Back from the Jaws of Death


Today, after 5 weeks, Sunday was a day of rest. Since 10th Feb, we have been through a nightmare with my father's health. We initially admitted him into a nursing home, but after 12 days there, shifted him to a private hospital. Except for the last week, he was almost entirely in the ICU - fighting a peculiar instance of "acute kidney injury" whose exact cause could not be fathomed by experts even after all relevant investigations. I don't want to go into the details of the protracted treatment, the many complications that it led to in a frail 82-year-old body, the dead ends we faced several times over 5 harrowing weeks, and the appalling lack of professionalism we witnessed in some medical establishments.

The physical/ practical/ logistic aspects of this crisis were of course demanding. But it was the emotional roller-coaster that was the hardest to cope with: from shock (we had no idea that Baba had a kidney problem) to gripping fear (of losing him so soon after Ma) to being almost stoically prepared for the inevitable, to an immense relief and gratefulness that he has been granted a new lease of life, and now, finally, trying to accept the considerably reduced autonomy of his body.

Baba is back. That's all that matters... I've been telling myself these last 3 days. Though, I must admit, it's hard to reconcile to the fragile old patient who has come back home, worlds away as he is from the self-sufficient proud man I know. Who, till a while back, defied every stereotype of old age that one can think of.

There's a disconnect between the text of this post & the photo that goes with it. I couldn't bring myself to post Baba's photo as he is now... hence chose one from a few months back -- bringing Srishti home from school. In the months immediately after my relocation to Kolkata, to smoothen my transition as best he could, he had transformed himself into an efficient round-the-clock housekeeper & nanny, a role he seemed to enjoy initially & the ritual of picking up Srishti from school was a favourite moment of his day then. He won't be able to do that again, but I at least hope he can get back on his feet soon....