I've had migraines, right from childhood. I started by saying "headache," went on to learn the more fancy word "migraine" and used it to much effect, unaware of what the problem was. It grew and grew as I grew older and by my 30s, the regular "headache" pills didn't work. I did everything possible, yoga, naturopathy, ayurveda, acupuncture. The only suggestion I didn't try out was pouring oil into my ear. Phew. Neurologists gave me pills and I took them endlessly. Around 2008-9 I started feeling a new thing. My balance, which had been great all my life -- I was a theatre person and could run on the lighting catwalks above the stage -- was becoming a big issue. I was always scared I would fall down stairs. The quality of my headaches also changed. I would get sudden pain, feel dizzy and sometimes couldn't feel my legs, though I was able to move them. These episodes lasted just under a minute or max a couple of minutes. Very infrequently. I ignored them. Then my speech started slurring -- very mild, barely discernable-- but I knew I was putting more effort to say the same words that I would utter with complete clarity earlier. I also started missing words or saying the wrong word, all of which was very shocking for me, as I am theatre trained. I mentioned some of this to neurologist Dr Suresh Kodapala, who was recommended to me by my diabetologist Dr Satish Babu. He suggested an MRI, which I initially resisted but finally did. The experience inside a cylinder for over an hour -- which I've since had to repeat several times -- was awful, but necessary. For we found that I had a benign tumour in the brain -- what Dr Ajay Herur would disparagingly refer to as a "meningioma." I didn't google, being tech-challenged, but all my relatives did and everyone was in a state of panic. Dr Herur's boss at that point in time, Dr K N Krishna, said I had to have it operated immediately. Dr Herur was furious that I was making fun of the problem (I was trying to reassure my family, but yes, stupidity) and explained it in detail to my family and me, including all the possible side effects of the operation. They stood 14 hours -- the team of Dr Krishna, Dr Ajay, Dr Girish Joshi and Dr Karuna Kabadi -- along with nurse Jesse and aesthetician Dr Sudhir. And they and took out that huge tumour, in impossibly small pieces, like taking out something from a spider's cobweb, as all kinds of nerves and veins were in that region. In one week, I was out of the hospital. Since then, I've had three MRIs done and the tumour has not resurfaced. My speech is still a bit slurred, my balance still a bit iffy, but like Dr Herur said, what has gone cannot come back. But it has not got worse, as the problem has been solved! Headaches -- I have -- like any normal human being. But no migraine or tumour, thanks to the diagnosis and the skilled effort of a team that gave me my brain and my life back.