Thursday, December 14

Life is Nothing But a Fragile Thread

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    He lay listless on the hospital bed in the ICU, oblivious to the goings-on within the room, after the operation, to remove clots from internal bleeding in the brain. He was rushed there by ambulance from another hospital about one and half hours’ drive away. The doctors and nurses there had connected all the necessary instruments and equipments to help the patient keep alife in the ambulance during the journey.  He had to be stabilised before being transported to the ICU where he now lay after the operation. His wife and daughter had no idea how he had landed in the hospital and who had brought him there. Probably, a good samaritan who happened to be there had the noble thought of saving his life which now hung on a thread.

    The doctors had struggled for a few hours to remove most of the clots but still the bleeding continued but on a lesser degree. His wife and daughter barely had a glimpse of him after the operation to the brain. In the ICU, well wishers were allowed two at a time to visit him during the short visiting hours. At the end of the period, the hospital security disallowed any more visitors from entering. The affected returned home with the hope of seeing the person they much loved and adored, the next day.

    Two days later, the bleeding stopped and the sedated patient began to show signs of regaining consciousness. His sisters and brothers touched him on various parts of his body to study reflexes. Apparently, his right side was not responding too well. As the days passed he began to progress and all were happy. His aged mother came to visit him in the critical ward. The poor old woman couldn’t bear to see her beloved son lying in such a state. The son too showed signs of emotions as tears welled in his eyes on recognising his mother, though he couldn’t speak or move much. However his progress was short-lived as symptoms of pneumonia began to take shape and the patient had to be readmitted to the ICU, where he was closely monitored. The nurses had to drain phlegm from his lungs to ease breathing and reduce congestion. Fever came and subsided with treatment but out of the blues, his wife noticed a swelling in the head and informed the doctor who was on his rounds. A scan was done and it was confirmed to be abcess. Another operation had to be conducted but is the patient able to withstand another ordeal? Anyway, the risks had to be faced. However, after the operation the sedated patient went into a coma. The doctors gave him time on life support and kept pumping him with antibiotics to control the infection. They also advised the next of kin to inform all those close to the patient of the prevailing conditon and to be prepared for the worst.

    Four days later, in the presence of his wife, the man gave up the fight for survival. All his relatives and friends wept for him as the hospital discharged his body. His body was bathed and cleaned and he was attired in his best outfit as he prepared for the last journey.

    His body lay in the coffin for those to pay their last respects in his mother’s house. The family decided to carry out the final rites and ceremony the next day. It was a heartbreaking, solemn ceremony that was held the next day, as his body which was beautifully decked with flowers was slowly carried to the hearse to be taken to the crematorium. Another ceremony was conducted at the crematorium symbolising the release of the soul from the material body before the body in the coffin was pushed into the crematorium vault and into the incinerator. Flames engulfed the body and slowly turned it to ashes and to dust, which is the fate of all living beings including MAN…. 


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