Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My H1N1 Log Part-1

It’s been close to 2 months now and I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of sharing  my experiences on a blog ,I finally thought I should and do so with little bit caution and greater responsibility. More importantly I could thank all those you stood by me, so here I go
(H1N1 influenza virus)

June 29-30

With the weather in Bangalore turning dull wet and cold as ever, seasonal variations meant the weather was ideal for air born infections and I was no expectation to catch a common cold. With a fixation of self medication that’s to typical I remember popping vicks and crocin. With sore throat I decided to stay back at home and take a much needed break from work. While I felt ok 2 days were enough for me to head back to office, with the thought that week end was couple of days away I went back feeling normal.

July 14-15

My common cold returned back and I rued myself to the fact of not going to doc and unnecessarily getting it back, I felt tiredness that’s commonly associated with cold. I dragged myself till 15th once I had a mild fever meant I took one more crocin to bring back things to normal which it did to a good extent

July 16-17 first signs

I woke on 16th morning with the worst cough I had in my life, neither was the flem coming out nor was syrup making any difference. By Saturday evening my mild fever returned, with a temple visit due on 18th morning got me worried to an extent that I finally ventured out to find a local poly clinic nearby. Before I could say anything to that doc he injected me with an antibiotic on my hips, along with few tabs to pop again. I must say I hate tab since childhood until one day my wife taught me how to swallow a tab lol J (that’s possibly the last smile on my write-up), not that I like now but saves me from looking like a kid when it comes to taking medicine. With all the medication I went back to sleep hoping that I would be normal for the next day.

July 18th not good

I woke up with no change to my health; heavy cough and a running temperature   I take a call to go ahead with temple visit. With sun beating over head coming as a surprise I could not take the heat with running fever and cough I broke from the line when I felt like fainting. A rather sorry episode for me personally that I could not take a dharshan. We headed back home, unable to bare the uneasiness I head back to a bigger hospital this time (Columbia Asia).We came back with a new course of medicines.

July 18th Night to remember

It all began in the evening when my body temperature finally started to behave like Sensex. What started like a common 101 degree started to climb by the hour, even a wet cloth on my fore head didn’t help and my temp went from 101 to 105.4 by midnight, my wife had to be awake all night. With temperature showing no signs I finally became more worried that anytime I had been; for once I stopped closing my eyes with a dreadful thought that I would not wake up again. With my wife in constant touch with the doc’s and medication it was finally decided and with my close friend Naveen coming to my place(this dear friend and Asrto guru of mine didn't even think twice to give me a shoulder and put me in his car) I was taken to Columbia Asia hospital around 3 or 4 am.

July 19th Mixed day

Having lost my sleep  the previous night I finally had a very good sleep in an emergency ward, not sure what  the doc’s did to me but when I woke up by afternoon I felt good at least  my temperature was down. I was discharged with a doc’s asking me to look out on temperature and a new set of medicines.

July 20-21 preparing for worse

The temperature and cough simply refused to go down on 20th and I was back to hospital on 21st morning and went straight to my favourite emergency ward, by now for few docs and nurses I was a familiar face now. One of them finally decided to refer me to an infection specialist, on close inspection of a chest x-ray I was found to have an earlier stage of pneumonia with infection in lower lungs that was one of the culprit in my severe throat infection and a cough.

Smart move by the doc

One of the most defining moment in my treatment and possibly a wise one to prevent a worse, on close consultation the doctors arrived at a view that I have a strong symptoms of H1N1 and the advice was to treat me as a disease carrier and start off the treatment immediately. With no immediate availability of bed in hospital I had to be sent home for few hours till I get one.

Friends will always be friends

With the news spreading to my colleges at works place, some of them came rushing to meet me at home, and I tried my best to ask them to stay as far as possible from me. My scare was that I could invariably end up spreading the disease and also a possibility of my office shutdown

Hari and Vijay simply refused to let me stay alone and took the biggest risk of their lives. Especially Vijay who was expecting his first child ran the most risk of taking H1N1 to his entire family. Both are thick skinned of sorts

I am not sure what I should call Hari as a friend, brother or a father figure he played all those roles very well, no wonder TeamLease loves him more than anyone else in the entire organization.
Both of them along with my wife finally took me to hospital around afternoon to have me admitted. After 35 long years of my life this was the first time ever that I was getting admitted in a hospital.

My H1N1 Log Part-2

July 21-24 putting up the fight

Unexpected challenges in life can sometime throw people off guard, that’s Gods way to make human beings humble as possible. I remember last year around same time when H1N1 was at its peak I felt media overhyped and felt it could never happen; here I was with a strong suspect on H1N1.
With morning jab tests samples sent to NIMHANS it was going to be a long wait of 3 to 4 days for results’ had to undergo this uncertain days ahead.

Till 21st evening my stay at hospital was annoying one, with none of the doc’s visiting me I was getting more impatient over the delays in start of my treatment. My late evening I had it enough and asked one of the specialists why there was a delay especially when I am suspected to carry H1N1.
Finally at about 9 PM a nurse came with a huge tray full of intervenes injections and few tabs. Though in a pretty bad shape I was relieved to see Tami flue (The only drug used to treat).

