“Not seen you around for awhile”, commented yet another colleague.
“I haven’t been around”, I replied.
“Why? On leave”?”
“No! Not been well.” Since I knew I did not exactly have much choice on whether or not I wanted to go into details, I volunteered the much rehearsed summary without too much prodding.
“But you don’t look like you are going to go in for major surgery soon”, was the reaction when I finished.
“What do you mean? How am I supposed to look?”
“Well, you are supposed to ….. I mean, I would think you would look more ….”
“No! You know, here you are smiling quite normally. I would have expected you to look more sad.”
“If by not smiling, I could get better faster, I would happily not smile”, I retorted. And meant it. Since there was nothing to be gained by keeping a long face, why bother keeping one?
On the way back home, I mulled over the several similar exchanges I had with various people. I had been smiling out of habit, but actually even in my current illness, I do have many reasons to smile.
If this problem is indeed congenital, as it very likely is, isn’t it good that it manifested itself now, and not ten years back. If 38 is too young an age for a hysterectomy, how much younger is 28! Now I do have my two lovely kids to keep me pepped up during the recovery stage.
Fibroids and/ or polyps are the most common reasons for vaginal bleeding. The routine sonography confirmed the diagnosis, and I was scheduled for a routine evacuation procedure. It was only because of the imagery conjured up by my precise description of the nature of the bleeding that the gynaecologist even though of asking me to get a colour Doppler test done. What if I hadn’t been so graphic in my description? What if the doctor hadn’t continued thinking about it after I had left the clinic? Wasn’t it pure good luck that the earlier procedure was called off on the nick of time?
During the ‘Great Flood’, as a friend christened the massive bleed that I had, I was lucky the clotting mechanism kicked in before too much damage could be done. Three months back, my platelet count had been at the lowest end of the accepted spectrum, which is why I had consciously included a lot of Vitamin K in the diet. Did that not come in useful?
My thyroid condition I was absolutely unaware of till it was discovered during a routine test prior to the operation. Apparently now I have to be on medication and suitably modify my diet- which I am more than willing to do. But had it not been for this illness, I would never even have known!
Sure, it would have been good if none of this had happened to me. But, given all that was wrong with my body, wasn’t it good that none of it was worse? I do have a lot more to be thankful for, than to be upset about. And there is every reason for me to continue to smile.