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Two Strokes and You're Out!! Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Vijay_Nath, United States Dec 28, 2002
Health   Opinions


Also during this stay I was visited by two psychologists because the doctors believed that someone in my shoes should be going through feelings of depression and were concerned that I wasn’t really showing these emotions since I was always cheerful and made jokes when they visited me. I explained to them that I had grown up with a very solid grounding and it would take more than this to cause depression – but I did admit feeling homesick. I had not seen my mother and younger sister for nearly ten years. My sister was eight years old when I left home and she would soon be graduating high school and even though I had called them often and spoken to both on the phone, I definitely missed them a lot.

By the end of May, NSUH discharged me saying that I was stable now and should be safe if I stuck to my medicine regimen. They also prescribed a migration to Lovenox (low molecular weight heparin) from the Coumadin I had been taking since February. The only issue with Lovenox was that it had to be subcutaneously injected and I had to learn how to inject myself.

The doctors encouraged me to take this opportunity to visit India and see my sister and mother again. So I did.

Home coming!

June 1,1999. I limped off the British Airways flight that had brought me home after being away ten years. My mom was there to greet me and after a teary reunion, we headed home.

From the taxi I could see how much even a bustling, ancient city like Delhi had changed in a decade. Many new skyscrapers loomed where single story factories and homes had been not too long ago. Once we reached home a strange weariness grew on me. It got so bad that I was forced to use a cane to move around. Due to this condition, which I dismissed as jet lag, I did not leave the house for two days.

On the third day home, I got up early and went to help my mom with the usual morning chores that we grew up with – mainly filling up our water stores before the public supply was shut off – this normally happens daily around 10 am. However, my mom did not want me helping her due to my weakened state and ordered me back to my room. I retired back to my armchair and turned on the TV. Mom had just signed up for cable (a new luxury in India) and started to watch CNN.
I had trouble seeing colors so I decided to manually adjust the picture. As I was bending over to play with the controls, my body suddenly went numb and I crashed to the floor, dislocating my right arm and fracturing (hairline) my back.

I lay unconscious on the floor for about 15 minutes. I was awakened by my mother kneeling beside me screaming with tears streaming down her face. I kept hearing her voice, far away it seemed, urging me to get up, but the floor felt so cool and comforting in the growing heat of the day that I just lay there hugging the ground.

Finally, the ambulance arrived and I was carted off to the best hospital in India – All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMMS) – the same one that Indira Gandhi was rushed to after her assassination. After spending four hours waiting on a stretcher in the lobbies of the overfilled hospital we were turned away because no beds were available.

We then proceeded to another hospital a few miles away only to find intolerable sanitary conditions. I guess I had really been spoiled by the NY hospitals and could not bear lying on a hospital bed that was no more than a wooden frame with jute rope lashed across it to provide support and a bamboo pole holding up IV bags that resembled trash containers. Yes, I believe I have been Americanized!!

A Step Up

With me being treated temporarily in this makeshift medical facility, my mom was outside figuring out where she could take me next. In a desperate attempt she called her own homeopathic doctor for advice. He happened to know a doctor who had just returned from America who was starting a private hospital closeby. The only problem was that the hospital had not yet opened for business – we were a week too early. Mom never gave up hope though, and proceeded to call this doctor.

After hearing my story and realizing that quick treatment was crucial, he agreed to admit me immediately. We got over there later that day, I was relieved to find a superior medical staff and facilities than I had experienced the last few hours. This hospital was even better than NSUH and I was impressed with the capabilities of the doctors attending me. I was then to face an exhaustive battery of tests as they figured out what was happening inside me.

The Diagnosis

After an MRI, it was revealed that I had suffered a stroke. The scan had shown infarcts (small clots) in the left side of the brain. Additionally, when I tried to move I found that my right side was partially paralyzed even though my speech had not been impaired.

I was put on a new regimen of medicines as the doctors prepared me for the journey back to the U.S.
My doctors in Manhasset were called to inform them of my current situation and before the end of the week I was on a plane with my mom back to America.


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