Fighting crippling diseases, she stands up to be counted

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Express News Service

KOCHI: Battling disease after disease since the age of 15 years, Dr Indu K Gopi, 36, has been through a rough ride in her life. Diagnosed with lupus (an autoimmune disease), Indu’s vital organs, including brain and kidney, were affected. For her, the battle is far from over, and every day brings its share of pain, as the disease is unpredictable. But despite all the troubles, Indu is full of life and keeps herself busy with one thing or the other.  She is now looking forward to being an entrepreneur.

Besides lupus, Indu, a dentist by profession, is diagnosed with over 20 diseases including fibromyalgia (chronic condition affecting muscles and bones), renal manifestations, scoliosis (abnormal curvature of spine), obstructive and central sleep apnea, cognitive issues, scotoma (interruption in vision) and so on. Being someone who loves to travel, paint and explore, Indu has not allowed her health condition to stop her from enjoying life. “Life has not been a joy ride, but I try to live in the present and enjoy the moment. Because I do not know whether I will survive to see the next day. It has been 22 years since I have been fighting various diseases. The psychological impact of living with these would take a toll on anyone. I had to learn to live with these, as otherwise I would have been bedridden,” she said.

Brought back to life from deathbed in 2007, Indu says horrific days she spent at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital are unforgettable. “There was delay of seven years in diagnosis, which let lupus wreak havoc on my body. I wasn’t ready for the viciousness showered upon me. Doctors gave up on my life twice — once when my brain was affected and seizures struck me six times in one night, and again when I had a severe reaction to two of the seizure drugs given together which gave me 90% burns. Those marks remain on my body and soul even after 14 years,” said Indu.

Due to her health issues, it took her 10 years to complete her BDS course. From lack of support from her family to being unable to commit to work, Indu’s personal struggles are endless. “After completing graduation, I had worked at some dental clinics but due to low immunity I used to get infections from patients. The lack of awareness in society and even among medical professionals affected my career.

Luckily, I have returned with body, and most importantly mind, starting to heal, and have joined like-minded individuals to fight this disease and to serve the fighting community,” she said.  Recently she started her vlogs to spread awareness about the diseases and her way of dealing with them. Also, she is planning to launch her clothing store online soon. 



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