Saturday, July 10, 2021

#25SilverLinings 8 - Doctor Checkup Dilemma

I knew the next morning, something about the relationship which was already shaking had changed and it was never going to be the same again. We both behaved normally as if there was no elephant in the room, and soon I got ready to go to Bangalore Institute Of Oncology for another opinion just to satisfy my husband. The doctor who was about to see me was a jovial person and kept laughing throughout our talks with him. I cannot say that was encouraging, though I know he put efforts to lift the patient's spirit. He wanted to check the biopsy report and also the spot where the lump was located. 

By now, I was used to check-ups of breasts by doctors. Those precious secret mounds were no more so secretive and had been fumbled with too often in the past month. But for the guy accompanying me, this was new. For someone who believed that women should be in a burkha, a man feeling her breasts was not easy to digest. 

He panicked and asked, “How do you think he's going to do the check-up? Will he feel and touch you?”. I actually had to answer that question because he continued looking at me.. seeking an answer from me. After a while I answered, “Yes, that is how check-ups are done”. I could see the change of expression which turned into a mix of frustration, anger and jealousy. “You should have told me this earlier” he said, sounding as though I hid something from him on purpose. I just kept quiet because I knew I couldn’t handle this now. I was already scared, tired and worried about the surgery happening in 3 days, and this was not something I wanted to deal with. “Are there no female oncologists? You should have taken an appointment with a lady doctor”, he continued. “I don’t think the gender of the doctor matters. They are professionals”. I had to say something since it was getting uncomfortable to keep quiet as well. “It does. You ask for a lady doctor or nurse to check you up. I don’t want him doing it. He looks like a flirt”. I saved myself from saying anything more by being called in for the check-up. I went in without solving his issue with the male doctor because I did not want to. It was not important for me now. 

Honestly, it is not easy for anyone to get adjusted to the hospital experience, especially when you go through something as serious as cancer. Even childbirth can be tough, but at least you are already familiar with the doctor for the past few months. The whole procedure of checkups can take its tiny toll on our minds. Not many understand this. 

I changed into a hospital gown. The check up was done which was unnecessary because the surgery was already scheduled and I was going ahead with it. Now, I had to go back and face the guy outside once again. Life seemed unfair and tough at that time when I was wearing my clothes with the nurse waiting to help me in case I needed her. She saw my expression and came over to assure me that everything was going to be alright. I told her, “it would be the day they discover cure for hate, stupidity and insensitivity, and a way to fix stupid husbands” and we both laughed at that and walked out. Seeing me smiling along with the nurse, my husband was irritated, but before he could open his mouth, we were ushered into the Doctor’s cabin for further discussion. He wanted to know about my schedule of operation and whether I would prefer to get it done in a specialized onco hospital. He tried to explain how dangerous it was to get operated in a hospital which was not specialized for cancer treatment. In short, he was trying to promote him as my surgeon, but he scared my husband a bit, because he started to believe that I had made a foolish choice by deciding to operate in a pediatric hospital. I told the doctor, “I will think over what you have explained and get back to you tomorrow”. I knew I would call and tell him that I am going ahead with my previous plans. He insisted on speaking to the head of BCH&RC and I shared the number with him. 

On the way back my husband was grumpy, angry and mumbling something which I couldn’t hear. Later he said, “I feel very bad about that guy checking your breast. That is too intimate, He was joking something with the nurse as well and then you both were laughing. I think it is wrong for a male doctor to check you up”. I answered, “Yes, I think so too. Let us cut that breast and throw it off after a few days. It has been spoiled by his touch anyway”. That somehow shut him off. 

The next day, I had to talk to my surgeon, Dr. Murad Lala regarding the scheduled surgery. He also wanted to talk to my husband and explain the surgical procedure, future care and many other things post cancer treatment to him. He was a friendly person and had a good sense of humor, the kind that did not make you uncomfortable but could put a smile on your face. He was a young and energetic person and now that scared me. Since he did not have a special cabin, we usually consulted him in his wife’s cabin since she worked in the hospital as a pediatrician. After my experience with the checkup the previous day, I was worried what I would have to handle the next day again. I realized that already my worries were not about cancer or surgery that is staring at me, but about something or someone else. Disease, illness, wounds and other ailments are not as bad as toxic people or relationships, since no one ever tries to cure it or understands the pain it causes. No one would tell me to tolerate cancer, right? They would ask me to seek a cure and get well soon. What if I was suffering in a wrong relationship? They would tell me to continue to suffer. Something to think over……………..

The 11 month old daughter definitely gave me enough energy and strength to put up with all the nonsense.
I somehow feel I look quite stupid in those days, before Rayyan's wisdom rubbed off on me.
I usually wonder why they deck the bride so? There must be some hidden meaning to all of this drama.

1 comment:

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