Posts Tagged ‘health’

Summer, and surgery, 190814

August 20, 2014

Even if school has begun, summer evenings are fun times.

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Kobe is the little

Shih Tzu

(no, that’s not Shit Su, that name comes from the Chinese for Lion Dog!) that the neighbours, Sandy and Michael, have.

When the mother is very allergic to cats and dogs, the family can’t have pets, but the next best thing is playing with the Dog-Next-Door! (That’s Mike in the background.)

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As Sandy trims the lawn, Kobe (named after Kobe Bryant), frolics with KTB.

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Green grass and blue skies are made to run and jump around.

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And then sit and communicate, without words:

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Meanwhile, the brother goes into surgery for

adenoidectomy

not with any apprehension, but a huge joy at all the gadgets surrounding him!

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The toys in the children’s ward are great, too!

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And can you believe how chipper he is, back home in the evening after the surgery was successfully done:

Here’s our summer girl…

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and our surgery boy:

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Their smiles and play light up my heart!

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A heritage doctor, 180314

March 20, 2014

I first visited Dr H Suresh’s clinic in 4th T Bl ock in Jayanagar, in 1979, when my daughter was 6 months old. She’d been having severe diarrhoea for two weeks, and I was at my wits’ end as I was staying with some friends and desperately worried about her health.

Dr Suresh’s clinic was called “Deepa Clinic”, and that formed a further bond. I learnt that it was his daughter’s name. He promptly treated my infant daughter, who recovered.

When we moved to J P Nagar in 1997, my neighbour told me about a G P who ran his clinic nearby. “He’s not too high-and-mighty to see everyday ailments,” she told me, “He’s our family doctor.” So, when KM was ailing, I went along with her…and there it was, Deepa Clinic, at the same place where it existed in 1979.

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Over the years, since then, Dr Suresh has treated our family for so many ailments. He is a General Practitioner in the true sense of the word….he sees all patients. He has also been the only doctor I know, who made house calls. When we brought back my father-in-law from the US, who had suffered a stroke at 84,and was getting progressively worse with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as a series of strokes that ultimately carried him off 3 years later, it was Dr Suresh who came home regularly to check on him, and prescribed such minor medications as would keep my father-in-law reasonably comfortable.

When my daughter married, and she and our son-in-law came to visit, he treated their coughs and colds, too, and stomach ailments. They swore by his treatment.

Dr Suresh is a doctor of vast experience; when he finds something wrong in a patient that is out of the ordinary, he immediately lets us know and refers us to the specialist in the field. This happened with at least three friends of mine…one brought his wife, who was promptly diagnosed with stomach cancer; and two more major ailments.

And now, I took my grandchildren also to him. True to form, he did not prescribe antibiotics for my son in law or my grand-daughter, but said that my grandson did have a bacterial infection which needed to be treated with antibiotics. This is something I like very much in him…he does not prescribe medicines unnecessarily….another rarity in today’s world. He’s much more likely to dose us with some of the tablets on his desk, and by the time we go back for a repeat consultation 3 days later, we are cured!

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Dr Suresh continues to be a General Physician….he does not aspire to be a specialist, but his wide experience of seeing patients stands him in good stead in treating people. He is most unusual, and to me, worthy of great respect, that he has continued in this same location, for the past 35 years (at least)…and preserves the quality of his life by taking days off on birthdays and his wedding anniversary. I do not know his wife, son, and daughter (and their families) personally…but I feel that they must be lucky, indeed, to have such a wise and contented person.

I salute this physician who has become that rare wonder, the Family Physician. Doctors like him are very, very rare, and I hope Dr Suresh a very long, happy and healthy life, bringing health and happiness to all the patients he treats!

The blood group must be your motto…….B+ .

September 9, 2013

There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,

I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.

My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.

I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in

And arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go out in the street.

Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.

My memory’s failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Old age is golden I’ve heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder, as I go to bed.

With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
And my glasses on a shelf, until I get up.

And when sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?

The reason I know my Youth has been spent,
Is my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went!

But really I don’t mind, when I think with a grin,
Of all the places my get-up has been.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the obits.

If my name is missing, I’m therefore not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and jump back into bed.

The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old.

It is better to say “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we are in.

Boarding the Treatment Train to the Terminus of Good Health

August 13, 2013

Life has a way of suddenly rearing up and throwing stink-bombs at you….a young friend of mine (25 years old!) has been diagnosed with a 2-cm hole in the heart, which, by virtue of its position, needs major surgery for closure (sometimes such holes can be fixed laparoscopically.) In the course of the diagnosis, diabetes was also discovered, and the path towards surgery has become further complicated. I feel miserable that I am so far away from this young couple at this time. However, the internet allows me to keep in touch, and I wrote to them, likening their lives now to a train journey….the Passenger Train to the Good Health Terminus.

