Pardon my French, but what a fucking start to 2019!
Tuesday January 15th
It took a few weeks of scratching my head (figuratively) and arm (literally), going blind in one eye and hopping between doctors. It took one outstanding neurologist 5 minutes of listening to the symptoms and shining a light into my eyes for a diagnosis. “Send for MRI initiate ‘MS Protocol’ get started with treatment, don’t waste time”, Dr. Kothari blurted assertively to his assistants.
What is MS?
‘Multiple Sclerosis’, or you can think of it as ‘Many Scars’, is an auto-immune disease where the cells of the body get confused and attack each other; they can’t tell the good ones from the bad. Lesions develop in different parts of the brain and spinal cord over years and can affect daily living with fatigue, pain, movement and coordination problems. Since it’s the brain we’re dealing with, virtually anything can go wrong. It is not possible to pinpoint the root cause, but a good lifestyle, diet and medical treatment is crucial to manage it. There is no cure yet but, as with cancer and our speed of evolution, its just around the corner.
Stay cool. Let the results show, how bad can it be? The MRI was exactly as some described it to be. No I wasn’t offered music and so 30 minutes felt like 2 hours in a ‘Back to the Future’ magnetic coffin, blaring a full array of sounds. Halfway through I’m pulled out thinking it’s finally over, instead I’m injected with a warm dye in the veins of my wrist so it travels up to my brain for a clearer picture. Shortly after getting out, the technicians look convinced and admission to the hospital is advised with a steroids drip to get things under control.
The next few days
MS is not easy to diagnose: there exists a huge umbrella of different auto-immune diseases. It could be something more or even less severe and at what stage it is matters. A few more days under supervision, blood tests, vision tests and a huge needle in the lower back to get a sample of the fluid flowing in my spinal cord connected to my brain. They need to be 100% sure of what it is before administering any treatment. More injections, more medical terms and we seem to be getting closer. This might be Lupus they say, consulting my file with a network of doctors. Through first-hand experience now, I’m very confident in doctors in India. When you have 1.3 billion people, the sheer volume of cases is staggering and patients fly through the doors. A bit longer and they will confirm exactly what it is I have, one week in.
My symptoms have receded, most significantly my vision is improving. I got myself here the moment I found it difficult even dangerous to drive a car. I continue to meditate daily and I can feel the positive effect it has on my mindset and the healing process. Although it’s not the best idea to Google everything as it can mess with the head, the internet really does have more positives than negatives. It’s how you look at it.
You can go home now, it’s 99% MS, take the meds.
Wednesday 23rd January
I’m about to board a flight home. This last week seems like a big event but what’s changed? I refuse to believe I have any kind of disease, I’m unflustered. This does not make sense as for the past year I have been solid in my health choices. If anything, this can only allow me to grow stronger than ever. If this has really affected me under the surface for a few years now, medical intervention will fix that. I am very lucky to have found out sooner than later, the initial symptoms were a blessing in disguise. People go undiagnosed for 5-10 years and by then the damage is irreversible.
I am truly BLESSED with the love and support I have in my life from family and friends. Shout out to my buddy Mark who was diagnosed years ago, thank you brother. You have been a rock for me in this uncertain time. Mark is a strong voice for MS in Australia. All this on the side, I have developed a newfound spiritual relationship with God since the past few months. I am so grateful for all that I have and have never been in a better place.
Last I checked this blog is about ‘fitness, nutrition and health’. Very soon I’ll be switching to my domain chandguria.com, I really love to write. I am staying strong on my journey with this ‘condition’. Its funny because less than a year ago I was learning all about nerves and anatomy in relation with fitness. My interest is piqued. While others state the obvious about keeping a positive mindset, I’m here looking at inspirational success stories like this one to keep my head up.