Last week was categorically difficult for us. With our passport renewal process being initiated, it was a huge mess of documents – to be verified, attested, photocopied, arranged in order and filed neatly in separate folders for M and me. Once the appointment was through, we heaved a sigh of relief in unison as you know how exasperating these Government processes are. A little celebration was on its way in the evening when we received a call post dinner. One of M’s uncles had to be admitted to a hospital near our place owing to severe abdominal pain.
Things turned astray, anxiety crept in as uncle is above fifty years old. What’s strange was, we had met him just the weekend ago and he had seemed to be totally fine. We rushed to the hospital early in the morning and found him sedated, just okay to talk to us. Aunt-in-law was obviously distressed, and the fact that she was inexperienced in handling these corporate hospitals added to her nervousness. M and I tried to tackle the situation. It’s quite tricky, if you’ve dealt with any of the new age private hospitals in India.
There are numerous desks – ‘May I Help You’, ‘Reception,’ ‘Room number so-and-so,’ and more such ambiguous pit stops. On one hand, it is easier to actually go and speak up to them (if they’re ready to talk at that moment). I found the ‘May I Help You’ lady playing Candy Crush on her phone very diligently. Still, she helped connecting us to the doctor in-charge, who probably shuttles to and forth three to four hospitals and clinics at once.
We stayed back during the visiting hours, when our uncle was totally perplexed moving from one lab to the other. He had all kinds of possible tests done from his brain to foot, though his malady lied in the gastrointestinal tract. That’s how the hospitals worked, they wanted to make sure everything is alright and the gastritis is not caused by any heart ailment. Since you cannot defy the logics of doctors and surgeons, we gave in. Uncle couldn’t eat or rest properly as he had a bad belly pain and acute gastritis. A day and two passed.
The hospital, being on the heart of a huge expressway, didn’t have a dedicated parking lot for visitors. We had to park our car on the road, where parking is ruled by the city Municipality employees. They direct you where to park and how much to charge. We had stayed just more than an hour on the third day and paid him ten rupees (for an hour). He just began asking for more when M said, ‘Don’t worry, we might have to visit here longer, every day and create a monthly pass with you.’ The guy was a jovial one, but he stopped short of asking for money. A sliver of smile appeared on his lips and he said, ‘That won’t happen. Something says your relative will be fine soon and I won’t have to see you soon again.’
We were obviously much distressed since the duration dragged for more than three days and uncle was getting restless not having been diagnosed properly. The parking man’s words somehow soothed us well, and strangely enough, uncle was released from the hospital the next day. He’s fine now and hopes never to visit one again. The stranger gave us that little ray of hope which most our relatives couldn’t, worrying and distressing over the illness. Hope comes from nowhere when you’re much in need of it and aren’t expecting any.
This post is for #lookup by Housing.