A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE ROUTINE || PART 4 Skip to main content

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE ROUTINE || PART 4

I woke up by the noise of doctors' arrival in the ward. It was a routine check up that happened every morning at 10. They used to check the patients and decide the change in medicines, write reports and speak about the health. I was too weak. I couldn't sit without reclining the bed. My double vision was same as it was two days earlier. I could see everything if my head was kept straight like an owl and my pupils did not move. To see anything I had to move my head and still I would see everything double. I was most concerned about my eyes. I could recall the episodes of, "Monsters inside me" where the narrator would speak again and again that we cannot reverse the damage to the eyes. The doctor arrived at my bed. He checked if there are any improvements. He asked me to lift my hand, which obviously I couldn't. He asked me to fold my hand and then lift it, which obviously I couldn't. He took his pen and kept it in front of me, still holding, and moved his hand left and right. I saw one pen when exactly in front of me and two as soon as it moved slight right or left. He said, "There has been no improvements at all, let's see what happens tomorrow." I did not ask him about my eyes. I was too scared about the answer that he would give me. What if he says it will be same always or what if he says I don't know. I decided not to ask him anything about my eyes. My body was too weak to stay awake for more than an hour. I slept again.

    I woke up and the first thing I saw was my sister. I remember her countenance. She had a calm look and was looking at me only while taking the support of the bed on my right. She looked very normal which she normally isn't in my case, it was as if there was nothing serious, nothing of that sort. She was nodding her head while talking to my mother. She did not talk to me at that moment, I know I would not have also talked to her had I been in her place. The day was long, but my whole family was now alongside me. The most annoying thing at the hospital was the students who called themselves doctors if you say anything else to them. I remember several other patients used to ask them when is the doctor coming? And they used to reply in a rude and vexing tone, "I am also a doctor". They were many in number and used to visit me at least 7 or 8 times in a single day. Every time a new student would come, ask me the same questions, write in my file and go away. This would repeat several times starting with 8 in the morning and ending at 9 in the night with new faces every time. My file stacked up to a width of at least two volumes of Guinness Book of World Records combined.

   I was given a beaker to pee into. While they insisted me to use a catheter, I was adamant to stand and pee in the beaker. The feeling of not being able to use your body in the way you should is frightening. Using a catheter might be comfortable for some people, it was a sad truth for me. I have come to a condition where I have been suggested to use a catheter to pee. I denied. I will pee in the beaker standing on my feet till I can. Standing on my feet was very difficult. My mother and my sister would support me to sit on bed and then my sister would hold me tight so that I can stand. She would hold me while I pee in the beaker. Sometimes the beaker would slip from my weak hands. The day would start by one injection and one blood test, followed by my mother cleaning me and combing me. There is nothing more upsetting than seeing your mother cleaning you every morning, lifting your hand, combing your hair with a smile. Then the doctor would check me and everyday his words used to be, "No improvement". Then more injections and more medicines. I was given just milk to be poured in the pipe going through my nose to my stomach. Milk in the morning, milk in the afternoon, milk in the night. This went on for 10 days. I had lost the sense of taste, the feeling of chewing something, not even water touched my tongue for those 10 days.

  Next day was the second cycle of plasmapheresis. The pathologists came with machines with them and attached the end of the tubes to the tubes attached to me. It began as it should but later on after 2 hours my blood pressure increased. My blood pressure reading reached 200/120. The machine beeped to it's full strength, I felt chest congestion and breathing became really hard. I told them I am not able to breathe, they put an oxygen mask and started oxygen supply. Four nurses gathered around me along with the doctors. I still couldn't breathe. I vomited inside the mask with my head down. They gave me an injection to sleep. I slept in 5 seconds. I woke up and a new mask was still on me. It was the most painful cycle. I feared of more such situations to come, more cycles were still remaining. But it was the only painful cycle I had. Next cycles were all smooth. Next days were all filled with hopes, I hoped I will be better soon, I hoped I will soon eat from my mouth, I hoped I will soon hear the words," You are discharged"

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