It’s been exactly 2 weeks and 3 days today since my dad was admitted in ICU at a major hospital in the nearest town. The past weeks have involved traveling back and forth between that town and our home town, so much learning and unlearning, research after research, friends and family reunions, prayers and hope, Tears and laughter. This is my story from the quiet corridors.
The lift leads me to the 4th floor of the hospital building, am welcomed by the hospital smell, you know the distinctive smell only hospitals have, I don’t know if it’s their disinfectant or what, but from the corridors you’ll tell, weird enough it’s the same across hospitals. My alarm goes off seconds later it’s 11:00 AM.
I clean my hands, remove my shoes, say a short prayer, hope as I go in I’ll notice some significant changes. I put my phone on silent as I push the door in, his bed is directly as you enter the room, as soon I push the door I see his smiling face, the smile is just forming and I can tell he was waiting eagerly for this time. I hurriedly rush to his bedside, hold his hand, he tries to squeeze my tiny hands but he isn’t strong enough, I smile and squeeze his. Pleasantries are exchanged, I update him on all that happened the previous day, who scored what, who choked on food, who ate what, who called, who said what, everything from the tiniest details to the largest. I have to make sure he knows everything that’s ongoing. He jokingly mumbles how’s my dating life going on suggesting the doctor is a nice catch as he approaches his bed. I laugh, mostly because I know he’d kill me if he found me with that guy, he keeps on smiling, the doctor kind of catches what’s going on but ignores, am glad he does, I try move on to something else by asking him if he’d like some water, he smiles, the doctor looks at me questionably, he isn’t feeding directly but through the tubes, his eyes seem to warn me but I ignore, anything to keep the topic off being hooked up with the doctor. He mumbles warm water is fine, the doctor says they’d try, am given warm water in a syringe, drop after drop, this is going well. Today I have hope, something different, something new, a great change, significant at that, I say Grace and give him more drops.
“Am okay” he mouths ” you guys are just scared of nothing”
The doctor calls a few nurses to witness this. I feel powerful for a second, I took a leap of faith. They give suggestions on what they’d try next- more water, milk, porridge, one even said ugali. This is going on well. I am happy, he is Happy.
This day has gone on well so far, his pressure is stable, he’s taken few drops of water directly, breathing is great. I have so much to be thankful for. I squeeze his hand harder,
“I’ll revenge once am out of here” he mouths.
“Ha ha, we’ll wrestle” I reply.
Conversations go on, before I realize it’s 11:03 AM. I see the strict hospital police, okay not really, I don’t know what that guy does except remind people it’s time to get out of the ICU.
“A few more minutes I say goodbye” I plead with him.
“Harakisha” is his answer.
“Huyu mtu hata si mpoa” I tell my Dad.
He agrees with a smile.
I say Grace, promise to be there exactly at 4 to try out ugali, he laughs mid sleep. I hold his hand a little longer till he’s completely asleep.
“See you at 4 dad”, I say before leaving his bed.
“Get me some ugali later in the evening,” I tell the nurse before leaving.
I can’t wait for 4 o’clock.