Friday, June 20, 2008

Confessions of two clumsy feet / knees - Part II

I think my mother really lost her patience with me when my clumsiness actually landed me in an orthopedic facility. The story goes this way - inspired by a particularly foot stomping episode of Nach Baliye the previous night, I decided to try a few steps with my two left feet in the privacy of a wet bathroom. In my excitement, I forgot that it was the day of my last viva- Obstetrics and Gynecology in my preliminary examination in the Final Year.

The first few steps felt really good and injected a vigor for more. But in 2 minutes I found myself somersaulting and crash landing on the marble feet. If I'd cracked my skull, I think I might have been spared the ire mom had saved up for later. I yelped in pain and somehow managed to get dressed. I could neither flex my knee nor extend it once flexed. I had already swallowed a couple of painkillers to douse the excruciating agony and travelled to college by car. And then started the drama!

I could barely walk. I was obviously creating a spectacle even that early in the morning but was stupidly proud to admit that I needed help. Somehow, Anita took charge and insisted that I walk with her support. (Someday, when you head a big organization, I'll brag about your how I saw your leadership skills early on!) Bhubu, as sweetly as ever, accompanied me to the ob-gy ward and with their help I managed to climb up to the first floor ward.

News indeed spreads like wildfire - especially when Bhubu happens to be in the know of it. Quite frankly, I had begun genuinely sympathizing with the poor patients who face the brunt of a group of enthusiastic medical students eager to ask them incessant questions, touch and poke them in places they honestly wouldn't want to display. Everyone demanded to see my knee - which by now looked obviously swollen even through the thick denim material. (which I politely refused as I was horrified about my unwaxed legs).

Given my luck that day, I had been assigned the case of a woman who was at the end of the ward diagonally opposite to the where I was sitting. So I trudged along the hypotenuse of the room, maneuvering myself around beds and handled adeptly by Ravi and Sumedh (who along with Anita were gladly my knights in shining labcoats for that day). I had become quite the center of attention in the ward - of nurses, doctors, students and pregnant women alike.

I wondered how I would make it to the tables where they had kept the surgical instruments for one our vivas. And the whole ward started laughing when the registrar walked across the room, armed with the Deaver's retractor and a dilator, and came to my bed. I couldn't really believe that sometimes when the horse couldn't come to the water, the water could come to the horse in a pot. :)

Soon enough, the orthopedic registrar on-call came to attend to me; by now, my knee had swollen enormously and the registrar said that I would absolutely need an X-Ray. Drawing curtains around my patient's bed, the budding orthopedician did a cursory palpation on me and suggested effusion, more likely hemarthroses (blood in my knee cavity).

Once done with the exam, (after failed attempts of sitting on a wheelchair) I found myself hauled onto a white trolley (used to transfer patients from the operating theaters to the ward) and with four young doctors pushing my trolley, I was definitely laughing stock - with the real hospital patients and the crowd of relatives excitedly pointing to a doctor on the trolley! Anita was excitedly screaming "baaju hato, hato" and the hilarity of the situation didn't escape any of us.

Finally Ravi and Sumedh literally lifted me from the trolley and carried me into my car (no mean feat :P). The story ends with the smiling orthopedician aspirating 100cc of blood (he anticipated around 50cc) and the MRI showing fracture of the infero-medial part of my patella, retinacular tear, medial collateral ligament sprain and a miniscule part of my medial meniscus chipped off. I landed on the operating table for an arthroscopic surgery to remove the floating patellar chip - one that Namrata got to see while I was knocked out by the effect of anaesthesia. Apparently, the inside of my knee is a beautiful ivory white, Namrata vouches :)

3 yrs now, after intense physiotherapy, I can walk fine and climb stairs with minimal difficulty. Running still remains a goal to be achieved. But the clumsy tripping still continues - undauntedly.


Abinav Kumar said...

oh man! i never knew about that! damn musta been painful..

and yeah i have seen the knee bone! my very own. it is indeed ivory white! i was some 10=12 yrs old when i fell down and tore the skin and flesh around the knee! teh bone popped out i guess. it dint bleed immediately. and all i could see was white. din;t pain too. musta numbed or sumthing. a frnd lifted me (not even a task, i must admit) and as it began to bleed, the pain started and i cried. perhaps the only time i have cried, at least due to injury! :)

anyway - you cant run! and for me - the stitch scar remains!!

Anita said... that description had me laughing..I don't remember saying "Baaju hato" though!!! I remeber I was laughing like was so much fun...haha...pulling u on the stretcher!!!

Meera said...

Crazy woman, crazier moments! Doesn't take a Greek God to make you go weak in the knees! You need several parts to enumerate the confessions of your clumsy feet..
To add to your glory, let me remind once tripped on the stairs of our Library Building at GS and skid a metre, only to be spotted by Bhavin who not only clapped his hands and laughed loudly but also did the honours of informing a few others about it!!!

Sumedh said...

We might not have felt so bad for you had you told us you were doing Nach Baliye steps in the bathroom!!!! :D