“Professionally helpful people must sometimes learn what life is at the receiving end of welfare”. The words crossed my mind as I sat waiting in the reception launch at SCT with my son and husband..
‘Lionel blue..’ The name of the book I couldn't remember.
SCT is a place where all patients are treated based on clear-cut norms.Usually docs are allowed to by pass the formalities in hospitals.. but not at SCT
So I sat there along with other patients. Waiting for my son’s EEG report.
My gut burned. My heart felt heavy. My head felt numb. There was a lump in my throat. I prayed silently..
Anxiety, despair. and terror hung around most of the people around me.
A mother sat besides me. Her 18yr old daughter was admitted in the ICU with encephalitis. she had been unconscious and had recurrent fits since one week. She was allowed to see her daughter only for 10mts daily. But she sat there in the lobby anyway.
I saw a father bent double over the balcony praying. he stared unseeingly at the garden down below a lush garden with the soothing sound of flowing water,. .. His daughter was undergoing brain tumour removal surgery in the theatre.
I saw a family of father, mother and son pushing a trolley on which lay a 15yr old boy unconscious.
I saw a skinny woman carrying a sleeping teenager with shaved head and blue pen markings on the scalp for radiotherapy ..in her arms ..trudging up the stairs slowly.
A nine-month-old baby with a weird shaped head slept on its mother’s lap besides me..But inspite of the odd shape the resemblance between the mother and child was striking...
Suddenly.I noticed a woman waving at me. She sat at a distance. I tried to recognise her. But I couldn't.
She then gestured commanding..confident. Calling me to her side.
“ Must be some old forgotten patient “ .I thought... I went to her side..
An elderly woman...grey face.. haunted eyes. Drab sari. Hair carelessly knotted.... No I dint recognise her.
“These are my son’s records. He has brain tumour ..need to start radiotherapy tomorrow. You have to help“ she literally ordered me...
I was confused. I started to read the records...
My husband tapped me on my shoulder. Gautam name was being called.
“Whats wrong with you”. he admonished me.
“Frauds immediately recognise they can cheat you easily.”. He looked irritated...
I handed the papers back to her and went to my son’s consultant’s room.
“EEG is normal“. I was told.
"No need for medicines. Just give him more care and support."
My heart lifted. I thanked the consultant profusely and walked out.
I looked around for the woman. Fraud or not..I wanted to give her some money.
The chair she had sat was empty.
SCT is a place where entry is very restricted. Frauds wouldn't be permitted to beg around.
I knew in my heart that she had been genuine. It was desperation that had made her call a stranger and order to help her
But why had she chosen me..?
I searched for her all around the OP section. But she had disappeared...