RIP: Dear Warrior!
I lost a patient the two years ago on this very date , after a valiant fight with his multiple ailments for the past five years. He was sixty eight going on eighteen when he died. He was under my care but on several occasions, I actually felt it was he who was doling out medical and every other kind of advice to me.
He was actually more than a patient. I learnt many things from him. I probably got much more from him than I could give him. He was suffering from Hepatocellular Carcinoma(Cancer of the Liver). He had undergone surgery for the same and suffered through chemotherapy and its side effects. He subsequently developed Kidney failure and required weekly dialysis. To make things worse, he also had severe bronchial asthma and required nebulizers and a lot of other medications. He did not consider his Hypertension a problem at all and that was considered part of the background score. He was truly and verily , nothing short of a walking medical disaster. He gulped down pills and capsules by the dozen thrice a day. He could recollect his weekly blood reports by memory. He was a walking medical dictionary and read up constantly and updated himself on all his ailments. He knew the adverse effects and consequences of all the medical procedures he had been subjected to over the years. He had every reason to ask the Lord why he had been singled out for attention and why he had every conceivable medical problem. He had reason to be frustrated and upset with life.
And yet, not once did I see him pity himself or curse his fate. I am sure, he must have had his lows and felt miserable physically and psychologically. But not once did he let it play out on his face. He always maintained a cheerful demeanor; a smile playing on his face. He bore his infirmities with grace and dignity. He would often ask me to take it easy and lighten up and start enjoying life. He would tell me that before I realized, life would slip away. He would encourage me to take the weekends off and spend more time with my family. In a large measure, he was the one responsible for motivating me to take up Golf as a sporting pursuit. Every time, I tee off , I invariably remember him . As the disease got hold of him in a vice like grip, he knew his countdown had begun. His days were numbered and he was ready for it. I saw him shrinking away each day.
He was passionate about cricket .He had predicted an an Australian victory in the Ashes . Lying on the hospital bed with drips and catheters invading him, he would cheer every Indian victory on the television. He was not alive to see the match , but I am certain ,he was fervently praying from the skies for an Indian triumph. He taught me self belief, he showed me grace and dignity – the dead man truly showed me how to live life!! RIP , dear warrior..