Swiss Expat Series: What It’s Like To Deal With The Unpredictable?!

Oh my god… I also went through a surgery

You know what, let’s try this – I am unsure about how much I remember and how vivid are those memoirs. But there is this thing about social media, it’s a rose-tinted view of life. Not everyone who “checks in” at every airport of the world is living it up, and not everyone who stays away from Facebook is a loser. It’s just a perspective, a uni-dimensional handcrafted view – it is where we hide more than we give. I have decided to stop doing that, and trust this is my X-factor – actually I have never done that. People love the ordinary bits of life, they relate more to it. For everything else, we have Bollywood and now Netflix.

I loved Sacred Games, I just loved it – but maybe my love affair with TV shows is a topic for another series, for now let’s stick to life.

One day I am walking down the street, spending a great evening with my daughter and the next day am being wheeled into the operation theatre. Such is life – unpredictable.

But, what happened?

Nothing much, it was just an appendectomy. Something which has become so common, that the seriousness or the discomfort of this surgery is underrated. Excruciating pain is how it begins, and then you imagine it to be gas, a bad dinner choice or just stomach spasms. I took an antacid, then a painkiller and then some Ayurveda thing – nothing seemed to help. I woke my husband up who told me that we might need to visit the “not fall”, however, the thought of an emergency and waking the little one up at an odd hour made me dismiss his entire logic.

In that pain, I slept for a few hours and to my surprise, it was worse the next morning. I still separated the white and the coloured clothes (it was my laundry day) and I still didn’t cancel the dinner plans with friends. I had a feeling that a few more pills were going to take care of this. At around 1 pm on a Sunday afternoon, fools day, my tears wouldn’t stop and we decided to call a doctor home.

The First Sign

The home visit wasn’t going to DO it, that’s what the person on the other side said, so it was UBER time. Unlike all my trips to the emergency room in Switzerland till now, the docs did not take a second to take me in. This was the first sign. I was in a room with a couple of nurses, interns and family – vitals being monitored, tests being done and a zillion repetition of answers on how I “felt”. I was miserable. (That’s how I felt!)

Some test results later, it was clear that it was that appendix had burst and that it needed to removed. And just like that, a stomach ache went into a full-blown operation.

The surgery was going to be routine, they had done 4 since this morning, I would have to undergo general anaesthesia. Everything, the works, just very nonchalant.

Melodramatic Mother

I started crying, now, here’s the funny part – I hugged Niyati and gave her a lecture on what to do if I don’t return (I sure freaked her out). I admit that my melodrama did cross some borders that day, but, to tell you the truth – one of my friend’s father had died during his appendix surgery. So, it was not full proof – even if there was an iota of a chance, I really didn’t wanna take it. Well everyone assured me, except for the anaesthetist who was rather cold (I was silently abusing her in my head), only interested in the consent forms being signed.

Inappropriate Much?

Some people are insensitive but then some are not. It was a mixed bag, that day. Well, the lovely lady nurse took me up until a point, a point till where the family was allowed and then came another male nurse, at this point I realized something. Something which was inappropriate, he looked great (swiss? Yea!) and I looked like shit in that hospital gown. My hair was unkempt and a tad oily and my legs were unshaven. He caught me on my worst day (women!!), and with that disturbing thought, I was in the OT. There were many doctors or assistants here, all with masks – some wore green and some wore white. They all asked me what I did? – really? If this was their technique to get me distracted, it sure wasn’t working.

I asked the anaesthetist guy if I would come out of this state, and he told me that the sleep you experience today, is probably something that you’ve never felt before (Yes Sri Sri had magically appeared in my life…). To someone else, this statement could spread panic, to me, it is was reassuring. And one thing I can say today, it was just the way he said it – I have never slept like that. I am a light sleeper, sleep and I intermittently get along. Weird much?

Time Is Relative…

The surgery was over in no time, who knows what time it was. I was wheeled into a room where I was going to stay for 2 days with another person. With another person in a shared room!!! Apparently, this wasn’t a choice. It was, what it was.

In my semi-conscious state, I even made a call to my husband – my cell phone had magically appeared back into my life. My family hadn’t, none of them – but it had. I have no memory of it (the call I mean), but since he could not see me that night, it was a great gesture of love, support and care.

The nurses from the morning after (all women, the guy was gone) who took care of me (they didn’t really!!), would serve me, give me meds and check my stitches again and again. This continued for barely a day, and the wounded me was discharged. Like I said, appendectomies are underrated.

Why Being An Expat Can Sometimes Be A Bane!

At home, the real struggle began – recuperating after a surgery, no matter how small can be challenging. But thankfully, good friends and family were saviours during this rough patch. This too, shall pass. I was positive, people in the workplace were supportive (they had to be), people back home were helpless (this is what I would like to believe in my version of this chapter).

All in all, too far from sunshine, too far from rainbows – it took a good 3 weeks to bounce back. And the after-effects were brutal – weight gain, fatigue and burden.

 

And now, I’m trying to lose excess weight, eat better and be a healthier version of me.

Wait for Part 3….

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