Blood, sweat and fear (of an injection)

I had my first minor surgery today. And how? I left office with three options: go get soothing oil for my stiff knee, go to the parlour to get rid of man hands or go get the disgusting corn growing on my foot removed. I gave the last option first priority. So I went. I went in jeans, tshirt and flip flops, saw the doctor in a room when I just entered, waved at him and wordlessly pointed at my foot (he has seen me before) and went into an inner room and lay down on a bed in a local hospital.

I’m quite accustomed to pain generally. When I was around 8, a <insert a very rude bad word> dentist put me through a week-long root canal process without giving me anesthesia. I have hated any needles ever since. And I haven’t gotten an injection after I was four years old. I haven’t even been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B. (Don’t lecture me about it now you!) I have never gotten a Tetanus after falling because God-forbid I haven’t fallen and hurt myself that badly. And I’m quite proud of holding this no-injection record.

So the last time I went to see this doc was ten days back. You see, I have extremely pretty feet. I get comments like “You should be a foot model!” (Not like my face isn’t pretty and I can’t be err… a full-body model; it’s just that my feet are exceptionally pretty). Look at these. Aren’t they pretty?

 

Yes, I love to click pictures of my feet.

So back when I was in Chennai, a small corn began growing on my right foot. I ignored it and let it become bigger, just to experience a corn. Ten days back, what had until then remained innocuous, suddenly began causing irritation. Not much, but I didn’t like the look of it on my foot. So I visited Dr. Bellubbi. He glanced at the corn carelessly but with a mocking smile and said, “Wear a corn cap for a few days. When it becomes soft, I will chop it off.” The words “chop off” resounded in my head and I looked at the doctor’s sudden wicked smile. I asked him apprehensively, “Will you give me an injection?” He said, “yes” and positively did a loud evil laugh like Mojo Jojo. I widened my eyes and ran out of the clinic, without even paying him, and went home and hid under my blanket.

Ok. No. I didn’t pay him because he didn’t charge me, I went to the apothecary (oh how I love this word!) and bought a corn cap and wore it religiously until today. Yesterday I did make a visit to his clinic to have it removed and he said I’d have to go to the hospital because it wasn’t such an easy procedure.

So I dragged my daddy along with me. My dad hates hospitals. He hates needles, he hates blood. He’s a wuss when it comes to all that. Just like me. When the doctor told him to stay outside the room, he was a bit worried, but probably relieved.

I lay on the bed, and explained to the doctor that I was scared and warned him that I would scream. He responded with, “even I’m scared. I may scream as well.” I rolled my eyes and looked away from the injection into which he was filling anesthesia. He promised it would be just a mosquito bite and I bit my lip and buried my face in the pillow. He poked me once. I screamed. He poked me again. I screamed louder. He poked me thrice, four times and a fifth time. By now, my eyes were tearing up hopelessly. It wasn’t crazy painful. I was probably just depressed that my 18-year-long record of no-injections was coming to an end. That’s the only way I can explain the relentless tears that followed for the next hour.

The procedure itself was a breezy affair. There was a lot of blood involved. It didn’t irk me. I held my foot still and obediently had it removed. I didn’t cry. The doctor removed the corn, told the nurse to clean it up and dress it and left. After all that, when I walked out of the room, another nurse beckoned me towards another inner room, saying “the doctor has arranged a syringe.” I figured he wanted to give me the syringe for memory’s sake. I didn’t know if that is a nasty gesture or a sweet one. But I ignored the nurse and walked towards the exit. I thought I’d pay and then go take the syringe.

But no. The nurse called out to me again. I turned around and raised my eyebrow at her because my voice was a bit shaky to talk and I didn’t wanna look/sound like a wuss in front of the 30 people who sat on benches facing me, waiting for their number to be called. So yeah, I raised my eyebrow at her. She said, “You have to take a tetanus.”

With that one sentence, I lost it. The clouds burst and I thundered in front of everyone. I AM NOT TAKING ANOTHER INJECTION I yelled in between my sobs. Thirty people sat staring, some smiling, some laughing, some empathising, and some children just bewildered and tugging at their parents’ sleeves to take them back home. I walked to my dad. I was about to bury my face in his chest and weep, but like I have written before, we are an awkward family when it comes to handling emotions. My dad backed off. So I just wept into nothing. I wailed all the way to the room in the back. My dad patted me on my back encouragingly but I saw the pained look in his eye. He wouldn’t want to be in my place. I sat on the bed there, told the nurses to give me five minutes to sort things out in my head and figure out why I was crying. The nurse, surely, felt like laughing. She and her friend exchanged if-you-know-what-I-mean looks.

I asked them to get me tissue, I lay down on the bed again sniffing and breathing in short gasps. The nurse turned me over, and gave me a tetanus shot on my hip. It wasn’t as bad as the injection on my toe. I got up, with my lips quivering and my cheeks about to give away. I blew my nose into four big tissues and went to the exit.

The doctor saw me and said to go back through the week to change the dressing. I told him firmly that I was never going back there. When he saw me waiting for my dad to finish the payments, he said he could drop me home by car. (He’s a local doctor. He knows my home). I flatly told him, with the best smile I could manage, “I don’t want to see you for a while.” He smiled and walked away.

Imagine I came back home to find all my neighbours at home, dressed up and singing songs to Lord Krishna on his janmashtami. I wore a Led Zeppelin tshirt and looked as horrible as possible with a running nose, a sweaty face, teary eyes and a limp to add to that.

Sigh. That’s how my first ever surgery went. I am quite the wuss. And damn! I’m never going to have tattoos in my life.

 

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