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An Illness When I Seriously Doubted If I Would Walk Again Taught Me NOT To Take Health For Granted

People can only offer support but the ownership lies in my hand. And most importantly, as long as I live, I want to live healthy and not ever be dependent on anyone for anything!

There are some lessons which you learn only when you live them!

And I have been living with one for the past few months.

It all started with severe leg pain and an initial visit to the general physician. When the pain refused to subside, I turned to an orthopedic doctor who prescribed medications and asked me to do some tests. The result of one pointed out a possible neurological disorder.

I heaved a sigh of relief. After weeks of uncertainty, I finally had a diagnosis and was now seeing a neurologist. The entire process has been nerve wrecking and tiring to say the least. Though I am on the path of recovery now, it has changed my outlook towards life in more than one ways.

Firstly now know how it feels to walk with a limp, a stick or not be able to walk at all. I can safely say that I have got a small glimpse of the ‘budhapa’. Where once I used to shrug off health issues of elderly people as that related with age, I have now realised that till the moment you breathe, you will feel each and every aches in your body irrespective of whether you are old or young!

Also, I am not a pessimist but there came a point of time when I seriously doubted my ability to walk again. It was probably the toughest phase of this journey. Because not only did my physical health deteriorated but my mental health too seemed to be going for a toss.

The dependency was so painful!

Simple things like mixing milk with cornflakes or washing a spoon, walking from the bedroom to the kitchen in a 3 bhk flat, getting up to switch on the fan or light, all of these became near impossible for me. Just standing straight for five minutes was a task in itself. My room which always looked spic and span started resembling a storehouse with clothes and toys scattered everywhere. I had no option but to turn a blind eye to them. While my husband helped with the mundane chores, my mother in law took hold of the kitchen.

Anyone would think I was having the time of my life. With nothing to do but lie or sit and have your spouse and in law to do your bidding. I too might have thought the same had the situation been reversed.

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But believe me when I tell you that it was sheer agony. To not be able to do simple things like making your own bed or even getting a glass of water for yourself and worse when you have no option but to take help from others for those very small things, it leaves you feeling frustrated and helpless. The realisation that you are dependent on someone else even for your basic needs scares the hell out of you. I was not only terrified but bore a huge amount of guilt too.

The guilt and frustration

It might sound crazy but it’s true. I felt guilty for putting my family in such a spot. For increasing my mother in law’s workload at this age, for burdening my husband with my health issues, for taking out my frustrations on the kids sometimes.

My moods swang faster than the pendulum. I was always depressed and angry. And funny thing was no one seemed to take any notice of it. They went about their own life as usual, working, watching web series, going out occassionally to meet friends and having good time.

It was probably this attitude that hit me hard and I came upon a realisation.

My health be it physical or mental is dependent only upon me. It’s my responsibility to take care of it. Because if I don’t, nobody else will. People can only offer support but the ownership lies in my hand. And most importantly, as long as I live, I want to live healthy and not ever be dependent on anyone for anything!

Please don’t take your health for granted!

This has become the mantra of my life now. I have accepted that this is what it is. I have also done away with the guilt part because clearly I had no hand in creating this neurological problem. I do whatever and however much I am capable of. And I always pat my back for that.

Surprisingly, I see many positive changes in myself now. I have become more tolerant of my body weight, my looks. I no longer feel the need to compete but feel proud of whatever I have achieved till now.

Another change that I observe now is in my relationships. They are more harmonious now than they have ever been.

So to all of you reading this article, please do take care of your health. Both physical and mental. Believe me it’s the most precious gift that God has given you.

Do take out time for yourself. The chores can wait a bit. Do away with the guilt factor. The society has already conditioned us enough. But break away from it.

Because if you don’t, nobody else will do it for you!

Image source: Mikito Raw on pexels

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Manideepa Lahiri

An avid reader and recently a writer . I like to pen down my thoughts and experience. read more...

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