Nothing can make you more aware of how lucky you are than that moment when you know a loved one is going to be fine. Sitting outside intensive care at four in the morning, praying that my husband will be okay, I realised how much I have taken health for granted for too long now.
It was three in the morning when I woke up and my husband was in complete agony, rolling around on the floor, unable to speak. I was completely petrified. My husband never complains when he is sick, so for him to be showing this much distress, I knew it was bad. We rushed him to a nearby hospital but it was closed, thankfully the second one was open. They took him to intensive care, gave him pain relief and said we had to just wait until the doctor came.
Unable to stay with him, I waited outside with my mother-in-law and several other people who were sleeping deeply on makeshift beds, covered in hospital blankets. When I say outside, it was literally outside, a lean-to full of old hospital beds, shoes, sleeping people and mosquitoes. The rain crept in from outside as the early morning monsoon raged. I spent the hours promising myself that I will be more grateful for health from now on, I bargained with my own thoughts, ‘I will do anything, just let him be okay’.
As the mosquitoes feasted on my feet, the sky changed from violet to grey, the monsoon winds calmed, the rain stopped and birds started to sing their morning chorus. The doctor suspected kidney stones but we had to wait for sonography to confirm the diagnosis. We waited and waited and waited some more. I watched a rat the size of a small dog scuttle around, I stared at drops of dried blood forming perfect circles on the floor, my stomach was in knots. A maid came by and started to sweep, as she crouched down and swept, she spat on the floor, pulled the blankets off of the sleeping visitors and started shouting at them in Marathi. I felt the sharp pain of despair, I just wanted to see my husband, I wanted the pain to stop, for him to be healthy and to take him away from this place.
I knew that kidney stones were the most probable cause, but this didn’t stop my mind from conjured up several worse diagnoses, torturing myself with my own imagination. After almost nine hours in the hospital, we could finally go for an ultrasound which confirmed it, kidney stones. I was so happy it was kidney stones (which would have seemed a strange reaction to anyone else), I scolded myself for imagining worse.
Two stones still in his kidney, one on his way out and the doctor suspected he had already passed a fourth one. My poor husband, apparently passing kidney stones is more painful than childbirth and to have four of them… He has been so brave and I am so proud of him. After four days in hospital, he is now back at home.
I have learnt we should always try to be grateful for our health and the health of others. Gratitude itself helps us to stay healthy. Appreciate the positive to give less importance to the negative, focus on the blessings and not the inconveniences.