Friday, November 15, 2013

DBS and me

November 15th 2012 started a journey for me, which I am still stumbling along on Nov 15th 2013 when I am writing this.

I call 2012 the year of facing my biggest fear.... for some reason have always feared heart n brain surgery and now I was told that as my meds were not working it was time to consider DBS also known as Deep Brain Stimulation surgery, and i had to have bilateral, that is have two electrodes implanted in my brain, and oh yeah, i had to stay awake during anesthesia except local. This was first put forth to me in April and my first instinct was no way, then finally did some research and agreed....then followed a rigorous process from which they determine if i am physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the surgery...was given  the green signal n the date set.

November 15th came and we left home around 4.30 am as the hospital was an hour and a half away and we were asked to report at 6.30 am. It was my  husband and me and my brother joined us at the hospital...Was signed in, processed, taken to a waiting room alone first,  where i was asked to change into the sexy backless gown they provide and the dreary grey socks...asked the nurse, why they don't have pink ones..anyway was asked to pee in a cup, came lay on the bed and then started a parade of people...first the nurse taking my vitals...she asked my weight twice when i told her 90 pounds, asked if i had any piercings, tattoos, drank alcohol, did drugs etc to which my answer was a boring no.

The anesthesiologist walked in and asked for my vitals from the nurse...when she told him my weight he  was surprised....he said is she 44 or 24, turned and gave me a look:) I asked him why is he there as I have to be awake...he said they have to be there in the room as standby. And meanwhile there were a flurry of people, asked to sign different forms...then they started me on a heavy dosage of antibiotics, intravenously. Meanwhile my hubby and bro were allowed in the room...along with Shari, my DBS nurse.   She would be my lifeline, my advocate during the surgery.  As we were waiting for my drip to get over, i suddenly started having itching all over my body, i told the nurse and she immediately called someone and they determined that it was a known reaction to the antibiotic.... I really had no option, but to have the entire dosage of antibiotic, otherwise no surgery.  Luckily they found out that if they lowered the speed, it helped. would take longer but at last itching came down.

Then soon it was time to say bye to my hubby and bro as they wheeled me in to surgery, with Shari by my side. my heart was pounding, throat parched, was without meds and no fluids or food for more than 12 hours now.... The first order of business was shaving my head, which a male nurse with a cordless razor, proceeded too do so.  The surgery room was swarming with people.  it was an eye opener as to the number of people and depts involved.  Then saw my doctor who came by patted my arm and asked me how i am doing? I told him  i m ready to get screwed and drilled:)

After shaving my head they got ready for the next step, attaching what i called "the halo" on my head...they literally had to screw that on my head at four different places.  For that they had to give me numbing injections at four different places...the pain of the injections took my breath away as i squeezed Shari's hand. after the injections she patted my hands and said she had seen many a burly men reduced to tears and she was proud of me... then one of the nurse straddled me from the front while another at the back started screwing this pretty heavy thing on my pain, but a lot of pressure and noise and finally the halo was set.

Then I had to go in for an MRI where they took multiple slides of my brain....hate MRI machines and it was a real pain.... then back to the operating room where they screwed the frame screwed to my head to the surgery table.  Then started the long arduous process of measuring, taking countless xrays for them to determine the spot, discussion,, till they marked the spot on my head.  Again numbing injection, where i screamed in pain and then they cut a couple of patches on my was a weird feeling...not much of pain, but could feel the pressure of the knife cutting.....through all this Shari, kept on asking me how i am, had me covered in blankets, got multiple pillows and tried to make me as comfortable as possible.  Then they warned me that they would start the drilling process. A LOT of pressure as they pushed down and the machine sounded as if a plane was taking off right over my head.   Then one of the other doctor was trying to find the exact coordinates on his laptop....I heard an uh oh...apparently my brain was not cooperating and he was having trouble finding the coordinates...then finally a shout...yes! as i suddenly heard some buzzing noise....apparently my brain finally started talking... he rattled of some numbers to the surgeon and he proceeded to insert the electrodes.  they needed a longer electrode for my head, anyways in went the electrode.  I was very tired and ornery by this time and was ready for this  to be over....but they still had to drill in thee other one.  Though this one went by a little faster as they knew where they were going....then after almost eight excruciating hours the magic words...done...then to the anesthesiologist...put her to sleep...but i was so wired that it took them a few minutes to put me down.....then blessed oblivion...phew!!!

