The chest physician got me admitted in the hospital as the X-ray that day had shown a major lung congestion. Other than that, most of the reports were normal but I had breathing difficulty and major fatigue, so he had advised oxygen support, put me on steroids for immediate relief and I was also given nebulization. The treatment seemed to be working, and I got a much-needed relief as well as being able to rest without any interruptions. It was a very normal hospitalization, at least that’s what I thought.
While writing this piece I spoke to my friends and family who were witness to those few days as I have absolutely no recollection of what happened. Whatever I am penning down here is what I have heard from them.
I had started exhibiting some abnormal behaviors, which my visitors in hospital found weird but brushed it off thinking it due to exhaustion and being hospitalized. Dinesh’s aunt came to see me and according to her, I asked few unrelated questions. I also kept on repeatedly telling her that someone I knew was about to go in labour, but I couldn’t recollect the name.
21st December happens to be Dinesh’s birthday, and was a busy day for us. Sayali had her sports day in the morning at school, a dance concert in the evening and we had few guests at home visiting us. I was still in the hospital and was to be released the same day. Dinesh planned the whole day carefully. Our friend Sarika was to give me company in the hospital, and after finishing the sports day, he would come to complete release formalities. He would take me back home then take Sayali for her concert and whatever was left of the birthday we would celebrate with some take away food. Our well-planned day, however, played out with lots of twists and turns.
In the hospital, Sarika was with me in the morning and we were chatting normally. Dr. Sanjeev also happened to be the consultant there and present that day. While we were chatting, I started talking weirdly and I asked Sarika to close the window and draw the curtains of my hospital room as it was very sunny, and she did. After 10 minutes I asked her again to close the window and she told me she did that already. We chatted normally for some more time and I asked her to close the window again! She found that odd and called Dr. Sanjeev about it, who then came to see me, and we had a normal conversation without any of those behaviors taking place again. Both of them went outside the room and discussed this and decided to keep a check on me.
In the noon, I was released from the hospital and we drove back home. I remember the drive back home clearly. Sarika accompanied us home and stayed back for lunch who said I was perfectly normal, and she didn’t see much issue at that point and left. I took a nap and I woke up with my face and eyes blank. Sayali was getting ready for her dance recital which she had been practicing for more than a month. She was excited about the costumes and her dance sequence. I was still disoriented, so Dinesh decided to go ahead with Sayali’s concert as he felt cancelling it would disturb her. No one was sure what was happening and therefore it was in her best interest to carry on with the plan to keep her morale up.
He asked his Aunts who were visiting us to look after me. I told the ladies I wanted to use the rest room and when they tried to help me, I said I couldn’t move. They tried really hard to help take me to the loo, but I just could not get up and later on refused to move. They tried to feed me, but I became aggressive and refused to eat. By this time everyone knew things were taking a serious turn, and like a typical Indian household the prayers and chanting had started at home. They asked me to chant too and I actually followed those instructions. I am a devotee of Akkalkot Swami Samartha and they asked me to chant his mantra. I am told that even while I was unconscious, I kept on chanting. Power of faith!
Sayali performed her sequence and they left immediately. Sayali told me that when she came back home, I was talking to myself about not wanting to play cards with someone and my eyes were blank. She just didn’t understand why I was like that or what was going on, and she got scared and ran away to her room. By any standard it’s a really scary scene for a 10-year-old to witness, and this 10-year-old has been a major source of strength for the months that followed.
By this time, I had stopped recognizing everyone. Dinesh called Dr. Sanjeev who said we need to get her to emergency and called for an ambulance. Dinesh also called Pradnya and told her that I wasn’t recognizing anyone and talking incoherently and wanted to know if she could come and talk to me. She immediately put two and two together, mentioned the episode to him and was on her way. By the time she reached, the ambulance had arrived, and they were taking me to the hospital.
Dr. Sanjeev and our other friends were already at the hospital. At the hospital I was in and out of that state. I recognized a friend and then I didn’t. I kept on insisting on going home and refused to cooperate with the hospital staff. Slowly I lost my consciousness!
Next Week: The Dark Nights: Doctors work hard to bring me back from coma and loved ones struggle to cope up with sudden turn of events