Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2011

ICU Days 2

If I remember correctly, it was around the end of second week that one of the male ICU technicians informed us that our father opened his eyes.My sister and I were ecstatic.Having watched way too many Indian movies where eye opening by a critical patient only means that he would walk and talk in matter of days, we could phantom no different scenario for us.
It was involuntary movement (the eye opening), when they changed his position in bed or made him sit on a chair.We were of course delirious and distributed samosas to the ICU security personnal. Why them? I don’t know, we didn’t know anyone else at the hospital and we were happy.
Visiting hours were one hour during the day and one hour in the evening.My sister would incessantly call him to open his eyes and I would try to block all the noise out and pry.We surely were a spectacle during the visiting hours.
He eventually heard her and opened his eyes, although with some physical help like shaking him or slightly lifting his eye …

ICU Days 1

Our ICU days lasted for about three and half weeks.During the first week, we grossly underestimated duration of recovery for neuro patients like our father.The timeline we had in mind was something like, he would open his eyes and talk to us in couple of weeks.With that he might guide us on the next steps and we would be on our way home gunning towards complete recovery maybe in two to three months.
Gradually it sunk in that our father was literally fighting for his life in the ICU for the first two weeks.Due to the severe aspiration in his lungs, they were badly affected and pretty weak.There was also midline shift his brain to right by 0.8 cm.
His haemorrhage was in the left fronto temporal region of the brain and there was well defined wedge shaped hypodense area in his left occipital parietal region. Ill defined, but there was also hypodense area with airpockets in his left periventricular region.
All this meant he was not on our prognosis path.

Bleeding Brain

Our father was found on the morning to Ganesh Chaturti , an important Hindu festival, lying facedown on the floor.  My grandma surprised why he was on the floor and not sleeping on his bed, tried waking him up to realize that he had vomited.  
When rushed to a neighborhood hospital, they found his pulse very low, black blood coming out of his nose, and the CT-Scan showed a massive hemorrhage.   He was immediately rushed to a specialty hospital and surgery was performed by one the leading Neuro Surgeons in the city.  
Since the bleed was massive, we except that he was atleast bleeding for over four to five hours during the night.  The vomit had aspirated into his lungs causing a major infection, a big source of worry even post operation.

We learnt that the bleed in our father’s brain was an intra cerebral hemorrhage in the basal ganglia region due to hyper tension (which apparently is a main cause of a basal ganglia bleed).   Yes, he was a hypertension patient for many years and was on me…


Four months and three days since the incident we are still at Apollo Speciality Hospital, Chennai. Its ‘Pongal’, biggest Tamil festival, and all of us are here with our father.Surprisingly the hospital is not buzzing with the usual frenzy of activity.Emergency ward is relaxed, the ICU seems empty and there are very few families at the waiting area.
Its evening and the small shrine at the hospital, usually buzzling with people with frantic prayers is empty.Yes, empty.I have barely seen it so quiet in all my days at the hospital.My sister pushes our father in his wheel chair close to the idol.Our male nurse stands next to our father in case there is an emergency.The priest approaches us and applies the sacred ash on my father’s forehead.
My sister and I finish our quick prayers and stand next to him.Its dark and still with very few people outside.We don’t talk, don’t feel the enormity of the situation, there is no despair.We enjoy the stillness outside, feel the peace and hope within …

Last Day in DC & Phone Call

It was a typical day in Washington DC.   It was a Friday, September 10th, I had zillion meetings and deadlines.   Had plans in the evening to catch a movie at the Freer Gallery with Priya – a good acquaintance with great potential to become a good friend. 
In the morning I call my father to wish him on his wedding anniversary.  He is in India and its late in the night.   He sounds preoccupied and tired, I was rushing for a meeting.  I tell him I will call during the weekend and mentally make a note to call him and my mother, who was visiting her parents.

The day goes by at the speed of lighting.  The deadlines still await my attention.  Decide to work during the weekend.  Rush to the movie in anticipation of leaving the day behind.   The French movie was terribly French and did little to appeal to my Indian sensibilities.   Priya and I connect very well, we decide to meet the next day to continue our rather interesting conversation.
I get home and am all ready to hit the bed and Renu, …