I have spent a good 5 days in a hospital lately. Lucky that I never had to before. The good part is I wasn’t the reason for the hospital visits. The bad part, My mom was. I will wish later it was the other way round.
Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho) told me about the beginner’s luck. I have tried to find one here too. To my dismay, what the first two visits showed me… I thank God for never I had to see it before and pray that I’ll never have to see them again… Two deaths.
Mother was taken to the SPW (read Serious Patient Ward). There must be 20 beds, at least, and I noticed that bed of all when I entered the ward. Not others. This one was different. There was a lot of hustle bustle around it. Ladies in long ghoonghats in rush. Gents with their hoarse voice saying something I didn’t listen. I had other things in mind. Mother was in excruciating pain. I didn’t care to figure out what all hustle was about. (I might add, even if I cared I have had no prior experiences to be of much help. ) Until few minutes later, the woman whispers got converted to loud groans. I had a flashback of an old lady with no jewellery or bangles, in an attire that my eyes commented unsuitable for the familiar yet unrecognised lady…crying in a similar way.
I knew by now the familiar lady was a 10 year younger version of my grandma… It was my nana’s funeral. The patient 3 beds beside my mom’s has passed away. I had my back on their side. I didn’t want my fears to have any confirmation. Let there be doubt. I did not turn over. I did not want bad thoughts. Bad dreams.
I believe in God. I believe he talks with us in strange ways. Ways unique to every person. Signals that only you could decipher. This
was not a good signal. I ignored it. We twist beliefs for our own good. And do it all the time. hyperventilating or weeping was the last thing, time expected of me then. I had to be strong. Mum needed me.
Added to the misery, doctors shifted mummy to the ICU. The pain wasn’t yet ready to leave. The cause of pain has to be diagnosed for proper medicines to be given. The wait for the reports was long. I spent the time sitting by her side. Painkillers had made her sleep. In awe, I thought how the day has turned out.
It was a normal morning. The family has had lunch together and Dad left for work. Mum was having her afternoon nap. I was in my room making desperate attempts to pass time. And then out of nowhere, she started vomiting and the goosebumps-to-whoever-sees-it pain followed. So, aisa bhi hota h!!!
There were patients all around us here, too. Mostly 10 of them. And there I saw a lady. She sat beside a bed that was diagonally opposite to mum’s. I knew her somehow. I strained my head for all the hours we sat there, She and me. I couldn’t get an answer How. The patient she was looking after was an old feeble man in dhoti kurta. Even before the reports arrived, a night has passed. I visited mom next day, early in the morning. I was entering the hospital building and heard those scary noises. Again. Ladies surrounding a moving stretcher, shouting and crying at the top of their voices. They passed me and I found all of them look-alike, but one of them. She was there. I told myself not to think about it. It couldn’t stop me from looking for them in ICU. They were not there. But I saw them only 8 hours ago.
I saw nurses gossiping and doctors cracking jokes amidst 20 agonized patients and more relatives. It was disappointing, initially. Should I feel bad to accept that I did not have to work hard to ignore the third death I saw two days later?
I was already growing up. Why wouldn’t they?
Mumma is out of the hospital now. I never thought I will enjoy being scolded by her. I did yesterday. A sure sign She is fine now. A Hospital will always give me that sinking feeling of those clueless days of what-happened-to-mum-suddenly and when-will-she-be-alright… how I would continuously give her a leg massage not knowing what else to do that will make her feel better… and all this time, how she would ask me not to come to hospital or sleep in her hospital bed by her side in the noons.
Moms are so selfless!