Awoke in the recovery cubicle, was taken for a CAT Scan to make sure everything was OK. After a while my hubby and bro were allowed to visit me and they found me sipping ginger ale and eating honey graham crackers as i was hungry...was almost 5.30 pm.... I was supposed to stay overnight and released the next just barely 24 hours after the surgery i was released in the care of my family.  Luckily my in-laws were with us which was heaven sent. Could not have done it without them.

But wait it was not over yet...After 5 days on Nov 20th I went back for another surgery. This was to be an hour surgery under full anesthesia to put in the battery pack and it was supposed to be a day trip.  But when i awoke from the surgery my heart was apparently beating unusually fast so they decided to keep me overnight for observation.

Finally I was done with the the recovery process... will be continued:)

Here is the youtube link to the video of my surgery

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bleeding Heart

As I dam my river of tears
with a smile
a smile that
hides the pain

A bleeding heart I am
taking on others pain
Am I an oxymoron
or maybe just a moron

comes natural
does not
comes natural
does not

No one
can imagine
depth of fear
i keep caged
in my heart

the recriminations
the consternation
the despair
the helplessness
the hopelessness
the degradation
the demoralisation

A bleeding heart I am
taking on others pain
Am I an oxymoron
or maybe just a moron

 Thoughts of the future
I usually see thru rose
colored glasses
but they seem to
have been smudged a little
by that darn Parkie
Parking into my life

slowly but surely
eroding all the positives
adding all the negatives
slowly and sleathily
took my handwriting away
took my beautiful penmanship
and turned it into squiggly lines

Greedy Parkie
even took my
ability to speak properly
me, who was a chatterbox
now refuse to talk to
people on the phone

Confidence turns to
Under confidence
Talkative turns to
extrovert turns to
once life of a party
has no life to party

but hey enough
with the moaning

I still want to see the sun
feel the caress of the wind
feel the raindrops on my face
enjoy the wildflowers

and yes
even if I cannot be a whole
atleast do not want to be a hole

so as much as i can be
a daughter to my parents
a sister to my brother
a partner to my spouse
a daughter-in-law to my in laws
a parent to my babies
a friend to my friends

in my own little way
I strive to be that
May not win any accolades
but try my best
to be the best i can  be
given all the constraints
cos I tell myself

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Foggy Bottom?




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The "Joys" of being a Parkie mom...

Hmm yup I said Joys... and u must be wondering....that i have truly lost all my dopamine cells...but hear me out OK.

Mr. Parkie, the jerk who jerks me around came into my life in the age of 36, prime of my life, just when i was thinking of getting back into the workforce, from which i had taken a sabbatical for a couple of years for the birth of my second son in oldest born in 1999.  I have always been a person who enjoyed working outside the house, cleaning and dusting was not for me, if i did have some spare time would read a book, or learn something new online:) Well I had my plans and life had its and life's plan it was.

The ride from then to now when i am writing this, August 2013, has been a roller coaster ride indeed...biggest of all the searing guilt of getting a chronic condition into my families life ( yup am the first in my family to get it) of becoming a burden.... of not being able to be a good supportive wife and mother.

Parkie has been a part of my life for so long that I have almost forgotten how i was before Parkie...When i look back on my nine years with Parkie, i sometimes wonder how i overcame the dark moments in my life...tears by the bucketful, anxiety by the boatload, fear overwhelming, guilt all encompassing, in an emotional hell hole at the mercy of the condition and the mind altering drugs i am taking me to worlds unknown, so much so, i thought i was losing my marbles...some of my problems directly related and some in directly related to Parkie.......... trying so hard to overcome the black void of depression, almost felt like a physical effort, thoughts of ending my life running rampant...almost a sense of futility, a feeling of being trapped....i think it is god's blessings and sheer willpower that makes me smile and face the world....lets hope i can continue this without falling off... 

