Close Call

By Maj Agha Amir Ahsan, Sigs (2nd SSC)

My first-born had taken it upon her to take me to the hospital, we don’t talk much to each other, but then perhaps she was also sleepy and concentrating more on driving. She lives with us with her three children, and we have hardly anything unsaid to each other, so we are normally quiet when nobody else is around.

I was otherwise not in a mood to talk, feeling sorry for not having come earlier to the hospital, I was now lying like a heap of dirty laundry on the front seat. In fact my wife had literally pushed me out of the house when I couldn’t catch my breath after a fit of cough. My wife thought, it was a case of very bad cold, but I knew this was ‘IT’, so I told my daughter to go to AFIC as soon as we were in the car. Like in the movies I even started seeing my past life-like a newsreel.

Ever since early morning, when I had felt a little breathless while climbing a small hill while playing golf at Rawalpindi Golf Course, I could really recognize that stuffy feeling in my chest, but ignored it. It persisted, and aggravated when I collected all that steam in the bathroom after my shower. So instead of going to the office, I called in sick and went back to bed.

I very seldom sleep so soundly, but in the evening I was still feeling drowsy and the stuffy feeling had not yet left. Late in the night I started shivering with cold. Till now I was getting away with it, but now there I was physically shivering like an out of tune diesel engine in plain sight of my wife and she switched ON her nagging button. I kept on dragging my feet for a while, but about midnight I could not take the nagging anymore and agreed to go to the hospital.

The attendant at AFIC almost lifted me out of the car onto a wheel chair and in no time I was in the emergency room. The lady doctor on duty was around my daughter’s age but had the airs and confidence of a person in charge. She pushed a fistful of pills in my hand with a glass of water into the other, I knew what to do. She didn’t have to say ‘lie down’, with her pushing me on the bed and putting the oxygen mask on my nose and mouth. Before I knew I also had nitroglycerine under my tongue. She knew her job well, within no time the things started coming back into a perspective. I could now see some more patients and some other people caring for them. I also started listening to the intelligible sounds around me, which was previously like a continuous hum.

After a nurse had taken my ECG and checked my other vital signs, the doctor came back, she was now scolding me like any of my daughters, for not taking my medicine regularly, or for not keeping my nitroglycerine tablets on person, she looked tired but alert; she looked beautiful in spite of her disheveled hair and unkempt look. It’s very difficult for me not to appreciate the beauty of a woman, whatever may be the circumstances.

Because of my weak heart and extreme cold, some water had accumulated in my lungs; she had decided to keep me in the hospital for some therapy and a few tests. Realizing that it is inevitable, I decided to rest and recreate in the hospital for a few days.

More Articles by Maj Agha
Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part I)

Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part II)

Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part III)

Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part IV)

Social Animal

Short Lesson

Letter to a Chilean Friend


The Chocolate Fairy

Sirf Shoaib



  1. Brig Khalid Hassan (USA) says:

    I did not know Agha intimately as we never met during the service but it was his interesting contributions to Cheema’s website “Native Pakistan’ which I used to read with interest. Sorry that we lost him a bit too early. God bless him.

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