Monday, July 27, 2020


anxiety is a state of mind where in there is a constant run of negative thoughts that does not allow the person to perform and live his routine life. I experienced this in the past few months. Several events contributed to this. One is the announcement of lockdown. This prevented the normal social interaction at all levels. For a person, who lived outdoor life 4 to 5 half days a week and enjoyed playing and being with friends, this was like a jail sentence. Worse, the benumbed mind did not allow me to do any constructive thinking and do any writing. There was a constant feeling of restlessness and mild tension.Though the medical practice was only part time and numerically small, the enjoyment of interacting with patients,many of them, my friends, left me quite frustrated. Tele,video consults are no replacement for face to face interviews.

Then occurred another event 4 weeks ago which compounded the ongoing simmering anxiety. My 86 yea old sister in law who has progressive dementia, living alone with a helper,worsened and became unmanageable. We had to wind up her apartment in a hurry and shift her to our home. Then we had to do some frantic search and luckily were able to admit her to a dedicated home.All this took three weeks of intense tension for both of us.Since the past one week I [we] are able to unwind a bit. though the ongoing anxiety,though much less, remains.

What were the signs and symptoms that I experienced during this hard time? The one constant was the feeling of mild sinking in the pit of stomach.This would occasionally become worse, some times associated with nausea but no vomiting. Next was episodes of sweating which worsened when ever there was a phone call or when thoughts of what is going to happen next came up. Third was a mild head ache located at the temples. Sleep was hard to come by and when it did it was disturbed and that too only in the wee hours of morning.All these were classical signs and symptoms of anxiety state but not the dry coughing bouts. On some days when action was involved like shifting her to that home or bringing her to our home, it would be there all the time. On other days it was only for some time in the mornings. In fact if some one heard me coughing like i did they would presume that I had covid infection! Surprisingly,my pulse rate remained normal.

when once she got admitted the first symptom to to go was the sinking feeling, followed by attacks of sweating and the coughing bouts though the early morning ones remained. Sleep too improved. Since the last ten days my tele consults and seeing an occasional patient and friends in person has helped to calm me down and the prospect of restarting my out door activity too has helped to ease up

One can imagine the logistics night mare that we had to go through with restriction on vehicle movement, with the dementia patient living 20 kms away and the dementia home 30 kms away. This was the kind of situation when one realises how important to have close friends. Many helped us to see us through these tough months.

You might wonder, why then the anxiety still on.

Very, mild bearable, mostly due to worry regarding the relative settling in that home and to some extent, thinking about the plight of millions of the socioeconomically disadvantaged country men and women

We are a resilient people and hopefully,in the coming months we will be able to successfully weather this storm.

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