This is a guest post from Dr Kishore Shah of Pune - and proves that doctors have a sense of humour too !
----------- It was a very painful decision, but it had to be taken. Yes! I needed a haemorrhoidectomy. I had reached the ‘bottom’ of the barrel of excuses and could not put it off any longer.
But who was going to get the honour of seeing my bottom? At that time, there were three surgical bosses, Dr. Trivedi, Dr. Narang and Dr. Belokar. All of them were competent and proficient in their own ways. It was a difficult choice.
Dr. Belokar had a very typical way of examining patients. If there was a large hydrocoele, he would caress it lovingly and exclaim, “Wonderful!!!!!” I winced at the imagined picture of him caressing my bottom and saying ‘Wonderful!’
I decided that the best judges would be Anaesthetists. They had seen all and they knew all. They were like Eunuchs in a harem. They knew everything about everything, but could not do a thing.
My friend Murthy, was doing his house job in Anaesthesia. I intruded upon his post prandial siesta and asked him, “Murthy, Sabse achcha kaun katta hai re?”
“What?” Murthy was a bit disoriented.
“Who is the best surgeon here?”
Murthy eyed me warily and said, “For what?”
“What do you mean, for what?”
“Major or Minor Surgery?”
“Some relative of yours?”
“Yeah! Sort of!”
“PILES?!! You call that ‘fairly major’?!!! Any fool can do piles. I can also do piles. Now get out and stop disturbing me.”
This guy Murthy just does not understand the definition of Major, which means any operation about to be done on you. I asked around with equivocal results. No one was ready to commit himself.
I took the decision in my hands. I did a survey, and do you know the deciding factor? I selected my surgeon on the basis of the diameter of his index finger!! After all, it was my aperture that was at stake.
Dr. Belokar had big sausage shaped fingers. Shudder! Dr. Trivedi had fingers the size of small potatoes. Shudder! Shudder! Dr. Narang had long tapering surgeon’s fingers. My surgeon was chosen by my sphincter. * * *
The auspicious day of my admission to the surgical wards dawned. I had not dreaded my day of admission to MGIMS as much as this admission day. The first shock that I got was when a cute, fair Sister came inside my private room and closed the door. My heart started palpitating. Then she told me to remove my clothes. I stuttered, “Why… What?”
She removed a razor from her pocket and said, “Shaving karne ka hai!”
I cringed and backed off in a corner. “I’ll, …. I’ll do it! Give me the razor.”
“No Sir. Dr. Narang will shout at me if you are not shaved properly.”
Reluctantly, I unzipped myself and dropped the garments down. I would never be able to meet the eye of this particular sister henceforth in future. I coyly studied the floor. She then told me to bend down over the bed.
I think this was the most embarrassing position that I have ever been in my life. Just imagine, here is this sweet little thing, who you want to impress, staring at your bum and telling you not to be afraid!
I think that she had been giving some patient cold compresses before attending to me.
“Owww! You have cold hands!”
Whenever the razor touched my bottom, some involuntary movement would occur. I am sure that this must have reminded the sister of a cow’s bottom, which goes into that idiotic dance after a good voiding.
“Do you have to shave that too?”
“But I am being operated behind!”
“Chup baitho.” * * *
Did I say that shaving was the most embarrassing position that I have ever been in? Cancel that. Dr. Shetty, our HOD of Anaesthesia, asked me, “Are you comfortable?”
Both my legs were tied to stirrups. I surveyed the entire OT from between my undraped legs, exposed to the whole world. I saw a giggling nurse. I saw my smirking class mate posted in Surgery. I saw my female class mate, then house officer in Anaesthesia, trying to keep a straight face.
I turned to Dr. Shetty and said, “Yes Sir! I am very comfortable.”
What else could I say? * * *
I woke up feeling sore at all the funny places. Dr. Narang came in and asked me, “How are you feeling, Kishore?”
“Not too bad , Sir. But did you remove my tonsils by mistake?”
“Because my jaw and neck are aching!”
“Oh! Ha Ha! That is because of the intubation. But how’s the .. ahem.. rest?”
“I feel down in the dumps!” * * *
The best part of being laid down in the hospital is that the college queen comes to visit you.
“How are you feeling, Kishore? What’s the bottom line?”
“Let’s see the operated part.”
Her jokes had touched ROCK BOTTOM! * * *
Day Three: I could hobble along in the ward. But my shuffling gait was not due to the pain in the you-know-where, it was due to a thick 4 inch x 10 inch thick wad of cotton stuffed between my legs.
I waddled up to the nurse’s station in my lungi, luxuriating in the power of strolling the wards in casual clothes. You couldn’t get more casual than a lungi.
While returning back to my room, surprisingly, I could walk more easily. Maybe I was improving rapidly.
I turned around. The staff nurse was calling me.
“Yeah”, I said grandly, “Can I help you?”
“You dropped something.”
I looked at the floor where she was pointing. That wad of cotton seemed to have worked its way down and out. I became a deflated balloon. Quickly retrieving my property, I slunk back to my room to make the necessary adjustments. No wonder I was able to walk easily.
* * * At the Silver jubilee function of our batch, I stood up to say a few words. I said with gratitude, “When I left Sevagram, after passing, a part of me remained here.”
Dr. Narang looked at me and smiled. Only he knew that I meant it literally.