Ever since I had been posted in gynecology, dressing of bed number 8 used to be the most expensive task! Basant could trade it with a cup of coffee and a plate of momos. No one ever liked to change her dressings because she was a patient of foul smelling growth coming out of her vagina. It as amazing how this old lady, thin and very pale could wait for so long to come to the hospital with such a huge mass. It was more than 10X10X5 cms, a little more than 750gms. What worse would the decision be than to have twice daily dressing change for her.
"Empathy makes a good doctor" is what our favorite professors used to say often. But I absolutely had no ideas how I was to empathize that.
After initial stablisation for a week or so, Hanoon ma'am and the team chopped it off along with the uterus. I was 'doing a good job' holding the mass while she removed it.
One day, I was assisting Nibedita ma'am in the OPD on the post-night-duty day. I was having a cooler time because there was no running around unlike the wards. Every case was typical, the typical pelvic pain, the same irregular periods.
She then entered the OPD after I called her name. A beautiful girl, just eighteen, well dressed and carrying herself really impressively. Along came a guy, not that impressive. She didn't even look around and straight away started talking to Nibedita ma'am. From the conversation they were having, I could make out that she thought she had conceived and wanted an abortion.
She said she is still going to college and it was an unplanned pregnancy. She exactly knew what she wanted and was very calm and confident. Then I came to know that the guy was her husband. Since it was just a 6 weeks pregnancy, ma'am counseled her to wait a week or so before anything had to be done, and mean while to take up some blood tests and a ultrasonography. I started filling the investigation forms.
I was really surprised to know she was a known case of HIV infection. In her early stages of AIDS, all I could think at that moment was, “Shocking! How can this be possible? She doesn't look like a drug addict, nor like a prostitute.” Then came a different logic, “ It's the guy!” Whatever it be, I really was impressed by her confidence. The confidence to live, to accept what now is a part of her life.
Women, amazing creation of god ( or the molding of the society).