Kala’s medical history

January 3, 2007 at 9:32 am | Posted in Kala | Leave a comment

During most of her consultations with doctors and specialists, her hospitalisations, her surgery, We were both in the service of an affluent family. I was the Personal Assistant to an honorary Social Worker, wife of an ex-M.P., who was an industrialist and group Chairman of a big spread in Chennai; and Kala was working in the company owned by my boss’ eldest son.

Kala continued her consultations and tests and when the specialists mentioned that she had to have a knee replacement which meant a lot of money, such a huge amount, that we were totally flummoxed and at a loss as how to come by such a huge sum.

By divine intervention, and with the active and generous canvassing on our behalf by people from higher places, we could come by that amount, as we started receiving the largess from various philanthropists and wellwishers. Kala’s father, who was staying with us then, also helped us with additional amounts running into tens of thousands of rupees to help us meet the ongoing expenses towards continuing medications and tests, consultations, and thefrequent reopenings of the wounds – on nearly a half dozen times thereafter. After all this savagery to her leg and muscles, the skin of her leg took on a darker complexion which took a few years to return her natural skin tone. The scars remained till her last days. When we had achieved the stipulated amount, we approached the medical specialists, and immediately a date was given for the surgery.

The surgery took place in July 1999. The invoice for the supply of the total knee implants mentioned the costs at around Forty Five Thousand Rupees. The total expenses we incurred till her last breath, would have exceeded my life’s total earnings had I been able to save my salaries without spending a penny.

Kala rested and recuperated for around two months, but she was raring to start working again. She was always diligent and staying in bed ran against her grains. She requested the doctors again and again to permit her to attend office again, which will involve long bus journey of over 50 Kms. up and another 50 Kms. down, getting in and out of the bus with the help of a small stool which she carried with her to the office, the pillion rides to the bus stop on my daughter’s bicycle, the cooking at home on top of all this.

The doctors permitted to rejoin duty but cautioned her to be vary careful about it. She was very careful and yet she had to suffer the difficulties involved, having to use her crutches all the time.

She started to attending office, and not one week passed when fate again intervened in the form of a bus accident. The bus driver swerved to avoid a speeding large vehicle coming towards them, and as the road was very narrow at that stretch what with the embankment of a lake which was around 15 feet below road level. The bus tyres lost traction and the bus took a few tumbles to settle on dry bed of the dirtied lake bed full of thorn shrubs, glass pieces etc. Two people were found dead on the spot, with many lying unconscious and a lot more bruised and wounded, with a few cases of bone fractures and other complaints.

The traffic came to a standstill and all and sundry were trying to help. In the melee many lost their possessions, some of them stolen, including Kala’s money of around a thousand rupees which she kept with her all the time for medical expense purposes. Her office people were informed and a party the office people started taking inventory of all the bus passengers. As Kala had been sitting in the very front near the driver’s seat, she had been thrown out through the broken front window, and was not immediately spotted, thus raising a rumous that she is missing or dead. Help came, and all the wounded were moved to a nearby hospital. I got the information and reached the hospital in a rush.

The duty doctor found her operated knee had open wounds bleeding again, and gave her immediate first aid. He told me that as she had a recent surgery she had to be immediately shifted back to her hospital again for her surgeons to inspect and treat the wounds themselves.

I arranged conveyance immediately and brought her to her surgeons. Her miseries were renewed and doubled and the continuous medical attention was resumed in the city hospital where she had surgery originally.


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