Friday, March 27, 2009

How I almost lost my mother

July 2007 will definitely be the most harrowing time of my life. In Canada, mom seemed to have developed a lactose intolerance, which she usually does not have and she developed a fever on Day 2 of the 10 day sojourn in Canada. She brushed it aside, as she usually does and until we come back from Canada, she has fever, chills and severe headache.
Once back in Chennai, I go to work, come back and mom says its time to go to the hospital. We get her admitted there and as usual we list out what she is allergic to.
She seems to be recovering after 3-4 days in the hospital. She asks for juice, I go about hunting and realize there is no departmental store in Nungambakkam and instead of heading to Chetpet I head to Dr Radhakrishnan salai. 45 minutes later, juice carton in hand, I head to mom's room to see major commotion. Mom's body is swollen thrice the size, her face is puffed up and she is gasping for breath. That day, the hospital's lift did not function, they carried the oxygen cylidner by hand over two floors, to find it was empty. The crew ran back down to get another and they had started pumping oxygen. And then, I saw the look in mom's eyes that I had seen right before my granddad died. And thats when I started shouting at the doc asking what in God's name he was doing. And kept telling mom not to leave me and go. Turns out she had been given an IV injection, which contained exactly whatever she was allergic to.
Mom is wheeled into the ICU. I am asked if there "is anyone else in the family, any male member" and I knew then these are questions that I would not have to face in normal circumstances.
Once in ICU mom recovers and we bring her back home straight from there.
It took mom an entire month to become normal. We had a nurse at home to attend to her. But on that day, I would have lost her and been orphaned.
But in this whole thing, my mom had an out of body experience, knew what it was to be out of the body, not feel any attachment to any of the human beings around and how it feels to get "pulled in" to the body again.
So maybe its time to file a PIL.
If someone like Traffic Ramaswamy can, I don't see why we cannot.


Easy : Classy by Shiva Karthik said...

Dear Miss.Chinmayi..

a very emotional post indeed.. makes me really worry about the health and well- being of my parents back in India.. i ve always been a bit paranoid about the safety of my parents.. and after coming all the way here to the UK, i ve no options but to pray and be positive.. May be hospital workers should for a moment, try and step out of their insensitivity towards the human being in a patient, which they wud 've developed by coming across loads of patients in their service, and hav a retrospection..
and to celebrate their gift of being able to help a life survive, by doing their best..
might sound utopian, but wats better than hoping..
And i truly salute ur strength and independance as a humanbeing!

Niranjana Nammalvar said...

Hi Chins,
Dont worry nothing will happen to your mom. God is with you.

Unknown said...

I shall pray for ur mother and am glad that she is doing alright now. You seem like a strong girl to have kept it together. This article kind of tells that one can never know what can happen and that we have to live every moment loving and caring and making sure we can bring a smile to another person's face if possible.Have a good day!

Unknown said...

I shall pray for ur mother and am glad that she is doing alright now. You seem like a strong girl to have kept it together. This article kind of tells that one can never know what can happen and that we have to live every moment loving and caring and making sure we can bring a smile to another person's face if possible.Have a good day!

Ravi said...

Shiva S K, just fyi, this could happen in any other so called "developed" countries as well. I have known from personal friends about such incidents happening in other Western countries as well.

Unknown said...

very sentimental post....hope by sharing this ur letting out all the feelings....!!! May God showers his blessings fully to u n ur Mom...!!!

Geetha Shridhar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maddy said...

But in this whole thing, my mom had an out of body experience, knew what it was to be out of the body, not feel any attachment to any of the human beings around and how it feels to get "pulled in" to the body again.

That would have been a real experience.

Wish and prayer a long life for amma

sundar said...


that was a close call..

Thank God !!

Jeeti Raho

Deepa said...


My sincere wishes for your mom to get well soon. Do please take care of her, and yourself too. What a trauma you must have undergone.
Don't worry, your mom is going to be hale and healthy and cradle your grandchildren in her arms.

//Turns out she had been given an IV injection, which contained exactly whatever she was allergic to.// Now this made me really furious. How VERY irresponsible of them?? What's with them asking about the allergies then? Just a stupid formality or what??
Yes, you must do something about it.

Easy : Classy by Shiva Karthik said...

Dear Miss.Chinmayi..
With ur consent, cud i clarify a point to Mr.Ravi
Dear Mr. Ravi..
It seems there has been mis understanding. I did not mean that the "west" is superior. By saying that my parents are in India and I am in the UK, i simply meant to convey the very long distance between the places where we both live, which makes it difficult for me to be next to them and take care of them.
And shall i add, my own family has doctors and nurses in India who share their personal experiences with me. I wud never ever even imagine to go in favour of the stereotypical arguement that the "west is superior", when i myself am a sensible Indian.

Unknown said...


This post and the one earlier by Mr. Raman. Our immediate reaction is private clinics or hospitals ought to be better equipped and professional approach than Govt hospitals. Sorry to say this is the fundamental problem we have and all have to admit. Govt is failing us on two counts and at least on one of them we aid them with our approach in a bug way.
Govt duty is
a) Ensure Govt & private hospitals are run the best professional manner and accountable.
b) Ensure the Medical body to oversee Medical setup in the state (includes private clinics & hospitals) is pro-active and legally bound to discharge its duty objectively.
A) Now we pay heavy taxes, there is good collection in the last many years,all money going down the drain and govt callous attitude to medical infrastucture is not stopped. So the money is there but the will to reform Medical setup is not there.
B) We have money, so go to a Private clinic\hospital with the blind assumption that they ought to provide us better facilities and treatment for the money that they charge and for them being in 'Private'. If we face poor-treatment we get agitated and if we are lucky enough then we are being the doctos\hospitals to book.
Remember private hospitals (very few of them is run on charity or 'non-profit basis' and the rest has to rake in some money either black-money or loan and then got to repay it.
Anyway we cannot escape paying he taxes to govt. can we? So better we force govt to get the rot out of Govt Hospitals in exactly 6 months from now. The moment we do that, Private hospitals and clinics will be under tremendous pressure to maintain professional discipline.

