Posted by: dlip | November 8, 2008

Isolation

Alone, alone, all all alone

Alone on a wide, wide sea

And ne’er a saint took

Pity on my soul in agony

 

Last night I watched a programme on TV on the National Geographic channel. This features the FBI and some American prison where a prisoner was given severe punishment for his subversive behaviour with the other cell mates. The punishment meted out to him was “150 days of isolation”. They made a big song and dance about 150 days in isolation. I cannot understand what all the noise and fireworks were about. I feel I’ve been in “isolation” for all of last year; yes all 365 days. 150 days? No big deal!

Certain oddities occur as an aftermath to a stroke and remain with one even when walking along the road to recovery. As to whether these oddities remain with one for life; only time will tell I cannot comment on that. Some of the oddities are listed below, not necessarily in priority or severity but at random.

 Oddity – 1: By God’s grace I have retained my sight. By this I mean I am not blind but my vision does play tricks on me. I’m not sure whether its my vision or my mind that is the culprit. There is a tendency to hallucinate. For example; I might see a door as being left open when actually it is closed. My “left field vision” is definitely impaired. This results in my having nil vision on my left side. Often when I meet a person for the first time they probably think I am a very rude and socially crude person. This is because I have ignored their right hand which might have been extended in greeting. How do I tell them that in actual fact I have not seen the gesture and therefore have not taken cognizance of it?

Oddity – 2: Over, the last few days, I have developed the feeling of being pulled to my left. It is almost as if my centre of gravity has shifted. This disturbs or hampers my attempts at walking. Add to the shift of the centre of gravity, a vague feeling of being in a drunken stupor and then try to walk on a rope bridge. (I have mentioned this earlier at some point) and the simple task of “walking” takes on Herculean proportions.

The net result of this faulty vision is that I have learnt not to trust my sight. As a result of this if someone were to tell me that the Titanic was sinking through the road at 10 o’clock, I would give them the benefit of doubt and tend to believe it.

At times I see little dogs being chased by kids, a little older than toddlers across my path. Over a period of time I have learnt to ignore them. The normal average person cannot I suppose empathise with the stroke victim’s aversion to walking. But believe you me it is real.

Oddity – 3: Inability to sit for a length of time. I do not know the medical reasons

Odditiy – 4: At the risk of repeating myself I need to also mention the fact that my ability to speak and enunciate words has also been shot to hell and back.

And, whereas I once had a voice that was a deep and rich baritone. Mine was a voice which would penetrate through any furore at official meetings and draw attention to itself. I know, I have used it often to my advantage. Now all I am capable of is a slight squeaky sound that is absent mindedly ignored by all within ear shot.

Yes, I have had to make huge adjustments to continue the onerous task of living through an ordinary day. This adjustment is at the intellectual and emotional levels and also includes exclusion at social and personal levels.

 

Oddity – 5 : There is this story about an 85 year old fellow who went to the doctor and told him

 “Doc can I lower my sex drive”.

 The doctor was taken aback and asked him “Granddad how old are you”?

 Replied the old codger – “85 years today!”

To which the surprised doctor asked “ What do you mean “lower your sex drive”?

 

The old man replied “it’s all in my head, Doc, it’s all in my head!”

 

I try not to laugh too loudly at this anecdote, because my life now runs much along the same lines.

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Responses

  1. RESPECTED SIR,
    I AM ABHINAV NAGAR OF 18TH COURSE WGSHA PRESENTLY DOING MY MBA IN IMT DUBAI. ITS REALLY GOOD TO WRITE TO YOU AFTER SUCH A LONG TIME . HOW ARE YOU NOW SIR?? WHERE ARE YOU THESE DAYS?? ACTUALLY I AM SUFFERING FROM HYDROCEPHALUS (WATER IN THE BRAIN) SO I ALSO READ ALL THE BLOGS RELATED TO BRAIN.
    HOPE YOU BETTER NOW SIR
    WARM REGARDS
    ABHINAV NAGAR
    18TH COURSE

  2. Dear Abhinav
    Thanks for getting in touch. I am sorry to hear of your condition. What’s the prognosis? What sort of treatment are you undergoing? For myself, I am on a slow path to recovery, but the road is lonely, hard and long. However, with family and loved ones to support me it is a little easier to bear. I would be very happy if you would come and visit me whenever you next happen to be in Delhi or Gurgaon.
    thanks for dropping by the blog, it has been a great therapy for me.
    sincerely D. Singha


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