On one occasion I decided to take a break and go to work for a change of mental space. And, meeting my colleagues kind of helped. So, the first day at office went alright. I used to call Mom and check with her on the Pulse Oximeter readings. We had nothing to worry since it was above 85, and that meant Dad was stable. But then, the next day my mother’s reply took a different turn. She said, “The readings seem ok Son. But, it did drop to 54 a couple of times.” The moment I heard those words, my world just stopped! I knew it was time. I rushed out of office and rode back home. The doctor had warned that my Dad was going to develop breathing difficulties and eventually it was going to lead to a cardiac arrest. And with oxygen saturation levels that low, I was sure we were loosing him.
On reaching home, I couldn’t help but notice that Dad was indeed gasping for breath. He did seem relieved that I reached him however. There was this connect that we always shared and it was encouraging when I noticed his values rise to 72 as I kept talking to him about how amazing he was as a Dad and how we were privileged to have had him around and all of that.
The readings kept fluctuating as me and my mother watched him lay motionless taking short deep breaths. The only way we knew he was able to hear us was through those numbers. I mean, when was the last time you actually had a conversation through the digits from a display device? It felt like those numbers were actually talking to me. The moment I said something like, “Dad, thank you for giving my 10 month old son the opportunity to have seen you.. thank you for fighting hard and hanging on this long Dad..” the numbers rose! And, even if there were by just a few points, it meant the world to me and my mother. Every digit on that Pulse Oximeter mattered!
Eventually, the numbers did fall one by one until it reached null and I went on giving him a CPR nonstop for twenty minutes straight because I wouldn’t trust the very numbers I relied on the most until just a while ago. But that’s not the point! My question is, did the makers of the Pulse Oximeter actually know about the opportunity this device was going to give families that were witnessing a loved one die at home? May be, May be not!