Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 starts well

I've been silent for nearly 3 weeks. A lot has happened. Mainly, my dad went into surgery for what we suspected was throat cancer, but fortunately it turned out to be benign. He is well now.

Daddy at our room at Jaslok Hospital. He is going to be 80 in April.

We are all immensely relieved and deeply thankful to Dr. Prabodh Karnik, our ENT surgeon. It was interesting to meet with Dr. Karnik - he was clear about the problem, the potential issues, and what he was going to do. I know some people prefer reassuring white lies, but I prefer knowing everything. That way I can be prepared and not feel like something cluelessly tossed on the waves.

I am also deeply thankful to Dr. Ravi Ramakantan, one of Dad's students, for his solid support throughout the three weeks. Ravi, you have been wonderful to us.

Sunrise outside dad's hospital window on the morning of his surgery. At the time, I didn't know how the day was going to turn out.

The hospital experience made me realise yet again how fortunate we are to have family around us in times of crisis. My sister, mother and I were all together, and our presence brought much confidence and strength to my dad.

Little bed where I slept at night, next to dad

My sister ran around doing all the paperwork - hospital bills, check-in, check-out. She made sure her policy covered treatment (tons of calls and faxes) and got us really good rooms at the hospital. I handled the doctor visits and kept track of the treatment. Together we were on top of things, and it kept mom from getting stressed out.

We all drew strength from each other. While the surgery was going on, my mom and I were in our hospital room, waiting for news. We could talk to each other, and keep ourselves from brooding or worrying.

Sitting area of the hospital room (it was a suite). My laptop in the corner. Mum slept on this couch at night.

Small table where we had our meals. My copy of 'The Last Mughals'.

All through the 2 days, we felt like we were all pulling together in a crisis. I cannot tell you how much strength that gave us. When finally the doctor gave us the good news, we had a mix of emotions. Relief, gratitude, joy...Mum said "Let's go down and celebrate!". We called my sister to give her the news, and then we went to the hospital cafetaria and celebrated, Mumbai-style, with hot batata wada!


Sujata said...

Hi Deepa,

I was indeed wondering why the long silence on the blog. I hope all of you, your dad and the rest of the family, are now doing well. Hospitals wear you out emotionally. I hope you have recovered from that.

Anonymous said...

I'm gald that everything turned out okay, and hope your dad continues to do well. My mouth is watering at the mention of batata wada!

Anju said...

I can't tell you how much relief I felt when I got the good news about your dad. Wanted to call but thought that would only stress him out, because he will want to talk as well. :)

It's so true, about the benefits of having the family around in times of crisis. Glad you were all together.

Ravi Ramakantan said...

The anxiety and uncertainty of ill health .. especially of dear ones can be quite consuming. But the "good" thing is that so many of us are fortunate not to have to seriously worry about the cost involved. At KEM, I stare at sickness and poverty every day and this one thought keeps going through my mind (excuse if I have said this somewhere before on these pages) "The only thing that is worse than poverty OR ill-health is poverty AND ill-health". There is a moral in this somewhere.. only I do not know what!

Of course as you had said, we feared the "worst" and it is one of those times when docs are delighted to be proved wrong!

And I would like to repeat here what I said when Janaki teacher said her "thank you" on the phone. - There is no way students give back enough to their teachers.. especially school teachers.. NO WAY!!

Rada said...

Here's wishing your Dad, a full and complete recovery!

Your post touched a chord as I am right now convalescing after a surgery myself! The family's support is like a nice warm blanket enveloping us in love and comfort!

MADHAV said...

Nicely written. Really fortunate that the cancer is benign. I recently lost my dad to the silent killer. I know how fortunate you and family are.


Hyde DP said...

so pleased for the good news - have a very happy 2009.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday

Jude said...

I am glad to hear everything is well with your father. I am writing here for the first time. We are a British family who are possibly to be posted to Mumbai - and I think I have found the perfect blog to tell me everything I need to know! I have devoured every sentence - fascinating, insightful, addictive!! Wonderful writing and so wonderful to hear perspectives across the generations. I particularly enjoyed your mother's recipe on the plantain bananas - it will make ingredients so much easier to deal with when we finally get there. With best wishes, Jude

Anonymous said...

Think you should write about the sadhabhishekam of your father.

Joti said...

You should ask your fatehr to write an article.

Joe said...

Its always a crisis that brings people together.
And at times you find that the patient himself/herself is the fighter and we all rally behind them.
Love those photographs that accompany this article.