As I lay in the bed it was a long night for me ,the long age old debate of who has the mental strength between men and women was amply proved beyond doubt ,not that I didn’t  believe .Ever  since I fell ill the only person who  stood like a rock beside me was my wife it was close to 48 hrs that she had gone without sleep ,in spite of she herself having a severe cough she continued to run around the hospital and do all the possible things that even men would be put to shame.

With a decision taken not to inform my family and relatives to avoid panic meant very few people knew what was happening. My mother in law also joined us in hospital to take care of me. My wife uncle and aunt also help us in getting my favorite food cooked at their home. With no restriction on diet I was free to have a decent food, besides hospital food was getting bored so I opted for home food instead.

22nd July proved to be my toughest day for me ,with so many injections I reached a point where I had to literally beg people around me to stop my treatment ,the pain of intervenes medication was simply too unbearable. Worse my water intake was almost close to nil from a recommended 3 to 4 liters. Nothing tasted well even water looked and tasted like medicine.

23rd  to 24th July  were a clear signal for me that I was on road to recovery and my worry shifted primarily on my wife and mother in law. While I was in safe hands and undergoing treatment the rest were in all possibility infected with virus and worse they were not even on medication. For once I felt criminal of me to put my loved ones in danger; on the other hand they simply refused to leave me alone.

With temperature under control and ever improvement in vital parameters the decision was taken to discharge me in the evening. Just before leaving a nurse walked into our room and gave a pleasant surprise that my tests on H1N1 was negative. Happy news in a long time and as a precautionary measure I had to get my family vaccinated. We returned home relieved and happy. In more than 10 days I was completely cutoff from external worlds and was eager to call everyone and catch up with all.

A phone call that changed everything

It was about 8:30 when I had finished called every soul telling aloud that was tests were negative and all of them need not worry, my wife receives a call from hospital and a cross verification call asking my patient number, what began as a routine call turned into a crises of sorts when my wife was told that I had indeed tested positive and was required for me to go into a immediate home quarantine. Worse my wife was also infected and all of them required to be isolated with face mask on.

Even the house maid would be barred from coming into house. Two years back we were severely critized for building a 4 bedroom house when my mom stayed back in home town it was felt it was too big for just both of us. Well at least in this hour of crisis that was the best as doc’s instructed all of them stayed in separate rooms locked with face mask on.

I felt Iike I was jailed in my own home ,I had to stay ,eat, sleep in the same room till my tami flue treatment was over and with my wife and her mom starting the treatment it was going to be a long drawn out affair.

My panic didn’t stop here just ,I started calling all my friends who came in contact with me ,over the next few days at least 5 of my friends when through the mandatory tests and they too had to start the treatment with tami flue. Considering the gravity of the situation the measures was a wise move when one of my close friends also tested positive; luckily in time medication meant he was fully recovered possibly ahead of me.

With my home virtually quarantined once it was left for Hari to bring in the essentials form market and leave it at door step, must say he was too brave.

25th July to 3rd Aug slow and steady wait to recover

Right medication level headed and a calm approach to handle the situation was the need of the hour all of us at home understood this with equal maturity. Over the course of one week I used this break to research android OS it kept me going without having to think of my jail sentence.

Over the week end the doc’s finally gave us consent to break the home quarantine, was extremely thrilled felt like mad wanted to run around and even venture outside. The doc’s advice meant I was not supposed to go out.  

H1N1 Log Part-3

4th Aug   back to where I belong

It was time for me to go back to work ,strangely I was not sure for what reason but felt a whole lot nervous going to office it was as if a first day in a new school not sure what to expect. My drive to office in a car was like breeze floating in air of sorts not sure of the controls.

With sizable weight lost during the entire period of ill health, I felt very good about myself I had achieved such a good weight loss that even my exercise of 1 year could not achieve.

Walking up 2 stairs for my work place

I tried to test my lungs strength by choosing to walk 2 floors up ,by the time I reached my place I had run out of breath ,this was not a case of weakness but the side effects  of my lungs infection where my lungs are contracted a bit and once in a while they are starved of oxygen. Even my long calls during conference calls used to throw me off gear. Yoga is the only way out I am told and a recovery cycles are at least 3 to 4 months.

I was pleasantly surprised or rather embarrassed when my entire team came up to me and just stood without saying a word. It was so nice of them they said it all without having to say anything .i smiled back and ran to a meeting that was scheduled.

Ever since then it’s been a slow recovery, have become a cleanliness freak of sorts after this. My over all experience has been a humbling one. Tough in the end it didn’t prove life threatening      

The understanding in medical world on H1N1 is very conflicting and a divided one, while lot agree this to be a pandemic having a typical period of 2 years for viral to subside worldwide. The effectiveness of vaccines is also not guaranteed by the doctors. Most of the infected patients wouldn’t even know and it manifests as a common flue and comes out with full recovery.

I am told only in complicated cases will the virus strike be fatal, more importantly timely detection and treatment is key to bring virus infection under control.

In the end to sum it all, more than me not being well it was the love and care I got from my family and friends, staring with my wife Viji, mom in law,Akash-dad,Akash-mom,Akash, Naveen, Hari & Vijay thank you for being there through the thick and thin. You all made my recovery fast and not once you made me realize that i was in trouble

Signing off
H1N1 carrier