Death is inevitable. What has come into this world has to perish one day. Everyone is aware of it. But no one is prepared for it. So was I. Our life and its journey are already being written. I understood its true essence when someone in my family, someone very close, suddenly left us for heavenly abode. It was traumatizing first, but later made me reflect upon it.
It was the time of the year when our country is hit by the Dengue menace. And this time it hit my home. My brother became its First victim. By God’s grace he recovered after spending a week in the hospital. Everything restored to normal at home and soon we were celebrating the festival of Dusshera (Dashain for us). My father started feeling feverish with body ache. I took him to our physician who gave medicines and advised to get blood tested after three days as is the norm.
Papa became the Second victim. We admitted him to the same hospital. He showed the usual dengue symptoms and got treatment which my brother had also undergone. He had just started showing improvement when suddenly on the third day he was moved to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).
We were asked to arrange for fresh B+ blood immediately. I rushed to my neighbours for help while my brother made hurried phone calls. Papa had become unconscious that day in the morning. I was yet to see him. While blood was being transfused, the doctor narrated us the series of events that occurred earlier.
She was on her regular morning visit in his room when he got a severe headache and shut his eyes tightly. On examining he was not able to move one side of his limbs. Suspecting the possibility of a stroke she at once gave an injection to avoid paralysis. The CT scan report showed massive bleeding in his brain which was causing immense pressure inside. The Neuro surgeon came in and explained me the procedure he was going to perform on papa. From a distance I saw his head being shaved and then the curtains were drawn. Two holes were created in his head to release the blood and pressure. However, it did not bring him to senses.
The sight was unbelievable and agonizing. Just some hours ago he had chatted with my daughter over the phone. I couldn’t hold my tears back seeing him lying unconscious with pipes and machines attached to him. I called out ‘papa’, pulled his cheek, patted him, pinched him but he did not open his eyes. Holding his hand tightly I spoke words in his ear if his subconscious mind heard me. When the visiting hour was up I touched his feet, took his blessings and left.
It was completely unexpected. The doctors were shocked to see this patient’s condition who had come with the regular dengue symptoms and it turned out to this. Neither did he have a history of high blood pressure, nor did he have it in the hospital. There were patients with blood platelets as low as 20,000 (normal platelet count range is 150,000-450,000) who got cured and went back home. This was a rare case of Dengue Haemorrhage Fever (DHF) in which the patient could bleed from anywhere. Unfortunately papa bled in his brain, it could not be seen and stopped, got all mixed up with the cerebral fluid and clotted.
In the coming days he did not show any improvement. There was nothing the Medical Science could do beyond it. Only a miracle could revive him. He was declared brain dead; his body would function as long as his heart beat. We consulted his reports with the doctors outside but all gave the same response.
All of a sudden I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking of my last interactions with him. My eyes started burning and I felt my body heating up. When the paracetamol at home did not help I instantly got my blood tested.
And I was the Third victim. First thought that came up was the horror of it passing to the kids at home. Pest control was promptly called in and our house was treated against these killer mosquitoes. For the first time I felt helpless. My brain felt heavy with thoughts coming from all dimensions – my husband posted abroad, papa in coma, my 105 degrees fever caused by this deadly disease, everyone at home in this crisis, my baby girl Seher who got separated from me for the first time.
I walked from my room to ICU and saw his swollen stomach. I wanted to do some magic to wake him up. Papa fought it for 5 days before leaving us for his ultimate journey. Unfortunately, the day also happened to be their wedding anniversary. I took discharge from the hospital to bid him my final adieu.
I was reluctant to go back to the hell for which I had now developed immense hatred. The road to the hospital, its gate, walls, that peculiar smell, those corridors and faces haunted me. Mentally I felt better at home but my physical condition deteriorated. I was taken to the Emergency and admitted in HDU (High Dependency Unit).
Coincidentally I got bed number 6 same as papa’s. B+ blood had to be arranged for me as well. There was no mobile phone and personal attendant allowed inside. The atmosphere made me sick. I was losing all hope when the dark thought of Seher after me (God forbid!) crept up. I pulled myself together and forcibly ate all my meals properly. I shoved all the negative thoughts aside and focussed only on getting better. Finally I got back home after 5 days.
For many days thereafter papa’s words, jokes, his games and play time with the babies kept resonating in the house. He was a man of few words and I was his confidant. He possessed fatherly as well as motherly affection and care. My father was a wise man whose guidance and motivation made his children what they are. He taught us the value of Simple Living High Thinking. I missed him. I missed him bad. I got nightmares and cried in sleep. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night startled. Sometimes I mumbled in sleep.
Then arrived New Year 2019. I had to get myself out of this gloominess. I had to think about my and Seher’s future. I had to give her a positive and happy environment. Papa would want us to be smiling, laughing as he always used to. And there could not have been a better time than this! Life is the greatest teacher and it taught me a great deal.
I made my 2019 resolutions (writing being one of them) and pretty much sticking to it so far. I’m much stronger and determined than before. I also discovered that writing your life’s story can be therapeutic. It gives psychological and emotional healing.
Go on, pen down your life story 🙂