Sunday, March 23, 2008

Story 3: Cerebral Venous Thrombosis

(This is a true story. A story of struggle to good health)

Name: Sriram
Occupation: Software Professional
Age: 30 years
Health condition: In pink of health

6 long years in California, were exciting indeed. The American way of life including hiking, camping, cycling, malling, junk foods, long weekend highway drives, satisfying work – there was nothing more one could ask for. After 6 years when the work permit expired, Sriram returned to India with his family. One year rolled by. It took sometime for the Srirams to adjust to the bumpy roads, potholes, corrupt constables, bribe seekers in the Motor Vehicle office, scams and despicable living conditions of roadside slum dwellers. But humans adapt easily to different living conditions and so did Srirams.

But there was one thing Sriram missed the most. The workplace in California, its flexible work hours and the ample time it left for him to spend with his family. Here the work hours were odd. Sometimes he had to be at work place till midnight. Other times get to work at 4:00 am. Life was a roller coaster of joy, sorrow, stress and strain. There was no reason for a software professional to complain about the pay in India. However, he wouldn’t have much time to enjoy the hard earned money, unlike in the West.

Then one fine day, Sriram returned home with a splitting head ache. His wife applied the popular ‘Tiger balm’ on his forehead and gave him a hot cup of tea. The hot drink eased his pain considerably and the strong aroma of the balm soothed his senses. The family retired to bed as usual. Little did they realize that it was DAY ONE of the painful days that would soon follow.

The next day passed without major hiccups. But at midnight, Sriram complained of splitting headache. His wife made him some hot coffee and applied the handy tiger balm. But his pains did not die down. She gave him a Disprin and a paracetemol for immediate relief. The next day, Sriram complained of headache at work place.
“Should we see a doctor?” suggested his wife.
“Who goes to a doctor for a small headache?” asked Sriram, “They would laugh at me. Maybe it is acidity, indigestion.”
“I’ll make you ginger chutney tomorrow. It’s good for acidity and indigestion. A friend of mine suggested some more home remedies. Like apply a paste of dry ginger on your forehead. This would suck any water deep down your head.”
“Do something. Help me!”

WEEK TWO. The family visited a doctor at a huge hospital. He prescribed heavy dosages of headache pills. The doctor suspected his headache could be owing to high BP. A BP test was done and it was found to be within the permissible range.
“Maybe the climate change,” opined the doctor as he prescribed heavy doses of headache pills.
The family concluded that it was Sriram’s displeasure and unwillingness at workplace that was causing the symptoms of headache. It was concluded that his headache was a psychological phenomenon, a manifestation of unhappiness at work. The frequency and intensity of headache increased every passing day. When even the highest dose of allopathic medicine failed to produce result, they consulted a homeopath. The doctor gave Sriram medicines in small white packets. They were sugar coated balls laced with medicine, definitely pleasure swallowing. Two days, passed, but the headache seemed to show no mercy to the patient.

“I can’t sleep. Help me!” he would cry in the middle of the night, “I can hear a ticking sound inside my brain.”
His wife made some hot drink, gave him some medicines and applied the ‘Tiger balm’. There was nothing much the family members could do. After all, the headache was for the patient to experience alone and suffer.
“Will you come to bed?”
“No! Sitting posture gives me some relief than the sleeping posture. Just turn on the television and you get back to bed. Leave me here!”

WEEK THREE There was not a single day, that Sriram missed work. He went to work but complained to his wife that his head ached. Friends advised him to visit a bigger hospital. They went to one and the doctor dismissed it as an ordinary migraine. He prescribed heavy doses of headache pills. But nothing seemed to work.

“Why don’t you hit the gym. Run on the treadmill?” suggested the concerned wife.
She was worried what was happening to her husband. The doctors had no idea as to what was the cause of the headache and neither home remedies, nor English medicines nor Homeopathy worked. May it was psychological. Sriram took her suggestion seriously. He was willing to try anything so that he gets relieved of his headache. He ran on the treadmill for 45 minutes. After sweating it out, a hot shower made him feel good.

“Probably you were right,” he said to his wife before leaving for work, “lack of exercise is causing me headache. I feel good now.”
But the headache recurred again that night. This time it was more painful and more difficult to tolerate.

WEEK FOUR Alarm bells rang when what was considered as ordinary headache morphed into serious vision problem. Sriram’s complained of blurred vision and then multiple vision. He couldn’t see the small characters on the monitor and his manager asked him to take a break from work.

