Hasim accompanied me to the OT room. There I saw two more browns outfit persons. They seem busy preparing for the surgery and awaiting the patient ( Me ). Hashim said goodbye and said will catch up once the surgery is done😊
I was shifted onto the OT table and I could see them strapping my arms down. I felt the guy who strapped me down seemed like he’s been doing this for ages. I don’t know if it was my blurry vision or did this guy have no expression on his face at all??? It was difficult to make out under his headgear and his mask.
This time I was facing the ceiling and not on my sides. 3 OT lights stared down at me. Dr. Askhar entered the room in his green surgeon gown. He asked how I was doing and if I was alright. I said yeah I was, but my voice gave away my concern. I told him that I had a fever the previous night and I am slightly nervous. He smiled under his mask and said there is nothing to be worried about and everything is going to be alright. He shook my hands and we gave each other a thumbs up! 😊
Things ease up
Now I was feeling better. I wasn’t as disoriented or uneasy as I was in the morning. Off course, my pre-OT meet-up with Hashim had put things at ease halfway, and seeing and talking with Dr. Askhar made me feel much better. It was either that or that’s probably when they gave me the sleep meds at that moment 😅. But frankly, I think familiarity puts you at ease in a difficult situation, the same room, the known faces, the conversation that you can have with people known to you, all this makes you feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation! I think it’s very important for surgeons or doctors to talk to the patients in a very friendly manner. Makes us patients feel and heal better, and it’s not just the doctors, anyone who is there in the OT, be it the sleep OT assistance, the nurses even the technicians, if anyone can help do their part to ease the patient on the OT table it goes a long way! 😊 I frankly feel they should include this part in their textbook of their courses along with all the other things they learn to become doctors or nurses or even technicians! 😊
Hallucinations kick in
A white-gloved hand put on an oxygen mask, over my nose and mouth. I tell you the mask makes it very difficult to speak. I nudged the sleep OT assistant. His name was Nived. He was going to be my hand-holding guy. I suddenly saw the OT lights transform. Yes, they’d given me the shot!! , the sleep meds were acting up! I think I have been through this part well enough to realize when reality leaves and hallucinations kicks in! You are aware of it just for a second to realize what’s going on before you are completely in your surreal world!! 😊 And what a surreal experience was I in for this time! I could see the 3 OT lights Transform!! I mean really transform! Optimus Prime! Bumblebee! Rachet! Yup, you name it the auto bots like in the movie “Transformers!!” Yes !! But I didn’t see any of these characters just the kinda transformation, and it was the 3 OT lights shifting, turning, changing shape, funny thing was they just kept on transforming with no end to it! I think I started to voice out! “ Wow !! This is Amazing!! You guys should see this !!” Till things started to spin around and then suddenly I am inside the sequence from the movie “Iron Man” part 1, where Tony Stark is back from having destroyed the weapons depot of the terrorist fighters in the village of Gulmira.
I kept saying ” I designed these to come off ” !! It was that dialogue in the sequence where Tony is struggling with his robotic armatures in trying to remove his iron man suit and says “ I designed these to come off!!!”😂 I could hear Dr. Askhar going with flow asking me “ You design these to come off??!!” and I would repeat the same dialogue!! 😂 In between I think I heard Nived telling me “ Relax you are hallucinating!!” Well, I think I heard him say that, but who knows I could have been hallucinating that also !! 😁😂
After all the transformation and the in and out of the Iron Man sequence, I think I started to settle down a bit. I started calling out Dr. Askhar Dr.Harin and Dr. Shahid. I also knew Anoop the Vac man was going to be there. So I didn’t spare his name either! 😁 I vaguely remember looking at a technician and asking if he was Anoop. After I had safely landed back in reality, curiosity was getting the better of me. I mean there seemed so much was going on behind the cloth screen in front of me! Now one thing about Dr. Askhar and Dr.Harin they are tall and they stand out tall behind the screen. So it’s easy for me to see them. Although without my glasses I did at times mistake Dr. Harin for Dr. Askhar. I could see him do something with his hands and I think it was Nived who said they are taking the skin from your left thigh. You see Dr.Harin is the plastic surgeon our wound specialist! Without my glasses, I thought it was Dr. Askhar learning on the job!!! 😂
The doctor’s actions threw me off too, I saw his arms move frantically in forward and backward motions, and thought to myself, “ Hmmm are they cutting up my skin??” when they explained skin grafting to me it seemed like they would remove a very light thin layer of the skin of my left thigh. This was like slicing up nice tender fillets! 😄
After I while I couldn’t see anyone behind the screen. The OT lights were facing a different direction now. With Nived still holding my hands, I slightly nudged him to get his attention. He would bend down close to my ear and I would ask him if the surgery was over. He said something like they are making cuts. I would only know later what that meant. Nudging on his hand had become a way to get his attention, as I mentioned earlier the oxygen mask sure made speaking difficult, it came to a point I would have to spell the words out!! 😂. It could also be just me not being able to speak louder.
After a while, I saw a leg all wrapped in what seemed to me like bandaged up to the toes!! “Wait! that’s my left leg dangling in the doctor’s arm!!” “What’s my left leg doing there?” “and why is it bandaged up all the way to my toes???” All sorts of questions ran through my mind. There was a chain on one side that was attached to steel armatures that supported my right leg. They had it hooked on by the external fixators! Pretty cool I thought to myself! 😊 I asked for Anoop. He was there with his company manager Bijoy. I guess he had come to see the skin grafting procedure. They also would need to apply the Vac machine once again.
I get called out
I guess things were wrapping up coz things seemed very quiet. So I nudged Nived and asked him motioning with my head “What’s going on back there??” That’s when from behind the monitor our professor ( the HOD character I had mentioned a few posts back – the anesthetist) emerged!! “ ഓ നിങ്ങൾ ഒന്ന് കിടന്ന് ഉറങ്ങാൻ നോക്ക്” “ അതൊക്കെ ഞങ്ങൾ പിന്നീട് പറഞ്ഞ് തെരാഠ” – translated [“ You just lay down and try to get some sleep!!” We will explain everything later!!” ] He snapped in his authoritative voice. 😬😂 I just got called out and I went zip-lipped!! 😂 if you ever got called out in class for acting-wise or talking too much, you’d exactly know the situation!! 😁
I like to thank my friend and former student from my teaching days at Silvermount – Aseela Showkath for the help in the Malayalam sentence input – and also my partner for this suggestion. Some phrases are best felt in its own language 😁😂.
Anyway, I guess after the call-out I must have got shot again!! with sleep meds coz the transformations started happening again. I saw Nived suddenly falling sideways out of my sight, like a pop structure on of of those pop-up book 😂. I assume that they gave me another shot of sleep meds to sleep off, but once the transformations stopped I was wide awake !! The surgery was done, and everyone was packing things up. I don’t remember meeting the doctors after I guess I must have passed out or still have been hallucinating when they left. Although I remember Nived telling me he was going for his lunch. I asked for his number and tried to remember. I remember talking to another Sleep OT assistant, a short one, I asked her about the docs but I guess she didn’t understand and she said “ the surgery was over!! 😁” as she looked on I got wheeled out. I tried to check with the person where I am being taken but I guess she didn’t get me either. Down the corridor, they stopped in front of the elevator. The door opened and I was taken to the 6th floor – SICU! 👍
A kind devoted doctor brings in comfort , healing and hope in his patients . I totally agree with you , this should be a subject in medical schools.
Yes it’s true