How do you deal with a life change…from being fully charge of your life physically and mentally to seeking help to brush your own teeth?
Honestly…you just do!
People who know me from work or from anywhere before in life, have a recurring conversation “You haven’t changed a bit” “You are still crazy” “You still have a big smile” – well I haven’t changed internally, externally yes! I believe I am the new improved Shalini V 2.0.
I went through various phases to get to where I am today. To look at the mirror and not find anything amiss, other than the question most women ask “Does this dress make me look fat?”
Having said that, it's not all blue sky and yellow tulips - I do have bad days, but they are fewer and far between.
The first three months were easy, because I believed I would be back on my feet and life would go back how it was.....until the gangrene set.
Before my brain and heart accepted it, my nose smelt the rot!
It was probably the worst thing to wake up and go to sleep to – the smell of rotting flesh and disturbing signs of what is to come. We were at that point working with a doctor on an alternative treatment to see if we could regress the condition.
I hated everyone, and I just shut the entire world to my life. I asked for no visitors, no friends, no family – I did not want to believe in my fate, neither did I want people to see me in this state!
I had numerous conversations with myself, went through my entire life with a fine comb looking for something that would explain this. Obviously it's bad karma – I must have done something bad to deserve this. The only thing I could come up with a few nasty conversation(I am known for my acidic tongue at times), a few lies, nothing that would explain the quantum of my suffering both physical and mental.
I for a period in time used to go to the hospital to have parts of my flesh removed by doctor. It was painful, I bawled like a child, the nurses and people around me shed a tear probably for my fate! It was agony to say the least...on the bright side I got to eat the best bhel puri ever outside the very same hospital!
Then of course Ayurveda happened, a leash of new hope and injecting a whole lot of optimism. The gangrene went and things were looking good. The crazy concoctions though left a bitter taste, filled my soul with hope.
In between this, a setback. I managed to break a bone in my left hand(amazing right!). We found a brave doctor who said he would try fixing it. Being rolled into the OT, while I was prepared for the worst, I still believed I would be fine. Post surgery all I could see was a massive dressing on my left arm, I kept trying to see if it was the full hand or half of it. I beckoned a nurse and asked her, she looked extremely uncomfortable. She faltered, cleared her throat, looked around and in a quiet voice said “It's amputated” and walked away.
Everyone visited at the hospital, my room were filled with people ‘trying’ to accept what happened, unshed tears, nervous laughter, everyone being brave for me and themselves and more than anything else not sure how to deal with me or the uncertainty of life itself. I think all of us lead our lives reading the paper, watching news, on the internet read stories like this, but we believe ‘it would never happen to one of us’ – well reality arrived in our lives.
Six months later my right hand auto amputated. For those of you who have not heard of this before, it literally is the body shedding a part it no longer needs. In my case it fell into my brother in law's hand. A look of disbelief passed through the room, my mom the only witness. While we did not know what do with situation, I knew this was a sign – a sign to move on.
We took the decision to go ahead with amputating the legs the next month. I was relieved - I knew I could only move forward now and there is no stopping me.
I arrived at the hospital with the brightest purple nail polish on my feet. If my legs were going out, they were going to go out in style!
How did I go through all this – I honestly don’t know.
I lived each day at a time, made small achievable goals for myself, read every book I could lay my hands on and like my life depended on it, learnt classical music, looked forward to friends visiting – more than anything else hoped and believed that tomorrow will better…I knew tomorrow will beautiful because when you hit rock bottom, the only way for you is upwards!
So walk in the rain, stick your tongue out and catch the raindrops, hold hands, feel the grass under your feet, smile at strangers, admire good looking men/women, fall in love, call someone you have been meaning to, give big tight hugs, kiss a boy or girl(if that's your thing), flirt, dance till you drop, wear your red lipstick, join that class you have always wanted to, buy the shoes you want, write a book, sing aloud, learn to play an instrument, bungee jump, sky dive, travel to Antarctica for all I care – LIVE TODAY AND LIVE IN THE MOMENT - you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow!