When Hemoglobin Bani Low

Around mid-March, this year, I started feeling breathless when I walked short distances or climbed a few stairs. I thought this must be due to the pollution in NCR. Afterall I did have weak lungs, thanks to the TB of glands that I suffered in 2013.

On April 5th, 2018, my novel #WhenPadmaBaniPaula debuted on Amazon.in

This was a dream come true for me. A newbie, with no formal training in writing, no literary connections whatsoever managed to churn out a solo novel in a short span of 4 years. I was delirious with joy and somehow my breathlessness and niggling pains didn’t seem to matter. Almost all the forums that I wrote for were very generous in their support for my debut novel.

As I got busy with the promotional activities, I developed a severe ache in my right hand and my back. I could barely lift my right arm. Most of the time I was on pain-killers. I grit my teeth and tried to march along and soon I barely managed to get any work done.

A dear friend Amar suggested physiotherapy. The doctor checked me up and suggested corrective measures. Shortly, I left for Hyderabad to meet with my parents.

First four days were spent catching up and eating. Soon I met with my mom’s doc for increasing aches. The moment he saw me, he ordered a slew of tests.

And then the biggie was dropped via the test results.

My Hemoglobin level was at 5.6 g/dl.

Hemoglobin levels (7 – 8 g/dL), according to new clinical guidelines from the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) is treated as critical often needing a transfusion. Here I was merrily scamping around with a 5.6. Luckily for me, I tested negative for Sugar, therefore, Diabetes, Thyroid. My Liver and kidneys hadn’t been affected so far, BP was fine though pulse remained pretty high.

The Doctor said I now needed a Hematologist working with a reputed hospital for the next steps. But this new doctor had no appointments till July end. We called in another standby doctor who suggested immediate drip with a series of injections spread over 10 days. The whole thing was spiraling out. Panic was setting in. To think I had come to Hyderabad to chill, meet pals and do a round of bookshops selling #WhenPadmaBaniPaula!

As we were mulling our options, we turned lucky. Almost immediately, we received a call from the hospital. A slot had opened up as a patient had canceled his appointment.

The Hematologist suggested an immediate drip with an injection to absorb the medicines that would be pumped in. The top layer of my digestive tract was gone and hence I could stomach only barely seasoned food.

I still remember the horrible night after the drip. My system took time to this new medication. I had a fever, acute gas attack and my back had given away. I spent the whole night standing and howling loudly.  But in a couple of days, I was on a path to recovery.

All because of my family. My wonderful parents and my loving husband with the support of my Darling_Dotty (and Sonny’s calls). I couldn’t have recovered this fast otherwise. I owe it to them entirely.

Before I left Hyd, I met the Doc again with the tests redone.  My Hemoglobin level now was at 7.9 g/dl. I have to undergo tests every month for the next 4 and I am on medication for at least 3 months.

Now you might wonder dear reader why do I bore you with my medical troubles.

The good doctor said I had been functioning at 30% of my capacity. That boggled the living daylights of me. I could do more if I turned fitter.

Most of us Indian women have a terrible Hemo reading. It has become an accepted norm sadly. Our needs come last. Our health is tended to once the family has been looked after. A Healthy Us is paramount for the smooth running of our family and their greater achievements. Because we are the focal point of our tiny kingdom.

Take your tests today before it becomes dangerous. Invest in yourself. You owe it to self!

And today I climbed 6 flights of stairs and I was barely breathless. Very Happy!!

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Kadam Chhota, Change Bada!

Let me at the very outset confess that I wasn’t going to participate in this.

What could I add that hasn’t been said already? But the recent events in my own small sphere have been instrumental in my penning this post.

Scintillating_Sonny has been interning in a new city. A packed semester left him very little time to finalize a place to stay in his chosen city. Scintillating_Sonny was to stay with his seniors from college for a couple days and then move into his own quarters.

As parents of grown-ups, we are simply expected to stay back and watch the scary proceedings while flaunting a benign understanding smile, with tsunamis exploding in our stomachs. Plus transferring the money as and when required. The itch to set things right is so overpowering that your knuckles turn white because you are holding onto the chairs to control yourself and avoid saying ‘I told you! But you just don’t listen to me!“.

