Tuesday, January 18, 2005

going under the knife..

i finally had the mass in my left breast excised. yep, that mass that drove me to exclude red meat from my diet. the decision to have it removed came late last year when every time i was ovulating i started to feel excruciating pain in my breast that almost always immobilized me for a couple of seconds. it felt like my left breast was being punctured by tiny needles from inside. i then took it as a sign that it was time to go under the knife. it was a localized open surgery which could last from an hour to an hour and a half. mine took less than an hour.

i was conscious during the entire procedure and an active participant in the political discussion going on while the mass played hide-and-seek with the deft hands of two doctors. i found it amusing that while they were operating on me my surgeon incessantly grumbled that some media people could destroy the integrity of the medical profession by the reports that came out about malpractices and negligence of just one doctor. every now and then he would cite examples of what constitutes gross negligence of medical doctors. he said if he opened my right breast instead of left breast where the fibroadenoma was, that's negligence and said i could sue him. he also said it was better to do minor surgeries because the patients are conscious and could easily say "ouch" when something goes amiss. in the middle of the operation he told his team, "kwentuhan tayo ng kwentuhan dito eh nawawala na yung bukol" then he went silent for less than a minute, then uttered, "ayan, ayan, o harangan mo." the procedure was declared successful 10 minutes before 11:00 a.m. (it started a little past 10 am).

although i grew up in a family doctors and heard so many anecdotes about their daily exploits in hopsitals i am still amazed to hear their conversations during surgical procedures (this is my second, during my first operation by the same doctor the conversation was about a two-timing doctor and his jealous wife). for me, the conversations that take place demystify the medical profession…doctors are just as human as anybody is, they joke, they gossip, they grieve for patients that perish. I trust my doctor more now than ever after he told his team that medical profession is not just about diseases and illnesses, it's about people, it's about life.


He and She

' Should one of us remember,
And one of us forget,
I wish I knew what each will do -
But who can tell as yet?'

'Should one of us remember,
And one of us forget,
I promise you what I will do -
And I'm content to wait for you,
And not be sure as yet.'

-Christina Rossetti-