Monday, July 23, 2007

Infective Colitis: The Petrol Pump Views

The last that I wrote in this diary is 14th May. Life hasnt been the same after that. Been wanting to record the events that happened in the last two months. But I thought it was self indulgence and also maybe I didnt have the required mood to write. I am now getting back to some semblance of order, in terms of my public sphere work. Phew, it was such a harrowing experience. A tooth extraction followed by diarrhea for about ten days.I must have gone through antibiotics of about five kinds. Yet the body didnt stop excreting. A specialist had to be called, my colon had to be examined, and then lo behold, Taxim_O began to respond to my body. It was a miracle. I did not even know what has happening to me. I was reassuring myself that I have youth, energy, money and the connections, so I will not die. But the dear of death or some irreversible bodily injury was weighing heavy on my mind. The motions that began on 30th May continued till about 10th June and then they stopped, maybe a little reluctantly. For a long time I did not pee without thinking that I will also shit. I have been on a strict diet since then. I eat food which is sans spice, tamarind,w heat and in the early days, I was to avoid milk too. Slowly, ever so slowly I began to include milk, ragi and eggs in my diet. I am used to eat a fair amount of chilli, but I now use just a small red chilli for my seasoning. Not even pepper or ginger is allowed. Whatever my colon doesnt lie it ejects out. Last week was particularly bad as I ate some rajma and suffered for about a week following that. even now my shit hasnt come to its regular course.

How could I forget the arthritis? Soon after the shit began to flow, i developed severe pain and immobility in my right knee. This, the doctors told me was reactive arthritis. The bug which hit my intestines also hit my joints, specially the right knee. I was bedridden for about fifteen days unable to move at all. I could not rid myself of the pain with any painkillers as they would in turn cause acidity in my ravaged digestive system. It was only the hot water bag which was some kind of a painkiller. The pain was excruciating, preventing me from sleeping, walking and moving. Gradually as the digestive system healed, this also healed. Even now I walk with a limp and i cant squat to use the indian toilet.

The doctor repeated the colonoscopy and said that I was normal. But experientially speaking I am not normal. Anything that I eat, a little out of the ordinary, excites the digestive system. It has the power of debilitating me. I cant go to court fearing that I may want to pass motion urgently. A little stress makes me feel uncomfortable inside. Moreover all courts have toilets which are far away and Indian style. Anyway, I am learning to cope and manage my life independently.

During this phase of sickness I had to use the bedpan continuously. Began to develop a certain fondness for the bedpan. So many of my friends without flinching helped me use the bedpan. I owe my gratitude to all of them. i silently tell myself that I will return the favour whenever such a forbidding event happens. Came to terms with my body in such different ways. I am amazed the way my friends and my spouse did this for me.

I also thought so much about what modern medicine can do and not do. I have so much more to write about this experience as a critique of medicine. This experience put the fear of God into me. I am still scared when I shit more than what is required. I only hope that I will recover in due time. Even as there are issues to record, I feel a a strange hesitation to dwell on this topic. Maybe I have still not developed the critical distance to look at it analytically.

This was my first ode to my illness.

There were alsos ome interesting events that happened in the last two months, but more of it in the next post.

Monday, May 14, 2007

a hot afternoon

The number of things that goes under repair in houses is really interesting. At present there are two tape recorders and one microwave oven which are not working. The first recorder has been sent to the repair shop three days back. Results are awaited. The second one has been lying in a repair shop for the last two years. One has not visited that shop so far. The microwave oven hasn't been working since the past one year. Finally the day has arrived today. This oven was one of the first of its kind to be produced in India, by the Kelvinator company. With some difficulty I tracked down the company and enquired if they still have any loyalties with their old models. Surprisingly they said yes and a technician will arrive tomorrow to repair the oven. In the meantime, unable to get the oven repaired, we bought a new oven. Once the oven gets repaired I am going to donate it to my women's centre. A donation makes more sense than selling it for a paltry sum. And somehow one is attached to the oven. Among the many kitchen gadgets, a microwave oven is my favourite, as it is so easy to re-heat food removed from the refrigerator. When I am living alone, I cook once in two days and keep reheating the food. Makes no sense to cook everyday just for one person.

I have filled my fridge freezer with two boxes of ice cream. I want to eat ice cream this summer. If not summer when does one eat ice cream? I am not particularly crazy about ice creams. I eat them once in six months. This is the first time I have been so purposive about storing ice cream. The other event which I had planned for my weekend was to drink lot of watermelon juice. I am yet to go out and buy the watermelon. I will do it this evening. There is nothing like finding homemade juices in your fridge. On a hot afternoon to pull out a jug of chilled watermelon juice is the pinnacle of my homemaking capacities. But alas, many of these remain mere dreams. Ideally there should be a pitcher of buttermilk, nimbu sherbet and watermelon juice. I do not favour squashes that much as they carry high sugar content. As all you know, I am very particular about the amount of sugar that I consume. Let me admit that juices are only my domain, others prefer chilled beer.

Last Sunday I celebrated the tenth year of my living with SD. Never imagined that I would live with him so peacefully and productively for such a long time. After all these years, I must say that I continue to yearn for him, and want to grow old with him. We went to a fancy restaurant and ate a five course meal over chilled mugs of unlimited beer. The evening was followed by another party celebrating my uncle's 60th birthday. We were drinking and making merry until late in the night. This being one of the reasons why i could not write my diary last week.

