Like it or not, Growth Happens!


Milestone: 50th Blog

At long last, I have reached my fiftieth blog! It still gives me immense pleasure to pen down my thoughts and put it out there, a year and a half later! I am grateful to you, dear readers who have kept me going. With views from seventy countries, I get a sense of being one with the world.
I had intended to write a happy 50th blog for I never thought this one would ever get done, overcome by emotion as I was but I have managed to put it all down for you. Spreading awareness is all important especially when it has got to do with one’s well being. I dedicate this blog to my daughter for her never say die spirit.

Like it or Not, Growth Happens!

I have deliberated on many occasions whether life had perhaps stagnated for me or rather I had become stagnant in an ever changing world. Being in the same set up I had begun to wonder whether I was evolving as a person at all. Was I getting stronger, more mature, more knowledgeable just sitting in my comfort zone or was I just withering away watching life go by as my children grew? With spirituality (which has always been a part of me but hitherto devoid of guidance) making its presence felt, I began to believe, and to an extent I still do, that we have to just go with the flow, accepting what comes our way- we have to just “be” and not analyse (which happens to be the essence of my whole being) and worse, over analyse, what was happening to us! Yet, I always had that niggle somewhere that I needed to do something more to grow. And then it happened and all in one brutal blow!

One late Friday evening my daughter comes to me saying she wasn’t feeling too well. Since there was no school the following day, I had no reason to believe she might be feigning an illness. I noticed that her nose was leaky and she said it hurt a bit. When I touched her she was warmer than usual. Sure enough, she was running temperature. Not surprising at this time of the year, common colds are just that- common, especially so for school going kids. Being a case in point myself, I took it as matter of fact and went about administering the required medicines and making her comfortable. Since she has a history of high temperatures, even as a baby, during viral fever I shifted her to my room, switching places with her father! Just before she went to bed, her right eye was mildly red. Well, the night passed nursing her fever with cold compress. Early next morning, her eye was a lot more red and hurting so she was taken to the doctor to treat her cold, fever and possible conjunctivitis. He put her on antibiotics and some eye drops and by evening the temperature dropped. Relief! However, the swelling in the eye increased. We went back to the doctor next morning and he increased her medicines adding an extra tablet for the swelling. By evening she could barely open her eyes and so on my mother’s suggestion we started looking for other doctors. My mother found an ENT specialist at long last on the “just dial” app and tied up with her. We took our precious one to her at the given time. One look and she said, “Cellulitis”. “Nothing to worry but get a CT scan done first thing in the morning” she added. Some words can take the life out of you and that’s what CT scan did to me. All the diagnostics were shut being Sunday evening so after seeing my son off to school at 0700h we made a dash for the diagnostics. We were asked to come with just the film as the report would take much longer. We did as we were told and after perusing over the film she sent us to the eye hospital next door.

Here, my strength left me. The junior doctor looked worried and she couldn’t believe that this was an outcome of two days. Apparently, my daughter had lost vision in her right eye. She called the senior doctor on emergency who came and said that our daughter needed to be put on antibiotics through IV and she referred us to the best doctor for the same in town. She told us that our child would require hospitalization for a couple of days. Our home fell on the way to the hospital which was nearly 20kms away. We hurriedly packed essentials for her and me for a couple of days and left.

We reached the hospital and here we spent a frustrating two hours before we could see the doctor but once he did, he said she would have to undergo surgery immediately in another hospital as theirs was an eye hospital and the procedure was to be carried out by an ENT surgeon. The doctor personally spoke to the ENT surgeon and it was facilitated for us to be taken in on priority at the said hospital. Since he was the best doctor specialized in the same, the treatment for the eyes would be given by him and his team of doctors would visit. We drove to the hospital after the required tests were done in this one. Within minutes of the ENT surgeon seeing her, he asked when she had eaten last which was at seven in the morning (and two biscuits at that) so they took her in for surgery without delay. It was already close to six in the evening when they wheeled her in. My daughter, my weakness and my strength, had no expression change through all of this.

