I took my father-in-law to a hospital for a master checkup. He chuckled to himself after reading his report. When I asked him what amused him he said he found his heart in a better condition only after the treadmill test. I was amazed.
Did not the doctor declare him ‘Positive for ischemic heart disease’? That was not very encouraging. I wondered if the word ‘positive’ had misled the old man letting him think something good about his heart’s condition.
‘Positive’ as printed on medical reports is like ‘Debit’ used in accountancy parlance which in fact means an amount coming into the ledger account. Alas, a ‘positive’ result always confirms the disease.
I wondered how I should tell the old man that he had the disease. Next day, I went to the hospital to collect his other reports. At the reception I was made to sit in one of the bucket-chairs and wait. I closed my eyes. A gorgeous lady, apparently from PR, appeared and took me on a tour of the hospital. She said it was a part of their propaganda to make visitors aware of the facilities. She showed me some human organs kept in some special jars in the midst of wires and computers. I felt happy for our human; at last we are spared of the interminable visits to hospitals for every small or big ailment. Now it only required to dispatch our organs to this place. Then I rued it was disgusting when I had to present my entire body most times naked before the doctors for examinations (especially those from the other sex).
Now as ‘Home patients’, we could take rest at home or we can even work in our offices normally while the diseased organs were being treated on the hospital shelves (I saw many man-hours saved thus, increasing our GDP).
Next the lady guide elaborated, “We also provide our ‘home-patients’ some compensatory spares that would serve as a standby/ stopgap till their original organs are duly returned home shipshape by our trained ‘courier interns’.” She was going on.
I reflected on my surgery about 17 years ago. A heart-lung machine was used during my bypass surgery. My heart was stopped for sometime while the surgeon stitched the heart with my own healthy veins/arteries available as spares in my leg and hand (provided by God with some forethought for spares). Then I was physically lying on the operation table under anesthesia. Lo, next time I would not lie on the cold table for second bypass if any.
Finally, I congratulated the PR lady on their path-breaking progress. I opined the system would help their doctors to mend organs in leisure, without having to face the patients’ annoying questions. Doctors could even carry them home for homework (if allowed by spouses, and their kids kept off playing around with our organs especially the funny ones). I offered myself as their next ‘home-patient’ at their counter.
In the next room I witnessed another medical feat. When the artificial insemination was not new (even in mythology), I was surprised to see a male patient given an egg with a suitable sac for a womb to be place in his abdomen. After all the lone successful ambitious sperm was at last saved of its laborious swimming journey. Hurrah, now man turned into a real father of the child— a quantum jump in medical history.
After the tour I returned my token at the desk, and a packet containing an organ was handed to me by the masked nurse. I thanked him (or her) and returned home. After a cup of coffee at home, I tore open the packet. Whistling with great elation I unzipped the skin on my back and pushed my old and used organ inside duly removing the standby piece. Soon my buttocks swelled. I started walking like a belly dancer.
In fact, a week ago I deposited my slipped disc for repairs. I realized they delivered a wrong packet containing some parts belonging to a woman. On hindsight I noticed great changes in the size and shape of my buttocks. There should be a mix-up of some kind at the delivery desk in the hospital, my wife exclaimed. It was high time the hospital provided a trial room, she further quipped. I heard my token number called out, and this time it was real world. It was like getting a kick in the dream, like in the movie, ‘Inception’. Cursing myself I collected my father-in-law’s pathology reports and headed home.