The Bean has been sick for more than a month now. Fever, cough, cold, a bout of urticaria, an allergic reaction which gave her boils in her nose, her ear and her face, and a chance that she had an intestinal obstruction. And of course the ever present asthma.
She’s a fiery little spirit and apart from the days when she’d thrown up too much to be active, her sharp little tongue and sharper brain, kept us entertained and reassured that she was going to be okay.
She began class two a couple of days ago, but hadn’t been to school in weeks. So I finally gave in to her pressure and sent her to school. With her nebuliser in her backpack.
She can assemble it in a trice, and knows how to pack it up and fit it back in the case neatly too. As she slung her heavy bag on to her skinny little back, waved her fragile wrist cheerfully and set off to school, I felt my heart break into a million pieces.
No child should know how to do this. And no child should have to carry her nebuliser to school.
In other good (!) news, my mother slipped in the toilet yesterday and smashed her ankle. A little piece has separated and she might need surgery to see it through.
I teased her that this was text book old age – Slip in the bathroom and break a leg.
I sit here chewing my nails in worry as I surf the net for a ticket. I keep an eye on my phone in case the school calls saying the Bean needs to be sent home.
And all the while I wonder how people who have terminally ill patients, be they parent or child, manage to do this endlessly. Perhaps they make their peace with it.
All I know is that I’m emotionally wrung out.
Chhote Nana had his last surgery day before yesterday and they had to give him 8 times the dosage of anaesthesia that they give to regular patients. He now has 15 rods in his leg that they keep fiddling with, keeping him in a constant state of agony. Seven months and he’s not out of bed, nowhere close to walking.
I’ve lost count of the number of surgeries he’s had and I worry for Cousin K who has been with his father through all of them.
He’s only 23 and he’s been through more than most of us have experienced in a lifetime. Three of the family of four in hospital. One close to death.
We’re watsapping each other on the family group and the phone pings madly through the day and night. The US arm, the sleepless invalids, everyone is up at all hours. I suggest that our generation take a vacation once all the oldies have recovered. We deserve it. The parents chorus – Yes, you all do.
I’m busy checking on who has eaten, who is in pain.
Cousin K messages – I’m on hospital duty and Dada has had his breakfast.
I suggest something else.
And a weary – No one gives a rat’s arse about what I’m saying -is the response.
I giggle inspite of myself.
Yes, we’re highly irreverent.
My mother responds immediately – What nonsense, I’m doing as I’ve been told.
A weight lifts off me slowly. The tickets have come through and I can be by her side as she undergoes the procedure tomorrow.
Don’t come, she begs. Stay with the Bean.
My mother with a badly smashed ankle.
My daughter so badly asthmatic that she takes the nebuliser in her stride and merrily heads off to school.
Do I stay or do I go?
The OA gives me a look – Do you really think I’m less capable of caring for the kids than you?
No. No, I don’t. In fact he’s more meticulous and careful than I can ever be.
But I’m good for cuddles, laughs, stories and general smothering.
I tell my maid not to skip work while I’m traveling because Bhaiya will be managing office and kids alone. I tell her why I’m going – my mother has had an accident.
She tsks with real concern – How terrible. Now who will take care of your father?
I resist lecturing her and head off to pack my overnighter. It takes me a couple of minutes because now I have a mental checklist of what I’ll need in case of an emergency in the family.
Hopefully this is the last we’ll see of illness for a while.
Or as Cousin K helpfully suggests on our watsapp group – Anyone else want to break any bones? Please do it now. We have a room booked in X hospital and might get a group discount.
Laughter really is the best medicine.
See you on the other side.
Good to hear CNs last surgery went off well. It seems like a miracle, given the horrid way in which the nightmare began last year.
I do hope this is the last of the illness and injury, MM. I couldnt help but chuckle at Cousin K’s suggestion 🙂 And yes, please take a break — a holiday or something together — when everyone has recovered. When we meet down south, I promise to do my bit to give you a few days of relaxation, even if all I can do is carry a box of cake for the lot of you.
Love, faith and strength to you and the family. This too shall pass.
Hugs and prayers coming your way.
Wow, that’s a lot! Hope everyone gets better and you get a break (not of the leg type).
Lots of love, prayers, good wishes. To all of you. The Bean is a brave girl, and she gets it from her mother.
