Mom’s call came when I was busy in the office she said that a letter had come from Jamnagar which was of course common so I said that I will read it when I return. I returned in the noon and read the letter which stated that my auntie’s leg had broken before ten days and she was totally bed-ridden. The letter itself had taken five days to reach me which meant aunty was totally bed ridden for fifteen days now and it was serious so the very next day I rushed to her place. I checked on-line to find the good doctors there i found Dr. Maheshwari's address and phone numbers so I called and took an appointment.
My aunty stayed in a beautiful and historic city Jamnagar which is around 100 Kms from my city. Whenever I go there I have to park my car far away from my auntie’s society as the streets there are too narrow. I walked to the house after parking my car and called my uncle; I call him uncle even though he is not related to us he is a sort of family friend my aunty, when she was a nurse, had saved him from his severe chemical burns before many years and from that time on he is a family friend and therefore my uncle.
Auntie’s leg had rotated to around ninety degrees so we decided to take her immediately to an ortho. Mu uncle suggested Dr Maheshwari, who was an expert in the city and my aunty also had trust on him as sometimes back she had treated his father and they had never taken his fees so my aunty thought that he would be considerate in treating her. We called an auto as it was the only available conveyance I also had to call two-three more persons as the weight of my aunty was more and we had no stretcher so I called them and they obliged, I sat with her in the auto and uncle followed in his bike.
On reaching the hospital the staff took her upstairs in the stretcher as there was no lift as it was an old styled hospital, there were few patients sitting in the OPD so we sat near the stretcher aunty continued her shouting that her leg was paining very much, I went to the reception twice to ask when will the doctor attend him, I was told in ten minutes but it took nearly thirty minutes before the doctor checked her. First of all her x-ray was needed and the hospital had in-built lab so we went there. My aunty had not got up since fifteen days and neither had she changed her clothes so naturally her body stenched I felt bad but there was no alternative as my aunty and her older sister stayed together and the elder auntie’s age was around 75 years so naturally she was unable to bathe the younger aunty. And yes, I forgot to tell my both the aunties are unmarried as they never believed in the institution of marriage so my family is the only immediate family they have. Back to the x-ray lab there was a weird and dirty look on the lab technician’s face which of course I didn’t like. He took the x-ray and aunty was taken out and I apologized to him when he sprayed the lab with room freshener, he said it was ok and he had to freshen up the room for other patients. I was asked by the reception to buy some medicines from their in-built store. I did it and the preliminary treatment started. Various tests were also done on her and her bone density showed very less calcium so her femur bone had broken even by a small fall. After the tests aunty was put in a store room as she shouted much. Doctor told me that the bone was needed to be operated and fixed with steel plate and secured with screws then I asked him about the cost he asked me to wait to solve other complications such as the sugar level of my aunty as it was very high. At about night 10’ O clock the doctor called me as he was treating a patient; he told me that it would cost around one lakh rupees. I requested him to reconsider his stand as my auntie’s financial condition was not that sound and it was not possible to spend that amount. He told me that it was up to me to decide and take the call as he said quality does cost. I took my call and refused him as I had no money. The doctor said that it was good as the treatments after the operation also required more money. I called my mom to ask her friend who works in Ahmadabad civil hospital that if we can bring my aunty there and after asking her my mom replied that it was not possible as the doctors were on the strike at that time. I let my uncle go home as his family was also waiting and I stayed. I went out walking on the road in full tears and cursing the God that my aunty had served the poor her whole life and now this is happening with her, it was not just and she deserved better. I had never felt the need of money till today. Now I got to know the importance of money in a very hard was I forgot all the spirituality and all the prayers that I know the bare bones were that there is nothing without money. I was seeing my aunty slip into nothingness as I had no money. I smoked a lot and returned with food for my aunty. She could eat only 2-3 spoonfuls only and drank little water and slept. I was not feeling sleepy and also hungry so I lay there in the next bed and did nothing. I felt hungry later on and went to eat there was a pau-bhaji seller who just had the last plate for me and I got lucky to get it. After dinner I went again to the hospital and at the pan-shop I met a garage owner whose shop was under the hospital, he told me to come to his shop and I went there. He told me that this doctor is stone hearted and even if you give him his one lakh there is no guarantee that my auntie’s leg would be completely cured. He suggested me another doctor Dr. Nehal Shah, who was a very good doctor and also a very good person, he also told me that the doctor would consider if I explain him. I thanked him and took his contact no in case I plan to go there. Earlier I had given one old pair of my clothes to the gate keeper so it was easy to ask him to open the hospital gate. That night my sleep was often disturbed by shouting from my aunty and frequent mosquitoes.
In the morning I told my decision to my uncle and he also opined that Dr. Nehal was a very doctor so I asked him to first go there and show him my auntie’s file so that we can transfer aunty after that only thereby reducing her hardships a little bit but for that I needed the case file so went to the reception and asked for the file, the receptionist replied that the file was with the doctor and not with him. I went to the doctor with my uncle who was still confident that the doctor would consider and be human at least in some proportions. I sat before him and he handed me a bill of ten thousand five hundred rupees which consisted of 6500/- as his consultation charges which were exuberant by all the standards I requested him to consider so he reduced it by thousand rupees I told him that that much money I don’t have in my pocket also and offered him to show my wallet, he acted angrily and said that I needed to pay him the exact amount so I asked some time from him, he said I had time till evening so heart bleeding I came out and I had five hundred less in his bill amount and I was ready to beg it from anyone but my uncle said that he would give me that amount so I took it from him and paid to the reception and collected the file fully sure that I didn’t want to keep my aunty there anymore. Also adding to the shamelessness the doctor took from me a written statement that I was shifting my aunty to a government hospital so I had taken the discharge and also shamelessly also said that his son was working in the government hospital and if I needed any help he was ready to write a letter on his son. I thanked him for his kindness and went out.
We visited the clinic of Dr. Nehal Shah but it was Sunday and doctor was out of station and also out of network so we decided that we would go to him on Monday and went to Dr. Maheshwari’s hospital and took my auntie’s discharge and again called an auto and took her home. When I counted I had spent around sixteen thousand in twenty four hours and gained nothing just some reports and auntie’s position remained the same she kept on shouting in pain.