Room 873 – Night of Agony

I had a little bit of dinner and thought of having a bit more a little later coz I had to be on an empty stomach the next morning, the time I could have food up to 12:00 midnight. As usual, the doctors had already come for their rounds. We chatted cracked jokes and they left The nurses came around for their routine check.

The professor

Later I had a visit from a strange yet interesting personality. He carried the air of seniority around him as he went over my files peering through reading glasses nestled on the bridge of his nose. To give you guys a better picture. Have you ever seen those old professors who’d have had their arm cuffs folded all the way to their elbows, shirts tucked in tight, and their pant belts all the way up above their waistline. Their left hand is strapped on with an old heavy steel-framed HMT watch to complete the vintage look! 😊. I knew he was a doctor but I wondered who he was. The frowned look of curiosity on my face must have caught his eye as he glanced between his reading glasses. “ I am your anesthetist,” he said as he went back to going through my files. Dr.Shahid had mentioned that our masked spectacle man was on leave.

“ Oh, nice to meet you, sir !” I quickly responded, and then thought to myself “ Sir??!!! Why did I call him Sir instead of Doctor” It’s like his demeanor demanded respect like the HOD of your chemistry Dept in college 😁 He asked a couple of questions about my sleep and finally said there is nothing to worry about, and left with the nurse following behind him. The surgery was scheduled for the morning and I told my prayers, and it was a good night.

Night of Agony

Or at least that’s what I thought. Not long into slumberland, I woke up after having nightmares. I couldn’t make them out. I was feeling very uneasy. Was I tensed about the surgery, I don’t know perhaps a little. There was nothing to be afraid of. But felt very uncomfortable. I started to have body aches and felt like a fever was breaking out. It was strange though, certain areas on my body felt cold other areas were warm. My forehead was warm but it wasn’t like fever warm. I checked the time, it was a little past 1:00 am. Realization kicked in of having missed my plan on eating something before midnight. Now it was too late. Frankly, I don’t think in my condition I would have had an appetite. But you know how it is when you are sick we all tend to crib and lament over each and everything. I must have managed to sleep a bit. When I opened my eyes the room had turned dark and gloomy. The warm yet dull night lights from the corridor swept through the large ventilator above my room’s door, adding to the overall eerie look. Made me feel even sicker.

By 2:00 am I was pretty sure that I had a fever, I was shivering, and every inch of my body was aching. The areas around my eyes had started to burn. The nurse was called to check up on me and she came in with a thermometer. Yes, I was having a fever. They got me on paracetamol IV and a little after I dozed off.

Next day

I woke up a little after the Fajr prayers were given, I was a bit disoriented and tired. I couldn’t understand why I had broken out into a fever. Was I actually tensed? I didn’t have to be. It was not the 1st time going under the OT lights. I even wondered how would my anesthesia experience will be this time? Which movie? Which place will I be taken to this time? Dubai?? Or was I actually tensed on the inside that I broke out into fever ??? Just as my partner had suggested? After Fajr prayer, I dozed off a bit more but was still a bit disoriented and disturbed.

I woke up again and tried, I was having hunger pangs and feeling nauseous. It almost seemed like the fever had dehydrated me. My throat and lips craved water, but coz of the surgery I couldn’t have any. One or two times nausea hit the roof with me wanting to throw up, but nothing came out of my empty stomach. I texted Dr. Shahid about the fever. My body ache was back again and slowly my body temperature was rising, and the fever was back! My family wondered if they would go ahead with the surgery given my condition at that time. We checked that out with the doctors. The nurse came in and gave me a shot to contain the fever. She said that I’ll be alright soon and the doctors informed me that surgery can be done as planned. The medicine had done its job. The fever had subsided. Although I was still feeling tired.

Preparing for Skin graft

A little later a person walks in with a blue tray, a bottle of betadine solution, and razors. He starts to apply the solution to my left thigh and then starts to shave the hair on it. Preparation for the skin graft. It took about 10 minutes and he left. Not long after he had gone, the nurses knocked on the door with the ever-familiar blue outfit. I had some trouble putting them on but managed with the help of my family and partner. I prayed a Sunnah prayer (non-obligatory prayers) as I always do before surgery and just as I finished the stretcher trolley came along, it was time for me to head out. This time I couldn’t manage myself on to it. So my family and the nurses helped. Saying salaams to my family I was wheeled out. On to Pre OT!

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