A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - EXIT FROM IMC || PART 6 Skip to main content

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - EXIT FROM IMC || PART 6

Twenty bottles of plasma (blood), five bottles of albumen, countless bottles of all the nutrients like iron, sodium, calcium were consumed by me. I was surviving on just drips and milk. It was my eighth day in the ward. I was not listening to "He is still weak" now. Two days back at 10 am when doctors arrived for their regular routine round checkup, my sister asked me to lift my hand so that I can warm up before they see. I told her, "Today I will not leave the doctor if he says no improvement to me". The doctor arrived and asked me to lift my hand. I applied power equivalent to lifting a 14 kg household gas cylinder. I lifted my hands. Both of them upto my shoulder level like Hitler's salute. This time the words that came out of his mouth were different. He said, "There is very slight improvement, but there is, let's see what happens". My sister was very happy. She could have danced in the ward if allowed to. I was happy to see her, while everyone was on the negative side which is I am still sick, she was pushing me being on the other side to see the improvements I am making. The thing with other members was that everyone knew I will be back to normal one day, so they were expecting more and more from me everyday. It was not like being in coma to be happy even if someone moves his finger. I smiled at my sister, which to be noticed I was able to now. I was able to smile but nobody could recognize I am smiling except the family members. The doctor had made my day.

      Two days later I improved some more. A new exercise was added on my list which was counting in one breath. The doctors were afraid that I might weaken my wind pipe because of the muscle weakness. I started with 20 when I counted on the first day. Soon in three days I could count to 60. In two days later I could count to such an extent that the doctor had to stop me and then smile. It was my fourth cycle of plasmapheresis and tenth day in the hospital. The blood flow from the tubes attached to me was very low. They had to press the tubes again and again to regain the flow. I heard them saying, "The flow has reduced to 35 which was around 70 in the first day". They suggested to now insert the tubes in the other leg but they had to consult my doctor first. They decided not to start the process next time until doctor allows them to change the tubes to other leg. The process time had increased from three hours in the first cycle to five hours in the fourth. The term "they" I am referring to is the pathology department of the hospital. They used to come only to do plasmapheresis. Two male assistants would sit on my left and start the process while one female young student doctor would stand in front of me. She used to be in charge of the process.The male assistant always complained to me that I never look at them. I always kept my face in the right. I wanted to say them that the tube which is going through my nose used to prick the inner walls of my pipe. But I used to keep quiet. I did not have energy and voice to tell them these things, keeping quiet was more beneficial for me. The lady doctor was a very young doctor, her name was Arpita. In all the processes and all the time she would just stick to her phone. From the first minute to the last, she would just use her phone all the time standing in front of me. The fourth cycle was over and surprised me with two tests.

      The first test was to check my neurons, whether they are transmitting signals normally or not. They gave me small and short electric shocks in my hand and legs which moved my hands and legs involuntarily. It was frightening when it began, but was normal and I can say a little bit of fun passing current through your body in small amounts. My neurons were weak but were working fine. The next test was the most difficult test. Not only for me, but for the doctors and any patient. I had heard people cried during that test, people had screamed to their lungs in that test and people sometimes passed out too. Nobody told me it would be so painful. My sister thought it would be better not to tell me about it. All over the internet, the stories are full of pain of people who had to go through that test. This test was called CSF test or cerebrospinal fluid analysis test. It is a test performed on CSF which is a fluid which transfers nutrients to central nervous system and brain. It acts as a cushion to the nervous system. No wonder they wanted my fluid from my spine and it is the most painful part of my treatment. Inserting a syringe in your spine is out of my imagination. It is a very sensitive and delicate part. Most of you might not understand but believe me, just pushing a pen slightly in that area will hurt you. This image can clear up the process.



Does it look that easy? Well, it is not. I saw five students coming to perform the test. They asked me to fold the knee touching your face and lower your face while lying sidewards. This made my spine more visible and would help them insert the syringe. One student held my head, two students held my legs and two performed. They held me so that I don't move from the pain. They had drawn curtains around my bed and I saw my mother looking at me from a distance through the gap between two curtains. Her face was too nervous. She was about to cry, I could see that. She couldn't see her son being held by four men like a prisoner. The female doctor sitting behind me inserted the syringe, and I should tell you, it is the most painful feeling you can get. It felt like a bee had somehow reached my spine and is biting me inside my spine. This pain was increased when she could not find the fluid. She moved the syringe up and down inside my spine. She still could not get it. She performed it again and again. I went through the pain for twenty minutes. She still could not get it. The pain of your hand coming in between the door is nothing compared to this pain. Even if that pain is for seconds, it is less. This went on for twenty minutes and she said in the end, "I need to get the senior doctor, We could not get it." I saw the face of my sister when she said it. My family was waiting outside the ward just to hear that the most painful test is over. They were nervous and restless to hear the news like a family sitting outside an operation theatre. But sadly, the test failed and I had to go through it again.
 
     When the senior doctor came, her first words were, "Harish, did they hurt you?" I said, "No". She said "I know they did, and I won't, don't worry now". She was the sweetest doctor I came across in the hospital. Her name was Richa. She was about 5'4" and a thin lady in her late twenties may be. She asked me to sit on the bed and bend down. She performed the test in about ten minutes. Actually less than that. She talked to me through the whole test. "Where are you from?, What do you do? I am from Dehradun, I have a brother like you". She made that ten minutes less than two minutes. Today, when I think back about that test that Dr. Richa took, I do not feel pain, I do not even remember how much time was that for. She asked me to lie down straight for six hours so that the fluid which is taken can be made again by the body.

   This ended my pain and suffering in that ward. This was the second last day of my days in IMC ward. I could never looked at that ward completely because my eyes were not normal. I never got the chance. I remember it as 204 ward of Himalayan Hospital. A number I won't forget. The doctors I won't forget. The patients I won't forget. I was transferred to a private ward the next day.

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