I have never lied to my children as a rule even when they were little- never have I said “we’ve almost reached” when there were miles to go or said “sweet medicine” when it was anything but sweet or a “hardly a prick, you won’t feel it” when I have taken them to a doctor for a shot and so they always knew what to expect and also that I would be with them no matter what. My daughter asked me what they were about to do and I explained every single thing to her. “What will happen if the anaesthesic wears off during surgery, will I feel the pain?” was a question that made me realize the turmoil in the little head though the query was put forth with a deadpan face.

The surgery carried on for nearly an hour after which we were summoned by the doctor. He explained that they had carried out an orbital decompression for which they had to operate her DNS (deviated nasal septum) and adenoids and that the surgery had gone off well. He said that she was in post-op and I could see her but it would be three to four hours before she came back to her senses and could be shifted to her room.

I went in to the ward that had many patients in different stages of recovery. I was guided to her bed and thankfully left alone. There she was, my angel, recovering after her battle and never have I felt so helpless before…the scene is etched in my memory. In fact, all of it is! When they were taking her in, I spoke normally as though it was an ordinary event and God knows how much strength I needed to muster to be able to pull it off. My husband had been busy paying bills and filling forms while I had readied her into her robe, explaining things, trying to make light of it and failing miserably. I think God knew I would’ve been a pest to the doctors, staff and my husband if I had a child who would cry out aloud and so he has blessed me with the bravest of the lot. Both my kids, affectionate as they are, are the most expressionless kids of all time and bless them for it. Believe me my parents were not so lucky!

The next week in hospital saw my daughter being administered heavy doses of steroids and antibiotics, her arm all swollen with the site of the cannula being changed from time to time. It had to be done and my brave soldier did not create a fuss- leave alone fussing she did not cry or moan which made it at once easy and difficult for me. She ate without a fuss and went through the motions in a matter of fact manner. However, I realized that she would monitor conversations with the same deadpan look but I could see almost imperceptible changes in her if we took a call that discussed her. I realized it after I got a call from my parents and that was the first and last call I took. My husband would take calls but walk out of the room to do so. I stayed by her side without talking. She preferred it that way.

She would say she wanted to sleep every time the doctors finished their checks and left and I could sense the sorrow in her when she answered in negative to questions regarding her sight.

She had her sense of humour intact throughout. I would talk to her when we were alone and ask her to loosen up a bit and that it was okay to cry and she with a naughty look on her face said “you’ve done my share as well”. However, there were lows. The lows were not communicated verbally but I could sense them. We have always been close but this stay in the hospital got us even closer and in a weak moment I asked her what I could do for her to make her smile. “Anything?” she asked. “Anything” I answered. “I would like a pup- a white Labrador pup.” I agreed knowing very well that this decision would mean a whole lot of changes in my life and a desperate need of fitness considering my knee and back aches have only been getting worse. I even called the pet shop and tied up for everything. (We are to get our pup in June this year) This was probably the best thing I had done. Anytime I would see her listless, I’d pop in name recommendations for our new family member to be and it worked like magic! Then a query was made very gingerly, “What if my vision is restored before June? Will I still get the pup?” A promise once made is made I had told her then, managing to keep her smile in place.

It has been two months since, the vision isn’t back. The scene seems grim since the optic nerve has been damaged, but we are keeping the faith. Keeping hope alive so that it may be shattered is a sad state to be in. This is something we will have to face when we go for revised opinions.

My daughter has to wear protective glasses. She has resumed normal and is about to take her final exams- her spirits high. Just a few days ago, after we had the last visit to the doctor, we were told that the chances didn’t seem bright. My daughter as I mentioned earlier monitors everything- her business and everybody else’s business too-and she heard what the doctors had to say. She came out of the room and said “Where are we going for lunch? I am famished.”I spoke to her when we were alone and told her that we might be taking a second opinion and also trying alternate medicine and was she okay with that? “Wow! Make sure they are in interesting places. You and I can have a great time travelling!” I couldn’t believe my ears. I gave her a serious look to sober her down. “Mama, I heard what the doctor said. I may not get my vision back but that’s what they told the other girl too who had tumours on both optic nerves and lost her vision. It came back after a year. Mine should come back sooner and if it doesn’t, I am okay anyway. There is nothing I cannot do as it is. Now let’s play a few more quizzes before Papa comes.”

Learning comes through trying times and teachers come in all shapes and sizes, in all ages, from any strata and through them we grow. Our outlook on life changes; our blinkers are off; our horizons are widened. We don’t have to look for growth. It happens whether we like it or not.

