Posts Tagged ‘worries’

Health worries: K1 and K2, 230418

April 24, 2018

This is what has been going on with K1 and K2, we were rather upset over the past few days, but now we are sort of accepting things and hoping for the best.

As of now, we have ordered the glasses for both the children, and the doc says the improvement in general vision will be perceptible, and that we should keep monitoring the condition every 6 months.

This upset us very much initially, but in a way, there is a relief in knowing that at least for the immediate future, there is nothing to be done.

Message from to our immediate family:

Yesterday (23 Apr 18) during testing for near sightedness and to get glasses, the eye doctors told us that K1 had a congenital condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa and K2 looked like he may have it too. At its worst, this condition causes loss of vision over time that could be complete, or just allow for tunnel vision (blackness surrounding a small area visible due to central retina functioning) by Age 35-40. This was devastating to hear yesterday and overwhelming to digest. The doctor had started telling us to “inform the children that sight is not the only thing in life” and that was very hard to take.

However, today, after taking a second opinion from Dr Savita Arun of Nethradhama, we have some hope that at its best, it could remain asymptomatic without much deterioration or loss or progress a lot slower.

Today, with second opinion, the diagnosis is confirmed for both children. The second doctor said pretty much all the same things that the doctors yesterday did, except with far more positivity. In her 18 years of experience she has seen cases that are totally asymptomatic. She has seen an 80 year old patient who was completely unaware that she even had the condition and perfectly ok vision. She has seen children who came at the same age that ours did, are older now with no reported loss so far.

K1 does already have symptoms in that she has poor night vision – we started to notice this even at Age 2. But the doc today said that her central retina looks healthy and that her vision is good. She said that in unfamiliar environments, she will not be able to navigate in dim light. Yesterday’s doc suggested that she always carry a flashlight with her.

Today’s doctor also confirmed that genetic testing may help understand the prognosis (progress timeline) because there are a great many genetic causes for the condition. She also suggested that while there was no indication of need, for our peace of mind we could get an ENT test done as well.

K2’s condition is much more mild, and therefore, less clearly diagnosed, but changes on the retina still evident. Since it is so clear for K1, there is little doubt as to what it may be for him. She did not suggest that K2’s retina is at an “earlier stage” of the same thing or anything like that – basically his retina could become more affected with time or may not change at all. He has had no vision related complaints.

The doc didn’t recommend ERG (Electro Retinogram) for now because it is an uncomfortable procedure (electrodes inside the eyelid among other things) and if the kids don’t cooperate the results will not be accurate. She also didn’t recommend field testing (sitting in a ball and pressing buttons when they see lights flash around them to determine how much loss there may be) because both appear to have no loss in field vision at the moment. So we shall seek out genetic testing for the whole fam to see how much detail we can obtain regarding what genes are causing this and what science may already be or become available us.

The next step is to get them glasses for their nearsightedness (both have astigmatism and power) and come back for evaluation in 6 months. She stressed a balanced diet for them both, but specified that there was no known way to arrest the deterioration or affect the progress of the condition.That being said, we shall read and will likely ensure our diet contains things like Vitamin A palmitate etc. which have some reported success in arresting the deterioration. Also, we have well known Ayurveda centers specifically for the eyes, so we shall go in for a consultation.

If you know ophthalmologists first hand, or have direct experience with this condition, we welcome your inputs.

Two thoughts that are helping us at the moment:
1) Random crap can happen any time but the more notice we have, the better we can respond.
2) We are more than our bodies.

Please hold positive thoughts for both our kids to retain their vision; to remain as asymptomatic as possible, with either no deterioration over their lives or the least & slowest possible.


May 11, 2012

News report:

‘The “portions” set for the exams were from “A” to “M” but the questions asked were about “T”…that was out of syllabus…several students said that if the letter had been “P” they would have done outstandingly well, pissed passed with flying colours and even given a practical demonstration.’

(Thanks to Hari Menon for some of the above.

LKG exams results

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.


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!

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

“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!

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


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!

