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The 2 days which rechristened my future (I hope not …)

If you are reading for the first time then I would encourage you to begin with these articles first, When I lost my BRAIN (nearly) and 2 weeks before the Stroke as then you would get the context and this article would be relevant. If you have already read them, maybe you are eagerly waiting for this one.

2019 was the year, I had planned a lot of activities, literally planned, because, for the past 3 years before that, I was living every quarter, pivoting each time, as my startup ebbed and flowed. And bang, out of nowhere the stroke happened. #plan #future

I still believe, I will achieve my personal vision; and, I am not willing to give up so easily to the events that occurred in these two days to dictate my life. #grit #willtosucceed

First Stroke (so they say) — December 21st at the hospital 

As I headed to the emergency outpatient unit, the hand became normal, the numbness I felt an hour back disappeared and this was synonymous with symptoms of TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). I waited for 15 minutes and the doctor (who looked a bit like Einstein, with his hairstyle) heard me out and did nothing to my numbness and said he could diagnose at the moment. It was close to six in the evening and we returned home taking the bus.

I was feeling very tired and took a nap and woke up at around eight and dinner was ready, but the tiredness was still there. Rekha gave me a plate with rice and Rasam (a South Indian speciality – let’s say it is a spiced up lentil soup) and maybe after about two minutes, the plate slipped from my hand and I felt a terrible giddiness for the first time; the way that my brain was clouded and that the power to hold with the right hand was gone and a strange uneasiness engulfed me. My speech began to slur, and I immediately asked Rekha to call for a cab to go to the hospital again.

At the hospital, the same doctor was there, and he was finishing off his shift. Again, he was not able to Diagnose anything in spite of me telling him about the slurred speech & weakness in my hand and till today that perplexes me, why was he not able to diagnose anything. He said, if I feel the same thing tomorrow morning, then I should return, and he waved me off.

I was not giving up as I could feel that something was way off with me and so I told Rekha that we would wait here for another half hour and see. And in half-hour, I could not walk well and my speech was getting slurred more and I told Rekha to get a doctor from the in-patient emergency. The doctor came and asked me something (I do not remember what she asked me) but I remember trying to zip my jacket without much success and seeing me struggle she said in a panicky voice that I was having a stroke.

Then the stretcher came to wheel me away for an MRI and Rekha had gone to register me in. All I remember for the next hour was that they wheeled me to some floor for the MRI as I was in an escalator and I was asking for Rekha while the lights on the corridor were having a fading effect as I was slipping away.

The next thing I remember was that I was on the ground floor in the doctors' room and she was filling the paperwork to transfer me to another hospital because the hospital we went near our home was not a specialist stroke unit. The ambulance people were next to me waiting to wrap me and get the transfer request and go. And by a miracle, I started talking normally with the doctor and it seemed that nothing had happened to me. The ambulance folks were astonished and said to me, “you seem to be ok, it seems nothing was wrong and everything will be ok. You are very strong” and the doctor words resonates in my ear even today when she said, ”you just had a stoke an hour ago and this is not possible”. I was transferred to Klinikum Harlaching which is one of the stroke speciality hospitals in Munich to conduct a thorough check-up.

One common sentence which I have been hearing from this day until now too, is – ”we have a young patient”; that is wherever I go, be it to a hospital or any specialist doctor or rehab. The age factor is for another blog because this would establish a trend for doctors and medical fraternity (in Germany, I hope) as a whole and create awareness for my readers.

So we reach the hospital around midnight and ”the young patient” is mentioned, right from the ambulance personnel to the receptionist at the emergency desk to the assistant doctor who receives and finally the main doctor. There was some frantic activity, as it should be as it was an emergency. They wheel my stretcher to the ICU and put on every machine to monitor me. But as I am fine, the doctors just converse with me about the happenings of the evening and give me a few tablets to rest off the night, while stating to me that all the medical parameters are ok and there is nothing to be alarmed. 

In the morning, the assistant doctor comes and tells me that they think it’s a bout of epilepsy only and says “nothing to worry and you can go home in a couple of hours”. So, I called Rekha to tell her to come as soon as possible to go home. It was a relief to hear that there was nothing major but at the same time, honestly, I was just about feeling ok in comparison to the last evening. A bit of a wobbly feeling in my head, like it, became from really clouded from the evening to a fog-like feeling at that moment. 

Before even Rekha reached the hospital, they had asked me to vacate the ICU and wait on the chairs placed at the end of the corridor as they prepared my discharge reports. After about 30 minutes, Rekha and I took the bus and reached home and all the while the fog-like feeling remained.

The whole afternoon I slept and, in the evening, I skyped with my parents, had dinner and slept again, maybe out of tiredness. In the middle of the night, I woke up to go to the toilet and Rekha tells me well after the stroke that I was walking in a dizzy. But I came back and slept only to wake up in the morning having the same clouded feeling and the speech was slurred again. The routine had to be done again, call the ambulance and go to Harlaching. The ambulance folks came, and I walked up to the ambulance and went to the hospital, sitting all the way. There at the hospital, they asked me to get into a wheelchair and you have to wait to read about the Hungama which unfolded on 23rd December, the second day, the operation and the repercussions, in the following blog.

If you had read my last article, I want you to think about the health goals, you already created and how you are achieving them. If you haven’t set any goals, that is not at all ok and it’s time to do it. Please share it with your family and friends and ask them to monitor the goals or help you achieve it.

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