10 August 2015

From the Hospital Bed

Sitting on the stool next to the bed and sleeping on the bed itself are two completely different perspectives in life. I have been in the hospital one too many times, mostly to attend to the sick, sitting on the tall uncomfortable stool.

For a change in perspective, I have always wanted to look at life from the hospital bed once, like taking a vacation from life, but without much pain. I wanted to lie there without a worry in the world. I wanted to take along my laptop and edit my stories, write blogs and contemplate over life.

I know a time will come when I am there on the hospital bed never to return home, to wait for the ultimate end, in pain, without hope, and with only past to look back on. But like a trial run, right now, from the middle of my life and I wanted to do a midlife review when there's still hope, time and energy, so that I could change the way I live the gap between this first review and the final review of my life on earth.

There I was on the hospital bed without any pain and feeling a bit amused. I had an overdue surgery from years ago and this time I had my vacation to finally dare it. When I was admitted I carried my beddings and walked in. The security guard asked if I had a new admission. I said yes. Where? Here! Even he was amused.

My son Jigme, who was supposed to attend to me looked like a patient. He finished few packets of chips before collapsing on the next bed. The nurses were confused every time they came on rounds. In the morning he was the last person to rise. It was kind of a trial run for him too...

It was from 10 pm that things stopped being amusing because I was to start fasting. They started feeding me from my veins. I was experiencing all these for the first time; sleeping on hospital bed, getting an IV, fasting... thank god I had good experience as an attendant to understand whatever was going on. But I couldn't help wonder how a man could be fed from a pinhole on the skin, while throughout our lives we ran after satisfying our expandable mouth.

And the heartbreaking irony was seeing your friends and family come and fill your bedside with loads of edibles when all you could do was to switch your gaze between the IV bottle and the riches on the bedside table.

But to my disappointment I couldn't even open my laptop. It was going to look very rude not to be in pain when rest of your roommates were. It was going to look like another office day. Besides the inspiration you would have while siting on the stool won't come when you were lying on the bed. And soon my mouth parched for a sip of water. I knew if I stayed awake any longer I would land up drinking something and that would result in termination of my surgery. So there went my romantic ideas of writing on the hospital bed.

Next morning I was made to wear the green gown that showed my back to the world. I had to be very careful because my daughter was following me mischievously and I could trust her to embarrass me. I was like a curious science student wanting to see how things worked inside the operation theatre. But before long I was put to deep sleep, literally dead for the time being.

I was handed back to my family after three hours and the moment I heard their voices I made a subconscious attempt to show them Thumbs Up. I could feel them dragging my bed on a rough surface. It was hours later that I could ask for water but my wife would only wet my lips with few drops. I could feel my nostrils loaded and nose plastered. My daughter and niece found me like their cartoon character Oggy.

There after I could see people coming and going like in dreams and all I was thinking about was when would they remove the packing from my nostrils. I didn't want to remain awake and feel suffocated. I went on sleeping. Nurses came often to give me doses of medicine, which I didn't need a day ago. I was officially ill now. I needed support to sit up. I wished if I could pee in my bed. It's then I realised the real difference between sitting on the stool and lying on the bed.

After what seemed like ages, which was actually the next day, my nostrils were cleared but there was another hard plastic support which had to stay for another few days. I was discharged after that and here am I enjoying my third day of rest. My wife, sister and brother in-law are pampering me like a little child.

My nose hasn't resumed its job yet, my spine and neck are aching and I can't swallow solid food easily. But I hope these are prices I am paying for a better nose. I asked for it.

As for the bigger question on reflecting on life I realised that I don't need a hospital bed to take vacation from life. This one trial run is enough to make me realise that whatever I have to do must be rushed before I reach the hospital bed because the world in there has its own problem to solve.

P:S: Knowing it was a simple surgery I didn't want to bother anybody but many of you showed up and I must tell you it feels so good to see people when you are on hospital bed. I will always remember this. 


  1. Oh Sir, what a great article! It's a beautiful reflection on life and mortality. I am glad that you are getting better now. Take care and get well soon la! God bless you!

  2. Recover soon Passu! Great reflection you had on your hospital bed! Lucky you that it was your first time only in your whole life! ^^ Hopefully you realized how lucky you were being so healthy! And please, first time I heard people going to hospital as vacation :P

  3. Very nice! I loved the phrase 'expandable mouth'. So, what insights did your midlife review throw up? What changes would you like to make so that the final review will look the best? Please let us know. Jigme's bit was comical. :)))

  4. Speedy recovery sir! I loved the way how you wrote the article on a happy note. Reflecting on the time one will have to spend on a hospital bed. On the bed or the stool, the feelings in a hospital always drowns one.

  5. What surgery was it though?..haha... very limpid narrative..

  6. I am glad that you are getting better now from the hospital. Take care and get well soon la! God bless you!

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