I had vowed never to go near a hospital for health check-ups, other than the casual drop-in at the family doctor’s clinic during an attack of viral fever, or to nurse an injury sustained in the normal course of my living a hectic life.
A combined force of two women changed all that. In the last 3 months, almost once a week, I am in hospital for consultations or some test or the other. My day starts with capsules, tablets and syrups, and ends with capsules, tablets and syrups.
I’ve had 2 days of stay-ins already and thanks to advances in medical technology 2 days and not 2 weeks. “Eat lots of greens,” they said. Ever since then, I get this irresistible urge to graze each time I see a field of long blades of juicy grass.
They’ve made a Cow out of me.
I’ve had so many needles poked into me that I feel like I am a tea-sieve. Last week, I had to take 5 consecutive injections, one a day. Each morning the nurse would ask, “Yesterday was where?” I’d reply, “Left bum.” She’d say, “So today it’s the Right.” I’d say, “Yes.” I almost said, “If you think that tomorrow the punctures are getting too close, just shove it bang in the middle of my ass. I’ll bear the pain; you go and have yourself a nice day.”
My throat and asshole have been spied upon with the minutest of cameras mounted on tubes and the innards of my chassis photographed and color images presented to me as though they were some sort of rare works of modern art.
Now, they have the gall to tell me that I have a gall stone of about 15mm in diameter which is way above normal, and which is causing the bile to pile (in tons or gallons, depending on my stomach’s mood of the day).
I always believed that stones were meant, apart from various uses, to throw at buses and cars. That the human body could be a storehouse for stones was news to me. Thankfully, they haven’t come up with something like, “Ah, here’s that missing catapult”.
There’s more. One morning on an empty stomach, they wheeled me into an Operation Theater, shoved a camera-fitted tube into a vein in the stomach region and then all the doctors, junior doctors, nurses, attendants turned their gaze towards the color monitors, as if they were there for the opening night of Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra One. Later, they said that my heart was pumping at 35% capacity and 65% was sounding organ pipes in the nearby Church.
“Does that mean I can’t attempt beating Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt’s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds in the forthcoming London Olympics?” I enquired.
“You’ll pop it before you get to the 10th meter”, was the clear-cut retort. So, now I need to cut down on my smoking; better still, give it up. So easy for them to say.
They tell me my liver is harder than Mount Rushmore National Memorial and highly inflamed like a volcano in its final stages of eruption. “Oh, come on, it can’t be that bad?” I protested. Ignoring my protests, I was politely told, “Cut down on the alcohol. Stick to not more than 30ml; better still, give it up. Or else you’re a dead duck.”
What? A small peg a day? This is preposterous. I’ve grown up living life king-size and if that and just a handful of cigarettes is what they expect me to live on – besides those bloody greens – I’m dead, not as a duck, but as a Dodo.
Be that as it may, I’ve have – rather reluctantly, if I might add – restricted myself to at least half of what they’ve prescribed, which I believe is a reasonably good enough beginning.
With all those capsules, tablets and syrups churning in the grinding mill they call my stomach, where’s the space for more? I’ve spent hours and hours on the Internet searching for whiskey-filled/coated capsules/tablets and the nearest I came up with was After Shave Lotion.
My ex-boss was right; Life can be a Bitch!