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I am writing this entry from Bangalore and have been here for two weeks. I haven't written for so long and I missed it so much. Putting into words about what I felt and couldn't speak for so many years was like letting free a bird which was trapped in a cage.
And today has been a perfect day spent with an affectionate niece and an old loving friend and her family who try to understand this illness when I tell them about it. A day that will be imprinted in my mind to recall and relive. I feel a sense of gratitude when I am blessed with such moments.
So far for the past eight years, close to the twenty first of March, a storm of feelings rise within me which threaten to engulf and put me in a stupor. This was the day, eight years ago, when my daughter was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and on this day she started taking medications. I relive the moments, the living with this illness and the knowledge that life henceforth will not be a predictable one. But then, can the future ever be prophesied for any one? The future will always be uncertain for all with or without schizophrenia.
I feel hope this year because my daughter is able to take care of herself, our two cats and also cook while I am away. These may be normal activities for the normal people. But for her I know now they require a great deal of effort. The thick veils of ignorance about mental illnesses which clouded our lives in the earlier years have torn with the knowledge we have gleaned. Knowing about the illness and its symptoms makes it so much easier too to communicate with the p-doc.
Fortunately the present p-doc, the seventh one so far, is understanding. The last three years we have been going to the same p-doc who has kept abreast of the latest medications and other developments in Psychiatry in India. He is in private practice. He is always calm, speaks softly and listens. He is not patronising and never in a hurry. He does not get offended when we ask him something. My daughter is able to talk to him. His clinic is a small room with adjoining waiting rooms where patients and their families wait their turn. Sanskrit chants or instrumental music is played softly in the background. I have seen a man hectoring the nurse to hurry his turn, quieten after sometime.
Earlier families used to sit with averted eyes, some reading, some conferring with their families in whispers and some sleeping while waiting their turn. In the last one year, I have observed a few families interacting talking about the illnesses they were dealing with. So the reluctance to talk about such illnesses will slowly disappear.
Its now two in the morning and the mosquitoes are on a biting spree. They are tenacious. I shall continue later...
Thank you for your comments.
Dear Nick, thank you for your response. My prayers too are with you and your family.
Dear Puzli, thank you for responding despite being not too well. I hope you are feeling better now. Hugs to you.
Dear Helen, thank you for your encouraging words and your prayers. Yes everything does happens for a reason. I told my daughter about what you had written about being beautiful. I wish you contentment in whatever you strive for.
Dear Christy, thank you for responding. It must have been so much more difficult for you to grow up and live with this illness not knowing and not able to understand what it was doing to your mother. You were so young when it happened. Please do not be harsh on yourself. My prayers are with you and your family.Posted by survivor at March 27, 2004 03:04 AM