Saturday, June 20, 2009

Personal demons..


A lot of things happened over the last two weeks. Shiney Ahuja (My personal Greek God) raped his maid(I cannot get over this, really!!). India could not even enter the T20 semis. Obama swatted a fly. A lot of people, I personally know, were retrenched in Muscat. Summer vacations officially started in schools. And amidst all this fervent activity, I woke up one morning to find a painful lump in my body. Needless to say all the other attention grabbing headlines just dwindled like an inward spiral through my mind and the lump occupied pride of place.

It was too early to speak out. Early, because I had yet to consult my personal genii.."Google" regarding this, and only then, armoured with a diagnosis as well as a prognosis would I open my mouth. So gently feeling the lump, and taking deep breaths to help evade the panic attacks, I made the morning breakfast.


As soon as I had my escape, I went to the computer, got to the Google screen and typed in as key words - " lump, painful, red" within a fraction of a second, the screen was flooded with sites talking about various cancers. There were listings on cysts and abscesses too, but I gave no importance to those. Cancer is an obsessive word for me and this time I actually had a lump to show for all my fears. further detailed keywords gave further remorseless verdicts.

My condition cannot be explained in words. It will suffice to say that I started hyperventilating. Every few minutes I went to the mirror to check out further aggravation, came back to google some more, went completely into hibernation with the kid's albums and shed a few lonely tears as well. The one friend with whom I could have talked about it was out of town and my cousin was fighting her own demons.

Not a bite went down my throat. Evening saw me headed towards my doctor's chambers. Hubby alongside, absolutely insignificant. What did he know of cancer? All his family ever had was high cholesterol! My family was a different story altogether, name a cancer and we got it!! Finally my name was called and the pleasant smile on the doctor's face was not returned by me. Did not even wish her a good evening. Just plonked myself in front of her and rattled it all. Interspersing every few words with the word Cancer. My voice breaking, my palms sweaty and my mind dizzy with anxiety.

The doctor examined me and smiled. "Its nothing to worry about," she said. "Its just a sub cutaneous abscess". Saying this she patted me and prescribed antibiotics for a week. My husband immediately gave me a look that was supposed to make me feel guilty of having dragged him to the clinic from the all important office, just for a prescription of antibiotics. I returned the look with a smile that said.. nothings been cured yet!!

I did take the antibiotics, researched on abscesses till the wee hours of the dawn, tried to make a connection between cancer and abscess. The stress levels continued to soar, as the antibiotics failed to show any effect on the lump. It grew and the pain increased and a lot of other things including my psyche got hampered.

Four days passed and I was again at the clinic, with a morbid thud in my chest and a reeling brain, I entered the doctor's chamber and insisted on a scan. Again was met by an indulgent smile and another examination. "It just needs to be incised and drained, the antibiotics are not working , so better get it incised, I will refer a surgeon." I almost choked saying, "Please don't hide from me, tell me , it is cancer isn't it?" " No it isn't try not to fret ok." smiled the doctor. The surgeon was referred. The hubby opened his cell to see available dates, I said, "Today, I don't care if the president of the company sacks you for not being available, I have to get it done today." He knew, further discussion was pointless.

Evening came and I was in front of the surgeon, insisting on not going back until the lump was out. Things happened at a fairly fast rate from then, the husband tinkering with his cell, the kids asking whether I will be back alive, the nurses carrying out regulatory tests, the anaesthesist asking for allergies and false tooth. I, grabbing hold of the surgeon and insisting on a biopsy. The surgeon just smiling.

Finally at 9:00 pm I was in the OT. Before passing out the last conversation I had was about cancer and with the anaesthesist. When I regained my sense, I saw just about 15 minutes had passed, and I was drowsy as hell and was being shifted from a stretcher to a bed in the recovery room. The surgeon called my name and the only thing I could say was, "Do a biopsy!"

