An amoeba is a single cell organism that has featured in the 1st chapter of nearly all life science and basic biology books since high school. I don’t feel nearly as powerful and significant as the amoeba but I do feel like its size, shape and visibility aka all 0. To the mother and father I am the single cell organism that changed their lives and appeared as the 1st chapter of their progeny life. So I’m toggling multiple identities here.
I would like to think of myself as the tigress given how moments ago, whilst checking if Abeer had made some connection on his phone, I stumbled upon his instagram comments. Well I was looking for comfort in his pics and comments, but couldn’t help noticing that while his feline love was battling emotions and upcoming significant pain, 95% of the comments, praises and batting eyelids on his instagram account were ladies (in the appropriate words of Abeer – Skanks). But even that tigress retreated into an emotional black hole when an attending came in to draw blood from her arm. I can never get used to needles and neither do I want to. The blood didn’t make me queasy as much as the size of the needle did.
Present moment: 9pm in room # 85 of the 11th floor of KDA Hospital. I checked in today as an inpatient for my knee surgery. I expected the ‘general’ ward to remind me of all Indian general wards. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Clean, air-conditioned, private, a cosy nook and cupboard equipped with a digitized safe and straight out of A class design. Mrs. Tina Anil Ambani sure watches Grey’s Anatomy cuz it was a replica of their rooms. I was instantly relieved as I had just spent an hour at the insurance help desk. It was all touch and go. They admit you and then work on costs. It’s like they feed you and then force you into anorexia cuz you couldn’t afford them. This was top class at a (need to add) very reasonable cost. I was quiet and didn’t wanna talk. Was a tad bit rude to mum whom I had vehemently asked not to accompany me. Truth is without her I wouldn’t have made it to my bed even after 2hrs. But the abandoned girl in me craved for her boy.
Once on my bed, the nurses and on-call staff poured in on me. Height, weight, x-ray and basic blood work were in order. But all it took was step 1 to reduce me to tears – the patient tag on my wrist. Reality and nostalgia hit so hard. Mum didn’t ask or cajole me. Just held me and asked me not to be scared. I was scared shitless. How could this happen to me? How did 2013 turn into a year of hospital visits, needles, meds and large medical bills? How did my health plunge and then come back up and then show me it could dive deeper? I needed Abeer. He has the answers in his madness. Not the real ones. Just answers I would like to hear.
The nurse kept checking my BP and insisted I eat cuz it kept dropping. The last weight recorded showed a shocking 4.5kgs lower (in a month’s time). There was a sadistic unhealthy smile in my mind – at least I wasn’t fattening up and my customized workout had done its work. An unhealthy celebration. I surveyed my room. Curious patients and their relatives all examined me from a distance or whenever the curtains parted. Mum made conversation with them – like all Indian mothers do. 5 different women in 3hrs had lectured me about Capoeira vs doing dance and yoga and what not. I desperately needed some quiet and I needed to meet my friends rather than adults. Yes, a few laughs and familiar faces would have done me good but the ‘visitor pass’ system made it not so possible for them to come. My head ached but my heart ached more. I knew Abeer couldn’t reach me but I was hoping somehow, somewhere, another stray phone on the road – another message. Love.
The doc made a round and stared at me for 5mins to gauge how much of the fear and anguish had set in before he proceeded to comfort me and go over the details and instructions. 2.5+hrs of surgery starting 8am next morning. I ordered the parents home and said I didn’t want anyone for the night. It was them or Abeer. Since Abeer wasn’t around, I was settling for no one. I imagined if he was here he could sleep on the make shift bed and we could chat all night and giggle. He would probably steal some Wi-Fi from somewhere and then show me more apps. We would kiss and be a tad bit inappropriate – without breaking any rules. Instead its sickeningly quiet with the periodic coughs and sounds from other patients in my ward. All terminal, old and very severe in their health. Heart patient with a doting and beautiful wife to a multi-organ failing stubborn fella who was earlier scolded by docs to live up to his med cycle. Collapsed lung is what I heard last. Tomorrow I would be in an intense state as them. But hopefully recovering faster.
How am I to sleep? My insurance partially cleared thus giving me some peace. But what about everything else. I missed Elsa. Imagined him trying to purr like a baby and tug at a cold quilt instead of a warm me who held him and cradled him to sleep every night. All that I loved had left the area. It’s just me and my thoughts now. Sleep evades me. But tomorrow I will be asleep for 10+hrs before consciousness to a repaired me who will have to start putting herself back altogether – for Elsa and Abeer.