On a sunny afternoon, 12:33pm, I sat down in my front-yard, checking my to do’s for the rest of the day & a cup of green tea in my hand, whilst appreciating the sun in the chill wind blowing on me.
Everything was smooth in that moment, until some weird pain hit in my upper abdomen.
With a positive attitude, I convinced myself of my posture being wrong and also admitting a little too heavy breakfast might have caused it. Yet again, it triggered in bits, couple of times. Mindfully, I tried to understand the feeling, the sensation of the pain and in no time, it felt like someone was using sharp blades, thrashing it in my upper abdomen, piercing them through my back. I did everything possible from popping a pill, to trying asanas to sleeping to what not. However, the same day by 4pm, I gave up on it and was rushed to the hospital by my husband. The only constant worry in that time was to think about the event/webinar I had to deliver the next day. My 2nd international webinar for a platform so close to my heart. A platform named, Victorious Coaching, where I started my business journey. Not only that, with the increasing registrations, I could only think of losing it.
The doctor assessed me and recommended me to get admitted, but I was adamant for my work commitment. I got myself intramuscularly injected, took the prescribed pills and again with a positive attitude, stretched it till the night, thinking about my delivery, my ethics and my commitment.
Unknown, uncertain and to my shock, that night became tough. I started to vomit continuously. The pain became unbearable, kept feeling like someone was scratching my abdomen with long, sharp knives, crossing my backbone. I clearly remember entering the emergency unit of Max hospital, Patparganj, East Delhi. The moment they were checking my vitals like BP, sugar, weight etc, my eyes kept gazing at the clock. The place was silent, tick tock tick tock the seconds’ pin kept moving. It was 01.03am. I had no energy and was taken in, put on drips & they started giving me intravenous drugs to soothe my pain.
The duty doctor, the nurse, a junior doctor and some more health line workers kept coming, asking me questions trying to talk, know my version of the situation, I was going dizzy, blurry and even in moments, blank & mute.
It felt like other bodies around me were moving & I was paralysed. The voices kept going far from my ears & the frequency kept decreasing.
That, one night, yes 25.01.21 was an exam. Examination of my heart, my abdomen, my liver, my kidney and more. Ultrasound, CT, MRI, countless blood tests, urine samples. I wasn’t myself. I felt like a project, to know what was ahead. It was acute pancreatitis attack. Condition was chronic, I was taken back to when I was 14 years in age. That was the first time when I was diagnosed with Chronic calcific pancreatitis. Intravenous – this word was a trigger, spookily scary & painstakingly painful. I remember as a young teenager, my doctor used to tell me to be careful with my eating. But like a regular kid, I never paid attention. Soon in time, I remember I was put on insulin. That age felt frustrating with 4 needles being pricked in my stomach and on my thighs every day, and also checking blood sugars, giving me black spots on my fingertips. This goes back in 2001-2004 era.
In 2021, I was in those bad memories of the times when I was young, carefree, in a bad relationship, tortured & abused by my boyfriend (From Pain to Purpose – Story published in amazon no. 1 best seller – Revive & Thrive & an version 2.0 of the same story in an upcoming internationally recognised Book of celebrating womanhood- Undefeated).
I had a clear visual of emotionally torturous time in terms of binging, distorted reality and irrational ways of convincing myself and unknowingly becoming helpless when I was 12,13,14 & so on. Each visual kept coming in front of my eyes like a cue card. The pain in the present time froze (well that was the medicinal effect though). Rhetorically, I was back in time.
The statement that kept buzzing consistently was, ‘if given a chance, I would never ….’
But it was late. My husband had signed the narcotic drug application as his responsibility to help me stabilize this painful experience for that moment at least. There I was in Emergency unit, ICU & finally woke up to living in a single bedded hospital ward. My veins are thin, they kept changing the drip region almost every day. IV fluids, not only painful but made my veins swell and I had no option but to get the area changed. I thought in three days, I would be relieved and started to plan a better living in terms of my work, stress, eating and other healthy activities. Parallelly, it was killing me from inside when that amazing opportunity to reflect on my training delivery in front of my very own business coach was missed. It took me time to come to terms with this thought.
