Neha
So, the trauma is over. Well, almost! It's not always a nice experience in a hospital. In fact, it never is!

I was all pepped up Monday morning. A look at me and you couldn't tell that I was to check in to a hospital for the first ever surgery of my life in less than two hours. I was not able to make up my mind as to what I should wear!!! Yes, that's how it was; I wanted something comfortable and presentable.

Anyhow, I did check in looking all in place, as if I belonged there! I was showed to my room and then it happened. The realization of it all. I sat down on the couch, reluctant to even touch the bed. In no time, the nurses appeared with their trays filled with God-knows-what. An IV was fixed in my right inner forearm and an allergy testing (or anti-allergic, whatever it was) fluid was injected in my left. I shrieked with pain. No sooner was this through, the ward boys appeared with a surgical gown and a stretcher. I insisted I could walk, but they would not relent.

Soon I was being wheeled on a stretcher to the OT. And by then, the so-called brave me had given in and I was crying cats and dogs, even horses and elephants! Tears were streaming down both sides while I looked on helplessly. My first trip to an operation theatre, and I was hating every bit of it.

The anaesthetist was a kind person with soft looks and gentle voice. He assured me all will be well and began small talk. He asked how come I had never seen an operation theatre while I was engaged to a surgeon. I was quick to reply that 'he' was the surgeon, not me! Then he asked how did I land a surgeon and I don't know what I said to that. For then, he had injected me with something and next I knew I was in post-op, crying out in pain.

The night after was traumatic with painkillers being injected in my veins every two hours. Never before has a night been as long and wretched.

But after all of that, I survived! Oh, yes, I did!! And thanks to you all, blogdosts, for your prayers and good wishes. Though I am still bed-ridden for the next few days, the pain and agony is over. The post surgery complications remain and will take their time to resolve. But I am happy. Though not exactly I fighter, I am a survivor after all!!

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Neha
I dread them!!!

Those long, thin devilish looking things that are meant to suck your precious blood!!

Or those that are meant to inject life (medicines) into your blood.

Yes, I dread injections and more so the sight of them. Doesn't matter how many times I have been given those. Those little devils and I can never see eye to eye. It's that simple!

It happened this morning when I went to give some blood samples for a few tests. I was fine all along till I saw those, neatly kept in a box. The phlebotomist tried his best to hide his grin when he saw this young-old woman stiff on the chair, with eyes shut tightly and fingers clenched.

Ohh yes, before that I sure did come across as a brave woman who walked in smartly, inquired about the tests, costs etc. and assured that she is prepared for her precious blood to be drawn.

And then the sight of those syringes did much to unnerve me. For the life of me, I'd barter anything to save myself from the trauma. That's what it is, people. A trauma. Of course, you can say that it's a little prick, that's all. All my life, I have heard my parents, my grandfather and friends console me with those words.

When the guy taps my inner elbow trying to look for 'the' vein, I secretly wish he never finds one. For if he doesn't, he won't be able to put that horrible thing in my sensitive veins! Though there are some of these ever persistent people. This one time, a nurse was unable to locate the vein to put an IV and punctured my elbow no less than a dozen times!! Only the Almighty knows what kept me from leashing out at her.

If I go back in history (my childhood seems like ancient history now!), this fear must have taken birth on one of those flu shot days in boarding. We were all made to stand in queue while taking those shots and witness the procedure as each of us were victimized in turns. The following days were spent in pain with only the other arm functional.

My first hospitalization was when I had just passed from school. Returning from a college entrance examination, I passed out and woke up to find myself in a hospital with a nurse adjusting the rate of the IV fluid. I fell asleep soon after only to wake up at night in immense pain and a swollen forearm. The nurses were called and they duly shifted the IV from my left hand to the right. Morning after, both my forearms resembled those of a baby elephant's!

Each of those days when I was taken for a blood test or a regular shot are edged deep in my memory. The nervousness, the fear, the pain, the agony... all still remain.

I always forget when I am to hold my fist tight and when to leave it loose.

My eyes shut tightly, I still take a peek through the corner of my eye to take a good look at my tormentor.

I keep reminding myself that it's just a little prick and when that damn thing touches me, I let out a little shriek.

I count the number of those bottles (I know they are far too little to be called that) the guy fills with my oh-so-precious blood.

I insist on having that little round band aid on the spot for as long as possible. After all, it's just been injured.

I love to look at the machine when the little devil (read 'my tormentor') is being destroyed to nothing!

And I feel all dizzy and faint after the gruesome experience.

And of course, like a true Virgo, I fret and worry till I don't see the reports and let my heart be in peace that 'all is well'! (Though not always!!)

So yes, if you want to see this self-proclaimed brave woman running for cover and calling out her 'Mamma', all you need to do is show her an injection and she will be out of sight alright!

*********************
Blogdosts, I am in for a surgery coming Monday I have managed to avoid for a year (though I was very close to it then too!). You might see more or less of me here, depending on my condition. Do pray that I recover soon enough and am back in action soon.

Till then, take care and stay healthy and precious :)
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Neha
Valentine's fever!! Seriously.

