Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .

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Resistance to Antibiotics and Ayurveda to my rescue.

I had been resistant to Antibiotics much before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2011. My frequent bouts of sore throat would not go away in spite of using Antibiotics prescribed by the ENT Doctor. He would often tell me to meet him and give feedback after using Antibiotics. At times there would be an improvement and at times I would not get any relief. When there was no relief he would give me another set of medications which I would promptly gulp down . The pain and symptoms were so bad that I would not think twice about what I was gulping.

I was diagnosed with MM in Oct 2011, underwent a Stem Cell Transplant in Jan 2012.

I continued getting these attacks and as usual I was taking Antibiotics. These attacks are always triggered due to any kind of dust. I reduced my visits to Malls, Supermarkets , clothes stores, theaters, exhibitions and other public places . But dust finds its way into my body some way or the other 😦 . There is no way I can completely isolate myself from all kinds of dust. Another trigger for an attack is eating/drinking cold foods like ice cream or any cold drink which I stopped having anyway.

Had another attack recently and this time I consulted my Ayurvedic Doctor about my condition and whether I should take this new set of Allopathic medication. He said that I should not be taking Antibiotics as they affect the Bone Marrow and that the new set of medications were Steroids which are an absolute No-No.

What do I do now ??! , I was very sick …I had a very irritating wet cough , a runny nose , had fever that went up to 102 deg and my bronchitis was also severe. I continued the nebulisation with Levolin and Budecort. I was afraid I would end up with Pneumonia. Meanwhile my Ayurvedic Doctor recommended that I do a Sinus X-ray, Chest x-ray, LDH Serum and Urine Culture . Had to wait for two days before all the reports were out. Was glad that all the reports were negative :).

Meanwhile he recommended a herbal tablet for the runny nose and Kantakari Lehyam for my Bronchitis. This Lehyam is like a paste ..a sweet , pungent paste similar to Chyawanprash. My symptoms slowly reduced. A lot of patience was required as each painful hour went by very slowly. Took 5 days off from work . Felt like a dead person during those days and finally when I was ready to go to work I felt as if I was reborn and like a bird that just got out of a cage 🙂 .

So glad I was able to escape from using Steroids, for the first time.

Meanwhile my Ayurvedic Doctor also sent a Mishran which I am supposed to take with Warm water.

The meaning of the word Mishran is ‘a mix’ , a mix of several herbs in a powdered form, for improving immunity.

Am almost normal now but continuing the new Ayurvedic medications along with Curcumin, Ashwagandha , Satavari etc.

I am envious of people who are able to dig into ice creams and soft drinks and are able to withstand any kind of pollution/dusty environments.

Looking forward to a day when I can move around without fear of another attack. A day when I can eat an ice-cream and have a cold drink 🙂 … hmmm , I know I am asking for too much 🙂 .

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Stop being too nice

Unknowingly , I made some of the biggest blunders in my life . I always said nice things to people , was always accommodating and mostly didn’t hurt others feelings. 

I had always felt that one should not hurt others feelings at any cost.  It was always about telling only sweet things to all and ignoring anything negative.  Height of Positive thinking I guess 🙂

Everyone calls me a Nice person. Feels nice to be called nice but I was not truly happy just being nice. Many times I suppressed my true feelings. I now feel that a nice person is actually not nice and is not genuine all the way. I was always in a fix not knowing whether I was right in being ‘nice’ . I now realize I was subconsciously afraid of being criticized for having expressed the not so nice things , that I was not strong enough to face the consequence of expressing my true feelings and that I was not ready to lose friendships nor my reputation.

I have come across several people who are very straight forward and frank in whatever they say. I had a wrong opinion about such people. I now realize that they were being true to their innermost feelings . They express exactly what they feel. They just don’t care if they are being harsh or hurtful. Whereas, it is us who unnecessarily attribute too much importance to their opinions. Everyone is free to express their opinion isn’t it and so should we. Express and let go.

After some introspection , thanks to some of the motivational quotes that I see on FB, Whatsapp etc , I finally feel happy expressing what I truly feel .

Here are a few such quotes which have been very powerful in creating a new me.

I now enjoy saying No 🙂 . I feel powerful and in control when I blurt out that No or when I disagree. Of late I have begun expressing my true feelings at home, at work or with friends. It feels so good , feels like new found freedom. Am sure this helps in improving our health too.

I have made up my mind not to regret after those words have left my mouth 🙂 .

I will just say and forget .

I will be strong about my opinion on any matter.

Will let people find their own solutions.

And it is ok to not be liked .






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A few clicks with my phone camera during last few months


On my way back from work . Dark clouds and Heavy downpour at around 5pm. Clicked from inside my car.


Diwali decor in our Balcony. Strings of electric lights and rows of Oil Diyas on the ledge. Marigold flowers on the Main Door.


A rainy day . Spotted lots of little diamonds caught between the leaves when I reached home. On my balcony.


A foggy morning near my place of work. Great place for walking/jogging.


Golden trumpet blooms in our little garden. Clicked one morning while I was starting to go to work. These were drenched during the showers in the previous night.


View of the lawns in ISB. This was my first visit to the beautiful campus.


Mom presented this pot to me. There were lots of buds when I got the pot with this plant. Clicked this pic and sent to Mom . She would ask me if they had bloomed.


Another cloudy day. Clicked this when I went for a long drive with Mom one day.


Lakshmi Puja on the evening of Diwali.


Tried to capture the rain drops . The scene was ethereal . Cool breeze , sound of rain , the golden glow from the street light with the falling rain drops . Tried my best to capture those drops but failed.

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Diwali and cancellation of my Official trip to Delhi.

Every festival in India is celebrated with gaiety . Diwali too is celebrated in all parts of India in different ways. 

