Living in this college and having a decent standard of living created a bubble around me. A bubble of complacency which got a pinch in the winter vacations of December 2007.
After surviving the gruelling round of my first set of comprees, with the hope of taking a break, i boarded the bus to my home. Little did i know that the pre planned visit to a hospital could shake me up.
My mom was suffering from a stone in her kidney and a surgery for the removal of the same was scheduled in last week of December. It was to take place in Muljhibhai Patel Urological Hospital in Nadiad,Gujrat(considered one of the good ones for kidneys).
Since i am a fraud mallu( if you are encountering this term for the first time, it refers to all those people who have their native place in Kerala but are settled elsewhere) all my relatives are spread across the country and so it was gonna be my dad me and devaraj bhaiya( very good friend of ours) who were gonna take care of my mom( my granny was supposed to join later). It was on the Christmas morning (25th dec) that we left for Nadiad . I was extremely relieved to find that the hospital was really clean. But that was just a consolation to much more that was to come later.
The next day i got a feel of the magnitude of thing that we were gonna face as a family and it made me shiver. My mom was gonna be on the surgery table, and then my head flashed all the surgeries that i had seen on television ( by then i hadn’t seen house md). One day before the surgery we were asked to arrange for blood as a ‘precautionary’ measure. I was getting more and more and scared. My mom is O- but gladly we were able to arrange the blood from the red cross blood bank( devaraj bhaiya gave his blood as replacement).
The surgery took place the next day. By God’s grace it all went well. I was relieved. But then came the challenging part. It was very very sad to see mummy in the post operative ward. She looked so sick and weak. That was really scary. My dad was the only person allowed in. And then i had to replace him there for some time so that he could take a bit of sleep. It was somewhere around 4 in the morning i guess. I sat next to her the rest of the night. Had never experienced anything like this before. Then I went to the railway station to receive my grandma. Finally we( me and dad) felt relieved.
The day after that, everything was alright. My mom got her consciousness back. The surgery was without any complications and she was recovering properly.
But the whole ordeal didn’t end here. After my mom was out of any kind of danger, i started observing my surroundings and found that the place was full of sick people.
I was shocked to see the various kinds of diseases that people suffered with. There were young people with fatal conditions... old people with endless complicacies... it was a mayhem of kidney disorders.
There was this one person whose one kidney was not working and the other kidney was shrinking. There were rooms full of people getting dialysis(blood clean up in normal language) done and delaying the final verdict of death. Wards full of patients waiting for their names to slide up on the kidney transplant list. There were many more people i saw. I don’t remember what they were suffering from. But there was one case which i cant forget. It was a lady who was terminally sick. But she didn’t have enough money to continue with the treatment. And the hospital authorities asked her to leave the hospital and enrolled her name for aids given by NGOs.... there were lot of other patients.... and each and every one depicting misery in different forms and shapes.
I was shocked. It was the first time that i had ventured out of my ‘bubble’. Out, to a living nightmare of people. Where hopes were run by strands of irrationalism because rationality was cruel. In the midst of all these bleeding nephrons i suddenly felt small. Suddenly me, my problems, my aspiration and my circumstances looked microscopic when scaled up in front of these traumatised folks.
Whenever i remember those days, it gives me jitters every single time. I will treasure this experience forever.