I was in Chennai. Unknown Chennai.
We were at the famous Apollo Hospital. My daughter has undergone spinal surgery. Only I, my husband and my daughter were at that foreign place without a single person known to us. Without anyone speaking our language.
It was so lonely.
My daughter was in the Intensive Care, after the surgery. I was at the door waiting for my turn to go in. It was the most dreadful moment in my life. It was on her spine. One mistaken step could leave her paralyzed for life. After a few minutes, I was allowed to go in. hands wiped with sanitizer I went inside. My little daughter was in her anaesthetic sleep. She was about 13 years old. (But for me, she is my little daughter forever. Isn’t she?) Faced the surgery all alone, frail and thin my girl was there, awaiting someone to wake her up.
I slowly touched her hand. She opened her eyes.
“Mum, Mum, I cannot move this hand.”
That was her first announcement.
“Which one? This?” I was afraid to even touch her. "Maybe it’s just gone numb from keeping in the same position.”
“No, I can’t move it.”
Pressing hard my fears and tears back, I gently massaged her little arm for a few minutes. I was so frightened. Will it be permanent?
It was so shocking. My daughter cannot move her hand after the surgery. She was an active little girl before all this. What have I done to my daughter?
I had no one to share my dreadful thoughts. It was the first time I felt such a “No one is there” feeling. I didn’t know any of the persons around me, neither they could speak my language. I was crying but even afraid to cry, because I don’t know how they will take it. No one asked me why I was crying (they might have guessed some dreadful thing because I was at the entrance to the ICU). I still can remember how desperate I was to see my mum, my family and friends far, far away from me, to share my darkest dream. I was lost in a huge human jungle.
Two days went and my daughter was taken to another chamber for after surgery checkups. The numbness in the hand was cured, but some hard feeling was throbbing at my neck as to kill me at any moment.
I was walking beside the wheelchair. I was walking beside a wheelchair with my little girl who had sprinted, jumped and bounced around me like a little rabbit, before all this.
I was no more able to hold my sorrow. Tears burst forth like a broken dam. My whole face was soaked from the struggle to wipe those off, I was barely grasping my steps. With one wipe off I tried to keep a hold on to the armrest and our attendant slowed down further to support me. He looked in my eyes. My sorrow was written all over his face. He let me too, to push the chair and in his language tried his best to calm me down. Despite the language barrier, I was grasping what he said. He was telling me not to worry. Your daughter will be okay. His eyes, and gestures all were convincing me that I was not alone. They care. They can feel what we go on.
By the time we reach our destination I was quite calm, peaceful enough to thank him with my whole heart. I had a bit at home feeling. A person was there who cared for my feelings. It was damn peaceful.
For every day in my life, I am thankful for that kind-hearted human being for everything.
Never be afraid to share others sorrow. It is time you are most needed. We are a species who excelled in communication. Use it at the time of need. Be the real human.
1 : We as experts in communication use it when needed most
2 : One word from you could heal a soulCategory: Communication / Subcategory: Use that expertise at the time of need
Tags: communication, empathy, loneliness, unknown land, stranger to savior,