That one night, sitting all alone in the balcony right in front to the operation theater and reminiscing the past, I remembered what my medicine teacher told at the very first day of hospital and ward visit back in my medical school.
“Own your patients like you own your family, your friends and your loved ones. Only then you would be able to feel their pain – when you keep yourself at their level.”
Coughing harshly, that showed his lifelong chain smoking habit, what this 65 years old, comparitively strict, apparently clumsy and a loud, grey-haired man told me back then sounded very cliche and typical to my young mind. I would usually get irritated with his reality slaps and thoughtful references.
“Sure! I get it. He has spent his life and experienced a lot but that does not mean we should be imposed by whatever he believes in.”
After listening to another impactful lesson from this old professor and clearly reaching to the peak of frustration, I told my friend while checking BP of a patient in the medical OPD.
Today, while I sat on this cold chair in the hauntingly dark night, I could feel the warm tears falling down my cheeks straight away piercing inside the soul. Whatever that man poured into my ears back then kept on flashing infront of my eyes and making sense after a good 25 years. White coat around my body, successful name, worldwide fame, sthethoscope in my hands and reports on the table alongside, I saw the worst nightmare with a shaking heart.
“What if I could not save her? What good would be my profession and skill for?…. NO! But she is my daughter. The one who came into the world via me. She is a part of me. A share-holder of my inside. I can not let her go this easily.. but what if she died in my hands, right in front of my eyes..”
Suddenly, a new wave of fear and melancholy traveled along my spine, throwing bricks in my brain. I thought my nerves would burst and my heart will collapse. I couldn’t feel anything but a storm of emotions inside my fragile soul, the one which was hidden behind the strong attire of an undefeatable surgeon till now. I could not feel that surgeon in me today while I had my own daughter lying on the operation table waiting for me to try my last and best skills of putting a new life into her body, the way I did, very easily, into so many patients through out these years.
“I owned my profession. My patients. Yes, I did. But I lost my blood, my relations.”
As I stood up from the chair to get scrubbed, a scary realization, which I successfully escaped till now hit my face and I turned cyanosed in seconds.
“Yes. She is on the death bed because of my negligence. A poor mother. A failed surgeon. A loser, losing the entire asset… that is me, right now.”
I knew that her chances of survival were mere 10% but the mother of my inside kept on making them 100% in the silent hopes, prayers and false thoughts just to console myself.
While I tried to keep my composure, my mind kept on getting polluted with the reality I was running away from happily.
It was true. My skilled hands would wake up patients from the death beds and my accurate diagnosis would turn the incurable into laughing puppets in this fake show but what did I save for myself?
“A life of regrets….”
A voice came from far away while I started to play my last and most dangerous surgical game – struggling like a newbie trainee to save my child.
Exchanging instruments and approaching towards the cotton roll with shaking hands and a sweating face, there was no surgeon but just a mother standing in her weakness, fighting for the life of her most owned posession.
Maybe that is how you live. You win something and you lose the rest. What you win does not make you happy and the rest you lose always keep you in regret. Maybe that is how you try your best to live a life..an imperfect balance between wining and losing and both making no sense.