…or so I am avoiding. Poorly.
Last week was a difficult 1 for me. Maybe 1 of my worst. Nearly all of Eid was spent in hospital and doctor visits. This accounted for the commute, the wait and the final darshan of the doc almighty so to speak. The end was fruitful or so I am made to think of the visit but not of the circumstances overall.
A week ago during a rehearsal for a TV show, my left leg decided to do a horrible remake of my right leg’s episode. The remake was much like Bollywood movies, a crass copy that did not do justice to the original piece. The scene involved me tackling 4 ‘ruffians’ (read my fellow capoeirista boys) with Capoeira manoeuvres: throws and takedowns. It was conceived by my teacher in a matter of minutes as we practiced. At 1st I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it look authentic enough. But after a bunch of takes I liked being the kick-ass gal. I enjoyed it and loved that THIS would mark my spot. Was gonna bring Abeer to the show. So I savoured the moves and practiced. It was late but we had the studio so we just jumped about and practiced set after set. The last and final take I gave it a lil more than just a practice run and there is where the dislodge and familiar sound defined the next 6 months for me.
I teared up and tried to fight the panic that caught my windpipe almost not letting me breathe. Batizado. Instructorship. Rehab. Restart. Rewind. At the time only 1 thought ran through my mind – I need Abeer. He was in Pune and potentially in a bar or a party. I too was ironically headed to F-Bar post this practice. But the ‘pop’ changed everything. I held up my signature thumbs up (a habit I am trying to break) to my teacher and assured him it was just a sprain and I would be back next day full form for the show. We all left to go home. I got off my station and as an afterthought, headed to the ER of Ambani hospital. Not the wisest thing to do alone but panic wouldn’t let me sleep. I was dismissed with a “The ortho won’t be available today” while another cited a long wait. Exactly how that ER and trauma works, I don’t know.
I didn’t sleep a wink. I was desperate to call Abeer. But I knew that I didn’t wanna trouble him mid-night. It was 1am and yet I contemplated if I should call my boyfriend. The next morning thankfully he contacted me with the best news ever – he was already home and back in town contrary to the earlier planned late evening. He came with me to the ER and the multiple visits after an X-ray and MRI scan. Who better than him to understand me – a sportsman himself and having injured himself. He pushed me around in a wheelchair and played in the hospital. Eased my nerves and was the ultimate of what I expected of him. I was safe.
Nothing prepared me for Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala’s appointment (reknowned sports medicine and Ortho surgeon). Mum stubbornly refused any other surgeon to work on me. I say power of the mother as she managed to slide me into Dr. P’s schedule and get him to look at me. The consultancy was an eye opener. Mum went into her barrage of bad diet, stress, being a woman, age and that subtle way in which she wanted to blame Capoeira. I picked up on the cue and asked the doc when will I be back in full form. 6 months. Pat came the reply. I sunk in my chair. Same ol’ answer. Surgery was the only option for me given the extent of damage. Then he went on to bust certain practices of women athletes practicing during their menstrual cycle. The surging hormones, which wreck havoc on not just the tear-tap but the muscles making us sore and painful to touch. The muscles are vulnerable to wear and tear at a higher risk and intensity. Hence, thinking you are a tough cookie and working out against the pain is not the wisest habit to keep. Another one was about the structure of the bone base. A narrow base is usually seen in women and high impact workouts or movement cause the narrowness to wear out the ligament or a new graft. Hence, a reconstruction of the bone base was in order. Manufacturing defect is what I thought.
We left and I was tired. The leg hurt and the 4hr wait didn’t help. I wanted a hug. From Abeer. That place in his shoulder where I would bury my anger, anguish and had even celebrated some good moments. I missed meeting his mum for Eid; something I really wanted to prioritize that day and it not happening added to my list of upsets. I only called and messaged him. Updated him on every detail. Even though I was with family, I behaved like I was with guardians and was contacting my real family. He promised to return the next day and that eased me. The surgery date was fixed and costs were worked out. Mum and dad were quiet almost afraid that anything they would say wouldn’t sit well with me. I hadn’t said much all day and they wished I made some sound. I signed the OR like 1 books a hall for a wedding. The costs made a tight knot in my stomach. I had just quit and had no income. I had so many plans and surprises lined up. Now I couldn’t consider them. I had plans with Abeer too. And some would have to wait.
But above all concerns was the fear the surgery had set in my head. I remember the cold OR last time and the strangers around me and the needles and the scalpels. I remember the fear and last ounce of consciousness before they sliced into me. Fix me. Nothing could fix the fear Round II. And nothing prepares you for the post-operative pain. I can’t forget even though I try to. It was terrifying and excruciating. Abeer could get me through it. He had a knack for making a joke out of everything (some of those times were NOT funny). I knew hospitals made him queasy and brought back some haunting memories. So I figured that as I parallelly lay in the comfort of knowing he would be there, I was also contemplating sending him off for the duration of this hospital stint. I guess THIS was the way my mother would get to meet him. I just had the work week left to look forward to.
We will get through it. He said. I believed. He made me feel it. I felt it. What was constant pain suddenly turned into pulses of pain; like he had let in a saline of painkiller. Then it eased as I spent a lazy afternoon in his arms, in my favourite place.