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You Are Abroad And Your Sick Parents Are Here: This Is What They Want To Tell You

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

It has been more than 10 years now that I have been working in an Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department of a hospital.

Time and again, I see instances where an equally old husband/wife comes all alone with their old ailing spouse, a patient who requires an ICU admission, a quick decision to be put on a ventilator, get thrombolysed, or to be immediately taken to Cath Lab/OT for an urgent angioplasty or life-saving surgery. On further inquiry, the picture becomes clear that their children are well settled abroad, leaving the old couple back home to take care of themselves, only sending them money for their existence.

Many times I have myself spoken on phone to the son/daughter of the patient, staying thousands of miles away, briefing them of their parent’s condition and receiving the same reply, “Please go ahead do your best, whatever it takes. Don’t worry about the cost of the treatment & the investigations.”

Seldom have I heard anyone say, “Doctor, you proceed, we will be there soon.” It really hurts me to the core. Maybe I’m an emotional fool, narrow-minded, but at the end of the day, I feel that the only people who can leave everything (for want of money/better quality of life) behind and never look back at their own parents are those who are selfish and self-centered.

With the following few lines, I have only tried to bring out the pain, the feeling and the thought process of such patients lying on the bed, right before my eyes in my A&E.

I’m weak now, cannot even walk
You became all busy, with no time to talk
Education gave you wings, I showed you the way
Our life is difficult now, all alone we stay

Please come back…

The money you sent, occasional phone calls you made
Never really made us happy, wish together we stayed
Not playing with grandkids, not meeting your wife
What wrong we did to deserve such a life?

Please come back…

I fight to breathe now, with pain in my chest
Remembering old times, our life, I did my best

Your old man might die soon, do you really bother?
After I’m gone, I beg you, look after your mother

Please come back…

These tubes and pipes over me really make me think
Wish I could see you all, only once, and not even blink
In my dying moments, my last wish, by my bedside you stand
Child, please come back, one last time, to hold my hand

Child, please come back, one last time, to hold my hand.

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