Together even in sickness

Together even in sickness

Representative image. Credit: Pixabay Photo

Sometime back, when I experienced difficulty in swallowing and was coughing now and then,  without adhering to any known beat, our family physician grimly suggested that we take a test for coronavirus, without forgetting to include my wife, even though she was not coughing.

Soon an apparition arrived. He looked like a member of the bomb squad, walking gingerly. Having used to flex my arms for the technicians to draw samples from my veins for sugar or lipid test, I did the same, but he zeroed in on my right nostril for a sample. He did the same for my wife, though through her left nostril.

With some grimness, my family physician declared after going through the reports that came in a couple of days, that both of us have been declared ‘positive’ for the coronavirus. Unmindful of the ramifications of such a one-word pronouncement, I laughed rather boisterously, my wife maintaining a stoic silence.

The good doctor, looking concerned, made arrangements for admission into a speciality hospital for the virus. We travelled in style in an ambulance, sent courtesy of the hospital before long. The siren was switched on by the boisterous driver, whenever a vehicle moving ahead failed to give way. Once inside the precincts, our trolleys were parked in the foyer.

Since we were two, a decision was apparently taken by the wise management to allot a double room with twin beds, for me to save cost and for them to have room to spare to accommodate the waiting list.

And then the treatment. There were injections after injections. Before long I felt like Bhishma of Mahabharat who was lying on a bed of arrows at Kurushetra. Since my wife was not diabetic and hypertensive, the nurses gave her a cold shoulder and went for me with glee with their syringes. One I didn’t bargain for was administered into my belly. This, I was told, was to keep my blood thin. 

The doctors who made the rounds were polite and the sisters Xerox copies of Florence Nightingale, the lady without the lamp. And within ten days we were declared to be free from the clutches of the virus.

We were discharged in the night, the chief nurse brought our bill. As I glanced through it, her assistant who was younger and stronger stood behind me. Later on, I found out if the bill did not exceed ten lakhs, only one nurse would be ready to hold the patient who would be bowled over by the amount.  Mine was around seven lakhs. That my wife stoically pointed out that it is worth it to be alive and kicking than cribbing, is another matter. 

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