Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sensing...facing… death… changes your perspective on life??

Well it is funny how in the course of my humble life, when I did feel death (actually not really funny) near me, either by losing friends, family or lately in this plane taking me back from Kuala Lumpur to Kochi (could barely breathe and my body temperature got really high in a spark, could not even call for help…) everything takes a new perspective.
I finally managed to extract myself from my seat after taking an aspirin and boosting myself with Vitamin C (all they had on that plane), made my way to Kochi Intl airport security check. Did I get overwhelmed again by the amount of people, the chaos, the red tapes, this look I now so clearly identify of the officer at custom office who had no clue on how to deal with my re-entry student visa and could not say NO… made me wait for 15 minutes, standing in front of her desk…. 
...well the big guy, ex-rugby-prop…fainted…like a ballerina! and like never before in my life!

So all of a sudden I have 10000 people around me, with the best intentions but buzzing around me, not helping much…until a doctor comes. After 100 requests for my passport from officials,  tension and temperature checks (110F) they (Amrita Doctors of Kochi Airport medical unit) decide to send me to AIMS hospital in Kochi. Seeing Amma’s picture in all this (at the airport medical unit) seemed like a joke: ‘so you wanted to surf coral reefs…here ya go: prophylactic chock,  serious infection, blue toe…but felt securing too.
2 days in AIMS Hospital. 1 completely sleeping.

View from my hospital room, not bad, did not feel too much like those old european one's, cold, sordid...but still... a hospital!

Nobody really cared, or even knew. Could have died there on my own! 
Then when I finally manage to extract myself from my room where I had to park my surf bag, and the rest of my stuff (could not arrive in A&E like this…) doctors slowly start to take my case seriously. The waiting had made it worse. The black toe had now spread to a part of my left foot. Scary!
But I must say that then…. they took real action: surgery, toping off the wound, releasing the infection first, then springs of antibiotics, Tetanus, cell culture to define the bacteria, blood tests…
Black turned back to red, and now almost to skin color… and almost no more pain!
Thank God, no gangrene yet!
So reflecting on this disastrous coming back from such a dream of Indonesian journey: health and faith come first…and ...after sunshine comes rain... after dreams...comes reality...impermanence!

When I am sick I am like a child...a big chubby, grumpy, needy, angry, unloving one!
I hated every indian at the airport for asking for my passport 100 times when I could barely move, for putting me on a wheel chair which could not move either!
For taking 15 minutes to realize they did not know how to deal with my case at customs.

Gonna get hammered by my indian friend U. again...for being overwhelmed...and expressing it...but...I imagine she gets her Medicare from one of the private hospitals in Princeton... while I queue in a 'quasi public' one in Kochi!

But when I looked around my little belly in this hospital, I saw real pain, especially the panic in family members eyes, the true suffering of patients when eyes cannot even cry anymore... the dignity... the care of family members... the love....and I shut up.
I felt myself so much love as well in the way nurses and doctors here handled my case with professionalism but as well so much compassion (probably more than in that private hospital in Princeton, or even in Bayonne, my home). And those smiles that I only see in India: full, honest, innocents.
For that love, care, compassion... I love every indians I met that day...
when I finally started to get out of the red zone.

Pain, fear of death…the cold arms of that death black lady with her sickle brought me back from cloud 9 to... humility…once again!
... and as a final joke I had to cross the 'mortary' section of the hospital a few times to get some billings done... hearing the prayers, the cries, the devotional songs... in dignity

... feeling small.

Well, in a few weeks I have to face some gallbladder cancer checks and I will pray to have the same dignity and faith…in God, in myself…alone.

And all this really makes me stronger and in a wierd way, more loving, compassionate, with myself and others too! more ready to love, to accept love ... even from most unexpected places and people, to be open, trust...

When my Mum gave me..…I guess she gave me death too… and that was a gift... just as well.

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