Sunday, October 2, 2011

Of Enema and Anesthesia

There is not much of a difference between cooking a chicken and getting a patient ready for an operation.

While you skin the feathers off of a chicken, they skin the hair off of a patient, you marinate the chicken in juices that are a concoction of spicy flavors, whereas they inject medicines and drips of various levels into the patient’s veins. The chicken is laid on a plate and sent into the microwave while the patient is laid on a stretcher and sent into the operation hall.

Now, I may not sound much of a competitor for Masterchef, but I sure have come under the surgeon’s scissors and knives more than once to know what a chicken might feel like when it is being stuffed and cooked. And needless to say, it feels horrible and painful and embarrassing in the same way when a straight man bends over to pick up a fallen bar of soap from a public bathroom in prison.

Undergoing an operation is more like driving towards a destination - the destination being the Operation Theater, the roads to which are filled with potholes, what I am trying to say with my fake Tibetan philosophy is that the roads will be bumpy, there will be hitchhikers (read compounders) who will rob you off your chest hairs and the hairs that is grown elsewhere, you will be given liquids with needles that pierce through your veins - that definitely does not sound like something that raises your spirits. But the journey is made bearable when you got a co-passenger with you who keeps assuring you that you will reach your destination safe and sound. In this case it was my father who stayed with me throughout comforting me and keeping my mind off of the operation and the pain I would have to bear once the effects of the anesthesia wear down. Due credit should be given to my mother who spent a day beside me correcting her answer papers whilst giving subtle hints that after I get treated and become accepted in the society as a normal and healthy human being, the next logical thing to do would be to open an account at

When we hear someone say “I had a surgery” we feel sorry for the person because the first image that comes to their mind is s/he lying on a stretcher whilst the doctor is poking them with scissors and knives with varying degrees of sharpness. That actually is the easiest part.  The real harrowing experience lies when you are being prepared for the operation, a procedure that would freak even Maximus Decimus Meridius. Who wouldn't freak out when your testicles are in the grasp of a man who holds a razor in his right hand and inspects them like he is going to paint the Sistine Chapel? After having lost half of my libido by the loss of my chest hair and reduced to a mere mortal, I was poked, not in the facebook sense with needles and tubes in every opening that is present in the human body, except the ears. Before you enter the operation theater a patient is filled with enema, a liquid that is injected into your body so that it flushes your bowels and makes it spic-and-span with a thoroughness that would put even your kaamwali bai to shame. And by injected I mean that it is forcibly stuffed through your rectum via a tube that makes sure that everything you had for breakfast and lunch and dinner today and the day before comes out whilst you conduct your symphony in the loo. At the end of it all you are anally violated and left with an empty stomach.

My operation lasted for hardly half-an-hour, fifteen minutes of which were spent in changing my attire to a loosely fitting patient’s dress after which I was lifted up from my hospital bed and deposited on the stretcher. As I was wheeled towards the operation theatre, I couldn’t help but think of myself as an astronaut in a Jerry Bruckheimer production who was preparing for a launch into outer space. All that was needed was the theme music from “Apollo-13” to be played in the background, I duly gave my dad a thumbs-up sign as if I were being launched into space to prevent asteroids from hitting earth and might never see him again. The truth is when you enter an operation theater you cannot help but think of all that could go wrong.

We live in a world where quirky headlines catch our eye than real serious issues. And sometimes even real serious issues are presented with a quirky headline. We have read in newspapers and have seen in televisions where simple surgeries have gone wrong, sometimes your records might get interchanged with another patient’s and you might end up getting circumcised while actually your problem was with your nose. What would happen if the lights went out in the operation theatre? Do they have back up power supply? A UPS atleast? What if the doctors sew their cellphones up my butt? The last thing I would need is my ass to start singing “Maa da ladla bigad gaya” while someone makes a call. All my fears were dissolved once I received the first shot of anesthesia. I am someone who had never gotten high, I have no clue how weed feels like and always wondered what’s the big deal about grass that made songwriters drown themselves in its fumes for inspiration. Having anesthesia flowing within my nerves was the closest I could come to getting high as it left me numb, senseless and pain-free as the doctors went about their business in the area of concern. And that’s what being high is all about right? Being numb, senseless and pain-free?

A three week leave sanctioned from my office sure raised some eyebrows, as I was tight-lipped over my reason for the leave, shots in the dark were taken–theories were thrown that ranged from a probable change of job to scary ones like me getting married. And if people reading this at work right now are envying me over my mini-vacation please don’t because-

a.   It’s not a vacation. Lying on the bed with a heavily band-aided “area of concern” is not considered a vacation.

2.  It’s not a vacation where you venture out to meet the doctor who pokes your “area of concern” with a scissor applying a piece of cotton swabbed with ointment whilst he advises you to relax. Somebody should stick a knife up his ass and see if he puckers his asshole up or relaxes them.

iii. It’s definitely not a vacation when there is a powercut between 2 p.m to 6 p.m – a time invented by man for siestas. Damn Third World problems!

I for some strange reason have been missing work, it’s got nothing to do with the job that I do, it’s not the office coffee, neither is it the office gossip but yeah a little bit may be about the female colleagues, but only a little bit. But what I miss the most is that I am doing nothing concrete at home apart from taking my medications, it’s as bad as being unemployed.  Even this blog has been written over a period of one week–a paragraph a day.  All that I had planned to do, from having finished watching a season of House M.D and Dexter to finishing “Life of Pi” and Uncharted 2 on the PS3 have been put on the backburner. Because when you are at home in the midst of books, games, porn, internet, video-games, T.V, Ipod… and have I mentioned porn? You end up being spoilt for choice that you do none of your planned things completely. Whereas in office you have nothing else to do other than work. And speaking of work, the ones who borrowed my Sodexho coupons liberally please be prepared to be seriously haunted if and when my time comes. Not a text, nor a call asking how I am doing. Urrgggh you guys are gonna pay for this!


subtlescribbler said...

LOL! I do sympathize with u and ur 'concerned area' for enduring such trauma's. but being a medical student..V highlyyy await our surgery classes u see :P

PS : I have always admired ur writing style..good job!


karthick r said...

New looks eh.? :) Nice.
When did you feel these things? before/during/after your stay in the hospital?
Coz, I have seen people who see things that happen around them as yet another material for their blog posts.
In a way, its good because we[including me] draw inspiration from life.
Heights of sincerity :D

~ cheers..!

Raag said...

@ Sarah

Oops! I didn't know, else I would have been more respectful towards the doctors, but one thing I couldn't help but notice is that the respect a doctor commands in the society, hope u learn a lot in ur classes. I am too scared of knives and other sharp objects. And thanks for the compliment :-)

@ karthick

I had nothing better to do in the hospital, I had been planning to make a blogpost out of my travails since I was running out of ideas. Blogger's block I guess! Needed to change the blog cuz the old format seemed to be a bit dull.

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