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.


Jyoti Mishra said…
poor kid and poor you =))
I remember a doctor of mine who used to poke two needle every time I visited him. Guess that's universal :P
Santhosh P said…
Thanks for disclosing the anesthetic techniques. Never been on a surgen's table, always wondered how you guys manage it. My theory was socks.
Soham Roy said…
Oh I had my Teeth pulled out a few months back and I can totally co-relate what a Evil person you must be :>)
Ruch said…
The only sort of doctor I feel like punching is my Dentist. He is a nice amicable fellow but boy how I hate him :)
I was put under anesthesia a year back and in my case it was intravenous. So cant say anything about evil anesthesiologists :)
Anonymous said…
I think you should dress up as Gabbar and get yourself clicked. Then you can distribute your picture to all those parents and ask them to use it in extreme circumstances. :)
Read it on tamarind rice already ;-) Aww what a thankless job that is..! