He sits in his bed, sleeping most of the time. Other times when he's awake, he usually just stare blankly at the end of his bed. The numerous lines and tubes connected to his body made any movement cumbersome, or maybe it was the pain that's stopping him. The constant beeping of the monitor next to his bed must have been annoying, though I guess he must be used to it by now.
It's been more than a week since he was admitted to Surgical HDU, my current habitat as a slightly less useless FY2 for the next 4 months. I saw him when he came in, and as the days go by, as we put him through more and more investigations and took vials and vials of bloods off him, I noticed it.
The way he avoid looking at us when we come around to his bed. The way he shrugged his shoulders and reply "okay" every time we ask him how he is. The invisible wall he put up around him, as if the very environment of HDU is hostile to his wellbeing. The resignation in his eyes.
Over the last 10 days, I noticed the weight he's losing, the swollen limbs he's getting, the jaundice he is now developing. And yet 10 days on, we are nowhere near the answer to what is going on with him.
Specialists after specialists come and go, each scratching their head and unable to provide a reason for his illness. Tests after tests threw up more questions than answers.
There is often a hushed conversation when we talk about him. Deep inside all of us, we have acknowledged that this is rather likely to be terminal, whatever it is that is causing him all the distress. He is not well, that much we know for sure.
Yet when we speak to him, we try to make it sound positive, be optimistic. We tell him we don't have the answer yet, but we'll keep trying our best. Sometimes I feel as if we are all holding on to the smallest hope that this might be something treatable. That he will get well once we find out what this is.
Other times I feel that we are not letting him in on our suspicions, that he should be made aware of the gravity of his condition to the extent he might not make it out of the hospital. But I know that will only drive him over the edge. It would drive anyone over the edge, I myself struggle to even comprehend the very notion of it happening to me.
Because, nobody expects to not make it past their 30th birthday.
It's not fair.
It's just not fair.
I don't believe in God, but if there is one, please let our suspicions be wrong just this once.