letter to kuro

dear kuro,

we still can’t believe that it has been one year since you left us.

I still shut the gate as tight as possible , when  I enter your home.

I still expect to see you jumping with joy when i enter your door.

I still look around to see you sleeping somewhere indifferent to every other activity.

We still hesitate in saying “chalo”.

Mummy still closes the door swiftly as she leaves home.

We miss u babu kuro.we miss you like hell.

i was in my eleventh grade ,when siddhu adamantly brought u home,

i couldnt come to recieve you at the airport,as i had tuition classes to attend.

U came from bangalore ,siddhu said along with your brother.

siddhu chose you out of the two ,as u had a darker skin color .

I was there at home to receive u along with Subbu and Sinha auntie.

all of us were so excited to see you.

I cannot describe  in words ,how adorable you were as a puppy,the cutest i had ever seen , u were just 40 days old .(it pained to think u were separated from ur family ,at such a tender age).

and the first thing u did as soon as u landed on the floor was to pee.

and you had us all in splits(except maa,who until  now had evidently expressed her distress “hum abhi bhi keh rahe hain isko wapas kar aao “)

Siddhu was the happiest ,cute little boy he was back then.

I remember your first night at our home.mummy had bought a basket for you ,which is now being used for laundry,she had put an old quilt of mine and you were placed in the same.(u were expected to sleep and stay in there baba ).

But , as soon as all dozed off you manouverd and came out.I as usual was the last to sleep, was watching over you the whole night and many other nights that followed.

you remember your strict trainer??

the tall police trainer? of course, you do?how scared you used to get, I was the one who would save you from him.there were so many times I would not open the door for him.

I was so protective of you.

oh!I clearly remember all those girlfriends of yours, the black lab, the yellow lab, of course, spuggy  our favorite,we suspected the yellow one had your babies,but her mom denied.Anyways spuggy was our favorite.We have named another one spuggy now.

Remember the fight you got into with that adult great dane .It was like Nawazuddin Siddiqui getting into a fight with the great Khali.You behaved hilariously that day.

ofcourse that incident when a small squirrel entered our home and u ran upto it,we got scared u would harm it .instead you carried it tenderly in your mouth and left it in the garden.such a gentle dog you were.

Panchalotiya sir used to call you the old wise man.

mama called you cousin dog kuro.

Nanu called you koru. 

Some even called you purab. 
there are soooo many other incidences kuro.I wish i could tell you.

I wish i could be with you in your illness.

I regret not being able to mourn your demise properly, as i was getting engaged the next day.

maa and papa are fine, though they are still struggling with the void that was created.but they are doing fine.Maali kaka has shifted, i haven’t seen him since last 365 days.

I hope he is fine.

we all still love you babu kuro.and will always do.I wish you a very happy life wherever you are today.You will always be in our thoughts.

and i am a vegetarian because of.you changed our outlook towards animals.

love to the power infinity

srivastavas and friends

(special mention to Sinha uncle and family,avinash Nayal, Ragini Varshney ,Raja uncle, CHoubey unlce ,maali kaka,watchman kaka,mani ben and all those who have given our Kuro love, we are all very thankful)

 

 

 

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ROOM NO.501 (contd.)

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10th of September 2017 ,marks the 15th time the world health organisation is endorsing the idea of SUICIDE prevention.

suicide in Latin means “self murder”.

It ranges from thinking that life is not worth living to actually completing the act.

It is one of the very few Psychiatric emergencies we come across.

like time,suicide has a past ,a present and a future.

past implies to the previous mental illnesses (studies suggest suicide is almost always the result of a mental illness).

present implies to the act of committing it .

and with future i imply ,the devastating legacy it leaves for those who have lost a loved one to it.We refer to them as the SURVIVORS of suicide.

room no. 501 has left its paint on my mind,

it reminds me of allot ,

it reminds of both good and extremely bad times.

the beginning was the toughest ,it was a ‘house full’ of lonely nights , hopeless evenings and mundane Sunday mornings.

then with help it became easier, and coming out of the phase changed me immensely.

i came out as a more confident , less anxious , more forgiving ,less judging and a more positive being.

after the phase i understood my patients’ agony better ,may be it was purposed to happen ,so that i would come out stronger.

I now connect better with my patients,I listen more intently, observe more keenly and take more interest.

