Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No stranger bond - 10

(This is the tenth part of a short story No stranger bond. You can find the full story here.)

The next morning, all the four were wheeled into the Operation Theater (OT) area. This was a huge area that had large pre-operative and post-operative areas, some rooms for the doctors, the actual Operation Theaters and some changing rooms. They did not see each other that morning. Each of them was changed into an OT gown and made to lie on a bed. The nurse came and did some final checks of Blood Pressure and Pulse. The anesthetists also did a final check of different parameters on the case sheet - a file that had their entire history.

Each of them was then given a line through which they could infuse any medication that might be necessary. The final moment then arrived. They were transferred to a stretcher and moved into the actual OT - where they would actually be performing the surgeries. Four different teams of doctors had gathered, one in each room. There would be at least one urologist and one anesthetist in each team and a host of others. There would also be a cardiologist on standby in case they needed support.

Sharada saw the lights of the area above her as she was being moved to one of the main OTs. She saw many faces looking at her. Finally when they reached the surgery room, the OT staff asked her to get on to the operating table. She was continuously chanting the Gayatri Mantra.

Meanwhile, Shuja was having a similar experience. He was taken to another OT. The OT staff asked him to move to the operating table. He was continuously praying as well.

The OT staff then put a mask on Sharada's nose and mouth and asked her to take deep breaths. In the other OT, the staff there also put a similar mask on Shuja's mouth and asked him to take deep breaths.

Shuja opened his eyes. Everything was blurred around him. He looked around him. It was quite calm. He was wondering where all the OT staff were. There was one nurse sitting quietly in a corner. Seeing him open his eyes, she came to him and asked him how he was feeling? "I am feeling all right", replied Shuja. His throat pained. He felt very thirsty. His throat felt totally parched. "Can I have some water?"

The nurse took some water in a teaspoon and put it in his mouth. "You can have just a little now."

"Where am I? I was in the OT, right?"

"Yes, you were. Your surgery is over. You are now in the Kidney Transplant Unit where you will recover from your surgery."

Shuja couldn't believe it. It was almost as if he had just closed his eyes and started taking deep breaths a few moments ago! In reality it was more than twenty four hours!

Shuja asked the nurse how the surgery went. The nurse pointed to the bag tied to his bed. It was half filled with something that looked like urine. Shuja's new kidney was producing urine like nobody's business! Shuja couldn't help smiling on seeing that despite all the soreness he felt in his stomach.

In the meantime, Sharada also woke from her surgery. She also ran through the same confusion as Shuja about the time. However, sadly, Sharada had no urine bag to see. Her new kidney had not started to work. She had no clue however. She was coming to terms with the loss of a day. She asked the nurse how the surgery went. The nurse said, "Everything is fine."

Dr. Bhalla and the surgeons came to see her after a while. They asked her how she was feeling. She said she was feeling quite sore. Dr. Bhalla smiled and said, "You will be just fine Mrs. Subramanyam."

Bala and Masih had also recovered from the anesthesia by then and were in their respective rooms. Dr. Bhalla sent for Madhu. As Madhu entered Dr. Bhalla's room, he looked quite tense. The Chief Surgeon who had actually placed Masih's kidney in Sharada's stomach was also there.

Dr. Bhalla broke the news to Madhu. "Shuja sa'ab is doing fine. His new kidney is functioning really well. However, Mrs. Subramanyam's kidney has not yet started functioning. Now, please don't be alarmed. We suspect this to be a condition we call Acute Tubular Necrosis. Many transplant recipients get this condition and most of them recover completely. She is stable however and we will be watching her very closely."

Madhu was stunned. She did not know how to react. She did not know what to make of this. Dr. Bhalla advised her not to tell Bala until he had recovered fully from the anesthesia and was confirmed to be completely stable.

Madhu made her way back to the room. She tried hard to behave normally. Bala, still groggy from the anesthesia did not notice. Madhu went to the Kidney Transplant Unit where they kept transplant recipients after the surgery. Through a fixed glass window, she could see her mother-in-law. Sharada was asleep, oblivious of the non-functioning kidney.

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