Nira looked at the coronary angiography reports, as the cardiologist explained the finer nuances of the images on the screen.
“Most of the great vessels originating from the heart are significantly blocked; we’ve to perform the coronary bypass surgery. This will assist the blood to flow again; for the heart to pump it to other parts of the body. I hope you understand the criticality of the situation.”
Nira nodded in agreement and signed the papers for the procedure, as she thought of the day’s proceedings. She woke up early; to complete the unfinished packing for their road trip. Suraj grabbed the teacup and rushed, “Nira, I’ll complete my morning rounds at the hospital, in the meantime you get ready.”
Nira was content with the way her life has shaped up-to-date. Their children, Raj and Rani were in college; and busy with their chosen careers. Suraj needed a break from his hectic schedule, and suggested the trip; only for both of them, like old days.
The wait at the hospital lounge was of anguish and despair. The announcement in the microphone brought Nira back to reality. She hurried to meet the doctor.
“We’ll keep four bottles of blood as a precautionary measure for the surgery. The hospital will provide if needed; but it has to be replenished later.”
Nira thought about Suraj, his busy schedules and calls, either in the outpatient department (OPD) or the ward, and never had a sedentary life style. Why did he suffer from this blockage? Was he aware of it; and still neglected his health? Many questions flooded her anxious mind which remained unanswered.
The mobile buzzed, Nira answered, “Your dad is in the operation theatre (OT) now Raj, and I’ll keep you both informed about the proceedings. The doctor said; it is a major surgery and will take time, as all the vessels are blocked.”
She paused and continued, “No you needn’t come now. I can manage; I’ll call you immediately if I require any assistance. Pray for his well being. Your uncle is already on his way and is likely to reach any time.”
With each passing moment the anxiousness and fear of the unknown was gripping Nira. She paced the corridor, and her mind raced towards Suraj, completely preoccupied with his thoughts. Physically she was present in the moment, nodding and acknowledging her friends and relatives’ words and gestures, but mentally she was far away from this madding crowd.
Time had always been so powerful; it dominated the lives of humans and revolved around it. In one instant it provided; and in another it snatched away. Nira reflected that, in no time her joy was transformed into misery. She prayed for a miracle to happen, the normal functioning of the heart beat to revive Suraj.
Four hours flew by, when finally the microphone announced about Suraj. Nira rushed towards the OT; from the crowded lounge. She stared at the doctor with despair; who ushered Nira to his chamber.
“You’re aware this was a critical surgery, which took a long time. We were successful in removing the blockage in the vessels, but due to its criticality; we will keep him under observation for the next seventy two hours. You can contact me if you require any further information.”
The busy nurse in the chamber; politely asked Nira to follow her. While accompanying Nira; the nurse explained, “You cannot visit him today. There is a glass window in the ICCU; from where you can see the patient from a distance.”
Nira peeped inside. Her husband who had been so active, who himself had treated innumerable patients, was today lying down silently; with tubes and machines surrounding him. Her mind was flooded with emotions, and tears welled up naturally on seeing Suraj’s condition.
Back again in the lounge, Nira sat and called up Raj. She spoke, “The operation has been successful, but he is still in a critical condition. We have to wait for another seventy two hours for his condition to stabilize.”
Listening to her son, she replied, “I’ve already decided, I’ll stay in the hospital till your dad is out of danger. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine, and hopefully it’s just a matter of time before he recovers fully and is discharged from the hospital.”
Nira leaned her head, shut her eyes, and said a silent prayer.
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