Sunday, September 12, 2010

This time last year

This time last year, there was lots of tension in the house. My Dad's health was bad and doctor had advised bypass surgery for Dad's 90% blockages. This was just before the advent of Ramzan. Daddy was worried and skeptical. Meanwhile a lot of people were advising us to try alternate methods to surgery. Some said about eating 'ajwa' khajoor, which is said to have miraculous properties in treating blockages. Then there were promoters of a certain brand of medicine, stating they have a cure for heart blockages and regular usage of their pills will clear the blockages by themselves without surgery. We were even shown a video of a woman who had recovered through the medicines. Some even suggested taking Munir Khan's 'miraculous medicine'. While some were forwarding various emails of alternate cures, including one which replaced blood with some some kinda medicinal blood and one stated a vibrating machine which was a cure to all ailments.

All the various suggestions at the last moment, when doctor was asking us to hurry up in taking a decision left us confused. Especially my Dad. He was fully determined to forgo any surgical insertions in his body. I do not know the effectiveness of the alternate sources of medicines, but 90% blockage was a big risk against not-so-sure forms of non-surgery. Such forms may work in the earlier stage and even as precaution, but Dad was even past the 'angioplasty' cure stage. In all the confusion at home, Ramzan began. We decided not to take a chance, though bypass surgery was as scary for us as it was for Dad. When it was decided, Dad said that the surgery should be after Eid. But we planned to go ahead with the surgery in the month of Ramzan itself and avail of the blessings of the month also.

10th Sept, 2009 - The date is clearly etched in our minds. And the previous night was equally trying for us and especially Dad. He was to be taken for surgery early next morning (at dawn)and Dad was talking nervously to us on the phone. We had to return back after visiting hours. And only one person was allowed to stay back with the patient for the night. Mom had chosen to stay with him, while my 2 brothers and brother-in-law chose to wait at a bus stop at BKC through the night. They did their 'sehri' with fruits at the bus stop itself. They even had a policemen questioning them of their intention.

Me and my sister (who was pregnant then) stayed back at home and prayed and decided to join in the latter part of the day. That day was a testing time for all of us. And the 8-9 hours operation was an ordeal. But the hospital gave exact updates of the surgery every 1 hour. The way things were managed at Asian Heart, the scare out of bypass surgery has been removed from many hearts (!) now. The best part of the hospital was there was a 'prayer room' to offer namaaz and also had 'iftari plates' on their cafeteria menu for fasting Muslims. And from a latest report in Times of India, it is understood that people now prefer 'bypass surgery' for a complete cure of heart blockages. Other forms like angioplasty are only patchwork procedures, often resulting in recurrance of the problem.

As Dad was preparing for Eid this year, which was to fall on 10th September (but took place on 11th Sept) in India, he was looking back to what he went through to get a 'new life', as he prefers to call it. He is thankful to this day to our friends and colleagues, who came forward to donate blood from their busy schedules. And without the support of my brother-in-law, who was the only older experienced person, we would have been lost. Of course, this incident has given us siblings a lot of maturity to deal with trying situations in life. We are thankful to Allah to this day for HIS kindness.

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