Thursday, November 5, 2009

shabna aur suhana

Shabna was the first girl I met in the dormitory in law college. She sat there, eyes red and watery. She was already homesick. Me, in an hour, I thought, sneaking looks at her while mom and I unpacked and made my bed.

Shabna and I shared the same room in the first year. She had asthma and that year because of the climate change and adjusting to college/hostel life pressure, she had more attacks than all the years in law college.

I remember, after studying with my friends and classmates (she was in the other batch), I would come to my room to find her gasping, notes in hand, absolutely sure, she'll fail her test the next day. There were other days, regular college days, when there was always so much time (sigh!), when I would sit up with her, chatting, trying to take her (and my) mind off the painful gasps of air she took.

In second year, I moved to room 10 with my gang of friends and that was to be my residence the next four years. Shabna moved to room 9, next door, with her friend and classmate, Shimla (I know :)). Her shelf space was now covered with large bottles of dark coloured, strong smelling ayurvedic (yes, very much a mallu) medicines and concoctions.

Yet, when sufferring at night or day, she would, sometimes, call me over... I don't know, maybe it was easy for her with me. I have cleaned her vomit, washed her clothes and though we were never together, there were nights that I was thankful she was sleeping across the wall.

She shared stuff with me that she told nobody. When she fell in love, truly, madly, deeply, three years later, I knew of it at least nine months before my roomies or her roomies even got whiff of it. Yes, I am very good at not telling people things!!

She has a daughter and son and is living blissfully in Kerala. But, she's been on my thoughts a lot this last week, especially the nights.

Two days ago, a renowned chest/allergy specialist told us that our daughter has bronchial hypercativity, mainly (his words), because the doctors don't like to use the words asthma with regard to children.

She has been prescribed those inhaler sprays in blue, green and pink - her words. She might grow out of it, but then again, she might not - the doctor's words.

This last week, my little daughter has been coughing (not yet wheezing, thankfully) the entire night and day. I carry her and pace around from bedroom to living room and back. Shabna used to tell me that her earliest memories are of her dad carrying her on his shoulders throughout the night.

By the way, the little wise daughter turned five yesterday. We had a teeny party (if you can call it that) where she jumped and played and laughed a lot and ... did not cough even once. A small but precious miracle!!


~mE said...

Hi there :)
i have a hyperactivity bronchial too :) that's what doctor says even now. Been with me ever since im a kid and i also remember dad carrying me ard..stuffing a chair with loads of pillows to make me feel comfy...i have tried so many therapy's its not even funny...unfortunately nothing worked..what works for me is the puff in the morning and once before sleep...i can climb mouth Everest too :)

Gets worst when there is a season change, if i travel a lot, stress...when it gets bad i have a doze of nebulizer

hope sunana feels better and the brachial behaves properly :)

Srivilasica said...

Yeah bronchial whatnot, that's what they say - even for adults! I hope that she gets well soon - about half of the children who develop asthma 'grow out of it' by the time they are adults! Pray that she is one of them! God bless! Will you post some b'day pics, please - the bling ones :D

shilpa said...

thank you sharanya and sindhu!

till four days ago, we had a humidifier by her bed and were giving her four nebulisations a day - in addition to the inhalers. We have now accepted that the inhalers will have to be part of our school bag, handbag, travel bag from now on. tomorrow, I'll be going to school to 'educate' the teacher about whe and how to use it.hopefully, she'll grow out of it and even if she doesn't, it should be allright - have to stop being a control freak about it :D

Shalini said...

A beautiful post shilpa. Lovely analogy. Life takes a full circle and one never knows what lesson will come back to help or haunt us.

I do hope that Suhana grows out of it as well. All over the world, kids are becoming more affected by it, much more from when we were kids.

silpas said...

I just found your blog today and the very first post caught my attention....and i do have a word to share..
My niece had severe asthma as a little child..the late night runs to the doc intially, then nebuliser at home, puffs ..the works had been running...Ice creams to pappad(urad content-cold) etc were banned for her as a child...she is a teenager now and has gone off the puff and hasnt had an attack for a long time..she devours ice creams....they(her parents and she) just make sure they handle chest congestions once in a while when they happen....
The good light is always there..:)

vineeta said...

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog and giving me a chance to see yours. This post is beautiful and it is true that life only sends us people and experiences with a loving reason.
I've read other posts and it is clear that you live your life with such grace. i'm glad I know you a little better now. thank you once again!

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

Oh my god,shilpa,even gayatri has got this problem.She has been having inhalers too.Its yesterday that she stopped a doze.Here in delhi everybody asks us to start homeopathy,thinking the children will get immunity after along time.there are cases like that.i heard my auntie saying there are good homeopaths in mumbai also.why dont u give a try dear.let me know...

shilpa said...

thank you shilpa, vineeta and lakshmi!!

this daughter of mine has been on homeoepathy for almost two years now. but, there has been no respite in the winters.

the inhaler puffs control things immediately and the daughter knows a thing or two about lungs now.

but, now, I know that chronic asthma (no offence, doc!) or not, she will live her life fully and the way she wishes, she just has to take due care and diligence.

... for everything else, I am there, na :)

Shalini said...

I wrote a comment earlier but got some arabic relogin-to-your-blog gooblygook, and left for dinner.

Anyways, thank you for reminding me of this. I needed perspective about it. Going from one extreme to the other and now just trying not to think about it too much. One step at a time. And deep breaths.