Road traffic accident. Bilateral multiple rib fractures. From the time she was shifted to the ICU,I had remained a silent watchman to her tachypnoea and distress. To add to the respiratory clamour, she also developed weakness of the left side of her body. As a ventilator machine became her aide to breathing, my surgery unit chief, along with the critical care team struggled to get her life back on track.
I had watched her battle for breath. Had stood by her side through multiple procedures-ICD insertion,CTscan,MRI,Intubation,Bronchoscopy,Tracheostomy, ICD removal… And the everyday small yet important incidents. Had hoped against hope that when I put my stethoscope over her chest, the news should be good. Had stood petrified seeing her bad chest xrays and rejoiced over those better black and white verdicts of her lung condition. Had felt an unexplainable pure form of joy when there was a flicker of movement in her completely paralysed hand. Had struggled to understand what she was speaking with the tracheostomy tube in situ. ..Anyways,after nearly 28 days of her “eventful” stay in the ICU, my period of internship in the department of surgery was over.
A week after my new posting started, she was shifted out of the icu. My conscience urged me to go see her. But the thought of standing there helplessly trying to figure out what she was telling…that kept me from visiting her. Finally, after a lot of prompting from the more sensible parts of my brain, I went to meet her.
She was sleeping when I entered the room. I spoke to her husband for a while. Soon she opened her eyes and looked up. I smiled and waited for her response. Suddenly her face lit up with a bright smile and she asked me,”where were you all these days? Why didn’t you come to see me??”…I was dumbstruck! She was talking so fluently!! This was the women who was struggling to speak to me in the ICU! Phew! Thank God! I was glad that she had not forgotten me;but all the more overjoyed because she was able to talk. After spending a few moments with her, I came out of the room.
As I walked through the corridor of the ward, my elated brain was at peace. This was the much needed oil to the rusting machinery that my internship had become. She had promised to walk and return to see us soon. I didn’t want to give her high hopes. But then again, she can talk now. And hopefully, she can walk too. Afterall, miracles can happen anytime. Miracles; God’s subtle way of reminding us who is in control!