There are so many times in life when you feel weak, when you feel like giving up is the only option left. Suddenly then, a phone call from a friend, a visit from a family member or just a smile from your child changes everything and you find a reason to stand up again and fight back.
The mind tries its best to repress and keep under wraps all the awful memories and does it pretty well too. It is only when you sit and force back the curtains that it lets you revisit the restricted area. I have such a memory too.
I was in the final year of medicine when I fell ill…really ill. Despite being a student of medicine and being so close to very qualified doctors, I could not be diagnosed. One said it was just typhoid,another named it severe hepatitis( jaundice) but no treatment was working and I was going from bad to worse.
My elder brother,also a doctor,was by my side,trying to give me support,telling me that all would be well while I could make out how difficult it was for him to say that. The eldest brother was away,studying for his post graduation. All it took to get him home was ‘Ghar aaja !‘ from me and he took the next possible bus and travelled 16 hours to be by my side.
A couple of days after my admission,the doctors were whispering,taking my parents away to talk. My brothers were making phone calls and I sensed that it was all going wrong. My body was telling me that the fight was difficult. I saw my grandmother crying as my father came and told me that I was being shifted to a higher center in another city.
Throughout the journey,I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I could see the faces of my parents and brothers when I opened my eyes…they were faking strength. I saw the fear in their eyes and let me tell you,there is nothing more scary in the whole wide world than that.
I do not remember much except a few lines here and there that I heard in the center’s emergency department….’she’s a med student’…’the case is complicated.’
My father came and held my hand while my mother and brothers also stood around me. He said,
‘We are with you and we will pass through this together. Every difficulty that life brings,we will face it together.’
I looked up at him and at the wall beyond him where it was written
This too shall pass!
I suddenly had the urge to fight back and thought to myself.’I am not going to die,not this way and not now.’
The doctors there diagnosed that I had DDS, a rare hypersensitivity reaction which is potentially fatal. I was in the ICU for a month and gradually began my journey towards recovery. There was not a single moment when I was alone. It was one disease being fought back by not one person,but an entire family. No doubt the family won. The day I was to be discharged,the doctor came and said
‘You survived a very bad disease and there is still a long way to full recovery but you have an amazing family to support you.’
‘And you sir,have a very strong daughter’,he told my father.
I smiled. I went home and our house was full of welcoming friends and family. The worst was over and everything got better with time. So now I tell my mind,don’t put layers over the memory,it is ok. The love I got was more than the pain, the strength was way beyond the challenge and the ordeal is over and long gone. I was not alone and I shall never be! Love you,my dear family!