This story is 100% fact, 0.00% fiction. But I know you won't believe it.
|THE STORY OF MY LIFE
Some years ago I was hospitalized with jaundice. After a few days I was well-enough to be discharged. The physician looking after me blamed my gallbladder for the jaundice and suggested that I should make an appointment to have it removed when I have fully recovered.
In due course I made the appointment for the operation (keyhole surgery) and a date was set for the procedure. Couple of weeks prior to the date of the operation I received a letter from the hospital asking me to attend a pre-op interview to discuss my medical history with a physician.
The date of the interview was set for a week before the surgery and took about 15 minutes. At the end of the interview the doctor said: "All seems in order. You will be the first to be operated on at about 9 a.m. on Monday. You will be back home the same day. Is there anything you wish to ask or any issues we have not covered?"
"Well," I said, "I'm not sure if it is worth mentioning but I have been having chest pains lately."
"Show me where."
"Here," I said, and pointed at the centre of my chest.
"When do you have this pain?
"When I walk fast or for a longish distance."
"Well," he said, "I would like the anesthetist to examine you before the procedure. Can you come in on Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning?"
"No problem," I said.
I reported to the hospital at 1 p.m. the following Sunday, equipped with a pile of Sunday papers and was shown into my room. At about 4 p.m. one of the ward nurses came to ask if I would like a cup of tea. I said: "Yes please," and asked if there was any sign of life from the anesthetist. There wasn't. The minutes ticked away. I finished with the papers and got increasingly fed up with the anesthetist's no show.
At about 8:00 p.m. I undressed, put on my pajamas and went to bed. I couldn't have been in bed for more than ten minutes when there was a knock on the door.
"Come in," I said and the door opened and a young female opened the door. She was pretty, about in her mid twenties and had dark hair. She said that she was sent by the anesthetist to apologize for not having come to see me.
I invited her to come in and she came and sat on the edge of my bed. She told me that she was an exchange student from South Africa (she was white), and that she was the anesthetist's assistant. I found it comforting to talk to someone. Told her why I was in the hospital and how disappointed I was with the way the day unfolded. She commiserated with me and after about ten minutes we wished each other good night and she left. But before closing the door behind her, she turned her head back at me and said: "Promise me that the first thing you'll do in the morning will be to call for the administrator and tell him your story." I promised, even though I had no idea at all who or what an 'administrator' was in the context of a hospital
Early next morning a nurse woke me to get me ready for the procedure. The first thing I said to her was that I would like to see the administrator. She seemed puzzled but left the room. About ten minutes later a tall, lean, middle-aged man appeared and I told him my story. He listened without interrupting and when I finished, he immediately summoned a wheelchair for me and had me taken to the ground floor where the cardiology department was. The hospital's senor cardiologist was instructed to examine me, which he did very thoroughly. After performing ECG under stress, the cardiologist ordered ex-rays to be taken and half an hour later he explained to me that I have two left-coronary and one right-coronary arteries partially blocked. He recommended angioplasty. "How soon?" I asked. "Today," he replied.
Angioplasty is a procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins. A deflated balloon attached to a catheter (a balloon catheter) is passed over a guide-wire into the narrowed vessel and then inflated to a fixed size. The balloon forces expansion of the blood vessel and the surrounding muscular wall, allowing an improved blood flow. A stent may be inserted at the time of ballooning to ensure the vessel remains open, and the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn.
Within hours I was on the operating table and had three stents inserted into blood vessels very close to my heart. (I still have them.)
Later in the day the administrator visited me to see how I was and if I needed anything.
"What would have happened if instead of angioplasty I had been operated for the gallbladder?" I asked.
"You would have died," he said.
I then asked him to send in the anesthetist's assistant so that I may thank her for saving my life. The administrator looked at me with a puzzled expression and said: "What assistant?"
So I related to him the story of my previous night's visitor.
"Mr Krago," said the Administrator, "The anesthetists in this hospital don't have assistants, and we have no exchange students from South Africa."
For a few seconds we looked at each other with disbelief. Then he summoned the ward nurse and asked her: "Did Mr Krago have any visitors last night?"
"No Sir," she said.
The administrator looked at me quizzically for some seconds then he said: "Get some rest Mr Krago. You will feel better tomorrow." and he left.
After awhile I got out of bed, put on my dressing gown and walked over to the window. I don't know why I did this. Perhaps I was hoping for a flypast by my guardian angel. But there was no flypast.
I never discovered who my mysterious visitor was. But I do have proof that there was a visitor. You see, I was not at all familiar beforehand with the word 'administrator'* in the context of a hospital, I wasn't aware such a position existed and I could not possibly have asked to see 'the administrator' if it hadn't been suggested to me by my visitor.
I don't believe in the supernatural or in angels. Should I?