The story of a 28-yr-old IT engineer’s recovery from a paralyzing brain stroke
We should respect our fathers and mothers; they are the biggest assets we will ever have. We should respect them, help them, and bring smiles to their faces. Similarly, we should always respect doctors, nurses, and medical personnel. They are always ready to lend an ear to our feelings and stories to support us. They can bring about miracles in our lives. They can give us a new lease of life.
Namaste! My name is Anit Chaudhary, a resident of Ghorahi Sub-metropolitan City, Dang, and currently living at Harisiddhi, Lalitpur. I completed my IT Engineering two years ago after struggling for nine years. Now, I am writing about my feelings about staying in a beautiful cabin of Annapurna Institute & Applied Science Hospital, Kathmandu, after successful bypass surgery of my right brain. I used to be a self-centered person two months ago. I realized that I could not even hold a water bottle of 2.5 liters and I did not know why.
As for my professional work, I was on my way to impress my senior officers with my different ICT abilities. I used to work continuously for 18 hours a day just to get my office website fixed with awesome website programming. It is not like making a cup of tea and needs to be understood by everyone. There are numerous bugs, loopholes when a website goes live. As soon as the office's website went live, my colleagues, seniors started questioning and arguing about the quality of the website. Such incidents made my stress level up and I started to work 18 hours every day to get it done. I couldn’t give time to even my newly-born baby boy and my wife who was recuperating after giving birth to our baby. I could not take care of my first child and wife as expected of me.
Suddenly, I came to notice that my three fingers (thumb, index, and middle) became weak. Then, I realized it would be because I was not taking rest as my body requires. I felt that the bones of my fingers were not normal. So, I went to visit an Orthopedic at Patan Hospital with my maternal uncle on my motorbike. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one there and returned home. On the same day, I went to a bank to deposit money. I had problems seeing the digits of the account number on the deposit slip so I made mistakes several times. Thank God, the cashier of the bank did not get angry with my annoying behavior. My maternal uncle was an eyewitness to all these different behaviors of mine.
After completing all the tasks, I went back home and tried to sleep thinking that would help get rid of the odd feeling after dinner. When I woke up, I wanted to smile but couldn’t as I felt as if my face had paralyzed. My cousin (sister) was laughing at me seeing my different face which I hadn’t seen yet. I was confused and wanted to go to visit doctors but didn’t know where to go and whom to consult. At the same time, I had a severe headache. I went to Godawari Midcity Hospital to get my blood pressure checked. It was 130/100. The nurses were shocked and advised me to stay for a while at the hospital. I did the same. Even at that time, I was thinking about my pending work so I went back to my home to work.
When I woke up the next morning, I found that my left hand and shoulder were not working properly and I also had some problems walking on the stairs. Thank God my right hand and leg were working.
Seeing such behaviors my mom asked what had happened to me? Soon my dad contacted Matron Ms. Ranju Devkota madam at Annapurna Hospital and she advised him to bring me to the hospital without further delay. Immediately, we called a cab which took us to Annapurna hospital at Maitighar. I was admitted to the emergency ward and went through different tests - CT scan, MRI and Angiography, and so on. After two hours of staying at the hospital, I started feeling as if my left hand and leg were missing. I simply couldn’t feel my left hand and leg. At the same time, I was asked by the doctors and nurses about my medical history as I was diagnosed with multiple brain strokes. I had never had any symptoms of high blood pressure.
Doctors were also shocked to see me, as my voice was also sluggish. I was thinking of going to the office after being discharged from the hospital soon.
But the situation had changed. I was dependent on my wheelchair even to go to the washroom. I was totally in bad shape. Then Dr Basant Pant advised me to get admitted and start the treatment process. He explained that I was taking more stress than needed at work. I had recently seen one of his interviews on a youtube channel; the program was“What the Flop?” He was showing fatherly behavior with me which made me comfortable to express my deepest feelings while in the hospital. Then Dr Jesica Shrestha came to see me on the emergency bed. When I was shifted to the cabin from the emergency bed, Dr Jaya Satyal came for my acupuncture. I was scared to see the needles. She was really very motivating and skillful. She referred us to Nardevi Ayurvedic Hospital at Nardevi, Kathmandu.
