Happiness In A Bag Of Urine
Happiness In A Bag Of Urine4 mins 466 4 mins 466
It was on my birthday that I received a call from the hospital in Chennai where my father, ailing from failed kidneys, was admitted. The doctor at the other end informed me that my father’s biopsy results had come through and he had fourth stage carcinoma in the left kidney. The only option in hand was to remove the cancerous kidney by surgery to save his life. There were complications in that though: his failing health, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. But there was an even bigger concern for all of us. An earlier test had shown us clearly that it was only his left kidney, the cancerous one, which was fully formed since birth. The right one had not grown at all. It was only the size of a walnut or maybe slightly bigger. It was about 3-4 cm in size while a normal adult kidney should be about 10-11 cm in size.
So it was his cancerous kidney that had been functioning properly all through his life. Removing it meant he would have to survive on dialysis only for the rest of his life, as the right kidney cannot carry out its function. It was a hard decision but left with no other choice, we decided to go in for the surgery. The surgery was scheduled for 6 AM on the planned day. The night before the surgery I stayed with my father at the hospital. It was a difficult night to pass. There was a deep sense of dread overwhelming me concerning the possibility that he might not survive the surgery. Even the anesthesiologist was concerned because of my father’s twin problem of high blood pressure and diabetes.
That night, my father didn’t want to show his fears and worries to me. And I didn’t want to cry in front of him. Both of us put up brave faces. We didn’t sleep that night. After a period of silence and small talk, my father finally decided to tell me something that he felt was important and timely. He told me to take care of my mom the same way I took care of him and to settle my sister (she was just 23 then) in life. It was then that I cried and asked him why he had to say all these things when he could do all these himself after he recovers. He smiled and told me he just felt like saying. The nurses and attendants came by 5.30 AM and took him away to the operation theatre. My father looked at all of us and waved his hands, smiling. We waved back not knowing what to think. There were knots in our stomach.
After the operation was over, the doctor called me to his room. I was trembling even to talk to him. He showed me the kidney that had been removed along with other surrounding flesh. He told me that my father was fine and would be transferred to the ward soon. I fell at his feet thanking him profusely. Later, around 2 PM, they allowed us to visit him in the ward. My father was still dizzy from the anesthesia but he was conscious and communicated with us using signs.
The first thing that I did was to look under the bed at the urine bag that was attached. There was around 50 ml of urine in it. His right kidney, the deformed small one that we had written off, actually worked! IT HAD PRODUCED ALL THAT URINE! I had never ever imagined that I would be so happy about a urine bag with urine in it. We were so focused on the kidney that was cancerous and had to be removed, that we missed to see this little one that was doing its job silently, to the best of its ability. I cried again. I told about this to my father and he smiled. My mother and sister were elated. We were all relieved to a great extent by this simple fact. For everyone else it was just urine. But for us, it meant a hope of survival.
It was not just an incident, but a lesson I can never forget in life. It’s so easy to write-off something or someone. But that does not change the fact about what they actually are and what they can achieve in life.
Life gives us all the lessons we need through such experiences. It is up to us to learn from it.