I have always encouraged my kids to write about their feelings about Parkinson's and me and every birthday or mother's day, my kids took a printer paper, folded it in half and wrote out personalised messages, that rival any Hallmark card... and I have a collection of those sweet notes from their heart:) They are the reason that makes me get up everyday and face life with a smile:) Now as my little one gets ready to head off to middle school and my oldest getting ready to go to high school I would like to share what they wrote.

This one is written by Ranai, when he was ten, recently turned eleven:)

"Well, the way I describe Parkinsons is a disease which doesn’t express yourself to the fullest, it limits your abilities. This is what you have maa, and I know it is hard to live life. You have us though, and we will help you trough the hard times.

I really don’t like Parkinsons, especially since my maa has it. I remember on our vacation to Duck, maa was feeling bad for most of the trip. I felt so bad that maa didn’t get to enjoy the trip. As I said earlier, Parkinsons doesn’t let you live to the fullest. Maa didn’t live to the fullest on that vacation.

I’m so glad that maa doesn’t have advanced Parkinsons, or she would be shaking all the time. Some of the most famous people, such as Michael J. Fox, and Muhammad Ali, have Advanced Parkinsons. They cannot even walk straight. Even the most infamous people, like Adolf Hitler had Parkinsons. Parkinsons is not an uncommon disease, but I don’t know why it had to happen to maa.

I thank god that Parkinsons is not fatal. I would do anything to get maa out of that disease, even if it meant waling a thousand miles. She is the best mom ever, and she acts so nice and caring around me. I especially like our text conversations. Maa, I love you, and I would do anything in the world for you."

And this writtten by Rishab my 13 year old:)

"A special family member to me is my mom. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004, so her life is much harder than the rest of us. It is as hard as a fish with no water. Her body can never stay in one place, she is always shaking, and sometimes she can’t even walk. However, she lives it to the fullest. She is really funny, and is always optimistic. That is what I admire about her. However, we do have to help her in parts of the day because she is shaking. This is because of the disease. This really limits her, and this is why we don’t really go on vacations that much. Life is hard, but my mom is really special to me because of the way she handles her disease. I also have to say that my dad is very special also, because despite of all the struggles we are facing as a family, he always keeps his head up and never gives up. That is why I admire my mom and dad and think they are special."

So yes, as my dad said, these two are your treasures, your pillars in life..... while i think why did they have to have a mom, like me, who cannot be fully involved in their lives, then again i think, well atleast i m here to celebrate their milestones, there are many who are not so lucky, that is when i realise the joy of being a Parkie mom:)

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Bro

 Originally written on February 19, 2012 at 9:55am
I remember you came into my life
a red squalling bundle
with a smooth bald head and peeling skin

Little did I know then what a gift
I was given, a lifelong friend:)

I remember you guzzling up
bottles of milk and happily
chucking the bottle away after u were done:)

I remember going together
to our school in the same bus
where you always made sure that
I had a seat to sit:)

I remember you punching someone
who dared say something nasty to me

I remember you refusing to call me DiDi
and Ma and me devise a way so u did
end up calling me Di:)

I remember countless times running around
our sofa as soon as we were alone,
playing our wn game of fun, sometimes
ending up fighting and crying:)

I remember that no matter we fought
incessantly in the house
We always were clear on one thing
No on messes with either of us otherwise:)

I remember you looking up to me
and before I even realised you grew up
and I had to look up to u:)

I remember we eating dinner on the carpet
in front of the TV as we watched the serials on TV

I remember listening to our favourite cassette
of Jagjit Singh of whom u are still a fan of:)
while we were having our dinner
we always played  that tape

I remember you going to the ashram
and staying without you for a week
and visiting you there and you
who did not eat veggies, started eating them amd doing puja every single day:))))

I remember you going away to study
Engineering and how bereft I felt
as if a very important part of me was missing

I remember you crying inconsolably
as I got married and left and then you
visiting me when I was leaving the country

I remember we hugging each other crying and hoping
we wil be together soon

It took a few years but here we are

Now as you turn 40, many things have changed
in our lives, as we go through our daily grind

