“Am tired Mum…” I said as I drifted off. My hand fell off the bed.
“She’s collapsed! Call the nurse” My mother said as she felt for my pulse. It was weak.
“She’s bleeding… get the cart…page Dr. J….STAT….” the nurse ordered as she ran. My father stood helpless with my new born baby bundled safely in his arms. My mother watched as the panic mounted. “Call Dr. Gopakumar and Dr. Shaji….we need the anaesthetics here…hurry!”
I drifted in and out, listening to the bustle around me. I was so tired. I guess it is ok to just let go and relax.
“Anney…can you hear me” a voice asked beckoning me to answer.
I nodded. I was too tired to answer.
“Say something. “ The voice coached.
“Am ok…Just tired” I whispered.
“Can’t hear you...”
I muttered the same again.
“Patient is responsive…” the doctor stated.
“Can’t find a vein doctor…” a voice said as my hands and feet were being checked.
“Put it through the vein…” the doctor said as he stuck a canola in my neck.
I felt no pain. There was no need for anyone to worry; “Am fine” I tried assuring them again. The activity around me was in full swing. “Sister, has the lift arrived? Need to get her to the ICU…” his voice was calm despite the urgency that registered in my brain.
“Doctor, we got the bed, let’s move” The bed began to shake and move.
“Tuck the drip in, cover her…Anney…are you with me?”he asked.
“Yes” I tired to whisper…I was tired…I wanted to just sleep.
“Your mum is here, do you see her? There’s dad… you will be fine, ok?”
“Am ok, you all, don’t worry…” I tried to smile. My face felt weird. The bed was moving and lights were speeding by. I closed my eyes to rest. I hear the conversation around me. I was bleeding and they were worried. The drugs were not helping. I was sinking into a deep space. Everyone was trying their best to stop my sinking.
An hour later, there was no progress. Blood was pouring out like an open faucet. People were running out for more blood.
“Sorry, she is being assessed and in no state to be seen” the doctor said as he tried to keep my mother out of the ICU.
“I have to see her, I don’t care. I want to know her status for myself. Am trained for it” she said, determined to see me come Heaven or Hell. “Give it to me straight. I can handle it” she continued as she looked squarely into the doctor’s eyes. She knew the signs, there were not positive. She has seen patients die on the table.
“We will have to operate…am sorry. We need a consent. The bleeding can’t be contained …” he said as my mother stood like a rock. Her world shook. My father sat immobile.
“Let me see her.” she insisted. The doctor sighed and let her in.
“Do you know what is going on?” she asked me, as if we were sitting with a quite cup of tea and discussing life.
I smiled weakly. “Mum, I heard, if it is the last resort. It’s fine. Just tell me what happens after that…”
“You will be fine…” she said as she squeezed my hand.
“Will I die?” I asked my self before drifting off. My question went unheard.
When I think back, there are a few people in life who face adversity with a smile and even fewer with a stead fast determination. My parents brought me up under a conservative environment. I was a rebel. I hated the rule and didn’t like being told of what I can not do.
In spite of being an extrovert, my self esteem was really low. I felt lost between school and my family expectations for achievement. Then one day, a light bulb went off in my head…why can’t I get over my fear of failure? Since everyone insisted that I failed due to lack of drive, I wasn’t losing anything by just trying. There began my journey for overcoming this unknown fright. Facing the audience was not easy, facing criticism was not easy, facing life was not easy. I was determined and I succeeded. In two years at school I went from a virtual nobody to an upcoming and successful contender who had the gift of GAB at every turn.
Why stop there I thought…off I went to write and draw. It had been a passion that was soon recognised by all my teachers. I may not have good looks, but that was not going to stop me from feeling good. A dash of sports and a bit of home science (captain in charge of cooking yummy treats) and bingo…that non existent self esteem began to look up. The result, I was the only child who suddenly started walking away with a lot of prizes in extra curricular activities. The teachers were amazed at the change and my mother was proud that the years of encouraging finally paid off. I learned to be a fighter with a smile. I aspired to survive with a smile. There was no going back.
“Anney, we are taking you for surgery. You will be fine, don’t worry” the doctor with a mask said.
I felt like I had to let go, but I couldn’t. I was a fighter, I will not quit. Will I die? I asked myself. Maybe I will …Lord, don’t take me without giving me a change to share a laughter with my girls…I have so much to share…I can’t leave now…don’t ask me to leave… the mask covered my face and I drifted off.
‘…don’t ask me to leave…’ it echoed in my head until the voice woke me up.
“Wake up…look who is here to see you...” Mum and Dad stood by my bed. My husband looked like he had got a new lease to life. He kept holding my hand.
“So has the trouble maker been bottled?” I asked feebly.
The doctor laughed. “Great sense of humour” he said, as he wheeled me out of the theatre.
My doctors were pleasantly surprised in the coming days. I began to sit up two days after the surgery and attempted to walk as soon as I sat up. Despite feeling tired, I refused to give up. “ I will SURVIVE” I kept telling myself.
My recovery was long and hard. I went overnight from being a busy and active mum to being a bed ridden patient. I needed help at sitting up, carrying the baby or just plain walking. I hated my dependence.
I cried when I looked around and saw that I could barely lift a book without wincing and excruciating pain. When I closed my eyes, I felt like I was falling into a bottomless pit. I kept flaying my arms and legs saying, I won’t die! I won’t!!! I was terrified for the first time. I kept telling myself” I will SURVIVE. There is no mountain to high or an ocean too deep that my Lord can’t help me cross”
“What if I die?” I asked my best friend. I couldn’t tell anyone of my terrors.
“Shut up! You have to survive for me. I will be lost without a nut like you! Don’t you dare die on me! “
My terrors began to subside and my will began to reassert itself. The days rolled to weeks and then months… in 3 months, I could spend 3 hours just standing up and doing light things around the house. I was not yet out of the danger zone. My husband was warned of a relapse in case of any ignorance. He watched me like a hawk. I learned a great deal of the people around me after that day.
My mother was a rock who surprised everyone but me in her presence of mind, my father was soft hearted and so unlike the dictator I knew, my husband realised how lost he would be without my presence and my best friend made me realise that a whack on my head was what I needed to snap out of any grandeur depression I was cooking for my self.
I, in turn, realised that the greatest fear in life was realising one day that you had more to do and there was no second chance if you miss.
One year since, I thank the Lord everyday for that second chance. GC is my way of living my life. My children are my inspiration to being a better person. My mother is truly the rock that God placed in my life to anchor me.
Whenever, I have an obstacle in front of me, I remember the hospital lights and my vow ”I will SURVIVE”. If not for myself, then for the people, who depend on me to make them smile, cry or just to stand by them with a shoulder ready to bear any burden.