When life is kind to us and everything goes on well, we tend to take everything for granted. All worldly difficulties can be solved, given enough time and effort. But the moment something goes wrong with you physically, not just having a cold or a slight headache, your perspective of life and humanity begins to change.
That's how I felt when my left leg suddenly became numb, with all the muscles pulling and stretching at my thigh, calf and the sole of my left foot as if trying to burst open. Don't know what is the cause although Dr Ganesan at the family clinic said it could be due to a slip disc which had hit on some nerves. Some friends said that even if that was true it could not be a severe one for the pain was not so terrible. A severe slip disc would cause a constant jabbing pain as if a knife is being driven through you. God forbid. Nevertheless the tightness around my left foot is so severe that it disturbs everything I do and walking becomes a torture.
I have already seen two traditional masseurs to give my left leg a good massage. After seeing them about four times without any palpable improvement, my wife took me to the Orthopedic Division of Ampang Putri to undergo a thorough check-up. The last time I was there was to undergo a by-pass operation. That was almost two years ago.
Going to a hospital as a patient is always a traumatic experience for me. The moment I see people with all sorts of ailments and sufferings, Ifind myself so helpless and unworthy before God, and feeling that the healthy people in the world really don't know how blessed they are. I see the sick and incapacitated as humanity at its lowest level of wellbeing and whatever my own suffering was I felt that God was kinder to me than most of the patients that I see. Some were bed-ridden, some moving about in wheelchairs or with the help of a four-stump walking stick, with a hand or almost half the body hanging loose and lifeless.
It's a most sobering experience, especially when you go in as a patient yourself.
I had to undergo all the tests including an xray of my vertebrae and pelvic zone. I was next sent for physical therapy and from the moment you go into the treatment room, you feel like an invalid although you're not. I thought I would be given a massage but it was a machine with tentacles that were attached to my back and my calves. The machine heats up those areas for 15 minutes, sending waves of electrical energy with some seven variations of intensity and and rate of pulsation. God, I felt like I was being roasted although I refused to ring a bell and call for some adjustment. If that was the treatment that could dispel my discomfort, I had to take the ordeal. Then the same spots were treated with some cold vapors or ointment. It was a welcome change from the 'roast'. The exercise I was asked to do after that which included knee-bend, knee-jerks and push-ups were a cinch to perform.
And that's it. After getting some medications as prescribed I was driven home by my wife, with my left foot, especially at the ankle and the sole of the foot feeling as thick as a leather carpet and as tight as a stretched elastic band. It felt so tight that it hurts a lot. However, the thought of those other people whom I left behind in the hospital ( and I wasn't forced to stay back) made me feel quite fortunate.