I do remember being admitted into the hospital, and after a really difficult night, having a conversation with the ICU entourage(Senior doctor, junior doctor, intern, trying to be intern, senior nurse, junior nurse, almost nurse, might/might not be nurse) on being moved to the ICU.
I was moved into the ICU, battled for life, and woke up on my birthday!
While I only know of what happened to me because of what others told me, I do not remember the pain or my struggle nor in any way aware of what my loved ones went through. I did not know of my friends cancelling their Goa trip and travelling through three states of India to reach the hospital, nor of my entire family and friends waiting for the clock to strike 11:00 am as that is when the ICU doctors gave them an update - if I would make it alive. They walked on thin ice, praying and waiting from the first 24hrs to the next. And they battled death too - with prayers and hope.
While suspended between life and death here are a few snippets of what I believe I saw or heard or probably a figment of my imagination...snippets which mostly might not make sense. But this is my attempt to try and make any sense of it.
I remember waking up in the middle of night (or day), and there was a nurse by my side holding my hand, praying and drawing a cross on my head, we made eye contact for a bit, I might have smiled because she did smile back at me...
I always heard people speaking, and the curious logical me, tried to always decipher what it was (so I can tell you for a fact that you can hear during a coma). I knew at times it was Prashanth, at times I guessed it must have been the nurses. I specifically did hear a nurse crib about someone not coming into work and how she had to work the extra shift (I thought to myself what the hell its the same issues I have at work).
I have a hazy memory of someone praying by my side, hand over my stomach. I thought to myself why my stomach, then ofcourse I was like "idiot the baby".
My weirdest dream/reality/figment of my imagination was being outside my body. I knew I was sick, I knew I was at a hospital, but it was awfully quiet. I kept wondering where I was, as the place felt different (Then my logical mind worked out I was being shifted or moved out of the hospital)
I said to myself that you're sicker than you probably think, so Prashanth(my husband) is flying me outside the country and I am in a plane - obviously!! But where is everyone, shouldn't Prashanth be by my side? Then I thought they must have kept me separate - infection and all. But through this so called flight I heard people in the next room. After a break I was somewhere again - really quiet, just white, just really quiet. So then I thought "Great my surgery is done, but still where is everyone?"
My next bit is hazier - too many thing happening around me so I assume I am at the airport, going through security (yes that's exactly what I thought). Am even thinking to myself, how would I go through the metal scanner - would they ask me to walk?!! I felt that they are stamping everyone’s exit on my passport!! I was worried - how would I explain this the next time I traveled?!!
Funnily, when I did wake up the first thing I asked Prashanth “Where did we go?”, he answered very confused “Cambodia”. I gave him the dirtiest stare ever (well I could be scary with a life support system - yay!). I said “No. Where else?” he said “Nowhere baby”, I said “Get me my passport”.
Here’s a little episode before I was moved to the ICU. As I mentioned earlier, I did have a difficult night at the hospital. In the early morning hours, I kept slipping in and out of sleep. At one point Prashanth did step out, and I felt someone in the room. Through my half opened eyes, I saw a really old man sitting in the chair just looking at me - for really long. He must have been 65-70, deep set eyes, grey hair, prominent nose, grey beard, white mundu and shirt, broad but shriveled with age, big hands - eyes boring through me. I opened my eyes to look at him properly - and poof he was gone!
My mom came a little later and I told her about my visitor, I described him; she smiled and said “Nothing will happen to you, you will be fine...because my father visited you”
I have never seen my grandfather as I was born much after this death. So I have no actual memory of him. I might have seen a picture of him when I was 16 perhaps so there is actually no way I could have remembered him. At all!!
Maybe high stress/pain can bring out repressed memory - perhaps!
I don't know if I did go to heaven or hell, I probably was precariously close to one of them.
I was on the life support system, my heart stopped twice, my lung were filled with fluids, all my organs failed. The doctor’s gave my family a 5% chance of recovery. The doctor told Prashanth that closest friends and family should see me, as this is probably the last chance to see me alive.
But I survived it - I survived only because of so many prayers.
I want to believe collective prayers, positive thoughts has the power to defeat death.
I want to believe an angel visited me and that's the reason I live…
Believe - as the thought that miracles exists makes lives beautiful...