 

Just about last year i received a call from my mother ,in between my exams that one our known expired ,on inquiring  she said it was a completed suicide.

this was the first time I came across someone who ,not related to my work background ,

had done so.It was perturbing.when other people in our circle discussed about it,

I understood suicide’ position in our society.

  1. most commonly people said “what was so bad in the persons life that she has to resort to such a huge step.”

to that i would usually say that it is very rare that suicide occurs as a result of a single factor,usually there are many.and it is very difficult to explain.

2.others would try to ignore suicide and just concentrate on the death part.it is a big taboo to talk about it.

to that i would usually surrender (my bad).

understanding the risk factors can help us all to curb the rising rates .

  1. age :over 45 yrs.
  2. divorced/widowed.
  3. unemployed.
  4. conflictual interpersonal relationships
  5. chaotic family backgrounds
  6. chronic illnesses.
  7. substance abuses
  8. hopelessness
  9. previous suicide attempt(the most important determinant).
  10. social isolation.

there are many others and it should be noted that anybody ,anytime of their lives can become suicidal ,and anyone ,anytime of their lives should be taken seriously if they report so.

action to be taken is i would say report to a doctor immediately ,preferably a person who is trained in the field of mental illness.

following is the link to my previous article on the similar topic.

ROOM NO.501

reach out.take help.your life is precious.all problems have a solution.your suffering can be lessened .it is an illness like any other physical illness that demands attention and treatment.

losses

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They were married for 30 odd years now,

4 children ,2 abortions,demise of parents and elder siblings ,

yes they has sailed through all ,Together,

for all their lives ,she was the parent in their relationship and he the child

(http://www.hopestreetcentre.org.uk/therapy-sandbach-cheshire/understanding-parent-adult-child-model),

She was the pacifier ,he the impulsive one.

But,tables were turning now,

It seemed she needed help now.

She couldn’t drape a saree ,she FORGOT how to.

She FORGOT she had eaten ,she FORGOT she slept ,

She FORGOT where they lived,She FORGOT how old she was.

She FORGOT their date of marriage,she FORGOT she had FORGOTTEN.

It all began the day she put salt instead of sugar in his favourite dessert.

When she was brought,the DEMENTIA had already taken its toll.

she was admitted to look for reversible causes ,still there was hope.

But everyday during the rounds her symptoms were the same.

She could not recall her address,not the names of her children.

On asking she would just smile ,hiding the embarrassment.

While the new parent (her husband)would move his hands over her hair,

scared he was even more now,he would feed her now,dress her .But when she was not looking he would cry ,he would cry like a baby who has been separated from an elder,

he would cry like never before,cause he was grieving the loss of his companion,his partner,his family,his friend ,his love ,his wife.   #dementia #family #love

dementia ,an overview

#dementia#mentalhealth

AFTERWORD: dementia is the progressive impairment in higher brain functions specifically cognition,the consciousness unlike delirium remains clear.

It is not the same as mental retardation as the deficits in dementia ,represent a decline from previous functioning.

It occurs in approximately 5% of population above the age of 65 years.Of all causes Alzheimer’s disease is the most common,followed by vascular dementia which has an underlying etiology related to cardiovascular diseases.

It is diagnosed on the basis of clinical features and history narrated by close relatives.

Now treatment is done on the basis of the etiology  ,for irreversible causes like Alzheimer’s cholinesterase  inhibitors are used.

The question is whether it is preventable ,recent studies suggest it is.

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/798129

as the above article(link)suggests diet modification,exercise and lifestyle modification play a positive role in preventing dementia.

also it is suggested that learning new things , after turning 30 may be helpful .

#preventingdementia

 

A living funeral

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The new year came and went,

he told no one but he knew that this would be his last ,

when a colleague died suddenly of a heart attack,

Morrie went to his funeral,

came home depressed.

“what a waste” he said.”all those people saying such beautiful things and irv never got to hear any of it”.

had a better idea;he called a few friends ,fixed a date and organised his ,’living funeral’

This is inspired from the book called “Tuesdays with Morrie” by the author (Mitch Albom) which was gifted to me by my professor and head Dr Panchal.

