I had got accustomed to home isolation in the past 9-10 days and tried to do whatever I could with the sort of energy I had. My parents worried for me in a bigger way. Simple activities like brushing teeth, bathing etc. half-depleted my spirit as the days furthered. Loss of taste and smell with almost no appetite or interest in eating, I started to feel a void which worsened due to optional confiscation of interactions. I didn’t feel like conversing. Many of my relatives and a few friends called or texted but I stayed away, can’t say why! On and off, I felt helpless and sad for mummy too, whose workload had increased. She had to do separate chores for me and I knew that the daily ‘stairs up and down’ caused her exertion. She has had a slip disc problem in past and I worried of it reappearing. I also often found myself praying for my family; wishing no one gets infected in any manner. Covid/Corona has been so unpredictable and has a sense of uncertainty over its whole existence. Nevertheless, I felt the best when asleep.
The recent hospital visit to CMC, concluded with fine reports of the multitude of tests taken; except for one, which proved that I was now infected with pneumonia too! All because of the weird fever I suffered and consistency of it. The fever never did break and I don’t remember when – but my oxygen also had started to drop. It wasn’t as worrisome for me. I supposed, it was just lower than the acceptable norms.
But as the destiny would have it, on 2nd of May :
I simply listened to Aanand, completely expressionless and in loud coughs.
“Didi, you will have to be hospitalised,” said he informing me of the pneumonia and added,” Mum has got problems with her back and with her right leg as well.”
(Oh! — the expression was only in my mind.)
He continued, “So, although we want you to heal at home, we are left with no choice considering yours and mom’s condition. Who will take care of everything . . . and you need good care, so . . . Hospital, it is.”
“Hmm..ok,” i said and as he moved back, I dialled a friend’s number straight away, who was constant in touch with me whether or not I responded to her calls or messages. I controlled crying to avoid being audible to my brother dear.
“Hello Anshul. . . Nikki,” I heard my name and before I could answer “How are you feeling?” question, I bursted into loud tears and told her between sobs and coughs that I was to be sent to a hospital!
“Oh dear! Never mind it will be good for you. Don’t cry, I am sure you are being hospitalised for your betterment,”
she said being firm and added, “Your family knows what’s best for you… isn’t it, hm? “
” Hmm,” I nodded on the video call still whimpering.
This pragmatic friend of mine smiled at me and sobered me quick. In all my awareness, I calmed myself but of course couldn’t do anything about the deadly cough.
Actually, when I said ‘Okay’ to Aanand, I knew it was for our own good yet I couldn’t help breaking down. When I got into broken sniffles, Ms Firm Practical asked,
“Where . . . which hospital is it . . what happened exactly?” “Is your oxygen level okay?” “All well in the family?” She queued all that hastily. I informed her about pneumonia and mummy’s problem.
“You just don’t worry sweetheart, all will be well.”
“Yes, I know,” I agreed.
Just then Aanand was around again and asked me to pack my stuff.
“We have to hurry sister…”
Papa was also upstairs now and looking at ‘sad me’ spoke out,
“Beta, being at the hospital you will be better, things are not exactly under our control now. Mummy is also feeling unwell physically. Don’t worry, hm?!”
“We have booked a room at your cousin’s hospital in Barwala. There it will all be safe and fine. Aanand will stay there as well. There’s nothing to be anxious of . . I will visit you everyday too, ok?”
“And you will not have to worry or wake up just to eat there, no one will force you and we can have glucose drips etc. and get you food when you want at your comfort from sister’s home. . .” he paused and probably waited for my reply.
” Sounds fine?”
“Yes Papa, you’re right, especially about the food!” And we all laughed a little.