I was admitted and another doctor, a nurse and an attendant tried hard to prick my veins to administer some intravenous fluid and injection. ‘You have thin veins, very difficult to prick’, said the doctor. She was cheerful and kept asking questions. My mind said that she is just trying to keep me talking to distract me as she pricks my veins. I looked carefully at my veins; they collapsed each time one was pricked. A few attempts and they finally manage to get one syringe needle inside my vein. They looked jubilant and the nurse told me that they are going to water me well so the veins can be regenerated. The attendant asked if I didn’t feel the pain. ‘I did but I want to be out of this place fast so I better let you do what you have to do’, I replied. They all laughed. ‘Good attitude, you will get well fast’, the nurse said. They hung three different size bottles to a stand and explained something about IV fluid, the flow regulator extension set and how it regulate the flow of IV fluid from IV infusion set into the IV catheter and what they are going to do next. Nothing registered in my brain and I told myself to calm down and let them do their work unhindered. For a while that was okay but suddenly I found them examining me further and my body cringed. I told myself to relax and I did ease a bit but the male attendant had noticed my unease and moved a little backwards. My body screamed at him, ‘you can’t become invisible just by moving a bit backwards’. I didn’t realise that I have actually said it aloud but to my own relief I said it smilingly and gently. They all laughed again. I was comfortable by then and watched impassively as they attached a few more things to my body. The doctor who examined me first walked in and after greeting me talked to the doctor who was doing things on my body and then to me. It was casual conversation about family and work. But I was not distracted because I found him looking at my body carefully. I didn’t like it at all and I was about to say that I don’t want a male doctor groping me either with his eyes or hands when the mind interjected and quietened me. He checked every insert and attachment and told me that he is going to fix me and asked me to be enduring. He told me about my body’s ailment and that I must have ignored the symptoms for a long time. I protested saying that I never felt any symptom before. He didn’t quiet believe me. He asked if I would prefer a drug to help me sleep. I said no and he said that is all right. He continued his chatter for some more time and then left. The nurse stayed on to hear me muttering, ‘I shall endure, holy man’. She asked if I believe in the God. I asked her what she thinks to which she replied that I look like someone who doesn’t. We laughed and she said that she will pray for me tonight and hopes that I wouldn’t mind. I told her to be a bit more charitable and pray for the God to prevail on the doctor to let me out of this place fast. She winked and said that she will.
Towards the morning, the exchange between the body and mind had taken an interesting new direction. My mind had convinced the body that I must have resisted and ignored symptoms and allowed the illness to build the blocks to take over the body so in a way my body has not fallen ill but is actually a creator of the illness. My mind screamed at the body, ‘you are responsible for being volatile and have put yourself in this unpredictable condition’. My body was not happy so it digressed and moved away from the mind. It was still resentful but it could not annoy the mind. After all, the mind is needed to watch over the body. Now both the body and the mind were weaving together incidents and events of the last few years in my life, examining them critically, raw analysis and depiction of life from a perspective that told me how I have wasted myself – how I have allowed the material matters to take over ideal spaces in life; how I chose to feel content when I haven’t been content and how the denial of discontent has constrained the space in which I configure my life and my ideals.
It is rather strange that it took a hospital to instigate the process of naming, redefining, and reconfiguring and bring out the need of reconnecting and remaking my social relations. The ambiguities, the losses, frustrations and resistance stand better understood and attempts at sense-making more real even though I fail to understand how the body and the mind felt so separate from my self.