So-called observations

Things you learn in hospitals

About three years back, I had a short stay at one of the big hospitals in Delhi. This post is about that.

A trip to the hospital can be a real pain in the rear. Here I was feeling happy, thinking I’d get the small lump on my chest lopped off in a day and probably head home within a week.  Wishful thinking – I know. After what seemed like weeks of tests, the doctors concluded that I might have some blood vessel malformation (“Hemangioma” was the word, I think). However, to be absolutely sure, they would have to cut open the affected area and see for themselves. The image of my neighbourhood mobile phone technician came to my mind, who has only one comment whenever I take a phone for repair – “Dada, khuli sabo lagibo (Bro, I’ll have to pry this apart and check).”

Nonetheless, I decided to undergo the surgery. Now, here is something I learned about big hospitals: there’s a dogfight for the ward beds and every consultant wants to give preference to his/her patients. My doctor advised me to get admitted as soon as a bed was vacated, while reassuring me that the operation would take place the next day. Accordingly, I did. However, in the afternoon I was informed that my operation had been postponed by a day. The reason: the super-specialist who was supposed to cure my illness had himself fallen ill!

Soon a nurse came up to me with a bundle in her arms and said, “Sir, this is the hospital gown. Please put it on.”

I smiled at her and replied, “You know, my operation is on the day after tomorrow. So, I’m not really a patient right now. Why don’t you put the clothes on my bed and I’ll put them on tomorrow.”

Spotting a frown on her face, I added, “Okay, I’ll put them on tonight. Let me get some fresh air,” and started to leave, thinking about those two girls I had spotted earlier.

“Sir, you have to wear it now, and patients are not allowed to leave the ward. Please get back to your bed.”

“All right, relax,” I muttered, trying hard not to roll my eyes.

Taking the gown from her, I traipsed back to my bed and tried changing into it. By now, the whole situation was starting to bug me. I was stuck in a general ward bed with patients moaning and crying all around. I wasn’t allowed to go downstairs and gawk at the pretty attendants. On top of that, I discovered that I didn’t have any clue as to how I was supposed to wear the stupid gown. There were no buttons, just some extremely long strips to tie it around. Initially, I thought I would tie the knot around my front, so as not to wear it like a woman. As if on cue, a couple of male patients walked past my bed wearing their gowns the “womanly” way.

However, the thing that bothered me most was the thought of staying two more days at this place, pretending to be a patient, and only a couple of hospital brochures and a magazine to keep me entertained.

By 10:30 PM, I was done reading the sixth article of the magazine – a really lousy piece of writing on the future of Rahul Gandhi. Lying on my back, I turned off the bedside lamp when I heard the patient on the bed on my right speaking to a woman, whom I presumed to be his wife.

Here is another thing I learned that night. People speak the truth when they say an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. For a normal person, this couple would be an ordinary couple doing ordinary stuff. I, on the other hand, had nothing to do. So I started stealing glances at them. The man was very thin. His illness might have contributed to that. The woman was average sized in every other way except her biceps. She had these incredible wrestler biceps that would have made any man proud.

As soon as I saw that, I started imagining what she does with them apart from arm wrestling. For some reason, the first image that came to my mind was her beating her husband with a belan (rolling pin). That had me wondering whether her husband was actually ill. Maybe he was recuperating from sore buttocks.

The second image was of her holding her husband in a headlock, followed by a sleeper hold. I chided myself for judging. This woman was possibly a really nice lady who cooks great parathas, and probably got her biceps from using the rolling pin too much. And here I was extrapolating scenarios from minimal data (Well, not minimal when you think about the arm size).

I turned to my side to block out these images. A new image flashed before my eyes. I was the one in the headlock this time (What’s wrong with me?). She bared her fangs and screamed at me, “How dare you mock my muscles?”

Sitting up to shake off my reverie, I looked towards the bed on my left. I was greeted by the sight of an old man “adjusting” himself. I could have screamed out at that instant, “Why? Why me? What did I do wrong?” Then I thought there are probably a number of answers to the last question. So I stopped thinking. I didn’t scream. I didn’t shout. I just got up and went to the bathroom, all the while taking utmost care to not drop one of the rope-thingies attached to my gown in the toilet. Over there, I did some meditation, or blowdown, as we call it in refinery jargon, which let me expunge some of the disturbing images along with some other stuff. With a clear mind and conscience, I came back and tried to get some sleep.

And here is the final thing I learned that night. When you consciously stop judging people, you get rewards. I was almost asleep by then when I heard a gentle tap on my bed. Squinting, I noticed a beautiful hand rummaging by my bedside table. Turning my head to look at the owner of that hand, I had the good fortune of facing the most beautiful nurse I had ever seen. Her face was partially covered in darkness. However, the part that was visible shone like a pearl.

With a disarming smile, she asked, “Sir, are you all right?”

I sighed in contentment and closed my eyes before replying, “More than you know.” With a stupid smile pasted on my face, I drifted off to the dreamland.

P.S. I have opened a contact page in case you have a bone to pick with me.


40 thoughts on “Things you learn in hospitals

  1. Oh, but you showed a whole “new side” of yourself to the world in that hospital gown, hahaha.. I bet they appreciated that. I know, I know, from bitter experience. I had a pilonidal cyst, still do. Except, at the time, I was so alarmed that I went to a local medical university hospital. Placed on the examination table, I am mortified to hear the professor call out to his students, here come and have a look, you may have seen this in textbooks, now watch it Live…
    Oh my gosh, utter mortification… and hesitant fingers probing and testing, while I wince and try not to cry out of pain. Opted out of surgery in favour of pain all the time, just so these morons would not gleefully record it on video to show their students or have a live audience check out the minor surgery. Hahaha…
    The same experience with the time when my hypochondriac brain suggested that I had male breast cancer. And a friend of mine, who is a surgeon.. palpated the part er.. in question and hmmed and hawed for quite a while, before the disbelieving eyes of my wife.. it felt almost like some idiot teenager groping.. and then he said.. let us do an FNAC… and Boy!! did I run out of there.. I did not want needles sucking out tissue from my er.. whatever..

