Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sniff

The ENT postings have started. Ear, Nose, & Throat, or Otorhinolaryngology, in more complicated words. There are only 3 units, and I'm in E3, which, for some obscure reason is called E2A. A unit is like the functional unit (pun not intended) of a clinical department. The General Medicine, General Surgery, and Ob-Gyn departments have 6 each, Paediatrics has 5, Orthopaedics has 4, ENT has 3, and so on. The number of units depends on the size of the department. Each unit is headed by a chief, other teachers, and some PG students. It has its own admission day, theatre day, blah day, and blah blah day. So when we undergrads are posted in a department, we're put in different units. So I said goodbye to Twin and A and Small and joined Skoda to venture into the unknown realms of the ENT OT. That's right, Operation Theatre. I get to wear the green dress and all. The 'all' consists of a cap, a mask and a pair of bathroom chappals. The gown and chappals are our own, and the chappals are never worn outside the theatre. The cap and mask are kept outside our changing rooms, and are disposable.

There are 10 of us in a unit, and only 4 of us were present. Pretty good turnout, actually, only 1 girl and all of the guys absent. So Skoda, Arch, Hope and I rushed into the OT bursting with excitement to see the procedures. Yeah, right. We sat around in the changing room discussing Skoda's new shoes, what Irritant (that's the most irritating guy in the Universe) had said to Small the other day, how I looked like a zombie interrupted from my eternal sleep (good description, 8-30 is an unearthly hour to show up at college) and how Hope hadn't eaten any of the crap passed off as food at the hostel and other matters of international importance. After a while, we decided the OT needed to be inspected and ranked on our coolness meter, and went in.

It was a very uncool theatre. Now the surgery OT is cool. 2 tables per room, those lights we see in the movies, lots of people rushing about, and most importantly, the air conditioning actually works. This one is just one room and 3 tables, with small lights worn by the operating surgeon on his headband (let's face it, an ear surgery does not need as much light as an abdominal one) in a tropical forest.

We decided to watch an frontal osteoma being removed, since none of us could figure what the ENT people are doing removing osteomas, which is a bone tumour. I thought it was done by orthopaedic surgeons or general surgeons. It was done under local anaesthesia, and the patient was conscious and talking to us throughout. I was ecstatic to note that when they reached the periosteum, I recognised it as the periosteum. Yay for me! I'm improving. Uusually, when I watch a surgery being done, I recognise only 2 things, blood, and some-tissue-or-the-other. After about an hour of standing in the same spot, I started losing concentration and began leaning on Skoda. I soon realised it was not concentration I was losing, it was consciousness, and had Skoda take me out and put me on a bed in the doctor's room. Anyone who makes stupid jokes about this will be made to walk the plank after being shot through the heart with a shotgun at close range. I've never fainted in the theatre before. I have a good stomach. Let's see you assessing the damaged area in a patient who's left leg got ripped away by a train without a single wince. I'm not a squeamish wimp.

I believe the attack of no-blood-to-the-brain (latest evidence has confirmed that I do have one) had something to do with a patient on the other table who was taking a hell of a long time to come out of anaesthesia. I thought she was dead, and I think I empathised with her at some point. Contrary to popular belief, death during an operation is very uncommon. I've never seen a single death happen on the operating table. I guess the sight of that girl's eyes rolling about in her head while the anaesthesiologist kept telling her to breathe deeply freaked me out. She was perfectly OK, but this voice in my head kept screaming "She's dead. Oh My ******* G0d She's DEAD. SHE'S DEAD. OH MY ******* GOD SHE'S ******* DEAD." over and over at increasingly higher frequencies until my brain imploded.

I lay on the bed for a while, holding Skoda's hand. I think the combined effect of standing still for an hour, the patient on the other table, and my fever (I had a slight throat infection) plus the lack of breakfast was what did it. I never lost consciousness, by the way. Soon Arch brought in Hope and deposited her next to me. I had company. Hope has some problems with venous return, and she can't stand in one place for more than an hour without blacking out. Hope and I lay next to each other and talked for a while, when we heard voices outside. The guys had arrived! All 5 of them! An unprecedented event. Stubble (the guy never shaves), Irritant, Lotus, Wrestler (he looks like Hulk Hogan) and a nondescript individual I shall call Brown. That brought the turnout to 90%! The M2 would have been proud of us. Only Eli was missing, and she had rang me up to say she was attending a wedding and would not be coming.

