I was pushed into the ICU lying on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on my face and a needle in my veins connected to a glucose bottle. When I reached my allotted bed I got up and laid on it. Immediately a hospital uniform was brought and I was asked to change into it. When I checked the pyjama there was no tape to tie. So I told the nurse to get me another one. She said I can wear the pyjama temporarily and in the morning she will give me another one. I refused. Then she brought another proper pyjama and I changed into it. The bed was very comfortable. Then I told the nurse to remover the oxygen mask and needle attached to my veins. She flatly refused and said it was hospital regulations for patients in the ICU. Glucose was given to make me strong and the needle was kept in my veins to administer medicines in case of emergency. Oxygen was given to help me to breathe easily and to make me calm.
Then a monitoring machine was brought and they started attaching tubes to my body. Since I had a lot of hair on my chest, a nurse brought a razor and told me that she has to shave some hair on my chest. I agreed. After shaving they attached the tubes with some paste. After this the side rails of the bed were raised and I was told to sleep. The light on top of my bed was switched off. It was fairly dark. As soon as the nurse left my bedside, I removed the oxygen mask from my face.
As I lay there trying to sleep, I was continuously disturbed by the moaning, groaning and screaming of an old woman lying on another bed. I wanted to pass urine. I called the nurse and told her to remove the tubes attached to me, so that I can go to the urinal. She brought a bottle and told me to make the urine in that bottle without getting up from the bed. I told her I cannot pass the urine while she was standing there and without getting up from the bed. She drew the curtains around my bed and went out. I got up from the bed and passed urine in the bottle.
Since I looked quite healthy and the nurse was in a mood to chat , she told me there was a man lying in another bed without legs which he lost in a motorcycle accident. He married only seven months back. Another man was about to die and his wife was wailing outside the ICU. The nurse’s parents spent Rs.5 lakhs for her education. After getting some experience she wanted to go abroad and work.
Early morning she brought a tube of tooth paste and a tooth brush and told me to brush my teeth so that I can have breakfast. She also brought a plastic basin and a mug of water. After brushing, she brought me IDDILIS and CHUTNEY and I ate them. ( Later I came to understand that all these things including my medicines were bought by my children waiting anxiously outside the ICU. When I was admitted to the ICU, my children were asked to deposit Rs.20,000. Since they had only Rs.5000, they paid Rs.3000 and kept the balance amount for buying medicines. My eldest son Xavier, working in Mumbai sent the balance money next day for paying the deposit. The ICU was located on the 7th floor and the medical shop and canteen were on the ground floor. My children had a tough time going up and down the lift.)
To be continued------