A Different Christmas Story

A Different Christmas Story

I was sitting right in front of the mirror and watched myself. For a moment I thought how the hell on earth I have landed myself into this mess. I could see streams of blood flowing down my left nostril and as I kept tilting back my head to stop the bleeding the blood rushed to my mouth. I was wearing a white t-shirt and it started looking more red than white. It was Christmas Eve and to be precise it was around 10.30 PM a couple of hours till Christmas. 

All my life I cherished this one particular day of the year for which I prepare myself for nearly three months. I decorate my home and then my locality and last but not the least my church which is just a stone throw from my doorstep. So I knew that Christmas 2018 would be something different and that would not include Christmas Cakes. My room had suddenly become the center of all activity with my parents, neighbors, and my family of course trying their best to stop the bleeding. No one knew why this was happening but I could sense that time was slowing down by the minute and I kept staring at myself in the mirror.

At one point I had made peace with God knowing that it was the point where I say goodbye to the world. I started making a list in mind about the things that will perish along with me which included this blog as only I knew the password. I was not much worried about my social media accounts since it hardly made any difference. Finance wise was no better so not much money to lose. 

By then people around me were trying their best to keep me conscious and constantly applying ice direct from the refrigerator on my nose and face. It did stop for a brief moment and again it started. I knew it was something that could not be handled in the house and I had to be rushed to the hospital. Now, the hospital is something which I have dreaded throughout my life and now I had no other option. 

A mobile cab was booked and I was being rushed to a hospital at Park Street in Kolkata. Those who are familiar with Kolkata know it quite well that Christmas in Park Street is something which people from far come to see and usually the entire stretch of the road is blocked to traffic. As the cab reaches Park Street all I could see were only people on the main street and no vehicle. The traffic cop desperately tried to stop us from entering the street but the moment he realized that it was an emergency he volunteered to clear the crowd so that our cab could reach the hospital.

The moment the car reached hospital gate the attendants got in a wheelchair and I was rushed off to Triage where a team of doctors and nurses tried to assess the situation. The best was when a doctor had assumed that I had got into a drunken fistfight and had a broken nose. My cousin had to convince him that it had nothing to do with any kind of violence and the nose bleed was internal.

Next were a series of tests that included X-Ray, MRI Scan, etc. The doctor unable to ascertain the actual cause of nose bleed recommended me to be admitted to ICU to stabilize the condition and also to monitor the situation for the next 48 hours. By then it was 11.30 PM and just thirty minutes to Christmas day.

I changed into the hospital gown and I was rushed in a stretcher to my ICU bed. The nurses fitted all types of probes all around my body. I always feared a hospital visit and this was a nightmare turning into reality.

Within a few minutes, it was all calm and quiet in the ICU zone as other patients were busy sleeping while some were crying out in pain. It was a completely mixed bag of emotions.

Then at one point, I hear a huge commotion outside and sound of fireworks going off. It is then that I realized that the clock had just struck midnight and it was Christmas. People were out in the street celebrating while I was in my ICU bed.

I had a sudden epiphany that all my life I made sure that on Christmas day I will be with my family and ensured it to be a day of fun and enjoyment but this very moment of Christmas I was in a hospital bed not knowing what to expect the next day.

This was the moment I realized that what you always plan do not happen as per your wishes but time will flow on its own. I suddenly felt this to be the best Christmas day ever where I was all alone with God and not distracted by the lights, cakes, food, clothes, and the church service the next morning. That night sleep never came and I kept thinking about the previous Christmas celebrations.

ICU is always busy with a steady flow of patients. Around two past midnight, a patient was brought in critical condition and I could hear the doctors and nurses trying their very best to revive the patient. At one point the doctor was shouting on the nurse to pass him some tube and a moment later I heard the doctor saying to his team that the patient has stopped responding and within minutes the activity seized and I knew the patient was no more.

The patient diagonally opposite to me had to be retrained as he was constantly trying to get up. One point he was begging the nurse to let him go and the next moment he was verbally abusing the nurses and calling them obnoxious things like rotten aubergine and what not. At one point he started singing and the nurse saw me smiling so she apologized to me knowing that it was very difficult for me to sleep considering his antics. On the contrary, he was keeping me entertained.

Soon dawn broke and it was Christmas morning. I could hear the church bell in the morning marking the start of Christmas mass. I could faintly hear some of the sermons which were being broadcasted over loudspeakers. This was the only Christmas to date where I was served only boiled rice for food but honestly, the food did not matter as I just wanted to be released. By that evening all my test results were in and the results were within the safe limits. I kept pestering my doctor for a next day release based upon those reports.

Me in Hospital ICU Bed – Photo Courtesy Amitabha Gupta
Me in Hospital ICU Bed – Photo Courtesy Amitabha Gupta

That night I had requested a sleeping pill as I could not sleep with so much activity going around me. That night I had the sweetest sleep ever and only woke up next morning at 7 AM for breakfast. My documents were sent for processing and it was decided that I could leave the hospital by signing the leave against medical advice (LAMA). I did not mind signing anything so just agreed to all the terms and conditions and left the hospital in the evening for home. So basically I had spent two nights at the hospital in ICU.

Those of you who are wondering as to what had happened then let me make it clear for you. I was under huge stress for a couple of months and my blood pressure had shot up above the critical level and that led to a rupture of a blood vessel in my nose and thus the bleeding. This is a good thing that I bleed else that could have caused a stroke. I had been under pressure medication since and now have managed to get things under control.

It took me a long to write this blog which I had planned for a real long time since I was not getting the courage to interpret the stories in my mind. I think this is the right time so just one evening just typed my heart out. It’s always not about travel blogging but the journey of life also teaches us many things one of which is to keep believing that God has planned your every step and everything happens for a purpose.

p.s. Santa I have been a nice boy this year so please bring me my gift.

Back Home from Hospital – Note the Tapes On Hand for Drip Channel
Back Home from Hospital – Note the Tapes On Hand for Drip Channel
In Front Of the Crib. Did Not Take Bath for Two Days Thus the Crazy Hair
In Front Of the Crib. Did Not Take Bath for Two Days Thus the Crazy Hair
Christmas 2018 – What a Day to Remember
Christmas 2018 – What a Day to Remember

3 thoughts on “A Different Christmas Story

  1. Interesting. Khalid

    On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 10:57 AM Subhadip Mukherjee ~ The Indian Vagabond wrote:

    > Subhadip Mukherjee posted: ” I was sitting right in front of the mirror > and watched myself. For a moment I thought how the hell on earth I have > landed myself into this mess. I could see streams of blood flowing down my > left nostril and as I kept tilting back my head to stop the ” >

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your experience Subhadip, reminded me of almost similar incident with one of our close family member which made us admitting him to AIIMS ICU and similarly getting discharged a day letter. All with some important lessons on managing nose bleeding and breaking old myths. Hope you are managing your pressure levels now. All the best

    Liked by 2 people

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