Thanks to GyaaniGoogle, we knew all about his trysts with destiny. I think my hotline with God worked because Scintillating_Sonny soon found a place to stay, where all the checkboxes were ticked. (Well Lord Supreme had to respond. I was buzzing him non-stop, 24/7)

During his stay with his seniors, Sonny made the breakfast every day. As luck would have it when he was vacating the seniors’ house, there were no flatmates present. My boy cleaned the entire kitchen, washed the dishes, restocked the fridge, cleaned up the bathroom too. Like a typical mom, I wailed away singing, “Badi nazo se pali Hamara Banna“. It was Hmm_Husband who brought back some needed clarity. “We should be proud of the way we have raised him. Self-sufficient and highly responsible. Take pride in that and stop moping! He is a survivor!

Bhale hi mere Kadam Chhota ho, yeh Change Bada hi hai!

Because Sonny is completely house-trained. Countless times he has rustled up food for the family while I was busy with my own work. Washed the dishes when the maid didn’t turn up.  Hmm_Husband has been the pusher here, saying everyone needs to contribute to the efficient running of a home.

Right now, in her summer holidays, Darling-Dotty is being trained to look after the morning routine of the kitchen.

As a family, we may not be bringing in the revolution. But we are making a small change in our own sphere, where there is no gender associated with chores and all four of us are equal entities making a beautiful whole.

In the FB group (SeniorSchoolMoms) that I admin, Moms query freely and frankly about the educational options ahead for their children and seek assistance for their teenagers’ troubles like cyberbullying, peer pressure, relationship issues.

 I am happy that I have been able to create a supportive and an idea-sharing platform where Moms could be free of harsh judgments.

My ‘Happy Hours’ are 5-7pm when I tutor teenagers of the condo. No topic is taboo enough. We discuss everything.

I often say that Rational Thinking should be the only religion because increased Misogyny is the vile by-product when misplaced machismo gets heralded as exemplary.

When we raise sorted, rational, fair children, unburdened by the narrow schisms of society, we would have contributed to nation building.

The change begins with me.

Let us keep walking.

Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe nowFor every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.

Pavan – My Bro

We, as a family, are currently undergoing a little rough weather as far as health parameters go. Mom had to undergo an emergency corrective surgery while my sister-in-law stares at a terrible situation where, in this immediate year, both her parents may…My brave Sister-in-law has been in India, tending to her ailing parents while Bro has been gallantly been managing his home and office, single-handedly.

So far he has been doing splendidly.

He has learnt to braid the daughter’s hair 😀 by looking at the youtube videos.

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He has managed to set the curd 😀 My bro hates the very smell of Dahi but for the sake of the apple of his eye, learnt the Nuske to make sure the curd doesn’t curdle. He can now cut and cook Bhendi, and fry Aloo to a crisp nicety. He has rustled up Methi Aloo, Dal, Schezwan Tofu with Sriracha sauce.  Dinner is a fantastic one-pot affair.

In a nutshell, Bro manages home, picks and drops his kids and also attends to office affairs, from home, while the kids splendidly horse around. Laundry is sorted.

Just as we denounce bad behavior by an uncaring spouse, when a man stands by his woman and steps in, it is also time to heap praises.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Pavan – My Bro! Extremely proud of the great work you are doing now.

God bless you Sis-in-law.

Keep walking Tall!

Look Outside Your Window

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Dear Diary,

I am sitting near the window of my room and watching the traffic opposite. I’m waiting for mummy to come home. She went to the hospital today morning. I will tell you why.

As you know, mummy has been becoming fat.

Her tummy is growing too. So much that, she cannot see her toes also. Now I can paint her nails, as I like. She sits on the bed and holds her back. She is in pain, you see. Poppa gives her a nice massage. But only after closing the door. Poppa says, both grannies will feel bad, if they see. I don’t understand why? Mummy never closes the door when she presses Poppa’s back. Then Granny feels very happy!

I see a car coming in. It is not Mommy. It is the Aunty upstairs. She waves at me, I smile.

I’m hungry but I don’t want to eat. Didi made pasta for me. But without  Mommy’s stories, food tastes so bad!

I told you Na, Mummy went to the hospital today. She told me, she will get a new baby with her to play with me. I was so happy. I told Mommy, I will be a good girl and share all my toys with the new baby. I asked Mummy, if she will bring back a girl or a boy. Poppa smiled and said “Surprise”.

