As far as I can remember, I’ve had a very good immunity to diseases (no touch wood). Hence, before 2012, I had never been bed-ridden for a continuously long period. In 2012, right after the month, I graduated from college, I met with an accident. I don’t remember how it happened (even today). I woke up in the hospital with a nice lady by my side, asking me to relax. She was the one who had taken me from the road and brought me to the hospital. But I didn’t know a thing. Basically, the accident. those twenty minutes of my life have been erased from my memory. They say I had made 4 calls in that period. I called Papa and also told him to come and see me. I don’t remember a thing of that sort. A lot of people express their shock at this but medically it’s a very normal thing. This is your brain’s way of absorbing shock.
So ya, this accident made me bed-ridden/jailed for more than a month. My face was destroyed (And to my mother’s shock, no doctor was giving any guarantees of recovery. The badass that I was, I didn’t give a damn about it.), my lips were swollen to the point that we couldn’t check if my teeth were fine (I couldn’t eat for a week), there were stitches below the nose- above my lips, my knee was badly hurt and I could not get up or walk without support. It would have been fun to post the pictures from then but I don’t happen to be a sadist so won’t.
Mum and I fought often during this phase. She was just trying to help, but I was frustrated with being at home, as I never was used to it, before that. I am guilty of throwing some ugly tantrums. In such times, everyone in the world seems like living a fast paced life (even if you are in Ahmedabad!) while you seem to be stagnant, useless and hopeless. Friends would come home often, everyone would try to make me happy. Most of the times they would succeed and make me feel like a princess while other times it would leave me with a bitter feeling for them. Nevertheless, this experience was not going to be once in a lifetime, for me.
In such times, everyone in the world seems like living a fast paced life (even if you are in Ahmedabad!) while you seem to be stagnant, useless and hopeless. You feel angry because you are lonely most of the times but when someone tries to help, you feel angry seeing their support as sympathy. You crave for care and touch, but when someone touches you, it feels filthy.
Friends would come home often, everyone would try to make me happy. Most of the times they would succeed and make me feel like a princess while other times it would leave me with a bitter feeling for them. This experience was not going to be once in a lifetime, for me.
In 2015, I got bed-ridden again with a bad back spasm. I had severe muscle compression because of multiple reasons- I was in an extremely seated work-life and I was commuting for about 90 minutes in a day. I had avoided the voices of my back. So this one day, I wasn’t able to get up and sit on the bed. It just broke me. I couldn’t believe I had let this happen to myself. It took me another month to be even normally sitting, standing or commuting. I was home most of the time. But this time, it was much different. My family gave their rock solid support and I was receiving all the love. I had to work hard to make my back stronger. And I have to do that all my life.
In retrospect (because everything about the past can be philosophised), I feel sometimes nature brings you to a pause point every time you become callous or take things for granted.
It could be your chance to get closer to your body and yourself. You keep swaying between the pendulum of two vast zones- loneliness and solitude. You get a chance to let people love you. If you’re a reader, it could be a bonus time. If you’re a daydreamer, another jackpot.
I’ve had a chance to closely live a terrifyingly crippling phase with my Best friend’s undeserved, unwanted and untimely enemy- Cancer. I had moved in her house (even though she had an army of extremely loving family members). She used to get vivid nightmares of snakes in her bed and she was not being able to move. I would wake up to see her sweating profusely and panting in sleep. Dreams are a part of your psychological state.
She didn’t survive in the end. Although I won’t say Cancer won because while she was alive, we managed to build memories that made her happy right then, in ways she wouldn’t have otherwise imagined and built memories that might be enough to last for our lifetime. It’s not the disease but the fight that makes it all interesting.
Being bed-ridden could actually be a boon (of course, never as the present. Always as the past).
The Featured Image is from the book, “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. A dark, fantasy, metaphorical tale of how a terminally ill person feels and also the people around, who love them. It’s one of the best (and painful) short novels ever.
Few Quotes from the Book:
They no longer held the lively conversations of earlier times, of course, the ones that Gregor always thought about with longing when he was tired and getting into the damp bed in some small hotel room. All of them were usually very quiet nowadays.
Other times he was not at all in the mood to look after his family, he was filled with simple rage about the lack of attention he was shown, and although he could think of nothing he would have wanted, he made plans of how he could get into the pantry where he could take all the things he was entitled to, even if he was not hungry.