Healing with human touch

Life is full of twists and turns. We brace ourselves, or rather accept the consequences of the turns we take by choice. The earth underneath is shaken, when the twists are, unexpected and undesirable.

In January 2017, my mother, a perfectly healthy woman in her early seventies, suffered a massive stroke, that left her paralyzed on the left side. It left her immobile and devoid of speech. A month long hospitalization and alternative medicines (herbal) restored partial movement. The period has been one of an emotional roller coaster for the entire family. Scouting for agencies that could provide suitable caretaker for my mother was an arduous task. An extensive search led to finalization of one. The caretaker reported to work. Just as we were putting our lives together, another avalanche was let loose. My father passed away in April,, just 3 months after she suffered a stroke. My father survived cancer without any medical intervention by sheer grit and a strong will to live. What sapped the spirit out of him was my mother’s plight.

My mother moved with me here in Bengaluru. The road to recovery was a one. Just as her cognitive functioning seemed to show signs of improvement, I thought physiotherapy sessions would help her regain her movement back. This is when I approached Dr Aruna (Smile Ever Dental Clinic) who recommended Dr Meghana. Dr Meghana’s reassuring words and persistence gave us hope. She started walking with support within a month and half. At this rate, we were hopeful that she would walk unsupported soon. But the glimmer of hope grew dim, when she suffered a post stroke seizure, for which she was hospitalized yet again. Post that, with physiotherapy sessions her recovery has started, albeit slowly.

It is difficult to fathom the functioning of the brain in a paralytic patient. There are episodes of sudden outbursts of emotion followed by total resignation. Empathy is what the patient seeks. Dr B M Hegde (Padmabhushan awardee and a renowned cardiologist), in one of his lectures suggested that the patient should be treated with tender loving care (TLC), and that is the best prescription. We, as a family, have adhered to that. As caregivers, we are responsible for ensuring that the patient is well taken care of, and the other members of the family are also attended to. My sisters and I were emotionally drained and it took a toll on our health too. It became important for us to share the responsibility, thereby giving each other some time off. The oldest shares the most burden. My sister, who is older, is inherently strong- willed and has always been a great inspiration to us all. She taught me to take on life as it comes.

The experience can be a harrowing one if one does not find a suitable medical practitioner and a good support system. Post- hospitalization period becomes crucial for a speedy recovery and we were fortunate enough to find great help in Dr Meghana and Dr Aruna. She is now stable and now i know life also takes a turn for the better.