6th February 2013.
It was yet another ordinary Wednesday. Except that J came home pretty late from work the previous night and I was half asleep when he reached. Was a bit surprised that J was still sleeping when I woke up as I knew he had an flight to catch early that morning. I woke him gently and asked about his trip and he sleepily said that he trip was cancelled.
Since the slightest sound wakes him, made sure I tip-toed the whole morning when I went anywhere near the bedroom and he woke up only around 8 am. He came to me holding his lower tummy saying I wonder what it is but I seem to have pain here. I was checking about what he ate the previous night suspecting flatulence. Mornings are generally busy with working couples and we didnt have time to discuss about it more and I didnt check either.
While dropping me off at work, I felt his face was different from usual, so I asked him if he was fine. He had a grim look and said it is getting late for him.
Lunch time – I open my lunch box proud of making the lunch without help from J, and wondered if Sonny boy ate the lunch completely. I took a bite and wondered if J liked the Stir-fry I made. It was almost as if he read my thoughts – my mobile rang and it was him.
The way he called me, I knew something was amiss. There was a pause – so I asked him if he was okay. No answer. He asked me if I was free, and I told him I was having lunch, but tell me, I said, bit more worried. That’s when he said can you come to Adyar, I have terrible stomach pain. a bigger pause.
The world around me blurred. Like you see in movies everything around me was in robotic voice, including his voice over the phone. Where are you? I checked. Malar Hospital, Emergency room. My lunch friend looked at me and asked if everything is fine – I was closing my lunch box and said in hushed tone J is not well I need to go.
J and pain – not to be mentioned in the same lines. If I fuss about a miniscule bruise for a week, he is the type who would bear pain without any fuss at all. And so I know if he says it pains it must be really really intense.
I was still on phone - J who speaks normally in super sonic speed was talking so slowly that I knew he is in terrible pain. I was checking with him if anyone is with him, no answer and I heard the line disconnect.
My workplace is Ambattur (closer to Anna Nagar) and Joe’s workplace is Santhome, two corners of Chennai, roughly around 25 kms. Given the traffic diversions for the metro rail that is coming up it easily takes more than an hour.
I cannot describe to you what I was going through during that travel. I called J’s cousin who is kind of closer to this hospital to reach emergency at Malar. I was so restless. I could not even pray. I counted all the numbers on traffic signals just to distract myself. The events of the last night and the morning was going all over. I brushed every thought aside and kept myself blank. 57, 56, 55, 54, kept counting the numbers that were reducing at every traffic signal. I watched the moving traffic like a zombie. people were fading in and out of my vision.
It took an hour and 15 mins to reach the hospital – The longest one hour of my life thus far.
I ran into the Emergency ward and saw J dosing off. Shirt pulled off the trousers, shoes off. I put my shivering hands over his hair and he opened his eyes – the pain is okay now, he said. By then doctors came with the ultrasound and scan reports. It was a case of kidney stones.
We was on a heavy dose of pain killers. We had to admit him for a day to make sure the dislodged stone is out. J is now back to work and has even resumed his official trips.
I still shudder when I think of that call and that longest one hour of my life. I could only thank god that his official trip was cancelled that day and he made it safely to the hospital ( My brave man walked out of his office and drove on his own and just managed to bring the car to an halt in front of the hospital and staggered into the emergency where he could not even lie down due the intensity of the pain. While driving more than a couple of times he wondered if he will pass out.)
I truly do not know how to thank God for guiding us through this day. Everyday now, we do not miss out on the litte niceities of every day life. Every single day looks like a big blessing.