He sat there on the portico, reading the newspaper. A peaceful smile was on his face, giving him a Buddha like pacific calmness. The thick rims of his glass couldn't stop his eyes from emitting the wisdom he had always known. His thick shawl protected him against the chill of the evening. He sat there, wrapped in it, in all his cuteness.
She was standing there looking at him, smiling at all that he was to her. Carefully measured cup of tea boiled on the stove, the heat from it warming her fingers. She poured it into two little tea cups and added sugar to one, non-caloric sweetener into another. Placing both cups on a plate, she walked towards him.
He looked up, and smiled a slow smile. As it spread across his face, it was as if the Sun rose. He moved himself a little to make space for her to sit. She kept the plate on the table, cuddled with him. He kissed her forehead and put an arm across her. "How was your day, my favorite man?", she asked. "All too good, darling", he smiled wide. "How was yours?" "Pretty darn good, grandpa", she cuddled more.
And before she knew, she was lost in the peace of his toothless smile. The shawl that wrapped had the warmth of a mother. The strength of his arms, although weakened now, was nothing less than a father's.
He was her everything. After having lost her parents while she was an year and a half old, her grandpa had been everything to her. Her guide, her best friend, her philosopher. He had watched her grow from a toddler into a little kid, and then blossom into a beautiful young woman. And she, had seen him grow weaker but wiser. He was her super hero. "Nothing can ever happen to my Grandpa", she had always proclaimed. Until one day, he fainted down to floors on a Saturday afternoon.She was home early after a half day that day.
She was 14 and shaken. Until that day, she had never thought of him getting ill. She knew his medications, and all she had to do was inform the friendly pharmacist down the lane every time the medicines got emptied. The nurse would come in every morning do her chores and leave, she would be in school then. She knew her grandpa was supposed to take some of them before food, and some, after. She knew he wasn't supposed to consume excess of oil, salt or sugar, but that was about it. The 14 year old had obviously no clue of what diabetes was. Sure, she knew, "Your grand father has sugar. He should stop eating sweets and sugar. Oh and rice too". The neighbor aunt would sometimes tell her stories about how people take 10 injections a day, but the kid that she was, she never really understood all that. "Exaggeration may be?", she talked to herself while falling asleep.
A shriek had escaped her throat and before she knew, she was by his side, shaking him. Tears running down her cheeks, she had ran to the neighbor aunt. Within half an hour, her grandpa was in the Operation Theater, and she was out, neighbor aunt clutching her tight. The doctor had assured her, "It's a heart attack, but he is out of danger. You have nothing to worry sweetie. He will be alright. But his sugar levels are very high, looks like his Insulin shots have been missed. So we have to delay the operation until it's back to normal." She had sunk into her chair with a blank look on her face, stuttering. "I don..I don't know doc...doctor. I go to school at 8, the nurse comes around 10, I guess"
And the neighbor had chimed in, "I haven't really seen her this morning".
Tears were streaming down her face again, she was guilty. She was guilty for not having taken care of her grandpa. For not having taking care of his medication. For not having checked his Insulin shots. For always having scrunched her face when she had seen him getting his Insulin shot, once in a while. She had never wanted to learn to inject, "I just can't do that to him, no matter how irrational" . But the doctor had seen through it all. That is when he had introduced her to the concept of Insulin pump. He had given her a demonstration of using an Insulin pump. An Insulin pump was an alternative to the Insulin injections. It was mostly used in extreme cases where an intensive Insulin therapy was required.
"It's for patients like these that insulin pumps are around. You don't have to fret anymore.All you have to do is to draw Insulin into the plunger and make sure there are no air bubbles, remove the needle close the lid of the needle, attach the reservoir to the infusion set tubing. After filling the cannula, it has to be placed sub subcutaneously, that is, under the skin. It always dispenses correct amounts of Insulin, so you don't have to worry. But please make sure to always use a sterile reservoir and make sure there are no air bubbles".
From that day, life had gotten easier for her. She got all the more careful about her grandpa's diet. She personally took care of all the medicines. It became her responsibility to pump Insulin. It no longer hurt as much as it used to. Within two months, her grandpa was back to good health, fit as a fiddle. She accompanied him to daily walks, listened to his wonderful experiences and never noticed the time flying faster.
And now as she sat there, cuddling with her best man, she couldn't stop the tear that escaped from the corner of her eye. "What would I ever do without the doctor?", she thought. "I would never prick him with the syringe so often, neither would I ever learn not to fret over the dosage." With that thought, all she had was gratitude. He noticed that lone tear drop and raised an eyebrow, she waved his concern aside and gave him a big, tight hug. For thanks to the modern day health care that had touched his life, he had touched a million more lives of hers.
Having seen my daddy on a hospital bed for two years, seen him undergo close to a dozen surgeries, hospitals bring back bitter sweet memories to me. Bitter 'cuz it was my daddy, and sweet 'cuz they gave him back to me. Here's to all the wonderful doctors that strive day in and day out, here's to all the dedication and service. Here's a big thank you :)
Image sources: None of the images belong to me. I have provided the source links - here