I feel this simile is apt, because once ill health strikes, there is the hopeful journey forward towards eventual good health…but it will have a lot of stops along the way, like a passenger train. There will be good stations, and bad ones…good things, and not-so-good things, will happen. But the train will go rolling on….

Another thing I have found, while dealing with projected plans of action, is that “healthy (pun intended) pessimism” works for me. I *expect* delays and checks…so if they happen, yes, I can take them in my stride…and if they don’t…I feel happy that this part of the journey is smoothly accomplished.

Having said this…I think that it is NOT easy to continuously feel positive. There are the doubts, the “why me”, and the “what if”. They keep rising like thickets of weeds, in our mind. It’s a constant
battle and we have to keep fighting! Prayer, puja, homa, friends, family, humour, meditation…I take whatever help comes along. The confidence that I build up this way is the currency that will get me through this difficult train ride!

In a way, I suppose, this way of handling things works for me, no matter what difficulties I face in life. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to laugh at myself, and at my checks and reverses, and to me, being able to deal positively with the stink bombs is the ultimate victory. RSH (Random Shit Happens)…but if we are able to grapple with the shit and move forward, we have been successful in defeating what life has thrown at us.

How cycling can help….

July 18, 2012

see Chiddu’s blog about how someone I know very well has beaten the odds for more than a decade

Chiddu campaigns ceaselessly against vaccination, which, he says, is the only instance of medicine intervening actively in healthy people’s lives. I’d not agree with him wholly, but certainly sometimes, expensive treatments seem not to be needed…if a determined and sustained effort is made.

To breathe better…

January 13, 2012

Overlooking facts and hoping for the best is a human trait….both D and A have breathing difficulties, and, indeed, A could never live far away from her inhaler, when she was in Bangalore. But of course, I was hoping that KTB would not develop any breathing issues….well, reality supervened, and they had to take her to the doctors’ to help her breathe a bit better.

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She’s having albutrol to help her breathe easier.

It was heart-wrenching to see this photo, until I thought of the children whose health is far worse than just an attack of asthma…that helped me put it in perspective, and today, on G video chat, I was able to laugh and talk to a perfectly-normal (except for the occasional cough) grand-daughter.

Parents bring up their children through gadzillion tense moments like these….a healthy and happy child is nothing short of a series of miracles!

Adac

October 17, 2011

A great loneliness sits upon me.
The world seems a vast desert tract
Where exists no human being
That I can call friend,
I am alone…I cannot attract
A single living thing
To myself….I see
Only a thorny path without end.

Don’t worry about my writing in this sad strain…
It’s only because of my awful migraine!

Today…one friend rang,
And another called on me;
Through my headache, my heart sang
I had a chat with one, with the other, some tea.
Several comforted me on Facebook;
As soon as they took a look
At my status update.
They all comforted me…early or late.

This is the millionth time but I’ll say it again…
Whether I’m hale or fighting a migraine….
Men or women, boys or girls,
Friends are like shining pearls.
No one can be luckier than me…
I have enough pearls for LOTS of jewellery.

I am so lucky…if just a headache makes me feel this way, how must people with chronic pain feel, how difficult their lives must be! I cannot fault any ill person for being crabby or irritable.

The subject title? Add a “he” to both sides of it!

Cycling,and dogs

September 14, 2011

On the cycling group that I belong to, we’ve been having a big debate about cycling…and dogs…rather the menace that many cyclists face from dogs. Though some of us were only advocating getting stray dogs in the city neutered, several people thought we were advocating killing the dogs, and reacted heatedly, saying that dogs have as much right to life as we do, and must not be exterminated. In one instance where a young boy had allegedly been bitten to death by dogs, they quoted a newspaper report that said that the boy had been murdered, and THEN dogs had bitten his body, and that covered up the murder (which I think is as horrible.)

The debate has been waxing fast and furious, and no one seems willing to admit the truth, which is that even after repeated requests to our corporators, no one comes to capture the dogs and neuter them, and the political will to do this seems to be lacking. Cyclists, and pedestrians, are still at risk…and not only from stray dogs, I feel. When a dog bites you, you generaly have no way of finding out if it is rabid or not…and you have to go through the pain and expense of anti-rabies injections.

I’ve twice gone through this experience, once with a stray dog-bite and once with a bite from a pet dog where the owners hid inside the house, and I could not assume that such irresponsible ownerw would have given the shots properly.

For some reason, when I am on a cycle, dogs seem to get really aggressive, and I’ve often escaped being bitten only by an inch. And there have been several instances of children being bitten, too.

