Vande Mataram

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Eye treatment - Part 2

Continuation of this

On 12th April, I went to Aravind Hospital and was taken to the block for in-patients. I asked for an AC room as earlier, but the AC rooms were fully occupied. So I opted for an A-Class room which was offered. The room was comfortable and two people were allowed to stay with me. I was called in for pre surgery tests at 12.10 PM and was taken into the theater at 12.30 PM. I met Dr.Usha Kim when I was waiting in the room. She advised me to relax and she will be doing the corrective surgery

They covered the whole body with a blue sheet leaving open the area on the left side of the face. I was given two painful injections into my eye as local anesthesia. I remembered making fun of this with one of my friends. He wanted to know what is local anesthesia. I told him that local anesthesia is a painful procedure that the doctor would punch in your face to make you unconscious and before you wake up the surgery would be complete. If you wake in the middle another punch would be given. But thank goodness that was a joke.

Then I felt a lot of (ladies) fingers on my face, but nothing felt on the eye. The surgeon and her assitant were speaking something about their day to day work. Suddenly a query came from the doctor. "Where do you live?" The assistant answered, "Ma'am! I live in Anna Nagar." Snap came the doctor's voice. "I'm asking him." Last seen before the surgery, I was the only him in that theater.



"I, doctor, live in Chennai. But for the past one month I'm at my home town Rajapalayam."

"Rajapalyam is good. But how do you live in Chennai? The way the city lives is like a jungle", she opined.

"Well, it is a concrete jungle!, I added.

Then she asked about my work. I answered that and started asking about her Harvard and Johns Hopkins teaching assignments.

She said Harvard has been studying Aravind Eye Care System as a business case and Johns Hopkins even sends students to Madurai for training under her eyes. Ah! I'm under the care of good eyes! Then after a couple of minutes she tapped on my shoulder and told me that the surgery is done. She advised me to relax for a minute and then get up. The nurses removed the cover sheet, my vision was blurry and one of the nurses helped me get down. I thanked the doctor and walked off the room with the help of a nurse. She made me sit on a chair and then asked me whether I could walk or need a wheel chair. Me? in a wheel chair? nah... I told her that I could walk a mile. Then we started walking towards the elevator.

Back at my room # 315, my parents were anxiously waiting. I told them it is done and then went off to sleep.  The pain started after an hour and I could not sleep. My dad called a nurse and she came with an experienced para medic. They gave a pain killer and advised to take after food. I ate lunch and had the medicine which put me back to sleep. At 5 PM I got up and had a coffee. At 5.45 PM a sister came and told me doctor would be coming to examine the patient at any moment.

Surrounded by 2 paramedics entered Dr.Sukhdeep Bains (the Punjab di kudi!). She attempted to speak in Tamil, but to make my understanding easier and better I switched to English and explained her about my pain in the eye. She told me not to assume anything I did not know about, when I told her that the suture might have torn and caused pain. She checked and the suture was in tact. "So, nothing to worry and sleep well", she said and left.

That night around 8.15 PM a nurse came and told that we could report any complaints if any, to a particular number and assistance would be available. I slept with the help of the painkiller as I had pain in the eye. I was still not sure about the status of the right eye. But hearing old Ilayaraja songs I didn't know when I slept but woke up at 3.15 AM as my body clock got programmed to that time. Then I slept again and woke up at 7.30 AM on the 13th of April '13. A doctor (Dr.Venugopal Rao) came to examine me. He was satisfied with the state of the eye, post-surgery. I asked him about cleaning the eye and he explained how to do it and asked me twice whether I understood what he explained. Nice man.

I was told that I need to take rest for 15 days and then to come back for a checkup. I toto, it would take another month to two for me to be back to normal. I realized this too could be part of the SOP and insisted on checking it up with Dr. Usha Kim. So, they went off to speak with her at the theater during a recess between two surgeries. Later, I was advised then that Dr. Usha Kim was satisfied with my medical reports and I would be discharged after the financials were taken care of.

I was given a refund of Rs.400 /- and was asked to vacate the room in two hours. A nurse came to explain the care to taken for the eye. Another experienced paramedic Venkateshwari came to examine my eye and she explained some of the DIY eye care for patients. I was told to come for a review with Dr. Usha Kim on 24th of April, but I asked for a Saturday to keep my work unaffected. They agreed to it. Then I vacated the room and started my journey back to Rajapalayam. 

Back at Rajapalayam I took rest for the rest of the Saturday and on Sunday. Monday started with work but I was managing with a bit pain. My tea buddy Betty Sheppard was kind enough to postpone a meeting understanding my condition. But from the next day on I was okay and was managing work, but not with the usual Arun's pace. I was struggling with multitasking more than I use to do. (Fact is, I hate multitasking). My colleagues, Prahaladh, Praveen, Jamie, Robyn, Rajagopal, Guru and my big sister Anna Della Franca were cooperating with me. Especially Anna who has a reputation of being a strict lady was cordial and cool as usual with me. Robyn and Jamie were really like doting siblings. 

We had some problems and troubles to fix and the work was going on. On 23rd April my left eye swelled  a lot and I got frightened. My worst fear was the suture getting torn and few more days with hospital and injections. But when I checked it with Dr. Anitha here in Rajapalayam, she said it is nothing to be frightened of. She advised for a cleaning of the eye and the CFP. Then it was done by an experienced para medic. I was feeling better. My mom complained that I sit with office work for more than 11 hours and I was given advice on the importance of health and company getting replacement of workers but me not getting replacement for the only active eye I have now.

Well, all advices were heard and I will try to follow. Thanks folks. I got back home and work was calling with more problems. My mom was upset with this. But gotta live with this kind of work life balance. I was about to visit the Doctor on 25th April, but due to the Chithirai festival in Madurai I could not go. Huge crowd was there at Madurai and public transportation were not comfortable to go with. I was not feeling like going on a crowded day to Madurai. So, decided to go on a different day.

But with eluding appointments due to encompassing work, I decided to carry on with work and check with Dr Usha Kim on a later day.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

1 comment:

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