Fellow Bloggers and other friendly followers of my blog. You must have been wondering why I seemed so silent practically the whole month of December 2013. No, I wasn’t busy with other work, nor was I procrastinating, or holidaying, but I was gravely ill.

On 11th of December 2013, early in the morning, I found myself unable to breathe, neither from my nostrils, nor from my throat, and my whole body was tightening inside me, with a severe chest pain and a heavy head. I couldn’t lie down,  couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t sit. I hadn’t slept all night. I was being paranoid, I was sure I was going to die. I knew it wasn’t Asthma I was suffering from, for that was under control, I had been using an inhaler for 1½  decades now. (I had a few Asthma attacks back in the late 1990’s, and rushed to the emergency and given the nebuliser back then. No, I knew this wasn’t Asthma related). A month before that (early on in the month of November 2013), I had hit my head quite hard on an overhanging widescreen television at a supermarket (I tend to be a bit of an accident prone generally, but nothing too serious, not always. Why, just on the 4th of January 2014, at home, the electrician cut a wire of a ceiling fan, and the fan fell down, I narrowly escaped with just a slash on my skin between two fingers, and not too deep a cut). My paranoia was worsening, I felt maybe I had internal bleeding in the head, brain damage, somehow part of me was ready for death, not really, but wasn’t sure if I had much of a choice. I was taken to the Emergency ward of a partially private hospital. There I was admitted into a ward full of elderly patients with various ailments. Different Doctors came and went, all kinds of tests, don’t even let me tell you about the indifference and attitudes of nurses and attendants, the staff. Sticking massive needles into my hand, arms. There was blood coming out all over sheets. Nobody saying anything. And no proper communications between doctors and doctors or doctors and nurses or attendants. Finally, I learnt they started off with tests for Dengue, and epidemic in this country. I did not have Dengue. I was given medication for sinus and gastritis. That night again I couldn’t sleep in the hospital. Each time I fell asleep, I woke up out of breath. No nurses/attendants around. So I went looking for them. Once I found a nurse, she gave me a medicine for gastritis. So that’s when I realised my real ailment. For, Sinus was something I’ve had for ages. If my nose gets blocked, at least I can breath from my throat. And I’ve been suffering from fissure on and off for over 1½ years now, and medicating it on an off. So it was Gastritis, my main ailment.
Still next morning, I was still quite weak. By afternoon I was taken for a sinus X-ray. The attendant asked me, that I don’t need a wheelchair, do I?, and I said no, it’s not necessary. But little did I realise, the X-ray was on the ground floor (My ward was on the top most floor) and on the other end of this massive hospital. I was already tired by then, then the wait, and then I had to find my way all alone to my ward. Worse, a nurse later came and mentioned I might have the wrong X-ray of somebody else. But she wasn’t sure.
Anyway that evening, I felt better, and I said I’d rather go home. So by twelfth night of December 2013, I was back home slowly recovering, with a load of medicine.
I didn’t switch on my laptop till the 15th, but I was too tired, I replied a comment, and that was it. I felt I was slowly recovering, so I tried to get back to my blog, and at least check some other blogs, but I was still too weak.
Then instead of improving I started to feel worse again. By 20th December, I was feeling pretty bad, the medication not working, I was out of breath, couldn’t sleep, and 21st December, I was awake whole day and out of breath, and made an appointment with a Doctor, this time in another, fully private, hospital nearby. I went and explained everything. He gave me stronger medicine. It only worsened, I couldn’t sleep again, and on 22nd I was still awake out of breath the whole day, still trying the medicine, hoping it would improve, but again no sleep and out of breath, 23rd early morning, I felt I was having a stroke, my pupils were dilated, hadn’t slept or been breathing properly for three days now. And again rushed to the emergency, this time to the all private hospital where I consulted the Doctor on 21st. He wasn’t there. But this was a better hospital, the staff well trained. More expensive, and I was admitted to a private room with just one other bed. So whole of 23rd I was in the new hospital still ill, with saline, Chest X-ray, blood tests, ECG’s, other tests the works, re-done. Anyway I was told unfortunately I had three ailments at the same time, Sinus, Gastritis and Fissure, but other than that I was OK. I was discharged on Christmas eve, late morning, 24th December 2013, after giving my medication earlier that day. They had reduced the dosage of now yet again a new lot of medication, including anxiety medication. Stress is also something I’ve had for the last four years or so, among other minor illnesses, but been self soothing myself (I only took stress medicine once, back in February 2011, for exactly a month and stopped as I didn’t want to get addicted to them). Blogging has been a great distraction on stress. But 24th afternoon I was feeling sick, and couldn’t take the medicine and there was none for the afternoon anymore, it was reduced to twice a day. By evening I felt my heart literally stop a beat. I felt I was going to die once more. Went back to the emergency of the latter hospital. I was hyperventilating.
Anyway after the ECG and pressure tests, the Doctors told me nothing to worry, I just hadn’t had my medicine yet, that was the problem. Just not to panic when I’m out of breath. I am not having a stroke, even though that’s how it feels. My heart beat stopped for a second because I was hyperventilating. That night I started the the medication.
On the 27th of December I had a pleasant surprise. On the 4th December 2013, I had written a critique on Portraits de Maîtresses (2012), directed by a young new director called, Rocco Labbé. On 27th, Rocco Labbé himself had commented on by About page, thanking me for writing about his movie, my illness disappeared, even for few minutes, it felt wonderful. That evening I checked out his two interviews on You tube, about his two short films.
And on 30th December I had another appointment with the Doctor, just to see how I was doing, and I have one more towards the end of this month. Now I’m on medication for Gastritis and Anxiety, for a month. Still feel very lethargic and sleepy, mainly due to the medication, sometimes slightly out of  breath too, but definitely am on the road to recovery. So I shall be fine. And I shall get back to my blogging ASAP. Already I’ve been commenting on other blogs, but soon I shall start posting my own as well.

Thanks to all, for not giving up on my blog.
Nuwan Sen