But the one thing that has not changed and never will
is our love for each other, our unique bond we have
as a brother and sister and as we both know
that even if we do not meet often or say it often enough

I got ur back and you got my back:)))
We will be there for each other
That is the beauty of a sibling

I love u my dearest Bro from the very bottom of my heart:))


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Swirl and Twirl:))

It is fun being a Parkie
especially after having
impulses going off in ur head
with electrodes n electrical

Pump up the voltage
Amp up the frequency
I wanna sizzle
not fizzle
I wanna dance
not be in a trance

So i may shake
while I bake
making what I bake
shake shake shake
but i wanna bake my cake
and yes eat it too

Pump up the voltage
Amp up the frequency
I wanna sizzle
not fizzle
I wanna dance
not be in a trance

So that I don't sneeze,
when I freeze
locked in mind and body
trying in vain
to send message
that  is ok to move
and groove

Pump up the voltage
Amp up the frequency
I wanna sizzle
not fizzle
I wanna dance
not be in a trance

simple things i wanna
do, no great shakes
oops no shakes at all
do all that i had taken
for granted
the things i wanted
simple you know

Pump up the voltage
Amp up the frequency
I wanna sizzle
not fizzle
I wanna dance
not be in a trance

Yes baby
Cmon hold my hands
while we dance the shakes
away, unfreeze my feet
twirling and swirling
singing gaily
with nary a care in the world
cmon baby hold my hands:)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Ma's day:)

Ma....such a small word but means the world. Have such wonderful childhood memories and today as a mother  of two boys, i hope i  can be even half a mother that my ma is  to me...Simple, straightforward, the most sweetest, sensitive and yes the bestest ma in the whole entire world ..that is my ma..... friendly, compassionate, empathetic and strong, she always was and is to date involved in the community where my parents live:)

I remember when I was sick, I  would hold on tight to her  and insist she stay with  me, selfishly as only a child can be,  and she even though she knew, that I was not that sick that she needed to stay with me, would do so, unselfishly putting her day on hold:) She was my go between between me and Ba, especially if I had a bad report card that needed his signature, or needed his permission to go to a school trip:) I learned early on that I could get what I wanted if I shed enuf tears and shamelessly exploited it:))

The most fav part that has continued from childhood is her feeding me:) Many a times after we came back from school or were tired  she mixes up the rice  and sabji  into the most tasty morsel in the entire world...I have been known to have eaten stuff that I detested, if Ma fed me, as I used to be so busy chatting with her,I would not notice...and yes whenever she visits me here in te US or I come home, she feeds me:))) My kids think it is very funny:))

As they say what goes around come s around..Now I am a Ma to  two wonderful boys and all I wish and hope that I can teach my kids the life's ;lessons that my parents taught me, those that has helped me live my life, the way I am today is all because of my parents:))

I love u Ma:)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


We know not
from where u begin
where is your end

you are seemingly endless
yet you help us reach our destination
you show no discrimination
Old and young
rich or poor

you are a witness
to many a joy
and many a pain
you have helped
the hopefuls reach where they need to be
and carried many a wayward
to their destination

You have been drenched by the blood
of the ones wounded
You have helped begin
many a new life

You are trodden over
driven over
no one contemplating
that without you
where would we be

We know not
from where u begin
where is your end

Friday, April 5, 2013

Moonlight Sonata

as i lay on my bed
in the night
feeling the twinges of pain coming on
i looked out the window
cud see moonbeams thru
the window slats
cool, calm and so very bright

as I pondered my life
wondering what would it be
as I gazed at those lines on my carpet
as the moonbeams sneaked through
the window, illuminating
and brightening my mind that
was filled with dark thoughts

As I looked through bleary eyes
at the big fat moon that hung in the sky
as I looked at the beautiful night
awash in her brilliance

I wanted to forget
about the twinges of pain invading my body
about my toes curling
about my body stiff as board
about cramps rippling through my body
in painful twitches
as i lay on my bed frozen