It's every where. Markets. Restaurants. Malls. Colleges. Radio. Television. The Earth. The Waters. The Air!!!

It amazes me. Just everything about it and more so, the euphoria and madness around it. Come on, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the idea of being in love, with oneself and others! It sure is one of the most fantastic purpose to living.

But the focus on just one day to celebrate it; and that too with almost everyone vying for your attention, selling anything and everything in the name of Valentine's Day!!!

The other day, I crossed an Archie's store and saw this really huge teddy bear holding a heart shaped cushion that said 'Happy Valentine's Day'. It left me wondering - Who gifts such things??? Then there were offers all around the market in the name of the big day - Gift your valentine a free holiday or a free dress (after you buy one for yourself) or a free gym membership. I mean every one wants to give some else's valentine something for free! Now that gets interesting.

At my boarding, this day didn't mean much to any of us. Okay, so we were in the age when every thing and day and feeling was not all that commercialized. We had a three-months long winter vacation (Dec-Feb) and Valentine's day fell during that time. I think that made us obviously oblivious about this day.

It was during the last few years in school (a day school in my hometown) when the Valentine fever caught on. One of the things you will never miss to see at girls' schools is the traffic at the time of girls leaving for home. More than parents and guardians, there are boys from adjoining schools racing, lingering around or simply pining for the attention of their love interest(s).

As school captains, we conducted impromptu schoolbag raids a couple days before the D-days (read Friendship and Valentine's days). Wicked...weren't we ;)!!! And the kinds of gifts, cards and letters we found never failed to surprise/shock us! Then, while going home, a red rose (one too many) would fall in/on our conveyance (an auto rickshaw or car) and that happened with almost every girl in high school.

If you were observant enough, you could also see couples exchanging love notes/gifts, all away from the prying eyes of seniors, classmates, teachers and parents. The skills they displayed were awesome. I mean you just cannot catch them!!!

There was this one note from a love-lorn boy that accidentally (okay, I'm lying) fell in my hands and it was written in blood!!! The kinds of inspirations you get from Bollywood!!! The girl it was meant for started crying when she read it while I had a serious question - How do you ascertain it IS the guy's blood??? (I mean it could be from the mutton/chicken his Mom cooked the previous night. For how else will you explain blood that wrote like ink?! What an anti-romantic I am or a sadist maybe!!! Uh-oh, that's okay :)

And of course, there were (still are!!) these protesters (Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal apparently) who would not spare any couple they found together on these days. Didn't matter if the couple was married or actually brother and sister. They would bash up the boy, abuse the girl, make them do sit-ups and God knows what else!!! All in the name of our culture and how westernization is ruining it! Never mind that they wore Levis and Rayban and drunk only 'foreign' brands!!!

Then Delhi, where Valentine's Day has been nothing more than over-crowded markets, malls and restaurants. Last year, my siblings were visiting me and on the 14th, we happened to be shopping (all because it was a Sunday). My younger sister clutched my brother's hand and said, smiling sweetly - You are my Valentine. My 19 something brother shook her hand away saying he is so very single and doesn't want to send a wrong message to his prospective Valentine(s)!!! I looked around in the busy and very crowded market to see if there was a probability of this kind of prospect there. My brother is surely not one to lose hope!

Before you think me to be an anti-social person, let me tell you, I too have always gone with the flow.

Thankfully, I never gifted or received stuff toys. There was this period (and I call it period as it went on for a few years) when the doorbell would ring and someone would leave a bunch of roses at the doorstep. I could never find out who it was.

Then there was this incident when a guy threw a rose at me while I was riding pillion with my father on his scooter. The rose hit my dad on his eye and my dad stopped and scolded the poor boy left, right and center!

On another occasion, I tried to set up a date for a close friend and her guy. Every thing was planned out by me in complete detail - the roses, the gifts et all; only to find out that the couple broke off! The advance payment never returned to me :(

Ohh and yes!! I have also spent a couple Valentine's days while in college hanging around near the ghats (riverbanks of Ganga or Yamuna). Not that we wanted to, but it was all to help a friend meet her guy on the D-day! (We did the same on their respective birthdays and other "important" days.)

Now, this day brings in a lot more nostalgia. Hanging out with friends, deciding/buying gifts or helping someone prepare a proposal speech, feeding all sorts of lies to friends' parents (to help them meet their date!).... the list can go on.

With school and college a thing of the past, the excitement of these days does fade away. For me, I know I will have a 12-hour eye-to-eye date with the computer monitor in office this Valentine's day. I am still helping friends get nice gifts for their partners (I can be a great gift consultant, a friend said today).

While I spend my day in office, I hope we get to celebrate such days all year through. And why only partners, this time surprise yourself and gift yourself that new shirt or jewelery you've been eying. You can even get a bunch of roses delivered to your parents or better still take them out for dinner. You can even take your grand father/ grand mother to a park and spend some time chatting with them.

Whatever you may/will do for people you love, don't wait for this one day to express it. Celebrate each day with them. Life is very short and love, most precious!
Happy Valentine's Day, Blogdosts!