On the 8th of October, 2014, I suffered a mini stroke. One that they call a TIA, Transient Ischemic Attack. After a late day at work, I was home playing with my 6-month old daughter. I felt dizzy at first, afraid I would fall on my baby, I tried to hoist myself up but my left hand went limp. I was calling out to my wife who happened to be in the kitchen, but my words never formed. My tongue was not in my control anymore. It felt as if someone had switched my left side off. All this time I was staring into my baby’s eyes.
I was getting paralyzed, and I barely could do anything about it. Lest even call someone. My wife came to ask me something, imagine her shock. I was what most people consider pretty healthy. In fact they felt that I looked much younger to my forty years of existence. Yet all of a sudden a blood clot formed in my body, traveled to my brain, got stuck, got me stuck, dislodged and left me with a lifetime of medication.
What followed were days of agony. Mostly mental. From incompetent doctors to a opportunist medical system, I traveled the dark corridors of healthcare. The sword of a subsequent and more severe attack dangling over me, I did not intend to take any chances. We went through rounds and rounds of check-ups and investigations. The interesting part was that all my cardiac activity was normal. ECG, 2-d Echo, etc were normal. Very normal, without a trace of abnormality. The total cholesterol count was at 221, slightly on the higher side, but better than most people. Fundamental parameters like BP and pulse were all doing pretty well. Now, the EEG showed an abnormality in the right temporal region, but the doctor conducting the EEG said he cannot deduce an inference as he is a pediatric neurologist and did not understand adult parameters. Wow! what a wonderful medical system. The MRI showed an infarct in the right parietal cortex. One thing was clear, it happened. While one doctor yet insisted that I take medicines for both epilepsy and stroke, in effect giving me Clopitab – 150, Atorva – 80 and Diva, 500, alongwith some vitamins and acidity controllers, I was traversing fear to fear.
I changed my Doctor.
Went for another round of investigations.
The revelation was in the Thrombocheck profile, which again was normal but for the homocysteine level, which stood at twice its normal high of 15. I had been a smoker for over 2 decades. Indulging myself pretty heavily. It has been over a year now since I have quit. But the damage done is done. I never knew that there could be some genetic reason for my metabolism to be abnormal and therefore all the cigarettes that I smoked, added to my homocysteine level.
For all these years, the cumulative effect of advises could not ween me away from smoking. Now I was feeling the heat after having quit.
In the meanwhile, the blood-thinning and anti clot drugs started working up. Having been advised an hour of exercise everyday, I found a subcutaneous bleed in my arm one day. The same evening, I started passing blood in my urine. A little later, through stool. In my mind, I was close to death. Once again a doctor and a hospital tried to admit me to an ICU despite me walking upto them.
What is interesting is that my condition was an outcome of Cholesterol and Homocysteine combination. And the treatment was fairly simple. Lifestyle change to ensure low cholesterol (have been asked to maintain around 130) and ample amount of B6 and B12 for Homocysteine metabolism (supplements, green veggies, folic acid, mecobalamin inj etc) in addition to aspirin -75.
I started cycling. 25 yrs back it was a passion. This time around I started with 5-6 Kms a day but over the last one month gradually increased to 15-20 km a day. Over the last 2 odd months, I have almost given up non-vegetarian food. The Healing codes, Pranayam and the sudershan kriya, all add to my routine.
Now let me show you the result.
Cholesterol : 88.3
Dr. Pawan Ojha, My treating doctor, and Dr. Digvijay asked me to share my experience with as many people as I can. We live in an age where lifestyle diseases are the biggest evils. It is important for us to treat our health with respect. 2 months back, I had no time to walk, today, I spend 2 hours in the morning with myself. With one aim, to live on. My friends, take care.