Monday, September 27, 2010

six weeks

six weeks today after the surgery, and i am almost back to "normal". my left arm has regained much of its power. my voice is now much stronger too, though not completely back to normal. the numbness in my fingers and arm persists, but that will take time, i am told. the physiotherapy continues.

it is amazing how the human body can heal itself.

my family has been with me through all this, taking care of me through the pain, the surgery and after. i am fortunate to have them around me. it is lucky we don't keep score within a family, for their love and care is a debt i cannot repay.

many of my friends - from school, college and later - called, visited, sent SMS and email. they lifted my spirits and reminded me again how lucky i am to have them in my life.

as for the team at CMC, vellore : the neurosurgeons, the anaesthetists, the nurses, the physiotherapists - all of who contributed to making me pain-free again, and started me on the path to healing - they have my eternal gratitude.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


so what happens when the brakes are suddenly applied on a life apparently going full steam ahead? i guess one pauses and takes stock. that is what i am doing now.

six weeks ago i suddenly developed excruciating pain in my left arm with numbness, discovered i had a prolapsed cervical disc, and needed surgery. after three weeks of 'wait and see' that is the normal practice (many such pains resolve themselves with rest and pain killers), i was operated on at vellore last month, just over three weeks ago.
the pain is gone, and i am eternally grateful for that. my left arm is weak with numbness persisting, and i go for physiotherapy daily, and i am glad to say that the strength in my arm is returning gradually.
one of the complications of neck surgery is nerve damage - a small percentage, but i was one of them. now one of my vocal cords is paralysed. my speech is soft - i cannot talk loudly, my voice sounds different, i have difficulty in coughing. after talking for a short while the volume becomes much lower and i have difficulty making myself understood. i am also undergoing speech therapy, and my voice is stronger than before, but i am told it will take months to really improve.

so it is off bad and bumpy roads for me for some months at least, which rules out field visits for now. my other work - that of training - has also to be put on hold for some time, and when i do resume, it has to be with a microphone always.

why did the disc prolapse happen? no one knows for sure why some people get it. twenty years of traveling on bad roads or no roads may have contributed, said my surgeon.

time to take stock.