 

the idea of a living funeral appealed to me to a large extent,

the idea is analogous to farewells we conduct ,

to many ideas at the social networking sites like,testimonials(orkut) and the recent saraaha (or whatever).

what draws my attention more is that why do we need funerals,what i ponder upon is that man being the social animal is always  in search of an approval or rejection from others(positive or negative game) which is always preferred to indifference.

I feel therefore,we need to learn to be appreciative .

to express feelings,emotions,desires,opinions whenever given an opportunity.

to express love and gratitude before all the energy gets wasted.

you will get time to watch that video tomorrow as well But,u will not be able to appreciate your mothers food tomorrow,

you will get time to play candy crush tomorrow But, not be able to see the joy on your fathers face when u tell him you are proud of him.

you will be able to click that selfie anytime you want ,but, u will miss your husbands grin tomorrow when he is frustrated with his work.

you will be able to scroll Facebook tomorrow but ,you will definitely miss the opportunity of telling your sibling how you appreciate their BEING after they leave for college.

you will miss your friends

and definitely you will not be able to pat your doggie once he dies …

and death is but the ultimate separation,

So before we become ‘brimmed’ with regret  let us talk to each other ,appreciate each other .dedicate poems to each other,sing and dance for each other,

because we have very less time… 

 

 

 

Its a dirty world…

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For her everything was dirty,

her life revolved around dirt and getting rid of it,

for her cleaning was an occupation,an addiction,a fate and not a hobby,

she would start it as the first thing in the morning and conclude only when she slept,

she had forgotten she had a family,

a husband ,two children.

at times she would have relaxed months,relaxed years.

But,whenever there was a change in the environment ,her cleaning would make new records.

years had passed all together ,she had not traveled ,she did not learn anything new,

she was trapped in her OBSESSION of CONTAMINATION.

she never knew there was a solution,

she never knew there were others like her,

she never knew it was an illness,

she never knew it was not her mistake,

she never knew she could be free…

for her the world remained a dirty dirty place …

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.154.7.911

#OCD#contamination#obsessive#compulsive#disorder#hope#psychiatry

keep calm ,don’t panic!!!

She called ,i was driving.

She called back , i picked up.

Before i could talk,she was crying.

i knew she was on treatment ,

i asked her what was wrong,

but she would not stop crying,

now i started getting scared,

what was she upto,was she alright?

what was she thinking?,

where must she be ???

i asked her again,please tell me what is it?

she said she could not breathe,

i did not understand

she said she had a chest pain ,

i was getting close.

she said she is going to die,

Ah!impending doom i thought.

i asked her if she was alone,

she did not answer,

she said everything has finished,

i said no it has not,tell me where are u.

she said she was at home.

phew i thought ,is auntie at home i asked.

yes she is ,but i don’t want to trouble her.

i said ok .just take your tablet clonazepam.

she said she did not want to.

i was confused ,what else could i do?

we were 700kms apart and i knew how stubborn she was.

she would suffer but not take the medicine,

that is the way she was.

never had i seen her like this,not even during the worst times .

she kept crying ,everything is gone,i’m dying

i’m having a panic attack she said.

she was getting better now.

i asked how she wanted me to help her .

she said u just listen. OK i thought.

she did not say anything after that ,i could hear only her incessant cries.

within 10 mins she said she felt better ,and would call me later.

i called my other friend in the same city immediately as soon as she hung up.

i asked to not tell her i called.

Because like everybody my dear friend felt vulnerable.

she felt oh i cannot be weak .Oh !no no no no.

I say can something be done ??

She got well in a month or so,we have not talked about that later on.

I asked her to tell others that treatment is available for mental illness ,

she said she would for sure.

the other thing that kept me pondering was ,what if the patient does not want to take medicines,

is there something else we can do?

or are we crippled?

many questions ,not many answers…

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330525/

 

 

ROOM NO.501

I would stand there (in our balcony) for hours ,IMG-20141104-WA0018

time would just not move,

for sometime i would look at the dark sky

they were cloudy nights,many of them,

I stood there for hours

other times i would look at the hospital ,the surgical ward,not much movement at that hour.Still i would stare in a hope to see somebody.

Then i would look down ,where our vehicles were parked,But the watchman would also be sleeping, lucky man i thought.

