Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blood in the Brain...a journey into healing

It is going to be almost a month...

And I am finally finding the time to collect myself and my thoughts to sit down and write this.

My baba, active, engaged, ever so full of life, had to be hospitalized on Wednesday August 22, with complains of severe headache and nausea.

We had just returned from our US trip where I was working on our Heart Health project, and Baba arrived that Monday August 20 to Singapore to play with his grandson, Shloke. Ma was going to stay back in Hyderabad to keep my brother Munna and my sister-in-law Piu company in preparation for the arrival of the next child in our family.

The early morning flight from Chennai was grueling for him as he had a six hour wait in Chennai where he found no place to sit.

Debalina had packed food and tea for him to have at the airport.

Looking ever so young, in high spirits, he came running as soon as he saw his grandson on the other side of the glass door.

We came home and had a packed day of activities (activities are almost always the way of being in the Dutta household). That evening, with my sister-in-law Shreyoshi and her husband Amod, we took a long walk in the park, had great conversation, and wrapped up dinner with Debalina's chicken rice. Baba entertained us with his stories of riding the bike in Hyderabad to run errands.

Shloke was happy to see his grandpa and baba was in his elements seeing his grandson.

Tuesday was an eventful day for baba. Debalina took him to the library, and they checked out three books for him to read. He spent the evening playing with Shloke and then reading news and blogging.

My image of him on Wednesday was him carrying Shloke down to the bus stop for his school bus. I said my goodbye and noted that I was going to be back home for lunch. Upon reaching the University, I quickly got wrapped up in a variety of administrative tasks that I had to finish before heading home for lunch.

At around 11:10 a.m., I received a call from a Professor of Management, a colleague who is also a neighbor. I had not met him before.

He noted with hesitancy that he was going to share some bad news with me.

He shared that my father was feeling very sick, and Lalmadidi (didi for elder sister) who helps us out at home had fetched the professor's wife from downstairs because my father was feeling very unwell with severe headache.

I called Lalmadidi and she asked me to come home immediately as baba was not feeling good, and our neighbor spoke with me, sharing with me that she had already called the ambulance. I thanked her, called a cab, and waited on the phone.

Those minutes of waiting felt like eternity.

When I arrived home, I found baba lying on the floor. He told me that he was feeling severe pain in his head and he thought he was having a cerebral attack. He was also throwing up.

When I measured his pressure, it was 158 by 98.

The ambulance arrived, the ER team took his pressure, and transported him onto a stretcher. Within 10 minutes of my arrival and within half an hour of the onset of the pain, he was on his way to the hospital.

We were going to bring him to the National University Hospital (NUH) on the other side of the street.  NUH has an excellent reputation as a university-linked hospital, and we are lucky to be living so close to it.

Baba was wheeled into the emergency.

The hospital staff asked me to wait outside. As I was waiting, I was finally able to reach Debalina who had been teaching, and she was able to make her way into the hospital.

At one point the doctor came out and told us that there was blood in his brain that was detected from the MRI and that they were going to run an angiogram and transfer him to a high dependency ward.

Blood in the brain is a condition known medically as Subarachnoid Heamorrhage. In the scan image, the blood appears as darker areas in the brain. Baba had blood that was found in the basal area of the brain.

So what really had caused this? He had no brain injuries. In such instances, the usual suspect is an aneursym. An aneursym is detected by running an angiogram, which is able to tell whether a blood vessel has ruptured in the brain.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Shaunak Sastry said...

Thank god for neighbors and social support systems, Mohan. Lalmadidi is really an inspiration: when we called your home on hearing the news, she gave us all the updated information and gave us your cellphone number. Its these moments that make you think about social support and what it really means, despite teaching about it abstractly almost everyday. Hope uncle keeps getting better everyday!