“Something’s wrong,” said the radiologist, sounding alarmed as she moved the ultrasound scanner over my womb.
My heart almost skipped a beat.
“I see a problem with the foetus,” she went on.
Seeing how anxious she was, my heart began to beat even faster.
Suraj, being a doctor, and her colleague, the radiologist explained something to him using medical terminology and told us to go meet my obstetrician immediately.
I was disturbed by how the radiologist had panicked. She probably didn’t realise that her panicking would rub off negatively on me.
I said to Suraj, “Is that how bad news is conveyed to a patient? Isn’t there a more professional and sensitive way to do so?”
But there was no time to discuss this, as the medical problem at hand needed more attention than my inner turmoil at that moment.
The obstetrician checked on me, and while I was still in the examination area behind a curtain, she returned to her desk and began to explain the problem to Suraj.
By then I had had enough!
I was really angry.
“Suraj may be a doctor and the baby’s father. But I am your patient and I am carrying the baby. So, doctor, I have every right to be part of this conversation and to hear from you directly about what is going on here!” I blurted out angrily in my mind.
But I didn’t wish to make a scene. So, I just announced I was feeling anxious and joined her at the desk.
It’s not like I couldn’t hear what was being said on the other side of the curtain. So I never could understand why the obstetrician chose to speak only with Suraj.
When l went into labour, another traumatic episode commenced.
While I struggled in pain, I could hear the nurses laughing and chatting away in the adjacent room. They came in only when they had to check if everything was progressing alright, medically speaking. They may have been used to seeing labouring women day and night, but to the women in pain, labour is not an everyday occurrence. What I most needed at that time was for someone to comfort me a bit, more so because the baby wouldn’t make it.
The only positive in this situation was that my endangered life was saved through timely intervention – thanks to advances in modern medicine and to the skill of all the treating doctors. They may not have been the best at connecting to the ‘human’ in me but they were certainly competent otherwise. And I shall remain forever grateful for that.
When the ordeal was done and I woke up the next morning, I saw a kind young face peering down at me. She was dressed in white and I realised she was a nurse. She adjusted my blanket, stroked my forehead, and comforted me with a few kind words. And I thought to myself, “Here comes an Angel. I really needed to meet one. I wish you had been here last night. But I’m happy to meet you nonetheless. Thank you, God!”
A year after this incident, I landed in the hospital again – this time for the surgical removal of a mole on my face.
This growth on the skin was harmless and I could have just let it be. However, I chose to have it removed.
The surgery was a minor one performed by a senior plastic surgeon under local anaesthesia.
For this super simple procedure, I wasn’t expecting the surgeon to explain much to me or for anyone to comfort me during the surgery! However, this experience turned out to be diametrically opposite to the pregnancy.
This surgeon overlooked the fact that Suraj was present during the consultation and that the two of them were colleagues. He gave me my rightful place as the patient and took enough time to explain the treatment plan to me in layman’s terms.
On the day of the surgery, he walked into the operation theatre with a warm smile – not just for me but for all the staff waiting to assist him.
His calm demeanour put me at ease instantly.
He spoke to me gently and went to great lengths to ensure I was comfortable throughout the procedure. He spoke with much respect and dignity to the theatre nurses and to all the other staff too.
And I was like, “Wow! What a lovely energy! Life is strange though. I could have sailed through this cosmetic procedure without any reassurance. Neither am I afraid, nor in pain or shock. Yet, here is someone going out of his way to keep me comfortable. I needed mental and emotional support during the nightmarish pregnancy and labour. But except for that kind nurse I briefly interacted with, no one in that team was equipped to give it. I wish this gem of a plastic surgeon was a radiologist and obstetrician too! If I had someone like this on my case last year, it would have made that challenge way easier to get through.”
Some people seem to innately know how to connect to the ‘human’ in others, while others need to learn these skills.
The energy someone radiates makes a huge difference – at least to people like me.
I don’t expect life to be all roses but when we encounter thorns, having an Angel around certainly makes the thorns hurt less.