After trying to console a sobbing sister in law, the next important thing was to wait for the neuro surgeon. A couple of hours later, we were called inside for an audience with the Neurosurgeon. Initially he was a little paranoid about speaking to us since I and the sister in law were both trembling to what the outcome might be. So, Mr. Husband and the cousins were called in and explained. “Vinit has been hit in the head which has led to swelling in the brain. The swelling combined with the shock is not letting him gain consciousness. The vitals are working fine, but in case there is a problem with them, we will need to put him on a ventilator. This is only the worst case scenario I am letting you’ll know. For now, we are keeping him on medication and praying that he doesn’t have bouts of fits (epilepsy) or vomiting. That is sure to worsen the case. The next 48 hours will be very critical for him. As the swelling in the brain decreases, we expect the aggression to gradually come down. For now, we will wait and monitor the effects the medicines have on him.”
When the effect of the sedatives started wearing out, his manic shouts would start. They once even had to call us inside the ICU because he would keep on cursing them and pulling out the tubes and bandages. All of us tried to pacify him, to make him listen but he would just continue, “you’ll are frustrating me, go away, leave me alone.” After a point we had to hold him, two of us held his arms and the other two his legs, and after a lot of struggle, the doctor could finally inject him! That angered him more, and he broke the foot-board of his bed! The doctors even made us sign a document which said that they would have to keep him tied to the bed, because if he gets up, he will end up hurting himself. This is actually what they did!! The sight was excruciatingly painful.
This was the cue that the situation here wasn’t one bit minor. There were too many decisions to be taken. Whether to shift The Brother to a better and reputed hospital in Bombay? But that would require him to be stable and accommodating to a cardiac ambulance. But going by his aggression and shouts, we weren’t sure whether it was a good idea. What if his health worsens…? It was one worry that was kept plying us down! On top of all this, the aggression was worsening. Calling the parents was now inevitable.
I am emotionally unstable and totally a wrong contender to break this news to my mom and dad. Because one would have to be composed and calm while talking to them which generally I am not. Both of them would be travelling back alone to the hospital after the news…and I couldn’t afford one more casualty! Mom is a fearful person with a weak heart and Papa has a body that houses everything which one shouldn’t….High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes and what not. So, adding to the stress for certainly not on the list. Finally my cousins did the job. They called them and informed that Vinit had met with a minor accident and is hospitalized. They lied that he is stable but unconscious with a couple of stitches. It would be better if they arranged for a return journey. They obviously found it fishy because if it wasn’t such a big issue they wouldn’t have been called back from their respective trips. Specially dad, who was in China and would require a day and a half to travel back. Both of them were adamant to talk to me. Talking to me would let them know the extent of damage done because it’s easy to gauge my fear just by talking on phone.
They say, when the time comes, the strength you gain to face situations is unexplainable.
Every time I talked to mom and dad on phone, I would be calm and let them know the brother is doing better. Talking to them required a gigantic will power. I released myself completely after the phone call was done. I would cry like a mad woman. Displaying strength is so not easy when you are feeling wretched inside. It would drain me out to talk to Papa and console him about everything being OK, when all I wanted him was to be here, hug me and say everything is going to be all right. But I knew, I couldn’t lose my wits on the call, because mom had started her train journey and would be here by night and dad was making his travel arrangements. But even as early he tried, he would only reach the next day afternoon after a hellish journey of changing 3 flights and innumerable hours of worrying alone on the airport. The only time I couldn’t stop myself from bawling and had to hand over the phone to Mr Husband was when dad asked me to send a picture of Vinit, just to see where he has got hurt. He was sounding so drained that I couldn’t talk to him for one more second. How would I send him a picture when they tied him from across his abdomen with a bedsheet which pinned him to the bed?
PS: It’s a month to that dreadful day today! The accident anniversary! We still thank God, every day, for the second lease of life he has been blessed with!