The osteoma excision finished, the surgeon came out and we got a class on tonsillectomy, where I displayed my usual prowess at gundadi. Gundadi is a traditional art form, practised by medicos all over the world, when asked a question. The classic example of gundadi deals with a student who was asked where his anatomical snuff box was. He replied that he had forgotten it at home, and would bring it the next day without fail. Gundu keeps me alive, and is not be frowned upon. I am known by various names, Gundu Queen being one of them. Gundu is pronounced like mundu, not gund-ooh, which means 'plump person'.

My mom had a fit when she heard I fainted, and kept me at home the next day. My throat infection is now a full blown gale force cough and upper respiratory infection. I'm on antibiotics. I'm sick of politely laughing to the 'Doctors fall ill too? Hahahahaha' lame joke. I warn you, I have a bazooka.

Psst. Anyone miss me? Exams, post exam revelry and an 18 hour workshop over the weekend, on 'Problem Solving for Better Health', kept me busy.

12 comments:

Keshi said...

**After about an hour of standing in the same spot, I started losing concentration and began leaning on Skoda. I soon realised it was not concentration I was losing, it was consciousness, and had Skoda take me out and put me on a bed in the doctor's room

LOL sorry but I cudnt help laughing at that point.


I really dunno how docs manage ro look at blood n organs n do their jobs w.o. passing out! I'd for sure...:):)

I hope ur feeling much better today Adorable. TC darl!


Keshi.

Keshi said...

**to look at blood

Tys on Ice said...

i promised i wont laugh...but can u wait while i supress this explosion within me?

wish someone caught this on camera...

Adorable Pancreas said...

@keshi:
It wasn't the blood or organs. I've never passed out in the theatre before. I had a fever. Everyone misunderstands me. I'm not a wimp. :(

@tys on ice:
Traitor!!! :(

Spunky Monkey said...

"I'm sick of politely laughing to the 'Doctors fall ill too? Hahahahaha'"

Aah, lameness cuts across all barriers known. God knows how many times I have heard this one. This one, and since I have lost a lot of weight what with the monstrosity that is final year, their introductory remark is "Ayyo, doctor himself is looking like the patient", in weird sing-song Kannada.
How I wish I could give them all generous episiotomies for no reason. Gah.

Keshi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sreejith said...

what happens when u don't have a ent bENT of mind? And your bazooka is the Videocon one na? u can't con us with that! :P

my apologies...i don't post these daily now and have to get these out of the system. Otherwise i'll land up under one of ur scalpels. And then we will have 'drama in the theatre' :D

Ziah said...

lol AP! I have to be a traitor too.. cant stop laffing.. but the lawyer in me sez FYI babe, impossible promises are not binding!!! :)

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

**Gundadi is a traditional art form, practised by medicos all over the world
I beg to disagree..
How do you think I passed every single one of my engineering papers? (I swear I did)
:))

sinusoidally said...

Hope you are feeling better. I hate surgery with passion. I cannot begin to describe the pain of having scrubbed in surgeries as a medical student - one particular one involved me standing in one place for 8 hours for a total colectomy holding a retracror. I have never fainted but I sure as hell have almost fallen asleep coming this close to contaminating the sterile field with my head plopping down. So glad that phase of my life is O-V-E-R! It will be for you too. Good luck!

Adorable Pancreas said...

@spunky monkey:
Hear, hear.

@sreejith:
My bazooka is the real deal, watch out!

@ziah:
Lawyers! Always looking for loopholes.

@toothless wonder:
Hmmm... I should change it to 'practised by students all over the world.' eh? At least you're out of college. :(

@sines:
Aaaaahhhh! You're giving me nightmares!!! At least it's all done with for you. Thanks!

Di said...

Man...despite my comment on ur next post..u do have all my admiration :) Keep up the gud work :)