Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Blog Birthday. Yay.


The evening before last, my father was discharged from the hospital, with instructions to continue the intravenous antibiotics he was being given, for two more days. To this end, my mother, who was with him nights at the hospital, was taught how to give these injections.

It appeared simple in the hospital: she watched as the nurse took out the syringe, poked it into the container containing distilled water; transferred the water from the syringe into another bottle containing the powdered antibiotic; shake it up well; transfer it once again into the syringe. The nurse then handed the prepared syringe to my mother, who, with great trepidation, gave my father the injection.

So far so good? Right.

Discharge all done, we came home and it was time to give him a last shot at night. Just as my mother had done struggling with the distilled-water-to-syringe operation, the electricity went off. They waited in the dark, clutching antibiotic and syringe. The light came back on and mother did the syringe-antibiotic-and-back-to-syringe routine. Time to give my father the injection. My father, suddenly recalling that the nurse had twirled some knob on the side of the needle apparatus, told my mother to hang on while he opened it up.

In the meanwhile, the electricity went off again, and some insect that was buzzing around found its way into my mother's ear. She shrieked, dropped the syringe on the bed and ran out to put warm salt water in her ear.

The electricity back, she began to give the injection finally. But it appeared that my father, far from opening the knob, had closed it. Every drop of the antibiotic spilled out. In panic, my father started turning the knob the other way around. My mother poked her finger with the needle and shrieked again. One injection was wasted.

Harsh words having been traded, another injection was prepared. This time, my father said, bitterly, that he would do it himself, thank you very much. He began operations. The electricity went off.

Shining the torch, my mother bethought herself of one more disaster.

I hope there are no air bubbles in that syringe, she said. It could be fatal.

So with that thought in his head and with the knob having been opened too far and stuff leaking out again anyway, my father began to feel giddy. They threw away the second injection, and each lay awake far into the night to make certain they were alive, if not entirely well.

The next morning, we all sensibly decided to go to a nearby hospital and have a nurse give him his injections, never mind what the doctor said about family being more compassionate and all.

That's the story, morning glory. How have all of you been?


Szerelem said...

Happy blog birthday!!!

Zomg the whole syringe episode freaked me out. Going to the hospital - smart thing.

How am I doing? Meh. Meh. Meh.

??! said...

I used to watch my father give himself injections, for a period of about 6 months. Stoically, methodically, and with little fuss except a wince or two.

He once asked me to do it (can't remember why). Although my hands weren't quite shaking, there certainly were tremors, and all I kept thinking was "make sure there's no bubble in there".

I'm quite certain it was one of those "character-building" things, because I think I detected a glint of amusement in his eyes. Parents.

...hope your dad gets better. And the injection-deliveries go smoother.

swar said...

Felicitous burrrday and all.

I hope the (two) days of home-injection are coming to an end.

dipali said...

How unnerving- poor parents, both of them. Hope your dad recovers soon, (and spares himself and your mother such trauma)!

Happy birthday, Blogji:)

km said...

More manic than the Pulp Fiction syringe scene :D

/Hope your dad's better.

//So Daddy's Girl is not entrusted with medical procedures?

lekhni said...

That's awful! I thought power cuts timed themselves to strike at exactly the wrong moment only in Bollywood movies..looks like the electricity gods are quite machiavellian :(

Space Bar said...

Szerelem: Thanks! And why are you all 'Meh'?

??!: Injections all done, thank god. I suppose people get used to it eventually, but the first time must be scary.

swar: Yup! All done!

Dipali: Thank you ji!

km: No, no. Nothing can compare with slamming a bovine-sized syringe through the breast bone and to the heart. Nothing.

And Daddy's Girl wasn't there when nurse did crash course and flatly refused to have anything to do with it.

Space Bar said...

Lekhni: Here power cuts are brought on by children blowing out their birthday candles. That night there was a baby storm. We should have known it would happen.

km said...

A baby storm? Woah. Little babies crashing through rooftops and car windows?

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

ohmigosh @ the story of your dad's injections. is this in india? you can also have registered medical practitioners or nurses come home and do it for a small fee..check with your nearest doctors clinic.

although i guess he is done with the injections so thats good.

blackmamba said...

two years. woohoo!

btw, you do make it sound like you were a stoic observer while this whole injection drama took place. not a peep out of you. really?! hmm..

Space Bar said...

km: yes yes. nice adjunct to dead baby stories, no?

tgfi: nice to see you here! yes, this is in hyderabad. the thing is, when we suggested that we could go to a nearby hospital, the doc thought we could easily do it at home ourselves.

actually, the doc thought i was the one who'd be giving the injections. he didn't know i was chicken - i look so stoic, you see. :D

bm: woohoo indeed. and no, i wasn't an observer at all. i was, if you can believe such a thing, asleep through it all while all this drama was taking place downstairs.

Szerelem said...

Work is drudgery :(