The next day, Sriram woke up with swollen eyes. The eyes almost came popping out of its socket.
“I see everything skewed,” he complained, “What’s happening to me?”
“Shall we visit the eye specialist?”
The eye doctor examined him. She said that the patient needs some more examination and detained him till the evening.
She concluded, “For some reason, there is strain on your eyes from the top of your head. The immense pressure from above is causing problem to all the veins supplying blood to the eyes. Hence the blurred vision. Get admitted in the hospital immediately. I’ll give you a letter.”
The doctor jotted down her observations on a paper and Sriram and his wife took an auto to the hospital.
The eye doctor made a request, “Once your condition is diagnosed, you please let me know what caused the pressure on from the top? I’m curious. A neurosurgeon will be able to help you.”

Sriram was made to wait at the reception. A neurosurgeon on duty at the hospital was given the diagnosis of the eye specialist. She rushed to see the patient. A tall lady, beautiful and confident. She looked at Sriram’s swollen eyes.
“Get him admitted immediately,” she barked at a nurse standing next to her, “And run all these tests immediately.”
What followed was an MRI scan.
The doctor analyzed the scan report.
She pointed to Sriram’s wife, “Look here! The blocks in veins! Tonight we’ve to do a lumbar puncture. That’ll give Sriram immediate relief. Then we’ll have to see what to de done next.”
“What’s the disease,” asked his wife.
“Cerebral Venous Thrombosis!”

Thrombosis occurs when a clot forms in a blood vessel. This can be a vein or an artery. Different types of thrombosis occur when the clot is in different parts of the body, such as the veins in the head or in leg in some other cases. Sometimes the clot can be carried by the blood stream until it causes a blockage in another part of the body. Headache in cerebral venous thrombosis can be very serious. Depending on where the blockage is, it can cause disease such as stroke, or even death. Worsening headache by the day, followed by seizures or eye problems is a warning signal. Never ignore headaches. Visit your doctor immediately.

A week in the hospital on the blood thinning drug heparin improved Sriram’s health. Headaches reduced and his health bounced back to normalcy.

Before discharging Sriram from the hospital, the good doctor explained, “You’ve to take blood test once a week. This Warfarin that I prescribe is an anticoagulant. It essentially thins the blood. Now, this drug warfarin is like a two edged sword. It thins the blood and prevents clots, that’s your problem. But too much thin blood is also a cause of concern. You could bleed through your skin, if blood becomes too thin. Come to me next week.”

Handful of medicines to pop up every day, injections and blood test followed. For Srirams life was medicines, hospital, injections and doctors. The doctor monitored Sriram’s improvement in vision. His eye sight soon recovered to normalcy.

Then one fine day, she told Sriram, “You must take an MRI scan again. Let’s look at the improvement. We have sent your blood sample for investigation into what actually caused clot.”
It was concluded by the doctors that Sriram had a protein C deficiency (nothing to do with intake of protein in diet). The doctor said that Protein C was generated by the liver. And the exact cause was unknown.

“You must visit a hematologist. My role as a neurologist is done. There are only two places in South India where you’ve expert hematologists. St. John’s Bangalore. Christian Medical College, Vellore. You’ve got to be on medication life long. There is no escape.”
“And the warfarin?”
“The warfarin, monthly blood test and everything must continue. What you’ve acquired is a rare medical condition, if neglected can cause even death,” the doctor warned.


Not many had not heard of Swami Ramdev before. It was only when the communist party leader, Brinda Karat, leveled unimaginable charges against him that grabbed our attention. Politicians play many dirty games, with the emotions of people. Because, they can easily get away as public memory is short. The Communist leader contended that Baba Ramdev’s Ayurvedic medicines contain human skull powder and parts of animal. Lakhs of people report getting cured with his breath control exercises alone. Only extreme cases are prescribed Ayurvedic medicines.

But the educated middle class wonders, whose cause was Karat championing? Why does she whine if millions of poor who cannot afford medical expenses are taught self healing techniques? If she had found non-vegetarian remains in Ayurvedic medines (made from plants) why is her attention not focused on allopathic medicines prepared from fish oil, animal fat, and skin powder of snakes, lizards and other reptiles and other non-vegetarian contents?

Lakhs of people who have been healed of their incurable diseases and are living a disease free life came down to streets, in protest against the disrespect shown to the living saint.
It is contended that Karat, the communist was playing to the tunes of Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited, the allopathic drug manufacturers who were afraid that people were becoming healthy without eating pills!

Ask any doctor and he will tell you that you’ll die if you stop Blood Pressure medicine. But lakhs of people have stopped their BP drugs and are living a healthy drug free life. Yes, they have to practice PRANAYAMA or breath control exercise every day of their life. This is an ancient technique for keeping good health, brought back to surface by Baba Ramdev for the benefit of humanity. But there are some representatives of big hospitals, stake holders and drug manufacturers who hate to see the number of patients queuing up in hospitals dwindle. They see their hospitals as investments and patients as customers that are supposed to provide returns.