Yes you and the others in the brother sister cum cousin brigade do need a huge break especially given how responsibly and lovingly you’ll have all acted in face of so much heartache together all at once. I pray your mum gets well soon and has people to help her out when you have to get back and beanie, the fiery little thing that she is, doesn’t need her nebulizer(wow such a huge word for a little one to even learn no?!!) for long. And your Nana, what a hero he is for bearing so much pain and yet carrying on with it all(I said no to more surgery just last month because I just couldn’t bear another one so soon)
When it all gets too much for my hubby, caring for me thru radiation and chemo month after month(last year he was caring for both me and his mum who had terminal lymphoma and passed away) and to his credit he never gets frustrated or irked just sad and overwhelmed- I remind him he’s collecting so much good karma that I’m sure he’s going to be blessed with the loveliest wife in his next life:-)(Not a crank like me.Yeah, he wishes!!!!). And then we laugh and I wince and then we giggle. Thats how it rolls in invalid land here.
Your bad luck is about to run out soon so watch out, you’ll be flooded with a ton of good things coming your way.
When i wrote this piece I forgot that people with real troubles would be reading it. I feel so small and foolish now.
I wish you strength, I wish you health, I wish your husband strength and the same cranky (!), awesome wife in the next janam. You guys have earned each other.
I’m so sorry to hear about his mum… I hope she was not in too much pain. And how much strength did it take for him to care for two women he loved? He sounds like a wonderful man.
It’s amazing how many wonderful, inspiring people the internet brings us close to. And I don’t mean inspiring in that awful greeting card way.
I’m going to try not to let this get to me – thank you for this gift today.
What MM, said. Bless you, Deepa and hubby!
Pliss to ignore the comma after MM. Darned typo.
Does sound like a tough time. Sending prayers, good vibes and hugs your way. 🙂
Hugs and lots of prayers for you and your family MM.
May God be with you!
Ugh. Hugs, MM. And many, many energy vibes to the Bean, mama P, and chhota nana. May they all feel better soon and may your generation be able to take that vacation after all. xoxo
Dont u worry – Chota Nana will be better soon and so will Bean and ur mom. good luck for mom’s surgery. Please keep us posted. sending prayers and lots lots of good wishes…..Take care.
Can totally see your “heart breaking into million pieces” But your girl is a tough cookie, just like
So sorry to hear about your mom-glad you are on your way to be with her. Mine just came out of surgery-phase one over. Phase two begins shortly and it will be a long long recovery. I will anxious all the way. Damn with illnesses, accidents, falls…
Damn with distances
And yes humor helps. My dad has beenshitting bricks the last couple of days. Waiting outside the OT while my mum gets opened up, he tells my brother that “after the surgery is over, get me a beer please. I need one”.
Whatspp is the best thing that has happened to my family.
Don’t worry Bean will do well and all of them will get better soon. You right. We should enjoy the moments of life and share a hot meal together from time-to-time. A deserved vacation is the perfect gateway to bliss. More power to u, Mad Momma:)
Healing wishes to the extended TMM family. Wishing all of you a speedy recovery.
Aw – tough luck! Hope you all catch a break, MM. Lots of wishes to you all. Take care of yourself too as you care for everyone else.
Lots of hugs and good luck vibes your way. And to Deepa above, hugs and strength to you and yours. Always in awe and very proud of friends and family who stick through thick n thin vs making excuses.
Dear MM, All I can say is you and your family are in my prayers. I wish you all times ahead of good health, and joy.
The love in your family just comes shining through. God bless this love. And the humour! Oh the humour! (thoo-thoo-thoo)
Hugs…. Bean will be well soon. And your Mom will be fine and recover fast. And so will Chotta nana. My prayers are with you all.
I feel bad for them all but I really want the Bean to leap and jump, nose boils and all. Thinking of the cutie and hoping she welcomes you on your return with her trademark energy.
Ah dear Bean, your Bean, destined to sprout back with a vengeance, bursting with more flavor than before — I hope she is more than well. And to you dear MM, words fail me these days, but know that I wish you the crushing, uplifting strength of love and irreverent laughter.
I wish I had your way with words….
Luv it posts abt it “Bean” and “Brat” How old is your son??!!
He is soon to be 9, Abhi.
visiting your blog, any blog for that matter, after longtime MM. hope CN’s recovery speeds up, Bean feel better and your mom’s ankle heals.
couldn’t resists chuckle at Cousin K’s comment on group discount,
God bless you all!
I am probably older than your mother and I have had these fractures wrist, ankle and more:) at different points of time..falling in the bathroom, falling in yoga class, etc ( You know how it goes :)They told me it is a red flag for osteoporosis.
What I have done now is change the bathroom floors to what they call ‘antiqued’ granite..kind of stippled granite slabs..looks quite nice and is not slippery,…and put in some grab bars on the bathroom walls that I can grab when I go sliding! And my Ortho told me I should stop cleaning bathroom floors 🙂
The good news is that we recover from it and go back to our usual activities..am just back from a solo trip to Vietnam 🙂
All the best for your mum and daughter..
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