    Anyway, survived all that.. let me not get into the bloody details of other things like when my wife had a problem conceiving and the femi-nazi ob-gyn insisted I undergo a test too.. oh gosh.. too horrible to narrate.. and ok.. in the end a stupid woman… a nurse or some assistant standing outside asked me if I was done.. I wanted to yell at her to stop disturbing me or at least come in and help hahahaha… (ugly creature.. but who knows what new perverted part of my mind would have opened up)…

    Horrible.. I always stay away from hospitals, even though I grew up with med students and doctors as my best friends.. Idiots, mostly.. which is why engineering was better.. I still have their text books at home though.. for me to pore over carefully and dream up new diseases and ailments round the clock.. If you are working and have a tough boss, those could be a godsend.. buy some old med books.. and try it yourself 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hahaha, so you’re that guy. 😀 My doctor friend once told me about the patients they have who allow the … er…probing and stuff to the students. Well, not allow, I guess. Forced would be right.
      Seriously, that is hilarious. Excuse me for not being sympathetic. I remember this Friends episode which had something like this.

      Woah, I’m super scared of FNAC too. They did it on me. It’s not that painful when I think about it, but the size of the needle is quite scary.

      Dude, you just crack me up. Femi-nazi and her “test” 😀

      No, no. I strictly stay away from med stuff. Always conflicting those people. Eat food A, you’ll have a healthy heart. Don’t eat food A, you’ll have an unhealthy brain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ek to, beta, khet nahin, jungle tha.. aur chidiya nahin gidh ki amma thi… toh khair..

        Ibn-e-Mariam hua kare koi, meri marz ki dawa kia kare koi

        Baat par waan zubaan katThi hai
        woh kahein *aur hasaa kare koi

        Baq rahaa hoon junoon mein kya kya kuch
        kuch na samjhe khuda kare koi
        (Aur hassein bhi to kya?? ab hamaari khair nahein jab ki ruswa ho gaye sar-e-aam)

        Jab tawaqqo hi uth gayi hai Tejaswi
        kyon aapki gila kare koi

        Shudder**** Tauba Tauba.. kabr Ghalib ki khaali nikli, ke Tejaswi jaise ifrit ghoom rahe hain sar-e-aam..

        Liked by 3 people

      2. hahaha, wah wah. kya baat hai janaab. suna hai chacha ghalib bhi hajat mand hai aaj kal. koi unhe yaad karta nahi. lekin aap jaise qadardaan ho toh unki hajat bhi rawa ho jayegi (no publicity is bad publicity right) 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you meant a piece of writing on the ‘lousy’ future of Rahul Gandhi and not “a really lousy piece of writing on the future of Rahul Gandhi”!

    Back to hospitals, are you sure you didn’t dream up that nurse? That would be better than your room decoration dream at least 😉

    Fortunately, I have no personal anecdotes to share and unfortunately the ones I can share are not funny. At all. They involve seeing people faint and cry and stuff. So yeah. Your post, if nothing else, assures me that there’s underlying humour waiting to be uncovered in hospitals too! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I can’t be sure. It was way before the Parliamentary elections. Rahul was still a baba and not an arey baba rey baba! Besides have you read Outlook? I swear the mediocrity they spew out at times is astonishing.

      No, no. Don’t snatch her from me! What is wrong with you?
      Hmm, You could be right though. I never saw her again now that I think about it.

      Humour is everywhere. You just need to see with your mann ki aankhen 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes. I remember those days. The media used to call him the most eligible bachelor of India. Sad days for all Indian females. If that was the best on offer, no wonder we became crazy about beiber and the 1D boys!

        Okay, so you agree it could be a dream! Or maybe she was an effective painkiller who’s beauty was supposed to put patients to sleep without cribbing about their state! And she worked well, I think. Okay, that’s a really stupid story to even have made up!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! I love people with Harry Potter issues 😉 It’s just been really long since I read those books again. Too many other books to complete.
        Just don’t tell me it’s accompanied with GoT, Star Wars, Anime, etc etc issues!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Finally get to see the insides of your brain, your thought processes 😛 I have the pleasure of seeing these bicepcular aunties in trains and buses. They always seem the rolling pin type don’t they? Had me in tears. Good one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who had you in tears? Biceps wali aunty? With her headlock? … jk 😀

      Yes, my brain was still developing back then. My mother says the human brain reaches its full potential at the age of 28 (don’t ask where she got that statistic). I still have one year to go. I’ll be able to develop whole movies in my head by then 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  4. lol! another funny story! reminds me of my hospital stay during my father’s operation, he had 3 surgeries so we almost stayed three weeks in hospital , so in 3 weeks my mother knew entire hospital staff from cleaners to doctors and all patients, she was talking to everyone, even taking me to meet her new friends, new neighbours in other wards..and I am a reserve person not into talking to strangers, so the whole hospital knew me as well by name, what I do, and all details 😀 lol , she often put us into some funny situations! and we love her for that.. she is the funny bone of our family!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, my mother is like that too. She will strike up conversations with random strangers and within a few minutes we will be sharing food and stuff 😀
      But such people are more in need these days don’t you think? Otherwise, we’d just be silent robots.

      Liked by 1 person

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