Thursday 28 December 2017

 06 Aug 13

It all started during the evening walks at the US club in Jan/ Feb 2013, when I started getting chest pains - angina.......ECG in Mar indicated LAD - a problem in Left Anterior Descending, the main artery that supplies 70 percent blood to the heart walls, to keep it pumping...Surg Cmde Kalra, performedAngiography and attempted Angioplasty, but failed as the LAD was thickly calcified and couldn’t be penetrated..A hard nut to crack like me...He suggested and referred me for CTVS- Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery or Bypass opr to Surg Capt Parag Deshmukh. The surgeon made me comfortable in his chamber and explained to me the procedure before calling my wife and taking her in confidence too, since it is a high risk operation.

I eventually reported to Asvini on 12 Jul for the planned chopping on 18th ..The next day Surg Capt Parag Deshmukh introduced me to Col Sameer, who had just been transferred from R &R Delhi and told me that Sameer would be my surgeon along with him...The moment I met Col Sameer, we hit off well...An expert in his field with a Heart Transplant specialization from UK...He had a 2 hr session with me &wife Meena and explained to us the entire procedure, as to how he's going to pull LIMA - Left Internal Mammary Artery to bypass LAD, and pull out a radial artery from my left arm to bypass D1, next to LAD...He intended to do it on beating heart, keeping the Heart-Lung machine standby...We left on a healthy note, with me telling him that I had more faith in Surgeons like him than God...May have boosted his morale...but let me tell you, Gods reside in his hands...More than 200 successful surgeries and some heart transplants too...This Doc looks more like a Commando with a Para wing on his uniform...

Come 18th morning, I walked up to OT-10....Cine Max has 4 theatres, this one has 10...Both take you through a sequence of dreams, in AC comfort... Surg Capt S Ganguly the anaesthetist and his interns were waiting even as I lay down on the op. table offered my right arm for morphine measured dose...Doc Gangs asked me, ‘Are you ready?', I said 'yes Sir, ready for the trip to the Moon..May God be with you all' ...I started the count down 10, 9, 8, 7...and passed out...

During my surgery, the effect of morphine weaned out, albeit slightly... through half-opened eyes I saw my opened chest as bypass was being performed. It was horrific, the pain was excruciating and unbearable, but the subconscious body couldn’t react despite the unbearable pain. Fortunately, I passed out after some time…My opr. was over at 3 pm, but my body didn’t cooperate for the next 4 hrs with a high sugar level and fluctuating BP...I was practically at the point of no return for quite some time...But finally good wishes, blessings and prayers of friends and well-wishers paid as I woke up in ICU, with all associated pipes and gears at  about 7.30 pm...passed out hourly, only to tell Doc Sameer, to remove the ventilator, lodged in my lungs...Next morning, I was very despo, vomited out, choked, wrote threatening stupid notes to Doc as I couldn’t speak...Finally, at 2.30 pm, I was free of the goddamn contraption tickling my throat...I could breath pure O2 through the mask...For the next 4 days in ICU 3 beautiful nurses took care of me very capably, as Doc Sameer kept removing my pipes one by one…On 22ndJulSurgeon Vice Admiral Anil Chandra Anand, DGMS (Navy) visited CTVS ICU and spoke to me...On 24th I was shifted to Offrs’ Ward...I was in the Offrs’ ward for a week and looked after well by Surg Capt Ranjan (MOIC Offs’ Ward) and his staff. The Commanding Officer, RAdm D’Souza visited me every morning during his rounds to enquire my welfare.

All my mumbai course mates visited me and spent considerable time with me...Birdy, Josse', Shrimal, Jaswal, Khanduri, Arun Gupta, Sodhi, Prabhakar et al...The rest spoke to me often and boosted my spirits...SD Singh, Avro, Dixits, Gayatri, Ricky...Sihota gave me a call from Texas. Harry SMSed a nice Gurunanak'smsg,.Iwan sent a beautiful msg. All my course mates expressed concern..I am indebted to all of them,particularlyPrabhakar, Khanduri and Sodhi, who were beside me in my hours of crisis and supported my family and kept the course mates posted... I got discharged with 8 wks sick leave...started callingTambolas at IMSC and US club....People were so happy to see me back.

       Today on the path to full recovery, I'm reminded of the inspiring words of our C-in-C, VAdm Shekhar Sinha, who visited me during Asvini's  Annual inspection before my surgery, “Don’t worry, Dutta, Bypass surgery today is like an appendicitis operation. You’ll be fine soon”.

Bottom Line --- My most perfect Naval Salutations to  SurgCmde Ravi Kalra, SurgCaptGanguly,  Surg Col Sameer Kumar,  Surg Capt Parag Deshmukh and their capable team of nurses and staff...

Last month my Cardio Surg Col Sameer before his transfer back to R&R, came with his family for US club Tambola...Before calling the last house, I paid my tributes to him and narrated the lines, I'd penned for Him...
R & R se woh aaya thha, 
Mein samjha woh mera saaya thha,
Log toh apne gharon ko roshan karte hain, 
Usne mere DIL mein Deeya jalaya thha....

VAdmAC Anand, Dir Gen Medical Services (Navy) meets Cdr Dutta, 
post- Bypass surgery in CTVS ward, INHS  Asvini

Cdr Rajinder Dutta, has been a QFI with about 3000 hrs on HT-2, Kiran-HJT 16, HPT-32, Islander, Super Constellation, Fokker F-27 and IL-38 aircraft. The Officer is presently commanding DAS Naval Unit NCC at Mumbai.