Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sickening discoveries

It's the perfectly wrong time to fall ill.I missed Nihilant,I miss playing football in the clear weather-a rarity in Mumbai,I missed the cricket practice I hoped to join for time pass and the volleyball under lights.All because I forgot that eating ice-creams at night when you have asthma symptoms showing up isn't such a smart thing afterall.

Anyway the curiosity hasn't died.I just went through the contents of the 4 medicines I'm taking presently and searched them on the internet to see if I could find something interesting.The first one,which I have been taking (I thought) since times immemorial contained Diethylcarbamazine citrate.A search showed this paragraph:

Incubation with diethylcarbamazine citrate caused significant augmentation of human neutrophil and eosinophil adherence to tissue culture plastic.

Needless to say it was mind blowing.I could not understand any of the words used,let alone counter them all in a sentence.I quietly thanked God that I did not choose medicine,not that I could have got in.Another search showed up this:

An anthelmintic agent, C16H29O8N3, used especially in the treatment of ascariasis and filariasis.

I must have missed out on something.This medicine kills worms! My faith was shaken,I chucked that strip away and continued the search with the other one.

Salbutanol Sulphate,it proclaimed.The description looked fine,related to pulmonary diseases.Smoking,it said,caused COPD 8 times out of 10.That means I'm one level higher than my smoking friends,without even taking a puff! Now that is what I call injustice.Maybe I was heavy smoker previous life,and the effects spilled over to this one.

Then I happened to glance upon the side effects:
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in passing urine (urinary retention)
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking, usually of the hands (tremor)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sweating
  • Unexpected narrowing of the airways (paradoxical bronchospasm)
  • Low blood potassium level (hypokalaemia)
  • Awareness of your heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cough
  • Nervousness
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Hypersensitivity reactions such as swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema), itchy blistering rash or anaphylactic shock.
Each one of them came as a huge shock.And with an existential question "What If??".It also reminded me of this para from 'Three men in a boat' :

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee.

I searched no further.Everyone knows that curiosity killed the cat.I realised that human beings can come pretty close too.

5 comments:

Taru said...

that last line is so true.
throughout the post i kep askin mysekf, WHY wd u do all this!

get well soon

Nikhil said...

Thanks,hope you get back to blogging pretty soon.

Mirage said...

Jeez man! Get well soon!! And kill the curiosity b4 it kills u!! :)

Nikhil said...

:) Thanks.It's not that I don't try..

eddmartin3611 said...
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