At 12:30 am that night I came back home. Son was offering to be a very good boy, the daughter was asking whether it hurt, I was being fed chips by one and muffins by the other. My heart was deliriously happy. For the moment I was cured of my nightmare, For the moment I was healthy and devoid of cancer, It was just an abscess after all. The dressings continued and the reports came in giving me a clean chit. Both me and my cousin had won our demons for the time being. we breathed easy till another day when another demon strikes. We got back to joking at our gene pool, and we got back to blogging. We got back to life!!


I know, many of you might not be able to empathise with this write up. But believe me, if the gene pool is the kind I have, fear becomes second nature!

55 comments:

Aparna said...

Being worried sick is in our DNA.I am fighting an everyday battle with anxiety. Sometimes I win too. Just do some deep breathing and stop googling wrong things. And yes, remember the humour. Thats in our gene pool too.

Aw.S.M said...

Yayyy..my fav blogger is at it again :....Hmmmm....i know how serious a matter this couldve been so i wont crack a joke. My mom is one of those worried kinds too. She had this cyst which she thought was cancer and she wouldnt tell any1 abt it..its only when they called up to enquire abt the appointment tat i came to know...luckily it was nothin but i know how horrified i was..so u def have my sympathy...and i really am glad it was nothing major...

i guess the first thought is always about the kids aint it?..thats how mothers work right?

alls well that ends well eh :)

luv
amith

amrit said...

Freaky. You almost scared me like shit when you started off the post. I am happy there is not cancer and all.

SJ said...

Sighs you act paranoid because of your gene pool, I act paranoid because I am erm..er..paranoid? I was running a temperature last week and I concluded I had swine flu. Googled everything I needed to know about swine flu and smsed my husband that he might need to stay away from me and that I would not be able to cook etc. NExt day the thermometer read 37deg Cel. sighs. I am so glad you are alright. I would've hated to read this post with a different ending.

Meira said...

Oh, but I think you were absolutely right to get it taken care of immediately. Timely treatment can win these battles for us. take care :)
PS: I so love the header photo

AnjuGandhi said...

Dont worry. What you underwent was nothing new. When I was only 14 years and growing I also dragged my mother to the lady Dr. As i also had this doubt that i have breast cancer ( which turned out to be just a mole). with so much knowledge at our hand, all of us get paranoid about the worst possible thing to happen to us.
But you are lucky that every thing was normal
hey, by the way this is my first visit to your post. I loved your style of writing.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

I empathise completely. I am a compulsive worrier and I freak out on the smallest signs of illness.

Glad to know you are safe and sound.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

humm, i just recovered from a worry attack. i am glad to know you are doing fine.

I can very well empathize with your writeup. Its so much there in my house. TC:))

Gymnast said...

Hmm...i am not a hypochondriac at all , and could possibly be the other extreme. I always tend to ignore any illness and sometimes get short with people who panic for nothing.
Which is also not the right attitude , i guess. There must be a middle path - sensibly cautious , perhaps ?
On a different note , I know lots of people enjoy the music that plays whenever your blog opens , but i find it very distracting. I prefer just the words giving me company.
Yes , i am very weird .

Balachandran V said...

Guess the villain here is actually - Google! We have come to depend on internet for everything and anything, and we believe ( like in the old days, we believed the newspapers and photographs) what it says. Cancer or any other malady is natural. Lots of people have it, they live with it, die of it. Die - thats one thing for sure, Suajata, no point in worrying over that. I look at the obituary columns religiously every day for familiar faces and wonder about the day my face may come there... I have a theory that the day we become old is the day when we switch from reading sports page first thing in the morning to the obituary columns! So, don't fret, accept it gracefully, one day we all will be gone, either of cancer or cardiac arrest or something else. And then all that will remain would be our words here, until of course, their servers conk out too!!!!

sherin said...

liked your style of presentation and your sense of humour..would lov to read more of you

eye-in-sty-in said...

Glad that all went well :-)

Happy and quick recovery to you :-))

Imagination said...

Hats off to you Sujata... none of us may be able to empathise, but I can say for sure the way you've written it is marvelous. I felt the same panick, the fear the paranoid and the tears as I read through. I too wish you quick recovery. In a way I feel we've kind of got so much connected to each other through blogging...Eager to read lots of good stuff from you.

Nona said...