I close my eyes as
I tiptoe into the moonlight
as in my thoughts I  could hear
the soft seductive strain of the
moonlight sonata, the soft music
coursing through me, permeating my
body, mind and soul
as my body swayed and whirled
in beat to the music

'cos u see in my dreams
I am in control
as I dance along with the moonbeams:))

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


What a roller coaster ride it is being a parent...emotions turbulent, heart squeezes, protective instincts on high alert, Need to let go, want to hold them tight, need to let them fall, but you feel the pain of every scrape with them, want to protect them from the world, the nastiness, the feeling of utter helplessness, when u see the tears well in their eyes, your heart cries with them, as u try to be strong for them, as I realise that really the best we can do, is teach them to be the best human being, to make the right choices and wait with bated breath and a thudding heart, hoping, wishing and praying that they remember that in the time when u are not around to protect them...Yes Parenting is the hardest, yet most fulfilling job around, that lasts a lifetime:)))

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


As I look around myself
at the glittering shards
surrounding  me
fragments of my dreams
shattered by things
beyond my control

I had held on to them
for the very longest  time
immersing myself,
in my vision that I had
trying my very best to
convey that to the dream  merchants

They who held the power to turn
my dreams into reality
busy creating glittering visions for else
wait we'll get back to u they say...

But ....but my heart stammers
u do not understand....I have
limited time and I need to...
I tried telling them about the uninvited
thing in my body....

Oh u poor thing they say, pity oozing
then they shrug and continue their way
they do not see, do not have the time to see
my desperation, my passion, my belief, my vision
as like me, they are countless others
clamoring for their attention...
I am but a mere speck

Little do they know....
the battles I waged
the terrors of my mind that
I fought valiantly
the sneers and jeers I tolerated
that I am but a fool to dream
glittery dreams
a foolish woman past her prime
yearning for the moon n shine
must be off her rocker...

I tried with my heart and soul
I fought with my will and determination
I tried to explain but to no avail
The jeers turned to knowing smiles
The uninvited guest in my body
making himself comfortable
my mind,body and soul
focused on my daily living
as I rolled on downhill

As I heard the shatter
my eyes blinded by tears
my heart broken, as I picked up
one large piece of my shattered dream
the shard sharp, glittery and broken
As I stared into it

As I wiped my tears away
clearing my vision
I looked, really looked
into it and saw my eyes, my soul looking back
and there I noticed the glimmer
the glimmer of hope, determination
and will power, that I  thought I had lost

fighting  to break through the grey murkiness
of tears and the shadows of defeat
my What the heck...attitude shining away
I stared at it hard and strong till the glimmer
radiated through me
infusing me with renewed hope

Yes I may be down, but far from defeated
Yes I may be down, but far from dejected
Yes I may be down, but far from weak
Yes I may be down, but far from helpless
Yes I may be down, but far from lifeless
Yes I may be down, but far from visionless

So I decide as I look down at the fragments
I may be down but definitely not out
There are things I need to do
There are things I want to do

As I look up to the
big dude high up there
beyond the blue yonder

I  tell him
Dude you better give me the strength
'cos I ain't giving up
I am going at it
what I don't know
but will follow the dictates of my heart
and rely on u to show me the way
cos ain't that part of your job anyway?

So I gather  the pieces and glue
them on the board of my life
making a pretty pattern, adding some glitter
some bling, building iit into a beautiful mosaic
of my renewed dreams

Yup I dream on as always
'cos if u do not have a dream
u are not really alive:)))

Break Free:)

I want to beak free
Free from all that chains
me to the past
encumbering me

I want to break free
and soar like a bird
up above all the
pain and disillusionment
that I see
being inflicted on humans
by humans

I want to break free
from the
gossamer web of
emotions and emotional

I want to break free
of all the maze of lies
that people spin
snaring one in it's
confusing plots

I want to break free
of human frailties
that I have...
an emotional doormat
that I am
I let everyone wipe their feet
on me

I want to break free
of the the guilt
swamping me
drowning me in despair

I want to break free
and fly to the highest peak
to the highest zenith
to look down and
see where I can help
make a difference

Yes I want to break free:)