Good things are assets, so why do I even need to ask such a question?
I was just wondering…
I was spreading goodness before it happened.
It was a quiet meaningful life.
There were gaps to reflect. Recreation was ample.
I was content.
Then I fell sick.
I wrote to one of the charities I patronize about my illness :
Dear Friends @ OGQ,
Congratulations on your successes. You are on the right path, and have crossed the baby-steps stage. Now, as favourable results start trickling in, it’s time to buckle up and ride to the maximum. Well done!
Today, I’d like to share with you, that I’m hale and hearty, and fully recovered from a lung surgery in late January.
My illness came in a flash, out of the blue. It turned our lives upside down, and was a harrowing time for the entire family. One moment, I was fine, and in the next, I was in deep trouble.
An exceptionally violent single bout of very quick and convulsive vomiting led to a tear in my food pipe, through which food and liquid leaked into a lung. By the grace of God, the other lung was mostly intact. I was hospitalised under great pain, and found it very difficult to breathe, because each breath was very painful.
Though the hospital was able to stabilise me, they could not diagnose the condition for five days, and the lung was kind of diminishing in size as per the X-ray. I was then transferred to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where I was immediately correctly diagnosed, and underwent thoracic robotic surgery, which is relatively minimally invasive.
The stroke of luck was that in Sir Ganga Ram hospital, they had the technology for this kind of surgery. The other option would have been a huge cut, cutting through the rib-cage, and manual cleaning of the lung with gloved hands and water. Recovery from such a surgery would have taken over 3 months, and might not have been a full one. As part of the aftermath of the thoracic robotic surgery performed, I was put on the treadmill 8 hours after returning from the operation theatre, so that the contracting lung would start to expand.
It was quite a sight and experience. Here I was, with four pipes coming out of my body, 2 machines connected, 3 biggish to big wounds on my upper body, in pain, hungry and thirsty (because nothing was allowed through the mouth), doing treadmill 4 times a day, half an hour each time! They made it very clear, that if I wanted a full recovery, this was the only way. I squeezed out every drop of energy and will-power left in my system, and puffing and panting and moaning and groaning, I went through the regimen. To lessen the pain, there was an epidural in my back, and I was supposed to push a button in my hand, which would inject painkiller into my spine. This continued for five days. Then they removed the epidural. Pain had stabilized, and was controllable though pills. Treadmill regimen continued, and I was being made to climb seven floors of stairs seven times a day in addition. Still no food and water, only nutrition through food-pipe going straight to the small intestine, drop by drop, five times a day, for 4 weeks. Lost 15 kilos.
Meanwhile, let me narrate more about my good fortune in this whole thing. Dr. Arvind Kumar was leading the team of surgeons. He is the best man in India for thoracic robotic surgery, and he was available at the hospital I was in. He was not travelling. He created space for me in the operation theatre. I responded to the minimal sized tubes, and they did not need to scale the surgery up. Upon onset of high fever after the surgery, they were fearing return of infection and did everything in their power to make the lung expand instead of contract. When fever was not coming down, they resorted to boxing the operation site for half an hour on two occasions, so as to throw secretions out of the lung through force. This worked, and fever came down. Was excruciatingly painful, though. Nevertheless, I’ll take it! Once fever come down, recovery set in.
Upon discharge, I looked like a prisoner from a concentration camp. Slowly, all pipes and machines were removed. External food pipe was removed too, and I was started on small quantities of liquids for 2 weeks. Then I was allowed soft food for another 2 weeks. Currently, I am allowed to eat everything, as long as it is not edgy and very hard.
I do reflect upon my good fortune of getting saved without any lingering ailment or negative effect of surgery. Worst-case scenarios didn’t happen. I’m whole again. Why was I granted the good fortune? Many people prayed for me, some extensively. A few undertook pilgrimages. Why for me?
Then it dawned upon me. It’s because of my charity work. Charity makes one a pivot point in the lives of others. Take away the pivot, and many lives are affected, not just the pivot. Nature thinks very, very hard before taking away any pivots, or even before allowing pivots to diminish in energy. Nature wants its pivots to grow and glow.
As OGQ members, you are pivots in the lives of your athletes. You are also pivotal for your country. You are doing a great thing. Now do it with 200% more conviction, after having read the above narration.
Best regards and sincerely,
I left out in this story that chanting by Vasant, Mandira and whoever they shared this with actually lifted me out of my predicament at all crucial points, when things could have gone the other way. I do believe this is true.
I reasoned with myself. There was gratitude. I decided to give it a try. Leaders started appearing, three actively, fourth ready to act. I started to chant. Gongyo through YouTube. Life got busier. Gaps got filled. No time left to ruminate. Only time to act. I act with full fervour.
I was a small beacon earlier.
Through whatever little chanting that has taken place, I’ve become a slightly larger beacon today.
That’s probably why!