Parking lot scene one : The lot again!!
When I opened my eyes I was parked …. you guessed it !! ‘The parking lot again! My spot was near the door almost right in front of the nurse’s counter. Strangely it felt less crowded than last time. I was still sleepy and kept taking short naps. In between one of the naps, I felt the familiar grip of Dr. Shahid holding my hands. He was wearing his green outfit and smiling 😊. He asked me how I was doing, I was still a bit sleepy and nodded back with a smile, I was happy to see him. I requested him to move me to the other ICU. He said he’ll try to move me in a bit. I don’t have much recollection of the conversation but I do remember asking if his day was done. Being his OT day, he had a patient waiting. The procedure will probably take about 2hrs or so. He said he would come by after his next case. I wished him good luck, With a good firm handshake and smile and he left. Alhamdulillah this time I didn’t have any sort of nightmares or discomfort. Most of all no vomiting spree. Although I did look forward to moving to another ICU soon.
Parking lot scene two : Activities of the post OT.
As usual, they kept bringing in beds with patients from various OTs. I didn’t have my glasses on, so it was a blurry image of light blue outfits on the beds around me. Often dark green uniforms were walking up to the beds – nurses checking on the patients. Once in a while, you’d see a lighter green uniform walking over to the bystander meeting area and walk back out Surgeons and doctors giving the patients updates to their respective bystanders who were anxiously waiting to see their loved ones. I don’t have a recollection of meeting my family. Although was told by Akthar later, that I raised my hand when I was brought in and my family saw me from the bystander’s meeting area, through the big glass windows.
I still lay numb feeling heavily padded as I was in OT. I asked one of the nurses for the time, it was already past 2:30 pm. So prayed the noon prayers and thanked Allah for all the help, having brought me back safe, and sound. Then dozed off again.
Parking lot scene three : The little girl in blue and my Pre OT mate
Next time I opened my eyes I saw a small girl dressed in the blue OT outfit, sitting on a chair by the nurse’s counter. I think she must have been about 8 or 9 yrs old. I wondered what she was in for?? She seemed pretty chirpy and was a handful, she kept the nurses on their toes. They had to constantly run after her and remind her to sit down 😂. I noticed two nurses were moving up those dark green screens towards a patient. At that moment I remembered the pre-OT and my conversation with Moosa Kutty. I caught the attention of one of the staff at the counter to ask whether a patient named Moosa Kutty was here earlier. I assumed that since he had gone under the lights earlier he’d have left earlier too. Or perhaps he was parked somewhere else? Another male nurse pointed towards the opposite side of a bed and said he is sleeping. The nurses looked at me with curiosity. I said “I wanted to know how Moosa Kutty was doing after his surgery” He was doing fine. Both of the nurses asked if I knew him. I nodded “oh yes” “ we were pre OT mates !! 😄” with the gesture of having met your old college mate in years. I am pretty sure I could make out smiles on their faces despite the masks 😊!!
Parking lot scene four : Dr. Shahid’s 2nd visit
After an hour or so Dr Shahid came as he said he would. Holding my hands asked about my recovery progress and if can I move my legs. It was still numb. I felt like there was padding or bandage on my thigh ( they had mentioned when skin grafting is done they’d probably take the layer of skin from my right thigh ). So I asked if they had done any skin grafting! With a surprised expression, he said “no, not time yet, we just removed the dead skin and tissues. Apparently, there was some infection brewing up as well, which got removed too. To reconfirm for my sake he checked my leg under the sheets. He smiled and said “There is no bandage, that’s just your numbness !! 😊I have had my feet fingers and even my arms go numb. But 1st time experiencing half of my body go numb !!!😄 Weirdest feeling ever! He left by saying that once the numbness wears off I can be shifted back to the room and that he’d be back after his next case.
Parking lot scene five : The Runway
Many new patients were brought in by afternoon, and some had left the parking lot. The bed by my side was moved and for some time the spot lay vacant. They kinda had an exit procedure, which kinda resembled planes taxing onto the runway before taking off. Each patient that left would be moved from the parking spot and held for a few minutes in front of the nurse’s counter. Before take-off 😁.
Even though I knew Asr was at 4:00 pm I just wanted to make sure I catch it at the right time. I requested a nurse to let me know when it was 4:20pm. That must have been the longest wait ever. I was concerned among their busy work they might forget or I might doze off. Finally, a little later the nurse came and tapped me on my shoulders and said “It’s 4:20”
( END OF PART ONE )