My first impression of the Ayurvedic hospital was not very good as I was given a broken wheelchair. My mother would push the wheelchair but it would not move. Soon one of my aunts who works at Nardevi Hospital arrived and arranged a new wheelchair. Only then could I move into a cabin at Naradevi hospital. Then the very next day when my session for acupuncture started and physiotherapy was also started. I was asked to try to walk but I couldn’t stand on my own. Physiotherapist Rajani helped me stand up and made me walk by holding my clothes from behind. My brothers were staying with me at the hospital to take care of me and take me to the washrooms and help me do the physical exercise. They were also tired after staying with me for three weeks at the Nardevi Hospital. One of my brothers opened up and said he was tired of staying long at the hospital. I was devastated by that word, the feeling of suicide started to develop in my mind as I had become a burden on my family.
Then a doctor at the hospital told me to meet psychiatrist Dr Baikuntha Manadhar. When I met Dr Manandhar, I couldn’t control my tears. I explained to him how I was feeling inside. He suggested that I watch motivational videos of Nick Vujicic and Muuniba Mazari. I also started to do assignments given by Dr Manandhar. I started exercising three times a day to get my body functioning. I also had to go with the severe treatment of steam bath as my hands and legs were numb and I couldn’t feel the heat of steam. I also had to go with Sirodhara to cool down my headache and blood pressure. All this helped me to keep calm and be relaxed. There were a lot of paralysis patients there. Only then did I realize that I was not the only one to be the victim of paralysis. One day I was given a steam bath directly on my paralyzed leg when I felt as if I was trying to move my leg away as I was feeling the heat on my skin. Then I started to feel my legs and hands. It was relaxing, I could walk through the hall, leaving my wheelchair behind.
After about 15 days of starting treatment at Nardevi Hospital, I could walk independently. It was really relaxing and heartwarming. I was advised to come up for a follow-up at Annapurna Neuro Hospital to see if the veins of my brain were working properly. We did CT angiography for the second time. My godfather Dr Basant Pant advised me to go through a bypass surgery to speed up the recovery process and reduce the chances of a re-attack on my brain. He counseled me and my parents about the surgery and its chances of success and the consequences and the way how the surgery will be conducted. Dr Pant advised us to discuss the matter in the family and finalize the date of surgery. After deciding to go for the surgery on 6th October 2021, and completing the initial tests we visited the hospital on 5th October when I was admitted to cabin 203.
I was excited about the surgery as it was going to speed up the process of my recovery from paralysis. I was told to stay calm but I was nervous and trying to keep myself calm by watching motivational videos. I had watched brain surgery live on youtube. It made me feel as if I had fallen from a tree. I knew the history of Dr Basant Pant as he is one of the top neurosurgeons in Nepal. He is my godfather and he is going to take care of me at every step. I was a fan of Dr Jessica Shrestha as well. As soon as I was taken into the Operation Theater, walking on my own, I saw her. I immediately told her that I was a fan of hers. She was not angry at me but asked me to sleep on the bed by listening to an English song. I lied down on the bed, listening to the song. She then put an oxygen pipe on my mouth. I immediately fell asleep. Then, I woke up on my bed in the hospital. I couldn’t move my left hand. My brother understood the situation and adjusted my body position. I thanked him by heart. Suddenly, I felt like vomiting inside the mask. Nurses were taking care of me.
My food pipe was so swollen after the endoscopy that I couldn’t even speak. One of the doctors was visiting, again and again, to wake me up and get to know about my situation. He was like my elder brother. Now I could move my fingers which were not possible before the surgery which had been successful. Oh Lord! I was on cloud nine. I could not sleep after as I was excited that I would be able to type on my computer with my fingers again.
This was the first surgery of my life. Nurses served me a cup of water and tea in the morning which helped my food pipe become better. When the doctors came to visit me, I became very emotional. I felt like kneeling down to thank them. Dr Basant Pant was so happy to see my recovery while other doctors also motivated me, answering all my questions without any hesitation. I believe, with my successful surgery, that doctors are living gods, we should respect them. Dr Jessica advised me to stay in the hospital’s ICU ward for one more night to stabilize my blood pressure as there were chances that it could fall. We did as she had told and the next day, I walked out of the hospital.
In the end, I would like to tell everyone that health is wealth but it should not be taken for granted. Please visit doctors if you feel any symptoms of weakness in any of your body parts, a severe headache, repeated senselessness in your body organs etc.