When I was not walking around and my family did not know that I had a fracture, they had scared me about what doctors would do, how they would tie up my leg in hot plaster etc. That had made me feel very scared of undergoing treatment. Though the doctor I met last time was very good to me I could not forget the other doctors in the village who had made my life miserable.
I started wailing loudly once inside the hospital without any warning or signs. All the hospital staff got very irritated and soon tried scaring me, cajoling me, bribing me into silence. Nothing worked. I just kept shouting at the top of my voice and who ever tried to put hand on my mouth and tried to shut it up got bitten by me. My aunt was bitten twice and my mom once.
I was taken into a room where they were supposed to put my leg under plaster and that room scared me more than ever. The head nurse told them to put me on the bed and walk out. My mother and aunt were just relieved to get away from me. The nurse held me down tightly and they both just walked away closing the door behind them. I kept wailing at the top of my voice and the nurse just kept beating the drum on the table to make a song out of my wailing. Soon I realized that my wailing was not working with this tough lady and was thinking about a different plan to escape the hot plaster and torture. It was then the doctor (Dr.Ballal) walked in.
I was scared stiff. I suddenly stopped wailing and became very silent. I did not have enough guts to try out anything now. I really started to cry slowly. The doctor asked me, “Why is a brave little girl like you crying?” “Please don’t torture me; please don’t put hot plaster on my leg. I am really having very bad pain in my leg. I am not brave, I am so scared.. sob sob sniff sniff sob”
“Who said I am going to put hot plaster and torture you?”
“My mother and all the people in my house said that”
“Wait a minute, I will call them here”
He called them both in and scolded them for putting fear about the doctors and hospitals in little children which made the doctors look like villains and also the kids went through so much of a terrible trauma in the hospital which was not good for them. He made them tell me the reason why they had told all the lies to scare me and console me before he continued with the treatment. My poor mother and aunt were in very sticky situation there. They had to tell me that they had lied to scare me.
Anyway, within 15 minutes they were out, I was quite and the doctor came in. He was very kind and nice to me. He felt a lot of pity for the girl who had been made to suffer with a fracture on her leg (which already had an untreated club foot on it) for quite some time. He was angry with my mother for not trying to correct the club foot with a surgery. In short I felt the doctor was on my side.
When he brought the plaster near me, I was very scared and he could sense the fear.
“Don’t be afraid, I will allow you to touch and feel it before I wrap your leg in the cast. You can make sure it will not burn you”.
And he allowed me to touch few things he had kept there. The nurse was not very happy with the way the doctor was treating me. So I decided that she was not on my side. He also allowed me to cut few strips of tapes and I think I saw the nurse giving out smokes like a chimney. He told me to study hard and become a doctor like him and help children. He kept talking to me and I never knew when he finished with the cast. My whole leg was covered in white cast. It started from my toes and ran up to my upper thigh. Now I could not hop around anymore on one leg. Someone had to carry me. At home taking care of me became a big burden. I refused to sit in the same spot for more than 30 minutes. Every time they had to run around to find a strong person to carry me from one place to another.
I fell down twice and got a lines of fracture on my cast. Once I tried to scratch an itchy spot with a broom stick and got a wound inside the cast. All these created a lot of worries, chaos and invited a tirade of curses for me. Somehow I was very sure the curses would not affect me in any way. Once my sister was swinging with me quite fast when the big swing broke and my cast almost broke. My aunt scolded my sister for bringing more trouble (where as she was trying to help me a bit) which bothered her very much. She started crying and went out of the house. She was not to be seen anywhere for 3 hours after which few fishermen brought her home.
My mother was aghast to learn that she was walking into the sea because she was fed up of life. The fishermen had seen her and brought her home.
Somehow the people at home remained sane between two of us.
Soon it was time for another trip to doctor for the removal of my cast. My aunt told my mom to make sure that the person who carried me did not have any hairs in his ears.
Thus ended my adventure in Byndoor though I lived there for some more time I could not venture out of the house. For three months I was bed ridden. I started learning Kannada language and reading books. By the end of three months I was reading news paper. I would add some spice and narrate the events to my mother and her family. So the fracture had not been a very bad event after all. It honed my reading skills. Also after the incident I was more into reading and less into physical activities. I became silent because I could not read and talk at the same time. Having found a way to shut me up people found lots of interesting books for me to read.
When we went to remove the cast the doctor was very happy with me. I was not wailing or crying but instead I said “Hello Sir, how are you? ”. just like the children in my books do. “ My my.. who do we have here. Is this the same girl who was scared of me last time?” I could clearly see that he was very pleased with me. I told him about the books I have been reading. I also confessed to him that I trust doctors and I am sure they do not hurt people. He was quite amazed with the change that had come over me and also surprised to know that I could read books at such a young age. He felt very proud to have been a part of the change in my attitude towards doctors. He gave me two comics which was the first ever comic book I ever saw. I loved the pictures in the book and it was easy to understand and read.
Thank God that was the end of the pain….