… Read these first:
Mom went and called chacha. I needed physical help to assist daddy on to the wheelchair. He came in. We lifted dad off the loo seat and tried to shift him to the wheelchair.
And he slumped.
I knew exactly what they mean by ‘dead weight’. Between chacha and me we weren’t able to help him on to the wheelchair. Dad had slumped but wasn’t on the floor. Chacha and I both were holding him from falling down. We HAD to get him on the wheelchair. The cramped quarters of the bathroom weren’t helping. I somehow got under him and with all my might lifted his upper body. Chacha pulled from the top and we were able to get him on the wheelchair. He wasn’t sitting right. His position on the wheelchair was slouched. But that’s the best we could do. We desperately needed to get him out of the bathroom.
That was when I realized his stomach wasn’t moving in its regular breathing rhythm. He had stopped breathing. I called out a couple of times “Daddy, Daddy” No response. I lightly slapped him on the cheek trying to wake him up from his unconscious state. Mummy was in panic. I can’t recall what chacha was doing.
I asked mummy to check his pulse. She said there was none. I decided we needed to first wheel him out into the bedroom. We did. By that time he started breathing again – wheezing and gasping. Mummy went and called Shravya – chacha’s daughter and a doctor. She checked the pulse and said it was faint but on.
911 108. Told the dispatch I needed an ambulance and told them the general address. The lady kept asking me district and mandal. I got irritated a bit and told her this is Hyderabad city. She hung up. The dispatcher hung up the phone. SHE FUCKING HUNG UP! No time to get mad. I gave the phone to chacha and asked him to make the call as he probably knows the answers to some of their questions.
Meanwhile I made one more call. My cousin Kiran is an amazingly resourceful person and someone who acts out instantly. While we were wheeling dad out from the bathroom he was the only person I could think of. I called him and just said “Emergency”. I knew he was on his way.
That morning, I had asked my friend Raj to arrange an oxygen tank for dad. He sent his driver to get one and deliver at our home. He called right at that moment saying he was in front of the gate. We quickly got the tank in connected it. Dad’s breathing was still heavy but at least regular.
The ambulance came – within 8-10 mins of the call. Kiran bava came – right before the ambulance. The paramedics loaded him onto a stretcher and into the back of the ambulance. The discussion there was whether we should take him to Apollo Hyderguda – the nearest location, or Apollo Banjara Hills – a 40 minute drive – where he was being originally treated. I can’t recall who made the decision (I think it was Kiran bava) but we decided to take him to the closest ER.
The siren was on, we got into the ambulance and set out. I felt a strange feeling. 6 years ago I had got into an ambulance with Aarya in it when he burned his face during July 4 celebrations. Son then, father now.
To be continued…