The Miracleme Story 01-And, this is how it started…
AUGUST END 2005
Something was amiss.
Something was not right.
I was breathing. But you know, not to my satisfaction.
I felt like taking a gasp after each breath. Opening my mouth for that extra air.
Our baby was a month old. I was feeding him my milk. I blamed it on post-partum tiredness.
But that night, I had a sinking sensation because of the inability to fill my lungs with Oxygen.
A person like me who was scared of even going to a general practitioner for a common cold now asked my husband Rahul to take me to the hospital.
We went to the Emergency of Moolchand Hospital where I had recently delivered our yet to be christened baby boy.
The Oximeter showed lovely levels of near 100 and we were sent packing home.
But I still felt incomplete with each breath and the entire way back had my face in front of the car AC.
15 DAYS LATER:
I was mollycoddling our yet to be named son. I was chatting away with him when suddenly I STOPPED.
My heart sank that moment.
Did I slur?
Did I falter in my speech?
I placed my precious infant in my mother’s lap.
I went to the bathroom. Stared into the mirror. I was gathering guts to speak again.
Eventually, I did.
“Radio Mirchi 98.3 Fm par aap sun rahe hain Bumper to Bumper aur main hun aapke saath har shaam ki tarah Pallavi”-( You are listening to Bumper to Bumper on Radio Mirchi 98.3 Fm with me Pallavi)
My opening standard line for my shows and voice level checks.
Except it went something like this…
“Radio Mirchi 98.3 Fm par aap sun rahe hain Bumper to Bumper aur !@#%aa;flhhu!#$%%%*^* cecfgiu gauehf ekvb!%@%@%#sdfyehvcgvbdgh%%&%$%#@$@@tjhyjklt.emn smv cyf revhkbj,ndsmxrfygdsjlka+)_(()*(&^&%&%^xzyrueik”
Gibberish. Rubbish. Incomprehensible.
I was speaking with a slur. My tongue felt like a tonne.
I stepped out.
Spoke to no one.
A couple of hours later when I again started to speak, I began well but 2 lines down the slur came back.
The next morning I was in for a rude shock. As I started to brush my teeth, I could not spit the froth out. It went splashing all over the wash basin and my cheeks felt lifeless. I had to put my fingers in my mouth to get the froth out. I thought I would choke.
That’s when I decided to tell my husband Rahul Narvekar what was happening. I took an emergency appointment with my Gynecologist, thinking it to be a postpartum weakness.
When I met her I spoke fine. She almost shooed me away. I picked up the crumpled newspaper from her table and started to read aloud. 5 sentences down and the slur reappeared. She stood up with a start and simultaneously motioned me to get up and said, “Ye to koi neurological problem dikhti hai (This seems to be a neurological problem).Without going home, head straight to Dr. Vinit Suri at Apollo Hospital. I am calling him to tell about you”
And that is how I was introduced to Dr. Vinit Suri. That he was the best neuro doctor in the country I got to know much later.
A long grueling wait. I sat there with my husband awaiting our turn. Finally, we were called in. I once again slurred in front of him. He asked if I had difficulty in eating or chewing or swallowing or breathing. I said no to all except the last one. I did not have difficulty in breathing but I was not satisfied the way I was breathing, I always felt I needed just a little more O2 going into my body.
You know, that incomplete breath? When you need to take in air from your mouth to feel better?
He nodded. Expression revealed that the appointment had not ended.
He asked me to get a Repetitive Nerve Stimulation Test done immediately. RNS, as the name suggests, is a test to test the nerves!!! Electric impulses are sent across the hand, shoulder, calf muscles, ankles and the facial muscles that are the cheeks, the forehead, and the temple, to see how soon they tire.
Kader Khan was not around but I sure felt like Salma Khan (Waheeda Rehman in Coolie), where she was subjected to electric shocks time and again. 🙂 🙂 The voice from within pleaded to the Almighty and sounded somewhat like “Allahrakhaa”!
Generally, the result of this report takes a day. The loving and dear Dr. Bhanu, however, gave the verdict there itself.
He handed me a graph that reminded me of the X and Y axis we drew in school math, with numbers that I did not understand then nor now.
We went back to our new found Neurologist. Dr. Suri looked at the ECG look alike chart and confirmed.
He said, “It is Myasthenia Gravis.”
Both Rahul and I looked at him questioningly, even as I felt a heaviness in my chest.
“But what is Myasthenia Gravis?”
He explained in detail, diagrams and all.
The heaviness changed to pain in my breasts.
Oh! I was a nursing mother then. It was time to feed my infant. It was time to go back home. Soon.
We only half understood what he said.
We vaguely assimilated.
What we, however, did not know, was that OUR beautiful life was changing forever from that precise moment.
To be continued….