Life is so unpredictable!

We will never know what is next.

Sometimes some things come into our life so suddenly, it takes you by surprise. by love or by fear, and changes your life for forever. While I am not great at expressing thoughts on paper. I am giving words to my experiences and my journey.

My name is Neha. I am a hardworking, ambitious, beautiful, loving and kind hearted girl living in a metro city in India. I have a busy daily schedule. Start my day with managing multiple things – taking care of my 5-year-old son and helping him attend his online classes, cooking meals, cleaning house and then my official work. I am also actively involved in an NGO. a woman’s NGO (Pinkishe), where I am working as a branch leader of Pune (Maharashtra) region. I have a good family and circle of friends spending time on weekends and enjoying festivals. That’s how every day is fully occupied with lot of work, energy and fun.

One day my husband (Nitin) planned a visit to our hometown and celebrated the festival, spent quality time with our relatives and family. Everything was going perfect. Then on Sept 16, 2020 I was talking to my husband and suddenly I felt some change in my voice and difficulty in speaking.  He assumed that I might be joking or playing a prank. Then it happened again, and he too noticed something was wrong

 I was unable to drink and I lost complete control of my left side. In fact, my left side was completely paralyzed. We were shocked and frightened.  I am in my early 30’s with no BP issues and never experienced any severe headaches. I felt that this could be related to Neuro so we then rushed to see a neurologist. Since I am a Biomedical Engineer, I have a few friends working closely with doctors and called up a friend to talk to my family as I was unable to speak.

When we reached the hospital, we first performed Covid-19 test and then took me for MRI’s etc. I was in the MRI for 2 hours.  I was so difficult. Then I found myself in ICU resting on a bed. I could not express my feeling/ fears/anxiety of that moment. I didn’t know what was going on.   I think mostly I was unconscious I could feel my one visitor when they were near and listened to them. I remember, there was a moment when I was gradually gaining my consciousness and I found myself in huge pain on an ICU bed, nursing staff was around me. I could hear their voices and the beeps from all the medical equipment’s around me. I then felt something on my head, I placed my right hand around my head, oh my God! I was so shocked; I could sense a huge dressing over my head. I immediately asked one of the nursing staff – “Did I have a Craniotomy?” they replied “yes”. Oh God! After getting the confirmation I was so shocked and scared.

Multiple thoughts were crossing my mind.  Since I had once seen a live neurosurgery, I knew how difficult this surgery was. Also, that same thought was horrifying and made me so restless.  I came to know that I suffered brain hemorrhage due to a clot in right frontal lobe. I spent around 21 days in the hospital before being discharged. There were MANY bad days I cannot even describe. Each and every moment was challenging.

Even though I reached my home, my left hand was still not working. I continued with physical therapy. I was doing everything with a positive mindset. I was getting good results and had considerable improvements movements. My entire head was shaved and you could see the scars of my past days. Slowly my stitches were healing.  Suddenly I felt weakness and had a vomit we immediately visited a physician and told him all my medical history. He prescribed medications. I started taking all those along with my neuro medicines. We did a blood test, and found I had low platelet count. Then gradually I noticed rashes on my hands, face and other parts, we first thought that it could be Dengue or due to heavy medicine dose. I continued to take all medicines but these rashes were getting worse and bigger in size and deep. Now my face became four times of my original face and my body was covered with the rash.  We were delayed to get a doctor’s appointment and it became much worse.  I could not drink or eat anything.  Even my left eye swelled up and it became so big that I couldn’t open it up for one full day. I was crying like hell. When we finally saw the doctor, he said that it’s a kind of drug allergy, called as “Steven-Johnson Syndrome. It’s a rare type of allergy and it could have made me blind or damaged any organ of my body or I could even have died.

 This Steven-Johnson left many long term side effects. I tried to stay positive and also moved forward in my spirituality.

Shortly after, my headaches became more severe and unbearable. No one could help me.  This time I was not ready to go, as I was having some unknown fear. Somehow, I agreed and told the medical staff to  please bring me back tonight. I hugged my son and went. Once we reached the hospital, the doctor asked to admit me.   I had scans and MRI’s immediately.  I was awake for this surgery but I was more afraid than before. This time they found a tumor in my brain which needed to be operated immediately. I began to lack hope and had many fears.  Going through MRIs, blood tests, injections – a series of horrifying things. The next morning was my surgery. Can’t express how difficult my night was.  I could barely wave at them I was looking around with fear. I chanted the name of God and asked him to take care of me with full faith.

Then an anesthetist asked me to breathe and I was gone. I then opened my eyes in the ICU. Post-surgery.  I later came to know that my mother, father-in-law, mother in-law and sister-in-law became Covid-19 positive and were admitted in the same hospital in the separate covid ward

I came to know that the tumor I had was cancerous. It was a Glioma. I had to go through Radiation and Chemotherapy for 6 months. After learning I had brain cancer, I tried to gather as much information I could.  I am currently under treatment. I tell myself “This too shall pass”. Life is like this, only you have to be strong. When I had survived from two major neuro surgeries and a deadliest Steven-Johnson Syndrome, I should not give up now. I will fight with this too and will win.

 Life is the greatest teacher. It has a way of teaching us that which no one ever could. Life lessons may appear in the form of difficult situations. They come to make us strong. You cannot control the situations you are going to face in your life, but you can always choose how you respond to it. Our difficult experiences make us who we are and allow us to learn, if we choose to see the lessons in those experiences. Now I am thankful for my struggle because without it I would not have discovered my strength.

I try to stay positive and be on positive path and believe in yourself.

May lord Krishna bless everyone in the world.

Neha Mehta

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