However, after three days, we got to know that it might take another two days and we knew the package at the hospital was increasing. My husband checked in with the insurance company but straight in a day, the claim was rejected as it didn’t cover chronic conditions for about a certain period of time. It was disheartening.
I remember imagining my recent holiday that I came back from just on the 22.01.21 uphill. It was my 5th anniversary and I had a gala time with my husband for about 6 days at the vacay. I also deserved that vacation for all the hard work I had done in 2020, the covid year to scale up my business. But who knew coming back and re-joining my passion to work, to counsel, to train, to coach people would be put on a stand still? My clients who needed me in that time did understand but did I? No, I guess I was playing in my head, a game of denial and committing quick recovery to be back at work.
Who knew it would be longer? 5th day arrived and it got stretched to another 2 days. So felt like a 7 nights 8 days package; Aah longer than the 6 day fun filled trek trip that I had with my husband few days back had an add-on, and that too of a week.
The pain was stabilized, yet unpredictable. It’s been almost 9 days I am back and I am on soft diet only. Looking back at myself as a foodie, a workaholic, selectively social, yet extra fun loving. Gradually, I am asked to reduce on all of it. I reduced an unhealthy amount of weight. Stress or no stress, I have no choice of being distressed.
Idiopathic in medical nature, chronic calcific pancreatitis would come back hitting me so sharp was not even in my dreams. It was repressed. Backlog of emotional turmoil manifested in physiology.
I have been brave enough as a child to take on the insulin, live independently, study abroad, now on insulin pump; also being in the helping profession that I am in, compassion fatigue does occur & I do take right and effective measures to practice that self-care.
But my own experience as a counselling psychologist tells me that ‘unfinished businesses in the mind are the biggest source of holistic distress.’ -Sargun Bedi
I will recover, I am optimistic I will. But I have to take it slow. Many lessons that we go through every day but engulf only when it is too late, then reminding ourselves that its never too large to start with. Well, I want to share those lessons that my breath while syncing in with my thoughts taught me, whilst I was passing each minute on that hospital bed really ensures the value of ‘Health is Wealth’ as the common & most famous saying.
- It is good to work, but ‘busy is the new stupid’ (picked this from Dr. Pramod Tripathy, whose programme I’ve just enrolled in).
- Your electricity meter can trip down, but can easily with your hands be pulled up. However, if your health meter trips down once, only discipline can help you recover. Invisible Traces will still be left and certain aspects may trigger them if you keep going back to the uncomfortable pattern dressed as the comfortable lifestyle – whether be your work, rest or social interactions.
- Thanking someone or being thankful is only the visible layer. Gratitude is a deep-end practice that melts in your blood and work as a cleanser/purifier to feeling good, healthy and happy.
- No number of praises, applauses and compliments will be enough if you don’t appreciate your well-being in terms of an integrated life-style.
- Let one aspect of life not become bigger than any other. You need to embrace your life holistically – professionally, personally, socially, emotionally, morally, spiritually & all the other ‘ally’s’ & make them your real-time ally.
- One biggest lesson I learnt over the years with my own journey of transformation, from teenage turmoil to becoming a counselling psychologist helping others, that stands out in this moment of recovery period is that ‘If you don’t respect your body enough, eventually your body won’t respect you.’ Therefore, don’t wait for a time to come when you will help your body become active, healthy and wise, let that time be now. Your body signals all those repressed emotions as indicators, trying to tell you that you need your own help, your own first consultation, your time.
- Take light, probably what others say, but not what your body tells you. It can be serious; it can be fatal.
- Last but not the least, you need You before anyone else does.
- Tomorrow winds in a reel unpeeled. Today is the Real & an uncovered truth.
- ACT NOW because health is the real wealth.