I went to bed as usual.
I had just gone back to Blr after a long holiday spent with family in Mumbai. There was something that was worrying me. That day, 11th Jan 2012 as we walked up the stairs to the rooftop cafeteria I was breathless and very casually I mentioned to my friend Archana that my heart was trying to give me some signals.
After a normal day at work I returned home. For the last couple of years I had this nausea when I commuted in a closed vehicle, I had nausea after a meal. In June 2011 I had this Red Alert! but it was about general health. I was and am overweight. Nothing pointed to the heart except a casual comment by the daibetologist and I am not even daibetic. My school friend Radha who owns a drug discovery company had suggested that I needed someone with a holistic view than the specialists I was seeing. I was in Mumbai with my family and friends and I was the happiest. After that alert I was very cautious with my diet and I was even preparing for a trek to Spiti Valley, walking 3 kms everyday and loosing a bit of the weight.
That was not enough!
On 11th Jan that night it started with uneasiness. Past midnight I woke up and vomited. Then I tried to go back to bed. Around 1.30 am I had unbearable back pain. On the left side behind my heart the back was hurting. I asked Dad to rub some balm, but got no relief. I took a stick and started giving myself a massage by rolling it across my back. This cycle of vomiting and pain went on till 6.30 am the next day, 12th Jan 2012; both Dad and me were exhausted by then. Then I was able to sleep till 8.00 am. When I woke up like usual Dad asked me if I was going to work. I had suffered so much in the night that I got angry with Dad for just asking that question.
I told him firmly, I was going to take the day off and go get a check up done. Dad took me to a general practitioner at 10 am. He suggested that I might be having stomach infection. Again I firmly told him that I was not just vomiting I had tightness in my chest I had difficulty walking. I told him I want a ECG done. So he prescribed it. I almost grabbed it from him and walked down the road to the diagnostic center. The Cardiologist would be available only in the afternoon after 4pm I was told but they did do the ECG anyway. However the interpretation of the report was to be done by the Cardiologist and that meant I would know the results only after 4pm. We came home and Dad made a simple khichdi which we both ate and slept the rest of the afternoon.
At 5 pm I received a call asking me to collect the reports. I was not able walk so I asked Dad to walk down and bring it. I read the note and it said Myocardial Infraction. I knew all was not well. I called up my best friend Sangeeta who is a pathologist and asked her what it meant. She immediately asked whose report I was reading. I told her it was mine. She advised me to rush to the hospital. I called up my then Supervisor Rajendhiran at work and told him what the report said. After a while he called back to tell me I should keep coughing till I reached the hospital to keep the circulation going and get admitted to Narayana Hrudayalaya.
I called the driver and we started for the hospital which was almost 35kms from my South Blr home. On the way I kept coughing and calling up friends for references at the hospital. To my surprise as I entered the lobby and told that I had a heart attack and needed emergency help, I was told to walk into the emergency room and lie down on any empty bed and the procedure would start. Yes they are that quick. I checked into emergency at 7pm on 12th Jan almost 18 hrs after the incident!
Things went smooth after that. Dr. Binoy John and team did an Angioplasty on me under the guidance of Dr. Kannan J. I was out of the operation theater at 10.30 pm.
It has been a tough year for me this 2012. Yet I never say this was something bad that happened to me. This human life is like this. One goes thru everything. Yes but I have started valuing my time in this life more. If you are thinking after the heart attack the worst was over, then you are wrong. I faced challenges at all levels, trying to keep the job, trying to get back to normal work hours. Even today life is not the same as before the incident. I am on lifelong medication.
Life's challenges will continue but I got the chance to come back to Mumbai, my home, to get a role that suited my needs at the time, to be able to work from Mumbai, to be able to live a fuller life.
I did many things to improve this life after the incident.
1. Started composting at home using the Daily Dump.
2. Started growing these little treasures in my Green Balcony.
3. Met long time blogger friends.
4. Started decorating my cakes though I have been a baker for many moons.
5. Sold Diwali Faral hampers and helped some women to find their identity.
6. One thing I haven't talked about on the blog is about my learning music because what started as therapy is turning out to be something that I look forward to week on week. I have started learning Bharatiya Shastriya Sangeet and Marathi Sugam Sangeet. I am found humming all the time.
This post is for all those who think that a normal life after a heart attack is impossible. It is for all my friends who believed I will come out stronger from this. For those who harmed me and think there is no GOD.
Here I am alive.