Great! Now you can worry about other things. You did the right thing by consulting the doctor. Internet is very scary because when I was searching for something a long time back, I was frightened by the results I got. Finally, it turned out to be something way less dangerous and easily curable!

Your "gene pool" is a recurrent theme in your writing and your comments. :) Interesting!

Jyothi said...

I was a little scared as I read your post. Cancer can be a very scary thing. Its always better to clear your doubts rather than ignore it and suffer in silence. I have lost a few relatives to cancer too. And few going through the experience. This vacation I happened to visit one such uncle. I couldn't bear the miserable sight that he has become.

Stay away from Google under such situations(Atleast try).

I am glad that you are ok. And please stay that way...

sujata said...

@Aparna I know the ailments, the fuzzy memory, the humour and the bondage..its a quite a mix we got!!

@Aw.S.M In hindsight it does seem funny, but I can tell you it was just the opposite. Yah the first thoughts are def the kids. Thanks for wishing me well Amith.

@Amrit I cannot imagine a freaked out God!!

@SJ there would have been no post am sure had the ending been different. I am glad you are well too, lets make a paranoia forum and celebrate each disease free day.

@Meira thank you and welcome aboard.

sujata said...

@Anju Gandhi, thank you for sharing your state of anxiety as a 14 year old. Welcome to this blog and do visit again.

@Sucharita its all in the head I guess, I've been worrying lately that I might end up as a cuckoo very soon, the way things are going.

@Zillionbig Yah the compulsive obsessive worriers!! Hope your worry has ended.

@Gymnast you are exactly like the other half of the world, the half thats not like me. Its a good thing and am glad you are like that. I am sorry about the music on the blog being a distraction, all I can say in keep the stereo off while reading.

@balachandran V maybe google is to blame partly, most of the blame I would still put on the scores of deaths and rare illnesses in my family, and being a very close knit family, our generation has witnessed it all first hand. You might like to read this :
http://sujatasengupta.blogspot.com/2008/11/when-life-gets-blurred.html

sujata said...

Thanks @ Sherin welcome to my blog. hope to see you again.

Thanks @eye-in-sty-in

@imagination, sure blogging is very good way to connect with people who share the fondness to write.

@Nona thank you, Yes the recurrent theme is noticeable. There are lots of posts on the family too.

@Jyothi, I will try, but do not know if I will succeed. Thank you for wishing me well.

Sumandebray said...

It’s human nature to worry think about the worse that could happen.... Good thing is that you are alive and kicking (read blogging). With my limited knowledge of medical science I am not sure you could have a cancerous lump overnight.
Me too had self diagnosed a lot of those exotic (remember Bhanu Bandopadhya, I guess it was karta bonam ginni)) illness many a times in my life. A few months back I was almost certain about some blockage in the heart and went through the whole series of tests and checks and finally the cardiologist did not agree with my diagnosis...

ZiLliOnBiG said...

I know people(including me) for whom worrying has become part of their system, so much that they feel if they dont worry, the problem(however small they are) would never be solved.
When you worry the problem is solved miraculously, but things which you take lightly end up becoming bigger problems later.have you felt it that way?

R. Ramesh said...

ya aparna said it well, Being worried sick is in our DNA..:)

SGD said...

Glad to know all's well!!
Can empathise with you COMPLETELY!!
I'm always Googling EVERYTHING.
And believe, I had an abscess and I thought it was CANCER too when I googled and got some lakhs of search result.
Since my daughter had an attack of allergy to antibiotics, I google the medicine everytime she's prescribed an antibiotic to match the ingredients with the allergy causing one!!
My husband just rolls his eyes in exasperation & is just short of calling me CRAZY!!

JD said...

hey, good ur fine.. Yup a woman's personal health is a wonderful pastime for her.. but only till she's absolutely fine. trust me!!The day something real pops up, it's hell..

But, thanx to all the awareness programmes!! we do get paranoid abt any lump, fever, boil, sneeze etc etc..

Babli said...

Very nice and well written.I don't get worried about the problem and I feel the best way is to fight against all odds bravely instead of feeling panic.

