7:42 AM. I had one of those sleepless nights. To a point that I even played chess at like 2:40 AM when I couldn’t get sleep. Last night, I know why I couldn’t sleep. I was hurting to start with. The COVID injection that I took has made my arm useless. There’s no body ache per se but the lower back hurts more than the arm. Plus, under the garb of eating comfort food, I have been putting crap into my stomach. As a result, there is thus perpetual pain in my stomach. And I am left feeling pukish all day long. I am hoping this would get better during the day.
How I feel is not important. There’s another thing that I want to log. A dear friend’s father passed away due to COVID. He was in the hospital and was getting good care but apparently, he couldn’t see the pain and suffering around him in the ICU where he was admitted. He sort up gave up the will to live.
When I heard it, I was so numb that I did not know how to react. Honestly, I had not met him ever but the friend is one of the most creative minds that I know of. I’ve studied with him, spent substantial time with him, had made multiple plans to do multiple things with him (all in the content space), even lived at his place when I was in the US for the first time. Even though his house was tiny and I had my parents and my sis with me, he accommodated us. Like a good friend.
Damn! I don’t even know what he’s feeling right now. Thanks to my parents, even though I am nearing 40, I have always stayed away from these vagaries of life. I don’t know what it means to lose a loved one. I know at some point in time I will have to face the loss. I can’t even think how it would feel. Last time another friend’s father passed away, I had similar feelings – of confusion, of not knowing how to console the friend and his family, of not being able to fathom the loss, of not being able to speak at all. It was unreal.
This time, no, I am not better prepared. I am as shocked and clueless in terms of how to talk to him and be that shoulder. I don’t know what to do to help him. I mean what can help someone who’s lost his father? Damn! I hate this chakra of life and death. I know this cycle is needed but the pain it causes is so so useless.
This also reminds me of my last trip to the ICU. This was in 2017 (or may be it was 2018) and I was getting my nasal polyp operated upon. It was a fairly simple routine and I was in a private hospital with a comfortable room with an attached loo and an attendant 24X7. After the operation, I was kept in the ICU for about 12 hours and I think those were the worst 24 hours of my life. Since I was recuperating from anesthesia and my nose was blocked. That meant that I had to breathe in through my mouth. And that meant the entire mouth, the nasal cavity, the lungs, and all that was as dry as the Sahara. At a more expensive hospital, they would have given me tubular oxygen but we couldn’t afford that. And thus I was literally dying of thirst. I remember getting in and out of consciousness. Each time I could open my eye, I remember begging for water. And the attendant not allowing me any. She wouldn’t. She knew her job well. Plus, in the ICU, there was no one but the medical staff. And I was a mere patient pestering for water. A case number. A nuisance.
I remember, I even told them that I want to give up if they cant give me water. But I do have vague recollections of me reminding myself of Man’s Search for Meaning and other such motivational things. I kept telling myself that I could be suffering on the outside, I could be subjected to all the bodily pain, but on the inside, in my head, it is up to me to remain unbreakable.
Somehow I got thru. But I know I could last because I was there for all of 12 hours. Any longer, I would’ve given up.
I promised myself that day I will do whatever it takes to never go to a hospital again. Thankfully, I havent had to. I have continued to not take medicines and let my body heal myself. I know the lifestyle I have, I will probably need a doctor soon. But for the time being, I am ok.
Coming back to the friend, I just hope he tides through this. The loss is irreparable. This COVID crisis has made us humans immune to suffering – there is so much around us that we have accepted to live with it. It’s a good thing for the human race in general. But it’s a terrible terrible thing for individuals that have to face the loss. Like I said, I am unable to even fathom how to talk to people that have had to see a loss. I am not brave like that. It sucks.
I just hope that the day gets better as we go along. And the coming days too.
Over and out.