Also i had many other thoughts,including a frequent one of the consequence of jumping off the building.i would think what will happen if i jump ,will i die or will i sustain injuries,oh! my already overworked husband (then boyfriend),will have another case to solve.I thought of the watchman who would loose his sleep ,

oh !poor man i thought,i thought of our warden my HOD himself, he would have to be disturbed at that hour of the night,no no i thought,

I thought of my roommates and good friends ,what would they think , she was weak could not even sustain a branch that is as comfortable as psychiatry.

I thought of my mother and trembled with agony , how could i even think of something like this, poor woman my maa.

I thought of my father ,bas i could not think more.

I felt drops on my face i felt the pain,i felt i was crying oh yes i was,i thought of the reason i absolutely could not,

I took a deep breath and looked at my watch(cellphone) it was  already 3:00 a.m.

I had to wake up at 7. I immediately called the first contact i saw,that was of my husband i knew he was awake,he picked up my phone as cheerfully as always ,asked me why was i still up ,i was just crying,his cheer turned to worry and immediately asked if i was alone at home and asked me to come down ,i told him not to worry he insisted to see me, i told him ok ill come to your ward ,i went there at 3, helped him with the dressings he asked what was wrong i could not explain,as i was myself in awe.till we finished the work it was already 4:30 he dropped me home,i slept i suppose.

The other day i was up by 7:30 am though i had planned to take an off ,but couldn’t help but wake up.I the rounds that day and many other days i would not understand any bit,as i was drowsy .I made mistakes while working ,mistakes that i could not.Got scolded by my superiors,they seemed concerned.They asked me what was wrong ,i said i am not getting enough sleep and the matter closed.

One day while talking to a patient in the O.P.D i started crying the patient looked at me and said madam is all well?i said yes it is, how dare it not.

Nights were the worst ,specially Tuesdays and Fridays ,as my roommate would be away (emergency duty) .

I did not think of talking to anyone as i was scared all will judge,they would say psychiatry has affected me ,which i was sure had not.I thought they would say i am doing so to gain attention and to cover up for my mistakes.I was very scared.

I had never been a social person,but never had i felt so lonely before.

On the 24th of november 2014 i finally decided to talk to the person who i believed would not judge ,that was my professor . I talked to him he listened,i cried he listened ,asked me if i wanted to start medications i asked him for some other alternative he gave me a book .

Feeling good by David burns

and for the first time in months i felt good.

i dont know what went wrong then but something was wrong ,it definitely was.

Barbie doll — Site Title

My first encounter with psychiatry was when my father had his first episode of depression ,during the plague epidemic ,sometime around 1998.I remember him being very dull,was not going for work,would cry unnecessarily and incessantly.He also had a specific phobia for dolls,which would restrain us to bring any or play with any dolls at home(at […]

via Barbie doll — Site Title

Barbie doll

DSC_0814My first encounter with psychiatry was when my father had his first episode of depression ,during the plague epidemic ,sometime around 1998.I remember him being very dull,was not going for work,would cry unnecessarily and incessantly.He also had a specific phobia for dolls,which would restrain us to bring any or play with any  dolls at home(at times he expresses guilt for the same till date.)I don’t blame him though as i did not really like playing with the DOLLS.He took treatment for the same,and also started practicing Yoga.One day i remember he brought a Barbie doll,that wore a white lace dress and kept it on the cabinet .He would purposely sit in front of it ,taking time out of his busy schedule , daily and i would observe him sweating ,flushing and fidgeting.my father possesses one the prettiest eyes I’ve seen ,very expressive big doe shaped eyes ,with long eyelashes, they would become blood-red,my mother would get frightened and plead him to see a doctor immediately ,I would watch him suffer ,baffled.The distress he felt was evident,still he would go through the same suffering daily,just so that i could play with the dolls.I would tell him time and again ,”no papa i don’t want to play with it”.But he would persist.I clearly remember he would perform different ‘asanas’ and try to make me and my brother laugh,we used to.Eventually medicines were tapered ,alcohol was resorted to and Yoga stayed ,so did the phobia ,within a month the lace dress barbie was thrown away from the window ,by my mother(as he would refuse to touch it).All this made me loath all kinds of dolls anyone could know of.I could not understand how can children of my age enjoy playing with these dead unreal appalling things,i could never,i will never.It made my papa suffer .https://archivesindianpsychiatry.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/224/