Departure time is nearing…

April 17, 2009

People are calling and coming over and spending a lot of time with us as we prepare to leave. And…this is also a problem. Both of us love having the visitors, and we chat a lot, and the time spent with friends is very, every enjoyable…but when are we supposed to get our packing done?

I am still making lists of things to be packed rather than packing.

I have never gone away from home for as long a period as I am planning for now….so what I pack is rather crucial. There is some small stuff that is very essential to one’s comfort and that one just cannot get in the destination…so it had better not get left behind. (Eg I want to pack a lot of Hall’s mints because they are SO soothing for a sore throat, and I know of no equally good substitue in the US, which,anyway, would be pretty expensive! And medications MUST be bought here and taken…)

Packing just 15 kg in total is a kind of zen exercise; it shows me just how much I can actually live without. But still, I cannot jettison the rest. Just because I am packing only 2 silk sarees, doesn’t mean I can throw out the others!

But what to include in that 15 kg (how I long for the days when we used to travel Business Class…just three or four years ago, we had a 70 kg allowance on Business class, can you *imagine* that?) is another tortorous exercise. I like having a lot of things around me, alas…I like having the option of four pairs of footwear to choose from, for example…and I am forced not to have that luxury. If I leave something out, I cannot get it, and that fact looms large in my packing-planning.

I don’t want to either under- or over-pack, and it’s a tightrope to walk!

And while I pack, I look at my accumulate possessions.

Possessions…I think they tie one down, even as they give pleasure. But I am a pack rat and cannot throw anything away, and I am also not a cupboard-cleaner and organizer. So…both useful stuff, AND junk, accumulates….I have, for some time, been oppressed by the clutter that has piled up, but lack the will to jettison it all. (And I am worried that having got rid of it, I will want it again!)

It’s easier to do regular housekeeping from the outset; when stuff has piled up, the pile is so daunting that one puts off the pruning.

I want to get all my packing done, and do one last stint of birding, and soak in the beauty of Valley School, on Saturday morning…let’s see if that works out.

I really do NOT like going away for more than four weeks at a time, I realize! I think this is the first time in my life (after I went to my parents’ place to have my baby) that I have left home for such a long period.

All prospective burglars who are reading this, do come and clean out my home for me; it will save me the trouble and agonized decision making of “what to keep? what to throw out?”…

Diapers…Maturity…Wisdom….Lots of Each Required….

April 7, 2009

I am absolutely *petrified*…just barely able to move my fingers to type this post of my fears….

I made do with cloth diapers all through my daughter’s infancy; there were no alternatives then. I was envious when the disposable diapers came into being, and wished they had been there when I had my baby. Never mind, I thought, one day, as a grandmother, perhaps I will benefit from the convenience they represent.


I reckoned without the “what goes around comes around” factor. Now, disposable diapers are a big ecological no-no, and cloth diapers are the green (er, sometimes literally, if the baby is having loose motions!) and responsible way to go.

So I am back to the prospect of diapers, diaper pails, washing, drying, folding…oh, the works, that I was SO glad to get away from all those years ago….

I have not yet come to stuff like baby formula, pacifiers, humidifiers or the millions of other details….

I realized that I had forgotten some of my diaper-origami (more precisely, how to fold a diaper so that there is a pad of cloth down the centre.) And I found myself googlind nappy-folding sites….

Oh my goodness, I am overwhelmed. How on earth am I going to come by the store of knowledge and wisdom and maturity and patience and expertise that I am supposed to have as a grandmother? I am a TOTAL ignoramus. My daughter and son-in-law, I think, are going to send me home in disgrace in just a short while. And this, if I am successful in not dropping the baby….

Well, everything is on the internet these days, so I am probably be going to be holding The Baby in one hand and the mouse in the other.

Must email Nirmala, a friend of mine who recenly became a grandmother, and is doing a great job with her grandson, about lots of details….

For a long time now, the word “nappy” stood, in my vocabulary, for a short form of the name “Napoleon”…that’s about to change soon.