Things to take home from the blog

1. Orbital cellulitis is a reality. Do read up about it. Sinusitis and colds are taken casually by us. The last thing on our minds is to go to a multispecialty hospital for a common cold or conjunctivitis (as we perceive it). Till the ophthalmologist told me she couldn’t see, with panic in her voice, I had thought she meant her lid was closed that’s why she couldn’t and not because she had lost her vision.

2. Recently, I read an article by a lady with a young daughter who suffered the same fate. Her daughter was far younger and was having a spate of colds. Thankfully, the vision was restored post surgery. She too had a DNS and enlarged adenoids. In my daughter’s case she neither had a cold in a while nor any eye infection and this whole episode happened in a matter of three days.

3. Last but not the least, for all those restless people out there like me, be happy when life is uneventful. Believe me, you don’t want this kind of action to grow!


Comments

  1. Hope is the best medicine!Congratulation to this strong writer mother mate n the daring daughter.May God bless ya!!!
    Personal life experience - For growth, funfull frivolous flying life kite is always tied to a string on a rolling pin wheel. Have lots of string pulling up and down this side too. Hope devoid of analysis has helped. Tc n relax

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  2. As always, our best wishes ride with all of you . You are right, "normal" life is the basis of happiness and most of us don't know how great it is till it's gone (who knows it better than those of us whose husbands do what they do for a living)

    Very impressed by both your kids and specially A and how she handles things.

    Love and hugs
    Mini

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    1. Thank you Mini...oh yes! I will never quote Fido dido's "normal is boring" again!

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  3. Well like it or not....growth happens....such a reality. We are so busy planning and fretting for that elusive futuristic event that we forget to enjoy the present. We need to be reminded to live the moment as well as not fret about issues beyond our control. Sometimes our children are our teachers as they have more clarity than us ....Sometimes far more maturity than we think. In spite of the trauma faced by the brave girl she remains strong and practical. God bless. May her faith in the good things help her recover faster. Irrespective of the outcome, she is a fighter and you should be proud as her mother

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    1. So true...kids teach us how to think simply without complicating everything...I am proud of her indeed...Thank you for the good wishes...

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  4. Speechless..... God almighty is always there .

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  5. It's in the moments of despair where we find our strength. I am speechless right now. Moved by the words you wrote. Being a mom of two young kids, I can truly understand your heart. Its very brave of you to write this. Thank you for making us aware. I would especially like to say that your daughter is a true gem. Her strength and courage make her a champion. Blessings to her and much love too.

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    1. Thank you so much Sands of time...your blessings are needed...our kids are gems indeed. Yes, this blog is intended to spread awareness...we don't have to get paranoid but we need to know...

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  6. Admire the strength and positivity all through...praying to God to restore the vision sooner and keep the faith alive of the darling braveheart princess

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  7. I admire your strength.. I admire the smile u have ... above all I admire the brave girl... God willing.. her vision will be back . Life is unpredictable.. leading a normal life is a blessing not boring... and my takeaway is enjoy the present... love u

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  8. In your own words.. "keep the faith"!!!
    Cheers to Anaanya's resilience.. Cheers to your support.. Kudos to your resilience for having penned down the ordeal.. I totally understand what it has taken for you to put this down.. Congratulations on your 50th blog.. albeit not the kind you intended writing when you started on this journey.. but nevertheless an eye opener, and given the gravity of the blog.. I still couldn't help but laugh/grin/smile at certain points thanks to the humour! That's life..eh!! You learn to laugh at the curve balls thrown at you.. you start seeing the silver lining.. You start appreciating the little things.. Every once in a while.. Life teaches you that you need to stop taking things for granted ;)
    All said and done.. Trials and Tribulations aside.. I always say.. We have a lot to be thankful for and like someone rightly said..
    "The World Sucks.. But If It Didn't.. Then We'd All Fall Off"
    May the blogs flow.. Love and strength to you, AT and all the 'expressionless' loves of your life.. LoL :)
    P.S. Let alone AT, I am super excited about the puppy ;)))

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    1. Thank you JK...for unending support and for the many smiles you have put on our faces...love the "expressionless loves" bit :D

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  9. This brought in tears indeed! My prayers are on darling.

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