I had just finished taking the history of a patient and was walking out the door when I ran into a previous patient and his family. Now, jovial ol' me couldn't walk past without saying hi so I stopped in front of him with a "Hi. How are you?"
He punched me!
And then turned to the guy next to him, pointed at me and said "I don't like this man. Hit him." To be fair, I can't blame him. The last time we had met, there had been blood involved.
Perhaps, it would be prudent for me to provide a bit of back-story here. You see, I'm the hospital anaesthesiologist. Part of my job resume (some would say my main job...whatever!) involves making patients sleep before surgeries. Now while my favourite techniques to knock patients unconscious usually involves using my puttu-sardine curry breath or showing highlights of old Sharjah cricket matches, occasionally under duress I am requested by other doctors to use pharmaceutical medications as well for the patients (Damn druggies!). And while this is fine for most adult patients, with kids it's a different story.
|Selected by Blogadda as a|
Spicy Saturday Pick.
You see, somebody has to stick an intravenous cannula - the poky needle - into their tiny hands and that guy is usually me. Even though the surgeon is the dude with as many knives as a Masterchef contestant, the kid never sees that. The surgeon operates after the kid is totally knocked out. In his eyes, I'm the evil guy who enters his room in the evening with a needle to poke him and later on, after separating him from his parents, holds a mask over his face in what may be misconstrued as a suffocating gesture. Does not paint a pretty picture of me in that kid's eyes, does it?
Ergo, like most other fields in medicine, I too now have a unique list of patients who remember me.
Only unlike other docs, these patients are all little kids out to get revenge... little kids like the three year old I was talking about at the start of this post who asked his dad to punch me. His dad laughed and told me that now, whenever he disobeys them, they get him to settle down by telling him that if he doesn't listen, I will come for him with another needle. (C'mon! Give a guy a break here!)
There is a certain warm and fuzzy feeling that washes over you when you realize people think of you and remember what you did for them. Besides the obvious romantic implications to that, it also applies to people aspiring to be role models. I always figured I was cool enough to have my own legacy one day - I figured that it would be like Mandela or the Pope... or atleast as one of Kim Kardashian's boytoys. Turns out, my legacy is that I'm Sholay's Gabbar Singh to many small kids in my state! Theoretically, even as you read this, there are probably hundreds of kids throwing darts at a dartboard, visualizing my face at it's centre.
Out of curiosity (nothing whatsoever to do with fear)... I don't seem to remember the ending of Sholay; Gabbar and the people he terrorized worked out their differences and become best buddies eventually, right?
I'm pretty sure I remember a song about being best friends in that film...
Author's note: This article first appeared in my column "An Appletini a Day..." in the July edition of Tamarind Rice. You can read the issue online here. Also, check out their thought-provoking theme for their next issue and see if you would like to contribute to it.