……..they do so in a rush, barely giving us time to get hold of what’s happening!!
Last Thursday (20th Jan), I bickered at lunch, about how the GMIL and I just don’t get along, the way she’s always finding fault with what I do, the way I’m at my wit’s end in her presence and so on and so forth. For a wild minute I even had a thought that for a woman who’s nearing the end of her time, GMIL should be less concerned about what bhaaji I make for the day and instead, focus more on her prayers. I was really, really ticked off with her (had a mild altercation with her the previous evening) and I’m sure some of that negativity flowed her way
What else could explain the surprising way she fell ill that very night?
GMIL was coughing throughout the night and no amount of cough syrup could give her relief. The next morning, she came down with a very high temperate. But being adamant (as she always is), she refused to come along and visit a doctor. I fed her breakfast and gave her a crocin, which at least brought down the fever. MIL had left early for school. She came back around 1:30 after which I left for work.
The feeling of guilt wouldn’t leave me though. I had that niggling sense of guilt that somehow, I was responsible for her ill-health. But then work overtook my mind and by the time I reached home, it was nearly 9pm.
Little did I know that there was another calamity awaiting us !
It so happened, GMIL’s fever had worsened, so the MIL insisted that she visit a doctor (who’s in the next building). FIL took the granny along, they met the doctor who prescribed the medication and just while leaving the clinic, the GMIL fell down. Though she claimed later that she fell lightly, it was enough to incapacitate her. The FIL called up MIL who immediately sent the boys from our building to bring GMIL back. They sat her on a chair and lifted her back home. Here, the MIL had set up a bed for the GMIL and the boys and FIL lifted GMIL on to it. The neighbours came in to check if they could help in any way. the GMIL was in a lot of pain and could barely talk.
Here, I must confess, the FIL took a wrong decision, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. Going by what the GMIL said, we assumed she had sprained her leg and needed rest. We applied cold compress to her thigh and wrist (which had borne the brunt of the fall). We made her as comfortable as possible. But it was clear that she needed medical attention.
The next morning, being a Saturday, I went to the nearby orthopaedic hospital to make enquiries. Now seriously, I don’t understand this thing about private hospitals. It being an orthopaedic speciality hospital, this is what those guys said :-
Me : I’ve come to enquire about the doctor. Our granny has taken a bad fall, could the doctor come for house-visit?
Reception Guys (a girl and a man) : We’re sorry, the doctor does not do house visits. Please get the patient to the hospital.
Me : the patient is an 80 year woman who has hurt her leg and is in no condition to move.
RG : Thats ok. You manage to get her here, then we’ll take over.
Me : Don’t you have an ambulance or something which you could send over?
RG : Where do you stay?
me : a couple of blocks away.
RG : We are sorry. You get her till the elevator, then we’ll get a wheel chair for her.
me : What if you send the wheel chair till the house?
RG : Sorry, we can’t do that. You have to bring the patient till here.
Me : I guess i need to talk to the doctor. Please give me his number
RG : sorry, we can’t give you his number. You can talk to the assistant doctor on duty.
So the AD is called who asks the sake set of question the RG guys did.
ME : It would help if you could at least send the wheelchair along.
AD : Sorry. we cant do that. You bring the patient here. Then we’ll do all that is required.
me : I’m sorry if i didn’t emphasize before, but you see, the patient can’t move.
AD : We’re sorry then. You have to bring the patient here, else we can’t do anything.
An orthopaedic speciality hospital arguing that a bed-ridden senior citizen with a possible fracture be brought to their doorstep if she wants treatment!! Outrageous.
I was so mad, I stomped out. Went home and narrated the incident to the BF. He was equally shocked and disgusted. So he called the FIL and they made arrangements to admit the GMIL in another hospital. We arranged for the ambulance to come to our place in the evening. The MIL was to escort the granny along with the BF, but she was very upset and so I agreed to go along with the granny and BF.
The ambulance guys were very efficient. They transferred the GMIL onto a stretcher and then went down the stairs to the waiting ambulance. They were so quick and skilled, GMIL didn’t feel any extra pain. Me and the BF piled in at the back, the siren was switched on and we were on our way.
Now this was my first time inside a screaming ambulance. GMIL’s case wasn’t critical, but I could only shudder in disbelief when I saw the callous attitude of motorists and bikers on the road! It was more important for them to overtake the ambulance than to give way! For patients who are seriously injured and for whom every second counts, I can only send a silent prayer !
It took us about another 3 hours to get the granny admitted. She had to undergo a few blood tests, X-rays and scans. Thankfully, the FIL and BIL also reached the hospital and between the four of us, we managed the running around, escorting granny, assisting with the X-rays and all those other little things one has to do at a hospital. The X-ray showed that the poor lady had suffered one big fracture and two minor ones on her hip-joint. This made the FIL and the BF all the more upset that they didn’t take her tot he doctor right after her fall!! The doctor’s suggested operating on the fracture – placing metal plates to keep the broken bones together – only after they are confident that she doesn’t already suffer from any other ailment.
By the time we reached her room and settled her in, it was almost 10:30 pm. The MIL had the presence of mind to pack dinner for granny and I fed her some of it. She was in pain and reluctant to eat, but I managed to convince her for a few more morsels. We waited for the nurses to complete their procedures (set up the IV, inject medicines,etc). Once they were done, the BIL insisted on staying back for the night. Me and the BF bid goodnight to the granny and came back home.
And since then, till today, we are in a continuous spin between home, office and hospital. The MIL has taken a leave for the entire week and next. I took a couple of days off, the BF and the FIL did the same. We’ve been taking turns being besides the granny during the day and night, as well as being home for the twins. Its been hectic, I agree, but since everyone is chipping in, we don’t feel the brunt. The twins have been asking for their dearest Big-dadi and we took them to see the GMIL twice this week. I swear, the old lady’s face lights up a million watts the minute she lays her eyes on these brats . It helps when the kiddos ask of their big-dadi, “jaldi ghar aao”. She’d have flown in if she had wings
For the concerned people out there, the GMIL is doing well. The operation was successful (mA). There’s this amusing thing that happened. The GMIL’s operation was scheduled for the 25th of Jan. Most of Sunday was spent in awaiting the test results. When the reports came in, the doctors were shocked that they had a 80-year-old woman on their hands who did not suffer from BP, or diabetes, or heart ailment or any other illness. Her haemoglobin was at a rich 13.5 and she was the proud owner of all her original teeth . The operation was rescheduled to Monday, 24th Jan
I guess, in all this, the only casualty is this blog, which I haven’t updated in ages. Even this post has been typed in a hurry . Things are a wee hectic folks (including, at work). This week has passed by so fast, it’s already Friday!!
Anyhow, here’s hoping you send in your prayers and good wishes to the old lady. Though we don’t really set the house on fire, I MUST admit, she makes life at home rather interesting
(and seriously, without her, the house is just too silent and boring )
Will post more when I get some break . I promise