Also…with my baby, it was MY baby, and I did what I wanted to do…but with The Baby, it’s someone else’s baby, and I must do what the parents want, which may not be the same thing as what I want! For example, they may not want me to take a short cut to peace and quiet with a pacifier (I did that with my baby, until she started having one pacifier in her mouth, one in each hand, and also started dropping one, or all, of them and demanding instant replacement…at one time I was buying pacifiers by the dozen!)

If you lot read a news item in a few months about “grandmother banished back in disgrace from the US by disgusted parents of infant”…that would be…ME!

Is this helpless little one going to be, one day, the kind of confident and self-assured young woman that my daughter is today? I look back and realize what a miracle has been achieved!

How to deal with this?

November 11, 2008

If I have any work pending, I get really het up until I have finished it…I am not able to shelve things even when that is the correct thing to do. At the same time, I tend to put off wo rk (especially writing) until the deadline LOOMS dreadfully….

How do I deal with this?

While you are replying, here’s something I liked in Nandi Hills:

That, unfortunately….is ME until a writing deadline catches me by the neck….

Just finished and sent off an article, so feeling relieved and happy..maybe I shouldn’t be writing at all.


October 6, 2008

Sometimes, the most intense agony is the one that has to be borne silently…my prayers are with someone who is suffering terribly right now.

I was struck by the serenity and peace of this scene on the first floor of “Dodda Mane”, the 108-year-old house where “Malgudi Days” was shot. The books speak of reading, the chair at the window, of contemplation, peace, and a quiet pace of life….

A quiet scene, beautiful in its stillness…no TV, no video games, no hectic action. A place where a human being is not a human doing.


May 3, 2008

I want to be safe and secure. To this end, I lock my front door when I am away, or asleep. But how secure IS the front door?

Once my friend got locked out of her flat, and I called a locksmith, who demonstrated that her front door locks (both the navtal and the yale door lock) could be picked within a matter of minutes! He made a profound observation…Madam, these locks are only for YOUR self-satisfaction!
So actually I think shutting the door and locking it is not to deter…determined thieves, but to deter the casual ones, and the rest..for my own mental satisfaction.

So..the real security exists (mainly) in our perception of it….and resides in the general network of amorphous trust that exists between the people around me. I am fairly sure that though someone can, if s/he wants, break open my front door within minutes, it won’t happen within the apartment building. My neighbours opposite are away, and I do check casually that their door is properly locked…

Also, I think that I must assess the value of what I have to be protected, how important it is to me, and what the replacement-ability (er, you know what I mean) and the replacement-value would be, and take measures accordingly. Jewellery cannot be stored at home; it must be kept in a bank locker, for example. Neither should large amounts of cash be kept at home. Credit cards and cheque books should generally be kept locked up even within the home…and so it goes.

And sometimes, I do use two reasonably known entities as a check on each other. Right now, the building electrician (whom I have known for several years) is working in my home. And I need to step out to buy vegetables. So when my maid (whom,also, I know very well, including exactly where she lives) comes to clean the flat, I will tell her, “just keep an eye out, Prakash is working”, and go out for about 20 minutes and get my work done. Each will keep an eye on the other (or at least, I hope that they will not form an unholy and rapacious alliance to loot me!) and I too will be able to step out for a bit without worry. I use my knowledge of the risks, or lack of them, and construct my security according to that. I know that no security can withstand the determined security-breaker (so many novels and films are based just on this opinion!), but I trust that the security will hold up to a reasonable level. What is reasonable, though? That…varies from person to person.

I think internet security is also similar to this…one takes a reasonable level of precaution against being spammed or hacked…and trusts that the rest will go well, too.

What say, kalyan? If everyone did this, security firms might not come into existence at all…obviously, this solution will not work for everyone!

The best security systems, though, are ones that rely what is unique to the user: fingerprints, for example, or iris-of-the-eye. I can never understand why passports do not have the fingerprints of the holder, it is such an easy and unique parameter to have and the passport holder can never say s/he hasn’t brought hes fingers along! And they could be so easily compared, too. In fact I am amazed that such a simple way of eliminating the use of stolen passports (forged passports with matching fingerprints are of course possible) is not carried out…