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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good hands Bad feet!!

Dedicated to Nikhil and Sapna didi, who try to catch me when I fall.


We never permit patient attendants to enter the closed doors of the OT [operating theatre]mini OT [for minor procedures and such] ... mostly because it is a privilege and they will undoubtedly freak out and doctors don't like being watched while they do their work, its a cause for anxiety see?

However pioneer that I am, I broke that rule too, just once and just recently.

An 8yr old boy came with 2 deep cuts on his buttock. His father brought him and he really needed sutures. Of course that freaked him out and he kept on insisting v.cutely that he was fine and just needed a band aid or something. Cutely i insisted otherwise too. He was an intelligent and Therefore I knew would also be a difficult kid. So I bribed him and allowed his father to be the one to hold him down in the minor OT while I sutured for all I was worth.

Look, adults are OK, but the idea of pinning a child down by strangers who scold him and threaten him while someone in a mask and white coat does God only knows what to him seems barbaric on some level even if it is for their own good. I know if I was sick I'd want my parents there holding my hand. [or back or bottom or whatever.]

So With much coaxing and listening to the nurse growling thinking I don't understand Malayalam about how I thought of myself and didn't know anything. Mumble grumble. Simultaneously calming the father as well, i proceeded to suture his bottom. It's lots easier in kids and he needed some 14 stitches.

I'm not a sadist, don't get me wrong, but I love suturing. My hands look amazing doing it. which is saying something because usually I'm dropping things and spilling liquids and breaking stuff with them.

8 sutures in, I was lost in my happy place of 4-0 mersilk and scissors and needle holder...a beautiful music played in my head and I was at peace with the world, repairing someone, so tender and fragile...ah...

Where was I? oh yes, By the 9Th suture, the father said..."Doctor's work also requires delicate grace and artistry doesn't it? I've been watching and it's...mesmerising...".

I couldn't help it, I started laughing and laughed gleefully till my stomach ached. The nurse and father both looked at me, nonplussed...

"Did I say something wrong doctor saab??"


"OHhh no. I just wish some of my friends were here to hear your words...You see, I'm known in my circle for being butterfingers and for falling down. If they heard you, they'd probably laugh too...! In fact, just two daya back, We went to this bakery to get an eggless birthday cake. After much searching we managed to get one...and the area was good, posh, but the road and foot path not so smooth and I was wearing heels. We got the cake and my friend wouldn't let me carry it...SO I pretended to be hurt and said - hey I do stitches everyday, I have good hands!- upon which she felt guilty and offered the cake box to me...


I hesitated in taking it...She said 'no no, take it, you're being senti now...it's OK, you carry it...' ,but I didn't take it...instead I said...'no, it's OK, your right...my hands maybe good but my feet aren't as coordinated...plus I'm wearing heels...'-'that's what I thought...you should walk easily na..."

"Ah...I see...but honestly it doesn't seem like that right now to me dok saab.", said the patient's dad laughingly. Probably thought I was joking too.

Bizarre ain't I?