Treatment for a rare and challenging spinal problem meant that he had to give up college in 2010, but Advait Thakur decided to make a return to the classroom as soon as he made a recovery
They say there can be no gain without some pain, and 24-year-old Advait Thakur would identify whole-heartedly with this sentiment. While his batchmates have nearly reached the end of their Engineering studies, Advait is back in first year, gearing up to start from scratch.
BACK WITH A BANG: After the pain forced him to stay away from college for four years, Advait has re-enrolled for Chemical Engineering
An infection from a minor abscess in his lower back is responsible for this discrepancy, compelling Advait to undergo two surgeries in 2010.
A few days after the second procedure, he started suffering from severe pain and stiffness in his back and legs — pain that would force his studies to take a backseat for the next four years.
“Travelling became impossible, as I was not able to walk. I stopped travelling by trains. But even the 45-minute bus journey, from my house in Nerul to my college, had become challenging,” said Advait. While he chose to continue going to class for his exams, it slowly became impossible for him to sit for more than a few minutes at a stretch.
Painkillers and a series of X-rays yielded no conclusive results. It took a few more tests to finally understand the main reason behind the cause of the excruciating pain. “An MRI finally revealed a degenerative disc disease was causing nerve root compression and leading to a narrow spinal canal. The pain was getting worse every passing day and I was put through a series of physiotherapy sessions,” he said. He added that even travelling for his physiotherapy sessions was a challenge on most days, as he had to visit hospitals across the city for different sessions.
Advait had to undergo sessions of ozone therapy as well, to help ease the pain. “I was confined to my house for weeks together, but I was still determined to continue my studies. Even though I had attended very few lectures, I attempted to appear for exams, but didn't do well,” he said.
While the physiotherapy sessions helped ease the pain after some months, Advait’s parents feared a relapse. “We wanted to ensure that the problem would not recur in the future,” he added.
Last year, the family was introduced to a new form of therapy, which analyses the muscular evaluation of the spine. “MRIs and X-Rays simply locate the problem, but what Advait really needed was functional diagnosis of the spine. It took painful sessions, but he finally walked out with very little pain and is now in much better shape,” said Dr Garima Anandani, spine specialist, who supervised Advait’s treatment.
Four years later since it all started, Advait is back at Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s College of Engineering and Technology in Navi Mumbai, where he has enrolled himself, once again, to the first year batch of Chemical Engineering.
“I couldn’t let this problem affect my future plans. I’m happy that the pain is finally in control and I can lead a normal life again. I hope to finish my degree and study further,” added Adavait.