Last week seems to have been quite productive. We made butter. There was a mehendi session for SD, myself and my SIL. There was a press conference on the Baroda issue. I read at least four days in the way. SD churned butter out of cream. There is about one kg of butter sitting in the fridge. Soon it will go sour. I am a city girl who has always bought my butter and ghee straight from the shop. Churning butter and making ghee are new experiences for me. I will take much needed advice from my MIL and make ghee out of butter this evening.
Now let me come to the main event of today. I went to the driving school at Bowenpally and registered for a months' driving course. I am bent on learning driving this year. I paid the money and also got my learners license renewed. I am feeling most virtuous by the fact that I have achieved this. Most probably in the next three to four days I will join the course and begin my lessons. I liked the look of the school and the tutor who will be instructing me. A no nonsense teacher. I am grateful to my filmmaker friend for his pep talk las night.
Now, I have to get back to my day's reading. I am hoping to read a chapter of Foucault. I am most pleased when I cover all aspects of life in one day. I do not expect to do full justice to them, but I believe in marking a nodding acknowledgment to all these sectors. My letter writing is also updated. Very happy on that front too. The Women's Centre matters are also under control. There is only one court appearance this week. Hopefully devote all my time to reading and reflection and of course driving too.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

the diary continues

It is important that one record the events of the past one week especially for a person like me. I am prone to depressions on the count that I did not spend my time productively. Without much ado here is the the record of what I did last week. I am such a narcissist that I do not mind being the only reader of my journal. Except to one or two of my friends none know about the existence of this journal. It is an intimate act. It is a private diary. On a hot lazy afternoon, if someone would be randomly looking at blogs, I would dare say that s/he will find it interesting.

Monday: I was at home and drafted the appeal to be filed in the High Court.
Tuesday: I was at the centre and I don't remember a thing that I did. Did I simply loll around or maybe I did some administrative work. I just cant remember.
Wednesday: I was at court for half a day and then got back home. Maybe I read a little. I cant remember. The trial which would have begun in the month of May got posted to July. I am definitely happy about it.
Thursday: Worked in the centre, spent lot of time with three friends discussing politics and organisational dynamics.
Friday: I was again in court, and returned to the centre by afternoon. I also filed T's appeal int he High Court. The heat was so severe that no work was possible later. Evening, went out with friends to the tailors and did some nice shopping. i felt good that I spent time with the old friend of mine.
Saturday: Centre again, met lots of clients, advised them about how they could possibly use the legal forums. Evening, visited another friend whose father is in the hospital. Chatted to my hearts content on Saturday evening. Spread my wings and flew over the river.
Sunday: Quickly did a small piece of writeup for Rama, wrote an mail which was pending, gave my clothes for ironing and getting ready to travel. The toilet has to be cleaned, the clothes have to be dried in the sun, another set of clothes have to be sorted for ironing. Ah well, I also got my roof painted. We took our centres colleagues for lunch. Looks like this week has meant lot of socialising. My husband left on Wednesday evening. It was just a brief stay as a couple and then he is gone again. Except for venting my anger and sadness, i seem to have adapted to my single life pretty well. A small achievement which I am proud to note is that I read one article thoroughly through this week. Planning to read more the following week. Kant the father of modern rights has to be conquered atleast partly.

What is my next week like?The following week whether in Guntur or here, I will wake up early and do atleast a minimum of one hour reading. Kant will be the subject of my morning thoughts. Apart from the readings there will be nothing much on my agenda. Next week will be quite busy at the centre. 3rd and 4th of May we are busy with the talks and interviews followed by other meetings. So my readings have to be packed only in the mornings. There is no court work the next week. I can also look forward to a full weekend. The first part of the following week will also be the time for my monthly period. I will bleed in steaming Guntur.

will get back to you next sunday.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

resuming the diary

Today is Sunday. Last week, I must say was quite an impressive week. On Monday I won an important case in the High Court. I managed to get a woman acquitted from a life sentence. There was such drama preceding this acquittal. The case and the drama has already receded in my memory. For reference to the exact details I can check my sent mails in Google. What would I do without Google? On Tuesday and Wednesday I attended the trial in Chunduru. I listened with attention to the prosecution arguing for the Dalits. Thursday, I lolled around in Guntur, visiting my FIl and spending time with Mom and Deepu. I arrived on Friday morning in Secunderabad feeling groggy and disoriented. I went to my office to get my bearings. Friday and Saturday were spent in the office, attending to small little tasks, writing letters, drafting invitations and chatting aimlessly.

Many of my centres tasks are well underway. The outreach report has been sent to the funders. The website does not have too much work in its way. Right now I need to get back to my readings and also finalise my paper. I thought I could devote the entire month of April for this task but I guess the month simply flew away within no time. I am hoping that May will be a better month for my reading and writing. May is also the month for Vidya's trial implying cross examination of witnesses. This aspect still holds its dread for me. But I am hoping to come to terms with it. If the Judge gives a slightly longer date I can postpone it to June. Let me see.

Today is Sunday. I spent most of my time in the hospital with Sajaya and her family. Her parents, and brother met with a car accident last night. But thankfully there are no major injuries except her father who has to undergo a surgery for the multiple fractures that he has suffered in his leg.

Tomorrow I am hoping to stay at home. I am not sure if T's case has to be filed in the High Court. Her family is not too keen and I am wondering why I should be.

I am hoping to write my journal at the end of every week. Writing everyday is far too ambitious. So whats the message for the coming week? Surely readings have suffered. I am yet to learn to drive my car. These are the two issues pressing on my cranium currently. Maybe I should have a system of waking up early morning by 6am and do an hour of readings. One hour of readings and an hour of car driving would be ideal to maintain my ambitions. I will be going to Guntur this Saturday to attend the trial at Chunduru. It will be posted for defence arguments. Yet another ambition is to write a small note on the ongoing trial. My list of ambitions is never ending.

Reading, writing and car driving are slated for the following week.