Aparna said...

You liked the baisexual Shiney? God help you, he is such a loser.

Priya said...

ohhhh.....i empathise....good that u are up and sound now...my must admit that u at least have the guts to go and get that abscesses operated...truly speaking i lack even that guts... :(

PURN!MA said...

u'know what caught my attention in this whole post? you called Shiney a *Greek God*... hehehehe.

Ok coming to the post, when u r back to blogging means you are alright. and yes yyou are... you are, rnt you? and its good to know that you worried abt yourself...as far as I've noted, once a woman becomes a mother, her only concern is her kid! baaki all badme dekhenge.

Tke Care. We need you to blog! :)

sujata said...

@SumanDebRay for the time being kicking and blogging..worries are distant. My mind when worrying fights rationality very hard. What if the lump had been inside for a long time and is showing up now..I kept telling myself it must be atleast 10 times bigger on the inside!! BTW laughed at the limerick translation really hard, the best laughter after my worrying stint!!

sujata said...

@ZillionBig, when I worry I just worry endlessly, have never thought that it solves the problem, it just makes me sick and tired and absolutely unsocial. Will think about what you said though. thanks for the support.

@Ramesh worried sick DNA sucks.

@SGD hey do you think its a bong thing? We all seem to be off our rockers!!

sujata said...

Thanks @JD, worrying is hell too, let me assure you its no passtime, its draining and extremely bad for the health, but its not in my power to do anything about it..I am just made to worry I think..maybe I need a shrink!Let me worry on that now.

Thanks @Babli, I really really admire your guts. It must be heaven to think like that.

@Aparna please when I liked him he was not a baisexual..and what about your hero the true blue bisexual Sharukh khan????

sujata said...

@priya yet another similarity.. I dont have the guts to do anything related to doctors, no health chkups, no visits, nothing I just have the tendency to sit on my illness and worry. But this time it was too painful to not take action..so with shaking steps and leaden heart...went to the doc.

@Purnima thanks I am fine now, and blogging too. You dont think shiney looks good??

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

It may be a case of hypochondria. But then, if one has such dreaded disease in one’s gene pool no amount of reasoning is gonna help. I stopped reading health magazines because I started to experience whatever symptoms described, attributed to a range of diseases. You may know that worrying doesn’t solve anything and it’s just futile to worry about it all. Sometimes I succeed in convincing myself about it. But thee are times I just can’t stop worrying. It’s all a part of the game. Great that you have won over your demon. Have a great time. Good post once again.

Quest said...

As I child if I felt something in my head I would start thinking about all those brain tumors, not to mention all type of cancers......how my final moments will be and all such things :D :)

Even now such thoughts are still lingering ;)

SGD said...

Maybe it's a BONG WOMAN thing!! ;)))'Coz I dont see any of the guys getting paranoid and googling at the drop of a hat!!

Momma Miller said...

I, too, have a family who has had numerous types of cancers. I understand the fear and try, like mad, to make sure it doesn't rule my life. I figure the best thing I can do is eat healthy, exercise, pray, oh, and BLOG when the fear starts to creep in.

Excellent post, m'dear!

~Shaye

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

i know exactly how u felt - went thru it myself. only, it wasnt a case of all's well that ends well in my case. have a blog on it.do check it out tho it's not the most pleasant of posts, i must warn you. here's the link
http://ragetobe.blogspot.com

Bhavya.B said...

Happy to know that you are all right.

Nikki said...

Shub Shub bolo! Like my mum would say! Don't worry! Hope you are doing fine now.


TC,

Nikki

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

there's nothing wrong in being cautious. After all, doctors have been known to be wrong..and its good that you could get the prognosis so fast!
Still, increasing your stress levels probably does not help! As Aparna says, remember the humor!!
okay...I'll stop yapping!!

Rajesh said...

That was terrific very gripping article. I did not move out of the place till I read it completely.
Half information and imagination is more than enough to scare anyone. Good to know that you have recovered from all this.

sujata said...

Thanks @Arun Meethale Chirakkal, for the time being, yes seems like I have won over my demon..