Almost all the Hindus clean up their homes , all family members get involved in decorating the house with Rangoli , thoran and diyas . Most Hindus also perform puja to Goddess Lakshmi in the evening .

There was a time when I too would look forward to Diwali , I still do but now there is some nervousness.

It is due to the burning of firecrackers during Diwali. All the towns and cities turn  into gas chambers and the fog worsens the situation as the weather transitions from Rainy season to the Winter season . The environment turns toxic owning to the harmful chemicals used in the making of  these crackers. 

There is a rise in patients getting admitted to hospitals immediately after Diwali with complaints of respiratory issues. Small children and old are the most affected. In spite of the rise in pollution people do not realize the harm that we are causing to ourselves and the planet by burning crackers.  

Glad that in 2016 the Supreme Court had banned the burning of crackers in Delhi . But, how many heed to the order. Every day some of the News Channels display the pollution levels in the bigger towns and cities in the Country. This year it is learnt that Crackers are already illegally stocked up by the traders in spite of the ban . They will find numerous discreet ways to sell their wares.

I am allergic to dust and all kinds of smoke. I do my best to avoid such environments.This year Diwali is being celebrated on 19 Oct.  I had to cancel my Official trip to Delhi on 23 Oct  for this reason. I cannot take the risk of travelling during this time as the smog in Delhi is very severe and pollution reaches very dangerous levels. Emissions from vehicles, Thermal power plants around Delhi and crop stubble burning around Delhi are the reasons for the severe Smog in Delhi during this part of the year. Add to this all the toxic emissions from burning Fire crackers and you create a recipe for disaster. Delhi turns into the worst polluted city in the world.

Unfortunately , people do not understand and compete with friends and neighbors as to who burns the most crackers. It also pains that the supreme court ban is being  politicized and communal color added 😦

Looking forward to the day when Firecrackers are banned all over the country . High time the manufacturing of these crackers are banned. Hope to celebrate a noiseless , smokeless  and pollution free Diwali in the near future. 


2013-11-03 18.28.03


Happy Deepawali !!






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Down with Sore Throat 

Was down with severe Throat infection in the last few days.This is the result of my recent visit to a supermarket. I had also visited a clothes  exhibition a couple of weeks ago without a mask. I have always been allergic to dust. The reason I usually avoid Malls, supermarkets and clothes stores. I usually wear a mask when I visit these places.I didn’t have a mask this time and very confidently entered this supermarket on my way back home. Within two days I began seeing symptoms of a Bronchitis attack and a sore throat. I started drinking warm water with turmeric to soothe my throat. But I failed this time  . It got severe by midnight and I was forced to pop an antibiotic.

Visited my ENT doctor next evening . I have completed the course and almost back to normal today.

Had to apply leave at work. Luckily we have a loong weekend along with a holiday for Dasara and Gandhi Jayanti .I will be back to work fresh and more energetic.

Each time after I recover I tell myself that I will never go to Public dusty places without a mask and I invariably end up at such places in a few months.


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Perspective is Everything : Change your Perspective and Change your Life

Came across a few thought provoking statements recently via Youtube/ Books/ Quotations etc which I would like to share :

  • Our body is a conglomeration of a variety of single cellular organisms that have come together to form a body and  give us a beautiful experience on this Beautiful Blue Planet . Our body is a moving colony of cells, bacteria and other micro cellular organisms inside and on our body that have decided to live together in a symbiotic relationship to give us this experience.
  • We are here to express ourselves and not to suppress our thoughts and feelings. We have been brought onto this planet for a purpose . Each Individual is a unique package that is creative , has different thoughts , full of emotions and  full of ideas which have to find an expression. So, don’t hesitate to speak and express emotions . Not letting them out leads to stress in the body and mind which results in disease. Release your emotions and thoughts. Speak up, Forgive , Forget and Let Go turn get healed and live a Healthy life. It is also very important to say NO when you actually feel that way.
  • Earth doesn’t need us, we need the Earth. The Earth knows how to repair, heal and revive itself and to continue it’s journey. It is time to save ourselves by helping the Planet to heal faster.
  • WE make choices every moment which in turn decides the next moment . It is we who are creating our future every moment.What happens to us is mostly the result of what we have chosen to do. Let’s not blame others for whatever is happening to us. We have the power to create our world by choosing and reacting wisely to every situation that we encounter.
  • To Worship or Pray , is to be full of Gratitude. In this unpredictable world this is the ultimate form of worship.

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My first Avocado recipe : Guacamole 

I had been watching recipes made with Avocados on YouTube , but did not dare to buy them. Wanted to prepare Guacamole one day.

They are not a commercial crop in India. However they are being grown in a limited way in a few parts of South India and North East India.

Few days ago I spotted Avocados in the Supermarket and bought one for the first time.
I had read about picking a perfect Avocado , letting them ripen at home and the procedure to determine if they are ready to be eaten.

The one I bought was dark green but not the almost blackish colour that I saw in the YouTube videos. I left it outside to darken. This morning I noticed it was soft when I pressed it gently and saw a few blackish spots.

I was excited and decided to prepare Guacamole. I had also bought a packet of Nachos on the same day 🙂

I had all the ingredients at home except Jalapenos. I used a green chilli instead.

So here are the ingredients for one serving

Avocado : 1

Tomatoes : 1 medium size (I had cherry tomatoes that I used)

Green chilli : 1

Salt to taste

One small 🍋 lemon

One small onion

Coriander leaves (optional)



Scoop out the pulp of the Avocado and mash it up using a fork.

Chop up the onion and 🍅 tomatoes.

Chop the green chilli into fine pieces.

Mix all of them in a bowl and add salt ,lemon juice and coriander leaves.

Stir well.

Guacamole dip is ready. Enjoy with Nachos.

It was yummy 🙂