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ENT Part 2: of stones and blues

D-day arrived. Got to the hospital nice and early. Had not had anything to eat of drink since at least midnight the night before. Took off all jewelry (not that I wear much – just a necklace and a bracelet, occasionally earrings). Changed into the hospital gown. Got wheeled into the OR. Counted backwards from 10: I probably got to 7 or 6 and went under.

I had wondered if I’d wake up in the middle of the procedure, aware of the pain and what was going on but unable to move or tell the doc and nurses that I was awake. Didn’t happen. Phew!

I DID wake up right at the end, feeling COLD, and started shivering there on the stainless steel operating table. I remember a nurse exclaiming “Oh kesiannya, dia sejuk!” as I was moved onto the cart(?) and wheeled out of the OR. Even once I was transferred to the bed, I was still shivering.

This was termed a day-op, i.e. get operated on in the morning, and unless something serious comes up, you get released after lunch or so.

So there I was, still under the influence of drugs and feeling kinda woozy, when the nurse brought two little bottles to my bed. One, holding the stone, was mine to keep. I asked what the other one was: "Oh, the doctor took some sample of the saliva gland for analysis. This one I take back, but I thought you would want to see." It looked like half-cm of grey matter. Ok whatever.

So I got discharged, and was supplied with a few days' worth of painkillers. In pill form. To be swallowed via a mouth that had just been cut up. errr.. yeah, right!

The pain the next day was unbearable. Probably everything was aggravated by the battle to actually swallow the damn pills in the first place! I still remember, tears sponateously leaked out of my eyes as I attempted to move my swollen tongue as I swallowed, which disturbed the stitches just under the tongue. *ouch!*

Went to see the doc the following day, who said he was surprised I was in so much pain, cos all he did was snip open the duct and take out the stone.

Err.. wait a minute: what about that other bottle the nurse showed me?

I was caught in some kind of of brain-freeze: I knew the doctor was lying, or at least not telling the entire truth, but I somehow just could not call him on it!

Looking back, I suppose it was due to my not yet having broken out of the 'doctor is god' type mindset. You know, don't question the teacher, the doctor, the parents, the consultant, they require your respect and unquestioning loyalty whether or not they REALLY deserve it... Those at work know I certainly broke out of that mold by the time 2004 came around, eh?

Anyway... so I got some higher-octane painkillers IN PILL FORM - ugh!! - the pain slowly subsided, and I went on with my life.

Every once in a while I think back to this incident and wonder what would have happened if I'd actually informed the doc that I myself had seen the tissue sample of the gland he'd snipped out of me... or if I'd reached over and grabbed my file so I could see what was written...

... sigh ... well, if ever I find myself in that situation again, I hope I've developed enough guts, thick skin and backbone to stand up for my rights.
Preferably it doesn't happen lah, i.e. hopefully despite the genes for heart disease, cancer & diabetes in my system, I can stay in good health for a long long time....

Comments

  1. You back in Malaysia already? (Malek)

    ReplyDelete
  2. nope... heehehe I suppose I should have reiterated somewhere that this took place in the late 90's :p I mention that in Part 1 :D

    ReplyDelete

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