I Am Not Well (Part 2).

Thursday, July 30. So on Thursday, my temperature started coming down a bit.

Ah, the road to recovery, I thought.

I can go back to office on Monday, I thought.

Tra la la la la, I thought. Before passing out and sleeping most of the day.

My mother called at some point and told me that she was going to come back to Bangalore. I saw red.


"Did they take a malaria test?"

"Yes, of course they did,"

"What did it say?"


"The report?"

And then I went through the report and realised that they'd only taken a platelet count - and asked me to return on Friday because platelets can take a while to drop.

"But she told me everything was negative. So I assumed that she took the dengue and malaria tests."

My mother didn't even shout at me. She understood that a) I've never been to a hospital under such circumstances, i.e. alone and b) that I was half-delirious most of the time and c) I am generally useless although less useless than I used to be.

But I assured her I didn't need her to come back because S. (who was away on a shoot) was coming home that evening.

Friday, July 30. Relatively boring day. Slept. Went to hospital. Got blood tests done. Blood pressure scarily low, but the tests were all negative. Went home. Yawn. Except for when I went to sleep - this agonising itching started around midnight - everywhere. I couldn't get to sleep till 3 in the morning. The itching on my face was particularly bad - forget scratching, I wanted to rip the skin off my face. But my skin was clear, there were no rashes. I spent an hour crawling around my bed, inspecting it for bedbugs or fleas - but nothing. An irritating mystery.

Saturday, July 31. In hindsight, I should have just started documenting everything from this point onward. But oh well.

So apart from the usual tiredness and fever, everything seemed normal until 10 PM when I went for my bed-time bath. I noticed a red rash covering my arms. And then I noticed, to my growing horror, that it was all over my body, including MY FACE.

I am very particular about my complexion. I follow a Set Skin Care Routine. Exfoliation every alternate day, a cleanser twice daily, followed by toner, followed by moisturiser, followed by vain attempts to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes. So you can imagine what this rash - and dryness, my nose and parts of my face had started peeling - did to my soul. I also had a huge pimple on my cheek, just to add some icing to the cake, I guess.

I yelled for S.


I would like to say he came running, but he moved at an infuriating slow pace and informed me it wasn't measles.

"Measles are like little red pimples," he said. "This is just a rash,"


"Do you want to go to hospital?"

Remember how I told you I loathe hospitals more than anything, and do my best to avoid them?

Not this time. Not when it comes to my skin.


So at 10.30, we went off to this hospital down the road from where I live. I solemnly vow never to go there again. We got to Emergency and the 'doctor' looked at my rash and confirmed it wasn't measles; it was an allergy or maybe a result of the viral fever.

And then he got a nurse to stick an injection into me.

There was a brief tussle for a moment - I thought she wanted to inject my bottom, and I refused to let her touch me, protesting that my bottom was sacred. But she finally managed to communicate that she was going to stick it into my hip, so that was okay.

The 'doctor' seemed supremely unconcerned. He had an ugly face, which is forgivable, But it had an ugly smirk on it. That is not forgivable, especially given the circumstances. And he didn't check the inside of my mouth or my eyes and more importantly -


That's right! No lab coat! Just an ugly brown shirt and ugly brown pants (that suitably matched the aforementioned ugly face and ugly smirk) and I distrusted him from the start.

I called my mother to tell her what had happened, and I told her (and S.) that there was no proof that jackass was a doctor, he could have been a Man Who Sits At A Desk, but as usual, no one listened to me.

Neither the injection nor the pills he prescribed helped me at all. That night, my fever went up to 103 degrees. I drifted in and out of sleep, shivering despite the four blankets I'd piled on top of me. And then, at 3 am, when the world was dark and quiet, I woke up because my face felt funny.

Sort of like when you're drinking water and you put too much in your mouth, and so it spills out, trickling down your chin, and your neck.

I put a hand to my chin, and I looked at my fingers in the moonlight. They were covered in blood. It was blood.

I'd only been awake for a few seconds, and I wasn't thinking properly, so in that moment - just a split second - with my body burning up and blood pouring out of my mouth, I thought, maybe, that I might die. I don't know how to explain it without sounding like an idiot. It was such a fleeting feeling. And my only thought was about something I regret; something I have been regretting for a long, long time, something that I broke and cannot fix.

On the bright side, I can't do anything about it, not even if I end up on my deathbed. I don't know whether that's depressing or comforting.

Anyway, like I said, it was a thought that passed as soon as it came, and I stumbled to the bathroom where a very gory sight met my eyes.

The entire lining of my top gum, the entire semi-circle, was bleeding more heavily than it's ever bled before. In the front, where it was pouring down my chin like a waterfall. At the back, where it was filling my mouth like a monsoon pool.

And if you think reading about it is disgusting, imagine what seeing it was like.

Luckily, we actually had a medicinal mouthwash in the house - not a regular one. So I coollied with it three or four times and the blood started receding, and it finally went - only my gums were redder and more raw than usual.

S. looked scared, which was gratifying, and he kept checking my nose for blood. According to him, it's a sign of high blood pressure, and I think he would have rushed me to the hospital if it had been bleeding. But it wasn't.

Everything seemed okay for the moment, and I didn't really want to call my mother up at 3 in the morning, so I went back to sleep.

I told her about it the next morning, and before I knew it, my aunt and uncle (who live down the road) spoke to some doctors who recommended I go to the hospital. They all agreed that it sounded a viral infection, albeit a really nasty one, and that 48 hours of supervision would, perhaps, be a good idea.

I nearly objected - I have never stayed overnight in a hospital before, let alone two nights (except when I was born which doesn't, obviously, count) - but then I caught sight of myself in the mirror. The rash had gotten even worse.

"I'll be ready in fifteen minutes," I told my aunt.

And then I started packing my things.

To be continued. 

1 comment:

Naintara Rana said...

trisha, this is killing me. please write part 3. (I hope you're swell now)