Life was not so complicated and I felt on the best of terms with my surroundings till the day my heart gave up the struggle. It is two months now and another month more (three months of recovery time) and then I can travel. But I wonder what will it be like to walk around with a tampered heart. I am given examples of former patients driving, drinking, working and ‘you can too’. When I ask a junior doctor about why there are few women who go through the procedure he replies ‘May be women do not come forward but wait for the crisis point’. This made me feel brave among the bed of men in the ICU.
Ramphool….Ramphool..(name changed)…get the stool chair …hurry, the patient is getting restless.
My son said ’do it mom…you will feel better”
I did….The poop trickled on to my hospital clothes onto the bed. I was back with the poop into the real world of Bed No 1, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi.
It was the evening of Dec 22, 2017 that I was wheeled into Max Super Speciality Hospital and on morning of 23rd I was in the operation theater to give me a new blood pumping system..in short a ‘cabbage procedure’ and in layman’s term a heart bypass surgery to enable me to breath and walk with a fully functional heart. According to Wikipedia CABG is ‘Coronary artery bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG, pronounced “cabbage“) surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure to restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery.’
Till now I was oblivious of the ticking bomb that was my heart and what started as an investigation or Angiogram turned into a full-blown procedure. Angioplasty was ruled out due to presence of a diseased or disruptive valve that needed to be changed along with opening of five blocked arteries. Three consultations with three cardiac specialists later, I was wheeled into Max on the night of Dec.22, 2017.
10 days of recuperation, pain and general cursing I came home continuing with feeling sorry for myself and as it always happens to the sufferer a plaintiff cry “Why Me’. Christmas, New Year and Birthday (Jan 2.) was spent in hospital room and flipping through Facebook posts of friends welcoming New Years in world cities added to my ‘develish’ mood. I envied everyone, including the nurses, who administered to my well-being and comfort.
‘Why Me’ stuck as the sore point in the ‘distress’ chapter of my still to be completed travel memoir. No matter how much ‘newness’ was promised ‘now you do not have t worry about climbing stairs’, or ‘in few months you will be good as your earlier avatar or even better’, but, for the present there were the cuts and stitches on my chest, my ribs sawed and joined and my body an apology of my previous svelte figure (The last a pun). Anyways, I was sulking, complaining and my family humoured me and still is and I owe my recovery to their patience and care. The team of doctors at Max Hospital were always there even though I would blame them for ‘dismembering me’.
Now in my 66th year I have time to ponder, contemplate, meditate on which way I should go….to improve, to refurbish or re-invent the third important chapter of my life.