|Photo Courtesy: www.ivillage.ca|
As a child I remember sticking my head under water, releasing air from my mouth and feeling the bubbles with my hands as they rose to freedom from my lungs.
|Photo Courtesy: www.youtube.com|
I also remember how natural it felt to put an empty bottle, mouth first, into a bucket of water, and tilt it slightly to release the air trapped in the bottle, to form bubbles. I was the saviour, releasing them to rise to freedom. That plop-gurgle sound is the sound of fun.
|Photo Courtesy: www.chicagonow.com|
What does this have to do with Anna?
As I shared with you, Anna has been losing weight over the last 10 months even tho' he is eating OK. His energy levels are low. His breathing laboured after the most minimal of movements. Then the poor man gets viral fever and cold.
|10 Jul 2016|
Before the Viral Fever
At Saket Select Citywalk
Photo: Mamta Murthi
Anna's food intake becomes smaller and smaller. A man who normally eats 4 idlis for lunch, eats only 1 and a bite. He refuses to eat roti or the peas in his upma. On 20th, he manages to drink 2 half-glasses of lassi, barely enough to keep a small pet alive. So, on the day my sister leaves, I take him to hospital.
He is breathing heavily. There is no to little response to questions we ask. His BP is OK and he has a low grade fever. His lungs are congested. We admit him and he is put on an IV. After settling him down, we return home.
I just have time to have a shower and eat something, when I get the dreaded late night call from the attendant. "Please come. Anna is not doing well."
Sanjiv and I rush to the hospital. On our way we get a call from the resident doctor telling us that Anna is critical and to get to the hospital fast. Even at this time of night, the traffic prevents us from reaching there quickly. Fear and frustration are intertwined.
|22 July 2016: Anna at Neptune Hospital|
Anna is on the bed, his nose and mouth covered by an oxygen mask, a monitor beeping his heart beat. Out of Anna's mouth comes the sound of bubbles. Bubbles struggling to escape. Every heave of his weak shrunken chest is accompanied by a dull gurgle, and ever exhalation is the sound of bubbles pushing past thick viscous fluid. It is a horrible sound.
Not a sound, but a horrible long lament of lungs desperately trying to take in and hold air. To just breath.
Now the sound of bubbles do not bring me fond memories of childhood or of teasing farting mates in a swimming pool. They are no longer fun, or comforting.
Anna's O2 fell below 60% and his BP shot through the roof.
He is on IV fluids and oxygen.
He is unable to swallow more than 2 half teaspoons of water.
We have been unable to wean him off external oxygen support.