasn't so severe than it could have been and that is because you rushed to the emergency"
As usual, I went to the German class in the afternoon and that being the end of that course, was eager to spend the rest of the evening with batch mates over a beer. When I got out of the underground station to the cold I felt the gloom again and I stumbled and regained my steps; it was maybe for 20-30 seconds, that’s all. I went to class and in 20 minutes my right arm began to pain and strange numbness set in as if it was a big cramp. I immediately got up from the class and paced the hallway shrugging off my arm to give more blood flow, just like you would do for cramps. It did not get better. So I went washed it with hot water and kept shrugging it.
It was ok for 2 minutes and I returned to the class, but my eyesight was blurry, strange, as it was not like that 15 minutes before and the pain/numbness returned and I got up to shrug my hands again in the hallway. This entire episode may have been for 45 – 60 minutes in total, that's when I said to my self that I need to go to the emergency and check it out. So left the class abruptly and called my wife who was working from home and said that I would meet her at the bus station close to home and we would go the hospital and check as I was feeling terribly strange and the pain/numbness was pointing to a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). I knew that because of my unending adventure of learning.
What happens in the hospital will be revealed in my next blog. Till then I want you to think about yourself and your family and friends and gauge how much you are aware of yourself and how much more you have to educate yourself about your body.
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