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“Back” to normal from the brink

“When the back spasms first hit me, I thought it was just a passing niggle—something that would settle down with some rest,” says 39-year-old Bangalore resident Ravi Kumar. “But that alas was not to be. The pain only kept getting worse until I could barely move at all. It was excruciating, immobilizing pain that clearly needed expert medical attention.” The young man’s search for ‘expert’ attention started with visits to orthopaedicians who put him on doses of pain-killers, relaxants and a series of scans and other tests. “It was diagnosed as a disc problem,” says Kumar, father of a four-year-old daughter.

What followed was 10 days of hospitalization, which made no discernible difference to his condition. “I was then put on traction,” he says. “A move that brought some relief, but it was temporary as was the stint of physiotherapy.” The pain returned, more insufferable than ever. “Suddenly my whole career and life appeared to be crashing around my ears; there was a cloud of despondency that seemed to have settled over my usually chirpy family —and it had all happened so suddenly.”

“That is when I heard of Dr Venkataramana and the Global Institute of Neurosciences,” says Kumar. When he first saw him with all his reports, the chief neurosurgeon at BRAINS he prescribed medication and a week of complete bed rest, just to be sure that there was no option but surgery left to put him back on his feet. “By this time, I had already spent more than eight weeks of agony, able to survive only because of the increasingly powerful pain killers. But, clearly the distinguished doctor wanted to be absolutely sure that I could not be cured any other way before recommending surgery,” says Kumar.

“The medicines led to dramatic improvement but the pain returned the day I was taken off the drugs,” says Kumar. “That is when the doctor decided that I had to go through surgery—a decision I agreed with immediately.” On October 23, 2013 Kumar was admitted at the hospital and a week later he walked out after a successful surgery feeling like a new man. “It was incredible,” says a hugely relieved Kumar, thanking the doctor and the Global Institute of Neurosciences for their care and cure.

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