Tuesday, 1 February 2011

When The Heart Stops.......................... its a sign... ..that you need surgery.

Since nothing dramatic is happening around me ....and I am tired of putting up lists ...I just rummaged through a storage space that houses a variety of useless junk..my memory... here is an experience...

Warning: My post is not trivializing the issue, still  the super sensitive people who can't sleep without kissing their mom good-night might think twice before reading it.

Event: My mom's bypass surgery, when I was in class 10. There were tense moments for sure ,  the experience of waiting, while someone in the family is being operated on, is a terrible one. You cannot do anything and you are completely helpless. Pretty much my situation.  ( I am just ensuring a sensitive beginning.... relax... this is not a tear jerker of a post)

Seeing Ma being wheeled into the OT was overwhelmingly horrible. At that moment there is one God, it's the surgeon. The surgery would take quite a number of hours so I took a book because I did not want to worry myself sick. One person per family in the hospital is good statistics.

Reading is much better way to pass time in the waiting room than what I have seen people indulge in.. they are 

1.talking about the day's headlines 

2. talking about the patient's lifestyle/family/survival chances  

3. This is by far the worst- discussing other similar operations gone wrong ( heyylooo!! you are here to boost the morale of the poor family members . remember?? )

Now , my friends, Bypass is no hysterectomy or appendicitis. It is the queen of surgeries, an open heart surgery , which roughly translates to : more relatives dropping by, more anxious phone calls, and a separate waiting room with VERY comfortable sofas. I busied myself with my books in the waiting room, while my father was engaged in doing what he does best in tense situations: biting nails and pacing furiously till everyone else except him feels giddy.

Next some strangers entered in, what I viewed, as our exclusive waiting room. Apparently there are other queen surgeries , by virtue of which, this waiting room is open to such families. But nevertheless I felt cheated by this intrusion , my reading was interrupted rudely by the usual anxious hysterical chatter. I marched out to grab my first veg sandwich of the day, from the hospital canteen (there were MANY more to come).

Then gradually my relatives started to arrive, let's forget names and stick to descriptions, a brother came,whom I just cannot tolerate but had to be civil because he had arranged for some blood donors, next was a doctor in my family, who is a brilliant doc , is practical , conniving, funny and mad as you shall  soon find out ( you should  have guessed , I like him...a rare species of relatives), 

well, so the doc ordered me and my bro to go and get some guavas ! ( " jah toh ...baire theke peyara niye aaay" was what he said calmly).... I was stumped ! But then If I can eat one veg sandwich after another while  50% of my mom's body is being cut open , then he can surely want guavas. 

Hours passed, suddenly the phone rang,  it was from the OT, a nurse had called to say that the surgery was proceeding fine. I was terribly amused , and questions popped up in my head : 1. Who is looking after my mom if the nurses are making phone calls? 2. Wasn't this just like a news update? Few hours later there was another call to inform us that the surgery was over and my mother was being transferred to the I.C.C.U.

My dad went and saw my mom, then it was my turn. I entered the I.C.C.U, and saw Neil Armstrong... Not one , not two but many, all around me,...lying in beds,... I mean if you have been to an I.C.C.U..you know what I am talking about, patients lying on beds covered from head to toe, wearing some weird masks over their head, so many nozzles through their nose and mouth, gigantic cylinders around the bed and a zillion IV needles poking the arms. 

It was horrifying, I looked quite lost because everyone looked similar from a distance and I was too scared to go near any of them. A nurse helped me, took me to my mom. At that point, it sunk in, this was serious business, I thought- may be this was it. Do people return from this state? She never looked so vulnerable before. I left. As soon as I could.

Okay, the reign over the exclusive waiting area was over and we were back to the general waiting area but my father was nowhere to be seen. Then I got to know he was talking to the surgeon.  I thought, "he'll be back in a few minutes". I was wrong, he came back after an hour, smiling. ...here's the conversation that followed: 

me: "what were you doing for so long?"

dad: "asking him about the surgery"

me: "uhhh ...okay, but  what took so long?"

dad ( highly animated) : "he was explaining-with drawings- he also had this heart model on the table-with that he explained-very interesting-I asked lot of questions-I had coffee-------"

Realizing that he had enjoyed an hour-long audio-visual GK class....I asked "why did you bore him right after he performed a 5 hour surgery?"

He gave me some "looks" and walked away.    

Yaah , That was all. Mom living, All good, Over and Out. :D


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