If we start to value the poor and ensure they get the minimum due then all other sections of society shall be handled automatically.

I know everyone shall react "we all know this". But there are several options to explore. PIL (approaching court with relevant documents as proof etc), protest walk etc. But it being the season of elections, there cannot be a better way but to go out and vote.
Ensure you get to the polling booth first up, stand in the Queue even if it means 30min to 1 hour, get the vote into the machine.
Seal the fate of such politicians who don't care anything except to make money and be brazen about it.
Now some would say this is only electing MPs but the issue at hand might be with state govt domain.
If we can defeat the MPs from the ruling coalition from TN, we are sending a very strong message to them that enough is enough. Either change and improve the lot for people or perish. Simply perish.
We have to ensure atleast 80% of the population should come and cast their vote.
Spread their message, postpone travel (if its is not emergency or crucial business travel that you have no control over it)and ensure polling booths are swarmed with people.
The shiver through the spine of politicians should be felt on May 16.

Its never too late to make amends.

Venkat said...

That was very disturbing. This shows the amount of negligence the hospitals and some of the doctors have. This brought me back the memories of 1994 when I had my first child. It was a normal delivery and the doctor was not around but sleeping at her home when my wife was at the peak of labor pain. The beautiful girl child was born fully blue, no oxygen by the side. In a similar way, they hunted for cylinder but they did not have the spanner to open the same!!! Huge delays and finally the child was "made SPASTIC". She lived with us for 14 years with no speech, no movement, no water and voyaged to heaven in 2006. This is not fate. This is a pure negligence. For the sake of others, I spared the doctor. I am sure the child will never ever forgive us.

Senthil said...

Chinmayi nothing to worry down now ...hope your mom lives for 100 more years with you and see you reach many a heights in the comin days..god is there with you and your family and our prayers too for you...

MADHAV said...


Its shocking to know that your mom had a near death experience. Glad that she came out of it.

With regard to going to a doctor for consultation of any kind, one thing my wife practices (she is a Gynaec) is that she would never go to a doctor without a reference. She would check his/her credentials from other colleagues/friends before even deciding to seek an appointment.

Certainly worth the effort...

Your experience reminds me of TT champion Chandrasekhar.

With regards

Sundaresan said...

o m g! this was so heartening. Glad that your mom is doing good. Wishing your mom to have healthy life.
Btw, saw u in Podhigai on Sunday morning singing tamil song (a murugan song) in Hindustani style. within few minutes, the program got over :-( Don't know whether it was re-telecast or something. Pls let us know when your programs are aired. Wishing you God Speed.

vidhya said...


Take care of your mom. Anytime you speak or write about your mom we all can find out how much she has done (She has been your matha, pitha and guru) for you and how much you love her.

I hope she spares atleast a little time to keep her in good health and also that you spare sometime to take good care of her.

Noorandu kalam un amma Vazha en manamarndha vazhtukkallum, prarthanigalum.

Poorna said...

Hi Chinmayi! very emotional post!Glad that your mom is doing well now....wishing your mom a good health :)

Kaushik said...

Dear Chinmayi,
Looking thur your posts in 2007, i see that you never shared this incident then. I really admire your strength during this ordeal & i´m sure your mother will be blessed with a long and blissful life. Coming to hospitals, a lot of concerted work needs to be done. Alongwith the PIL, i would suggest that a group of people meet up with the local MLA and law enforcement to take these hospitals to task. Maybe even a small sting operation to gather some actionable evidence. I think this is a good opportunity to use your celeb status. this is just my 2 cents.


FunScribbler said...

oh my god, that was really very scary. oh gosh... the way hospitals function nowadays.. haiz.. i hav nothing to say about. it is not only happening in india, but in every other country. high officials very often neglect their duties, do the wrong things for which layman like us hav to suffer.

Unknown said...

Dont worry ur mom will be alright...lemme pray for her good health...she is all for you she will be there with you forever and see encourage you and see your acheivements ...

Anonymous said...

Dear Chinmayee,

Hope your mom is doing fine now and wishing her long life to take care of you!!

Imagine even having a celebrity status, how much trauma you had go through?

Most of them so called Big private hospitals are purely money makers and no humane.

Hope you may have come across an email chain one year ago, how an young man lost his wife in a big hospital at chennai by the hospital's careless attitude...

CELEBRATIES LIKE You should come forward and bell the cat!!! You must make this public via media and pull the hospital. It should be an eye opener.

And pls post your reviews in sites like, so atleast people will be aware of such hospitals.

Also look at the comment posted "LIFE AFTER DEATH – real life (rather death) experience"

My sincere request is to put your voice in your FM and television media.



Aravind.S said...

Hi Chinmayi,

This was a case of gross negligence on the part of the doctors and the hospital authorities.An exactly similar incident happened to my (Late)kollupaatti about 19 years ago (In1990).Here again she took 3 months to be normal.
I am quite bewildered and angry about the negligence by the hospital authorities. I could gauge how much of a mental agony you underwent.

People who undergo such out of body experience generally live long.My aforementioned kollupaatti lived till 98 years.Until her last moments she was hale and healthy with sharp senses.

I pray for a long ,healthy and prosperous life for you and your mother

Aarti said...

hi chinmayi,,
Will pray god for ur moms recovery..