I like surprises.

From my window, I see Golu jumping in his garden. Golu likes playing with water. His house is decorated and he is dancing with Bosky, his dog. It is Golu’s birthday today. But he said, he will have the party on Sunday. I said ,”Ok and I will get the new baby too”. Golu’s Mommy laughed so much and kissed me. She gives such wet kisses.. But I don’t tell her that. She will feel bad.

Bosky reminds me of Granny. Granny doesn’t like Bosky. In the afternoon, when I was sitting here, trying not to cry, I saw our car coming in. I ran outside. Poppa had come to drop the Grannies. He hugged and told me, Mummy will come tomorrow with the new baby. He then went to collect Mummy’s clothes.

Both Grannies were so happy. They smiled and said, “ Pari, you have a brother! Thank God, not a sister.”  They went into kitchen to make kheer.

I didn’t understand only. Why ‘Thank God?’

A sister would have played with my toys na. Now we have to buy new boy toys.

There, I see Golu crying. He has fallen down and Bosky is licking his face. Let me go and help my friend.

I will tell you tomorrow about the new baby.

Bye for now.

Pari

 

30 Minutes Timer To Just Write

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

30 Minutes timer to write

To write whatever comes to your mind, without the worry of corrections and paying attention to grammar. It is a cardinal sin, one part of me screams.

This from someone who wrote -Florence Nightingale was a promiscuous lady ( I thought this was some kickass word ).

About 4 years back, as i struggled with a major disease, i started writing these lil daily snippets on facebook. Then gingerly ventured into story writing. One fine day, a mail came asking for permission to print a story of mine – Awright! No one fools in June right? That is an April Trick. Turned out the mail was as true as sunrise.

One thing led to another and now i feel incomplete unless i write something and unleash on the poor unsuspecting world. How they react to it? Well that is the thing about fb. It does announce to the world when so and so become friends but when someone unfriends you, you wouldn’t even know. So in the comforting bliss of my ignorance, I flood the cyber-space, that they are eagerly lapping it up (shh- even if you are not, don’t say it!)

But these days, there is a ritual to be followed once you decide to write your quota of 400 words.

  1. Charge your Mac
  2. Check into fb – shower the like/love on posts you love and like ( yeah it is the other way round) – hoping that you will be showered with similar love. Fingers crossed.
  3. Now that Amazon Prime has been picked at 11:30 pm on the last day of the 499/- offer, check if any new shows/movies have been added. Curse self for not seeing House of Cards completely, before they spaced out Kevin.
  4. And frown at web.whatsapp with its crazily mushrooming groups and the ‘Hello it is a beautiful Morning! You are super special! Go seize the day!” pings. Everyone gets the same message okay? So everyone is unique and special no? Aila! First of all, Mine was a terrible Sunday where i suffered the whole day with the knots in my stomach – Wisdom tooth as is expected is coming horizontally (that explains everything!) and I stare at a root canal thrown in as a bonus. Okay I love ‘Buy one- Get one Free’ But this is bumper bonus!  Plus the washing machine creates Madras Flash floods in the kitchen the moment I switch on. The service engineer cannot come because his stock of gasket has been eaten by rats! I swear i am not making up anything. While I lie groaning holding teeth, husband and daughter cook. Something positive did come out of the mayhem.
  5. And on cue son calls. He was always a nut, now he is a health nut. He starts off with a grandiose ‘I am disappointed with you’ Oh yeah that means I am top notch mom. But this time because we haven’t kickstarted our health fix. He then proceeds to give a dressing down to hubby and daughter at the skewed gender bender. They should be more self-sufficient! Have you ever been in liquid oxygen? The type that can not kill you yet wont let you die – same thing I feel – don’t know whether to be exhilarated or cry in agony.
  6. Finally to actual writing. Funnily, without fail, always my daughter takes out her ukulele and belts out top 50 chart busters in UK and USA too. Though the expenses of her music classes now seem to be well worth it – there are times i want to be like that uni-dimensionally angry poppa of secret-superstar – You know, Ukulele’s strings magically get &*^&&. But I know what hell will await me, if that were to happen. Did we forget that husband? He chooses that very moment to share something that happened in Tunisia or those seminary innocuous news bits but will be counted tomorrow as the footprints that changed the world. I nod, I also listen though sometimes, I just hear.
  7. Finally peace! But by now, I have quite forgotten what I was going to write. So i start the loop again – Now you know why I am an eternal Work In Progress? 
  8. Phew I have been writing for  the past 28 minutes continuously- Just whatever came to my mind.
  9. This is the unedited, first draft as the rules demand. I started at 10:30pm and at 11:00PM 😀
  10. So it is a Yes I Can – There is Hope and tomorrow is a better day! Amen
  11. Pens down