However, the last email in this thread was both informative and entertaining:

“I was walking down the road and a cutesy-pie Labrador was lying by the
side of the road tied up. I’ve always loved dogs. All my life. Had one
when I was a kid. Am great with most dogs. So, I wasn’t in the lest
bit afraid and I simply walked past (mind you, there wasn’t room to
walk anywhere else since the rest of the road was under water). 3
steps past, no warning, no growl, no snarl, no howl, I got bitten from
behind.

“Yes, that’s right. This damn ‘lovable’ Labrador literally crept up
behind me and bit me! And he drew friggin’ blood!! The owners came
running out and were laughing. LAUGHING!!! They said that the dog
tended to do this so they keep him inside but they tied him up on the
road because they were cleaning the house. WTF?!?!

“Anyway, I went to the hospital and got checked out and had to take a
bunch of rabies injections. 3 apparently was safe because if the dog
is domesticated, its usually vaccinated (or so people think). Me being
suspicious me, I decided to check anyway. I went back to that house in
the evening and badgered the people. Long story short, I bugged them
for the vaccinations records until they admitted that the rabies
vaccine had expired because THEY DIDN’T GIVE THE DOG ITS SHOT THAT
YEAR!! The obnoxious plonker also had the gall to be offended that I
might think I could have caught something from his ‘pure-bred Labrador
imported from New zealand’. He seemed to think that I should feel
honoured to be bitten by a pure-bred dog.

“Another incident. When I was footloose and fancy-free, I spent a month
bouldering at Hampi. We had an entire pack of dogs which had been
‘adopted’ by the local hippie, trippie travellers who fed them. We’d
get followed around everywhere by these things till it became a real
problem and here’s why. No matter how lovable stray dogs seem, you
CANNOT treat them like your own dog. And this is something people seem
to forget. You can’t shoo it away, yell at it or smack it when its
been naughty. It’ll be friendly as long as you feed it. The second it
feels threatened, it’ll react and boy you’d better watch out. One of
my friends had been taking care of one of the dogs for an entire
month. One day it was getting in his way and he sort of pushed it
aside. It simply turned around and bit him. He was from the US and
while he could take one anti-rabies shot here, he ended up paying a
fortune for the other 5 in the US.

“Another of the same group headed to Hyderabad. Walking around in the
city a stray just ran up and sank its teeth into his leg. And no,
there was no provocation of any sort. Same result for him.

“Reality check! It doesn’t matter whether its a mongrel or a pure
breed, stray or pet dog. If you get bitten, you need shots. Its just a
question of how many. If it hasn’t been proved that the dog has had
its shots, you need MORE shots. And last but not the least,
vaccinations or not IT BLOODY HURTS!!

“For all you self righteous pacifists out there, understand that these
creatures you are talking about aren’t always the fuzzy, lovable
creatures you think they are. And the ones around these parts have
developed an aggressive pack mentality which I haven’t seen before. My
dog used to run with a pack when I was a kid but I NEVER saw any
aggression from any of those dogs. And I never heard of any of such
incidents. I don’t know whats changed but the packs today are a real
threat. I don’t think they should all be exterminated but I sure as
hell think they should all be neutered. Only thing is, they breed
faster than we can neuter them. So, I’m very clear, the aggro ones
reported should be put down.

“However, I think the same thing should be extended to pet dogs. In
recent times I’ve seen wayyyy too many crazy, aggro pet dogs. Perhaps
its because many people today seem to think the idea of a dog is cute
but are confronted with harsh reality when they have a pup for a few
months. A stuffed animal doesn’t pee and shit everywhere and gnaw on
everything. So they leave them to their own devices, neglect them or
beat them, turning them into monsters. And this new fad for getting
big, aggressive foreign breeds, not really meant to be house pets has
added to it. If a dog acts out and bites someone in puiblic, the owner
needs to be fined and, if there’s more than a couple of complaints,
the same law for street dogs should apply to pet dogs. They need to be
put down too while the owner needs to be punished severely!

“In hindsight, it wasn’t funny at all..”

I am laughing so much, I can’t stop..and all I have to say is, “That wasn’t hindsight, that was hindbite!” I do empathise with this person, I’ve been in the same situation, but I just wanted to share his extremely humorous account with all of you!

For those with kidney problems

September 9, 2011

Click

here

For my article.

Click

here

for the website of Bangalore Kidney Foundation.

Migraine Auras, and Scintillating Scotomata

August 20, 2011

For more than a year or two, I have, at random times, had the experience of a brightly pulsating, geometric-design spiral “unfurl” within my vision field….

