A quarter of a century ago, I was based in Bangalore and my employer had arranged for a training program to which many managers from other cities had come. Almost all of them were staying in one particularly famous public sector hotel. It was famous for creating situations that only a bureaucratic hotel can. I personally was away from Bangalore on a tour though some managers from my team had also come for the program.
On the last day of the training program, I returned in the evening and was informed by my family that one of the managers from my division had taken ill and had been admitted to a hospital. After getting some more details from the personnel department who had arranged the hospitalisation, in tandem with the hotel’s Medical Officer, I went to the hospital and was able to persuade the doctor in charge of the ICU to let me in to see my colleague as he was from outstation and had no one from his family in Bangalore.
The scene was comic as well as macabre to say the least. My colleague was desperately trying to converse with the nurses who could not or would not talk to him in English or Hindi and he was getting paranoid with patients lying around him either dying or being taken away for surgery or whatever.
When he saw me, he cheered up quite a bit and literally begged me to take him away from the hospital as he was feeling quite well and he did not want to be in that morbid atmosphere. I went back to the doctor in charge of ICU and requested that the patient be discharged and was politely told that unless a cardiologist recognised by the hospital came and requested for such a discharge and took responsibility for the patient, it would not be possible. I used a great deal of influence and funds that night to locate such a cardiologist and took him to get my colleague discharged after he had already been in the ICU for over eight hours.
The cardiologist examined my colleague at the ICU and signed all the papers and got my colleague discharged and I took him away from the hospital. He caught the next morning flight to his hometown and that was the end of the story.
The story’s punchline however was the quip that the cardiologist came up with after the discharge. My colleague had had a fart attack and the hotel’s Medical Officer had misdiagnosed it as a heart attack and had rushed him to the hospital.
That colleague is still alive, kicking and raising hell and we often reminisce about that particular episode. Much ado about nothing really.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my story on this subject which was chosen by Maria the gaelikaa for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!