Mum’s the word

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Dear Diary,

Today, I have a big secret to tell you.

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. Promise?

There is someone in this house, who knows everything. Nothing can be hidden from her.

Even when she is watching the TV, she will know, I am eating cookies in the kitchen.

When I come back from school, she knows that I had a fight with Sam. I swear, I haven’t even opened my mouth. Just by my angry face!

I don’t tell her, but she knows that I have got my Maths marks.

Sometimes, I go to the bathroom and cry, she will know. Then she will make Maggi for me, to cheer me up.

She even knows, I haven’t finished my dabba, even before I take it out from my bag.

I pour my Bournvita, into kitty’s plate and she will scream from the bedroom. “Are you drinking your milk or giving it to Kitty?”

She gets up before everybody and sleeps after everybody. How does she get the energy, I don’t know!

She knows what I like, what Pappa doesn’t like. But never tells me what she wants.

She will hold my best birthday parties and drives me to classes.

And when she starts telling a bedtime story, I am already asleep.

But she has one problem. Actually two!

She worries so much!

She worries when I go to school or go out and play with my friends. She no longer sends me to the market. She makes me repeat GTBT, everyday. Sometimes, I get very scared then. But I don’t show. She stills knows. She gives me a big hug and tells me, everything will be alright. 

And then she tells me not to waste my time and study. But I’m still a kid no? I hate these classes that she keeps driving me to. Then she will ask what did I learn there? I can’t say, nothing. Because, she will call my teachers and find out. Funnily, they all are her friends. They tell her everything.

I think she has X-Ray vision. She must be the Hulk’s cousin or must be SuperMan’s secret sister. Or Both!

You know who, I am talking about no?

Mummy!

More tomorrow,

Love

Pari

Love Lives on

A dashing young captain meets a beautiful young lady in one of the Army get together’s, falls head long in torrid love. The young girl reciprocates. The stuff of movies!

They face the usual parental opposition -The girl is cast in 24 carat gold but caste is different – After heavy Bollywoodian drama, they tie the knot with all round albeit reluctant blessings.
The infantry captain gets posted all across India – Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Siachen. Wherever possible, the new bride follows him. Life is a breeze, when you are in love! Nothing is insurmountable!! In due course of time, they become doting parents of a bonny boy.
After a while, they set up home in Delhi.

The by now Colonel, goes for a Sunday Golf Session with his buddies, sets the ball on the Tee, just bundles up and faints. Friends rush him to the Army hospital where his ECG and pulse are found to be normal. The attending doctors give an aspirin for his throbbing headache and ask him to go home as all the vital-stats seem to be fine. The wife begs for a CAT Scan, in fact, gives it in writing. Sunday Stupor I guess, overruling her, they send him home saying ,” He is sitting, so he is fine!”.
He goes home and has a massive seizure in the afternoon and collapses, never to recover. They rush him to the same hospital where he is put on a ventilator. He is already brain dead but rest of the organs are working fine. They try to revive him with industrial level steroids & machines.

After the sixth day, the devoted wife is asked to do the needful..

Switch Off the Ventilator as there is no chance of her husband reviving..
In those utter grief-filled moments, she thinks of ways to make her love live on..
5 simultaneous operations are done – to give his heart to a man on the death bed, his kidneys to a 13-year-old girl and a sailor, pancreas to someone else, and so on..
The Colonel is given a full ceremonial send off. The grieving widow picks up the threads of her life, wins a landmark judgment against the hospital, gets into her hobby full time, making it a lucrative venture and brings up her only son, to be dashing, empathetic young man.
This is a real life story. The lady in question, was my muse for one of my short stories..
I salute this brave heart, on this organ donation day.