So, when it happened a couple of days ago, I suddenly decided to see if I could read up about it (Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas’ FB comment that “Everything is just a Google away” stuck in my mind!), and I found

this

is what it was.

However, in my case, migraine headaches don’t always seem to follow the scotoma event (though this time, I did get a migraine yesterday, about 24 hours after the scotoma, which made me terribly nauseous and tired after the migraine attack was over) so I guess I seem to have

acephalgic migraine

most of the time…

The scintillating scotoma is rather a spectacular display, I must say…

click here

and in that, if you see the illustration of the spiral geometricscotoma, over the title, “Entry to art contest, Migraine Images, 1991″ …that’s almost precisely what I see, unfurling and expanding across my vision.

Here’s an almos precise description of what I experience, from the webpage above:

just had my first aura, without headache, yesterday. I had a breakfast of fresh pear and banana with yogurt at 9 a.m., then had a weight machine workout at 10 a.m. 15 minutes after the workout, I sat down at my computer and opened a document to read. I immediately noticed that I could not ‘see’ the word I was focusing on! The effect was similar to the local vision loss you get after having looked at a bright light. It’s not like the local area was ‘black’ – it was just ‘missing’. After a couple of minutes, the small vision loss area began to drift to the left in my field of vision. I began experimenting with it by moving my finger horizontally and vertically through the vision loss area. I found that the blind spot remained when I covered either eye. At first, the blind spot moved left without getting any larger.

It was at this time that I witnessed the most bizarre phenomenon, which I have not read in the many personal accounts of aura on the Web. I opened a blank document on the computer and placed a letter on it. Then I adjusted my center of vision until the letter was in the blind spot. As soon as the letter was in the blind spot, the letter immediately began to reciprocate left and right in a very regular pattern both in time and space (‘tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock’) even though I was keeping my eyes and center of vision perfectly still. The letter moved a distance of about 1/2” and back in about 1 second for each ‘tick-tock’. It was as if my brain was trying to move the letter to a point where it could ‘see’ it, but couldn’t decide on which way to move it!!

Yes, I was focusing on a point well to the right of the scotoma. The scotoma at that time was still very small, only about the size of the letter. The letter disappeared just momentarily, then it reappeared, alternating very regularly from left of the scotoma to right of the scotoma, never simultaneously on both left and right. But I was struck that this happened even when I very consciously kept my eyes, and center of vision perfectly still. It appeared to be a succession of two stationary images. It didn’t ‘slide’ back and forth; it ‘toggled’ back and forth. I just saw the alternation of the two positions.

This phenomenon so interested me that I had not noticed something else going on further out in my field of vision. In the lower left quadrant, there was a vague sawtooth arc of scintillating images. I wouldn’t say they were ‘colorful’, yet they had a quality that was almost colorful. At first, they were just sort of superimposed on the field of vision, without blinding me to what was behind them. But a minute or so after I noticed the sawtooth arc, it suddenly expanded into a large blind area consisting of a complete semicircle ‘C’ shape covering the entire left half of my field of view, as it also expanded all the way to the edge of my field of view. I think it may even have ‘thickened’, meaning the inner edge move closer to my center of vision. Before this, I had just been fascinated, but not at all worried. But when this major progression happened so quickly, it suddenly occurred to me that I may be having a stroke or brain aneurism, and I feared that I might be losing consciousness! Since no one else was at home, I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. I also became confused and had a little trouble actually dialing the phone and talking to the dispatcher. Later after reading other migraineur accounts, I believe my confusion was probably part of the aura.

When I hung up the phone, I stood up and began to walk around a little bit. It struck me that I was not the least bit dizzy or physically sick or anything. Then, the symptoms completely receded over a period of just a minute or so. By the time the ambulance arrived 15 minutes later, the symptoms were completely gone. I sheepishly walked out to greet the ambulance crew and reported my experience. They had no idea what had happened to me. They took my blood pressure, pulse and blood sugar, all of which were normal. After they left, I went back to my office and Googled ‘temporary vision loss’ and immediately got hundreds of hits on migraine aura. The many descriptions I have read on the Web left no doubt that this is what had happened to me.

I can’t decide whether I can just leave this alone..and probably try for better sleep (which is a notorious problem for me) or whether I should go to a neurologist …I’ve already checked out with an eye doctor, who’s reassured me that it’s nothing to do with my vision.)

However, the point I want to make is…if any of you have something unusual like this happening to you…don’t, as I did, take it too casually (I thought it was something like the usual “threads” that one sees in the field of one’s vision.)…Get it checked out. It may (like in my case) be nothing very serious…but if it is, you can get treated quickly. I’m glad this turned out to be not a big deal!