We all do it! We get so caught up in our lives that we often fail to notice or just ignore the signals that you are receiving especially when it comes to health.
My life was perfectly normal. Married to Dinesh, a wonderful guy, blessed with a lovely daughter Sayali, a loving family and good circle of close knit friends. I was working in a big IT firm and enjoyed my job to the hilt.
My story starts around Mid 2017. We had recently moved to our lovely new house and had celebrated our daughters 10th birthday with a grand bash. Around August 2017 I started coughing. It was just a normal bout of cough. I did visit the Doctor and took medicine. It did feel like everything would be under control soon. But not really. The cough persisted. It was on and off but nothing major that I felt needed further investigation. Life went on. Busy with home and work and other things. Still no feeling of something going wrong.
My cough continued, I started doing all the home remedies, repeated another round of anti biotics but this time after completing the medicine course I started feeling a little weak. Antibiotics do have that effect on me. The doctors just gave some multi vitamins and it seemed to work.
Diwali was approaching and we had planned a trip to Dubai right after Diwali celebrations. I was still exhausted and my cough persisted. I started getting remarks from my colleagues that it was worsening but nothing seemed alarming. I started prepping for my Dubai trip. On the day of our departure I had a slight temperature. I took paracetamol and left for my vacation.
Dubai was fun and tiring. It was super hot, sandy, dry and one really has to walk a lot on these trips. We went on a sand dune safari and it kind of worsened my cough. I actually thought it was allergy to the sand, I was coughing all through my vacation and indulging myself. This was all the fun I was going to have for a long time to come. So I am happy I seized those moments.
After we returned, in a matter of 2 to 3 days, I had a fever. It was all credited to the exhaustion of the vacation and I followed another round of antibiotics. But this time around things started getting dicey. The fever left me exhausted and fatigued which didn’t seem to improve. I stopped exercising or going for walks. I had lost my appetite and most of my meals were roti with ghee and jaggery. I couldn’t stand any spicy food. I started getting nightmarish cramps in the night and they were so severe that I couldn’t sleep. I mentioned this to my sister Mamata and close friend Pradnya and we talked about doing further tests.
Our close friend Sanjeev, who is a Doctor, suggested that I visit him. We did all the tests including a chest X-ray and a 2D Echo for the heart. Most of my reports were normal except I had anaemia, low platelet count and there was some congestion in chest. A low platelet count is normally associated with dengue and we did those tests too but that was negative as well. Dr. Sanjeev suggested that I get admitted in hospital so I can get some further tests done and will get a complete rest which normally you wouldn’t get at home. The idea of getting admitted in hospital did not appeal to me at all as I felt it wasn’t required and I declined it promptly. I missed a major opportunity and compromised on my health!
I continued with my life with fatigue and exhaustion. There is one incident I would like to share which in retrospect I should have really delved into. While I was talking to Pradnya over the phone I ended up saying “please do not close your monitor I am not able to approve timesheet for you three,” It was totally out of context and I did not need to approve any time sheets in my role at work and there were no three who I needed to approve timecards for. Pradnya was shocked and we discussed what happened. I just could not pin point why I said what I did. If only I had shared this with someone in family. This is one of my biggest regrets. I ignored a major signal!
After two to three days Dinesh woke me up in the middle of night and asked me, “are you ok? You don’t seem to be able to breathe.” I was half asleep, I simply said “yes” and just went back to sleep. Dr. Sanjeev asked me to visit another specialist but by this time I had no confidence and energy to visit the doctor on my own and waited for Dinesh to accompany me. So on Saturday December 17, 2017 we visited a chest physician. He just looked at me and said you need to get admitted in hospital.
The first lesson I learnt in this journey “Don’t ignore the signals.”
Next Week: The day it collapsed – I will be talking about the day when things took ugly turn.!