@Quest..I can understand, this preoccupation with death and disease is not age related, it starts pretty early. Welcome to my page and keep visiting.

@SGD yest A BONG WOMAN thing indeed, I would infact hate the hubbys to be like this...imagine that..both googling illnesses..

sujata said...

Yes Shaye I feel so too, I take my walks, try and eat healthy as much as I can, and then IU think of all my people who led much healthier lives than me succumbing to the disease and I start to feel the anxiety all over again..More than death this disease has snatched the mental peace of many from my family..thanks for dropping by and sharing.

kochuthresiamma p .j I have gone through the said post, did not comment then because of my inherent fear of the disease. But today I will say that you have been marvellous, and I am so happy to be in touch with you through blogs. I am sure you will continue to be hail and hearty. God Bless.

Thanks @Bhavya.B , @Nikki

@Roshni thanks a lot..will definitely focus on the humour bit

Thanks @Rajesh.

Guruprasad said...

:)

inspite of the morbid topic, i quite like the humour you bring into this post...

would love to keep dropping by!

Dev said...

Very nice article....

Regards.

DevPalmistry |Lines tell the story of ur life

Anonymous said...

good one ...........you really write most things about like what happened maybe yesterday........but I do like this one.......

Rush said...

i liked the dialogue u had with ur hubby...u got me reading every word, every ache, every pain as thou i was living it rite next to you..i must say, u r an amazing writer..

its great to have had it removed, but just out of curiosity, how did it form in the first place?, is there a chance of recurrence?

sujata said...

Thanks @Guruprasad please keep visiting.

Thanks @Dev

Toshali stop posting comments as anonymous..I know its you..and do not use the word 'like' unneccesarily in every sentence. Thanks for liking the post.

@Rush hubbies are better kept under humour..it was a hair follicle cyst that got infected somehow and became an abscess. If the drainage was completely done by the surgeon chances of recurrence is very low, but at times they are known to occur again

Lazyani said...

Hi there, my first comment at your blog. Visited you from Pradipda's site.

Your reaction/s reminded me of my wife's reaction in similar situations and the subsequent results.

I remember one memorable occasion when the doctor recommended her to apply ice-cream over closed eyelids as a remedy for the strange ailment she thought she had had in her eyes.

The Survivor said...

I guess you have a tendency to worry a lot.

In the end everything turned out okay :)

Debopam Chaudhuri said...

I would not really like to preach but sometimes it helps to listen to the things that you know better from others. Please do not let fear and anxiety demobilse you like this, ther are always auto catalytic. The more you fear, the more they creep in on you.

Pradip Biswas said...

I read your post breathtakingly and got mentally connected to you. Just then internet failed and the power too! The Backup support was weak and I was compelled to close the computer. The generator did not start, it has taken air and the fuel was low. Took out diesel from my Nissan and the Power came back. Internet came back after an hour. I finished reading your post and wrote this comments. Thank God nothing that serious happened except the surgery part. But you took all the care to get it verified by a doctor and a Surgeon. Sujata take after care and avoid the flood of suggestions except the Physician and the Surgeon who attended your case. Please continue sharing your experiences with us.

Rinti said...

Hi Pompy didi,

Great write-up!!!
The self-deprecating humor always works. I know for sure that it was hell for you...but just happy that it was nothing after all.

Tiger said...

Hey i connect to this story. I saw an old couple sit in a handdrawn rickshaw holding each others hands outside a cancer hospital tears running down their cheeks... after being diognized with a tumor and cancer subsequently.. the anxiety, pain and prayers that go silent and why me question.. what next? is terrible and unbearable. Good that you are fine. Nice touching post. And stop eating muffins and chips :)

Dipankar Sarkar said...

Yah I can understand your predicament...many of us have such anxieties...its quite alright...its always better to get things done head-on rather than waiting for more complicacies.

bluebird said...

I understand you. I only wish I had the luxury your doctors had - that of not hurrying you on, of being able to listen to you pouring yourself out, of laughing with you. I wish I had the luxury of not having to see a 100 patients in a row, so I could see the frightened person behind every lump and address her..