My apologies to my regular readers, the nosy busybodies, the stalkers, the Belgian and the visitor from Ouagadougou seeking “tabasco cupcakes”.
Amidst the decision to switch jobs and a health scare courtesy my father, I had little time, inclination or inspiration to blog. However, as everything seems to be settling down now and general good humour appears to have returned, here goes.
This piece is yet another about my family since every other crazy I know has taken refuge from the sweltering summer sun (or incontinent rain cloud if in Bangalore).
Dad often considers himself a poster child for Murphy’s Law – and rightly so. How else would you explain how a simple hernia surgery could land one in the ICU?
Dad caused the family and his surgeon – who is now undoubtedly questioning his career choice – some anxious moments when, while coming out of a simple hernia procedure, he suffered what they call a “cardiac event”. “Event”? These medical types are nuts. How is something like this an “event”? They might as well call it a “spectacle” and sell audience tickets and dole out refreshments. George Bush Jr. goof-ups, Halley’s comet, la Tomatina, Aerosmith live in concert, the WillKat wedding – those are “events”!
Anyhow, long story short, the hospital kept him under anesthesia for a further 48 hours while monitoring him in the ICU with all the requisite life-support systems in place. While things seemed like they could go either way for a while, Dad pulled through and came out all puns blazing. While his old ventricles took a beating, Dad’s sense of humour or more aptly, his ability to cause much mirth and amusement around him appeared stellar.
As Dad came out of his 48-hour induced nap, he gestured frantically at my sibling Scion. Still attached to the ventilator along with other tubes, it was impossible to speak. Thus began a game of dumb charades.
Dad gestured and signaled while Scion – who is not exactly the best person to have on a charades team – kept guessing. “You have digital power!” he declared. No, signaled Dad. “You feel like you have swallowed power!” Scion ventured again. No! “You feel empowered? You feel powerful? You feel invincible? You feel like Superman? You ARE the MRF Man!” No!
Finally, Scion deciphered “I swallowed a digital thermometer”. That’s right. That is exactly what Dad was trying to say. Serious.
Dad kept pointing to a spot in his stomach saying the errant digital thermometer had parked itself there. He was only convinced otherwise once the tubes were removed and the hallucinogenic effect of the various drugs administered wore off.
While I made a mental note of the episode as well as Scion’s useless guesses, it struck me. This sort of thing runs in the family. Years ago, while I recovered from an emergency appendectomy, I was convinced that the surgeon had left a pair of scissors inside. Then I decided he’d left two wads of cotton. Once I reasoned that wasn’t the case, I suspected he had robbed me of a kidney. After a recent ultrasound where my gall bladder apparently turned invisible, I am now convinced they nicked that too. I haven’t got the gall, quite literally.
So anyway, after a turbulent few weeks, things appear to be settling down. Dad says those 48 hours were like an acid trip. From being carried off in an auto rickshaw to an Indian Oil petrol bunk baring his behind in a hospital gown, being subjected to medical experiments to sitting on a bench with some old men, he had the strangest of dreams. Even the despicable Ducky put in an appearance. Dad, in his dreams, saw the fellow pottering around the ICU looking for something called “an umbilical cap” for his “wife’s hernia”, which he later triumphantly declared he found at the Meerut cantonment area.
Dad’s only regret? He couldn’t reach out far enough to hurl a bedpan at the moron.
As for the rest of us, we’re now consciously watching what we eat, steering clear of Robin Cook books and keeping a keen eye on the whereabouts of that digital thermometer at all times. And of course, we’re laughing again.