There are many good allopathic doctors who do not even take fees for their service from poor patients. But there are also many doctors like Dr Kidney who brokered 500 poor men’s kidney and transplanted it on wealthy kidney patients.

Now if Baba Ramdev says, you don’t need kidney transplantation. Just do Kapalbhati exercise and get rid of your disease. Right from the hospital, down to the drug manufacturer till the fake drug manufacturer, everyone is affected. And hence ill-motivated people bark at the Baba, who works for eliminating the suffering of people.


Sriram and his wife visited the St John’s hospital. There were many poor and deprived who had to go hungry if they missed work for a day. These daily wage laborers, some with swollen head, others with swollen limbs, sat outside the hospital with their luggage pushed under the chairs. The poor, the diseased waited outside for the doctor. Their only hope was that the doctor will give them the entire cure. It may work or it might not. After God, they had come to the doctor as a last resort.

But for the Srirams, working for a software firm gave them the comfort of medical insurance and one month sick leave option at work place. The only concern was to get well. The doctor, a middle aged man advised Sriram to undergo a series of tests.
The results he said would be out only after a few weeks as the blood tests are very sophisticated. He advised Sriram to stop warfarin and wait for the test report.
“Once I get the test report, I can find the actual cause of your thrombosis. Then, I’ll prescribe a life long medication,” the doctor advised.

During the one month wait period, before the test result was out, the controversy surrounding Baba Ramdev was blown out of proportion by the media. It grabbed the attention of the family. Sriram and his wife followed Baba Ramdev’s breathing exercise or Pranayama meticulously. Bhastrika, Kapala Bhati, Anulom Vilom, Bahya, Bramari and Udgeet Pranayam were practiced by the family every day for 1 and ½ hours.

After a month, when Sriram visited the doctor he looked grim.
“The test result,” he said, “calls for life long anticoagulants. Before that I want you to take the test again. Just to be on the safer side, let’s run the tests again.”
It was another month before the results came in.

Sriram practiced pranayama every single day.
“The body works for you 24 hours. Why don’t you spend 1 hour for your body and 1 hour for your country?” asks Baba Ramdev on the television. An inspiring quote that keeps Sriram going.

The next time when Sriram and his wife visited the hematologist, there was news to rejoice. The doctor was shaking his head in disbelief.
“This cant be true! Last month’s report indicatd low Protien C level. Now this report indicates that you’re perfectly normal! I can’t believe this. What have you been doing?”
Sriram confessed, “I’ve been practicing Pranayama or breath control exercise as taught by Baba Ramdev.”
The doctor simply shook his head.
“It cannot be true!”
Srirams returned to their house. It was a day to celebrate. 3 years later, Sriram is in the best of his health. He does Pranayama for 1 hour every day. Baba Ramdev’s breathing techniques have given him a new lease of life. The family thanks God and Baba Ramdev for the cure from the deadly Cerebral Venous Thrombosis.

A few weeks after their last visit to the hematologist, Sriram’s wife called up the neurologist.
“Doctor, Remember Sriram whom you treated 2 months back? Doctor, I want a small favor from you. During our frequent hospital visits we saw many poor patients, lined up for treatment for CVT. What pains me is when these people have to struggle for survival, spending money for cure is next to impossible for them. My husband is off medication and drugs and leads a healthy life. From our personal experience it is due to Pranayama alone.”
The doctor on the other end of the phone line was getting irritated.
“Ms Sriram, your husband got cured not because of Pranayama but by sheer chance.”
“But Doctor, my request is you just suggest your patients to practice breath control exercises, when they are on medication. Just a parallel treatment!”
“Unscientific! Baseless!”
“Science mustn’t make one blind! It must make you more open minded. Medical science has become like the autocratic Church which once upon a time persecuted scientists. Today it is modern medical science’s turn to persecute the natural healing process. In what way are you different from the Church that was narrow minded and harassed scientists like Galileo?”
The doctor interjected, “I’m not going to tell my patients all the yoga and pranayama unscientific things. Your case was a sheer chance!”


You can visit for more information on Baba Ramdev who has cured lakhs of BP, cancer, skin disease, diabetics and heart patients. You can order the VCD that shows the 5 simple breathing techniques.
You don’t lose a penny. Just try it and let the ancient Indian wisdom (buried by people with narrow minded intentions) provide the gift of healthy life to one and all.

Let there be peace!


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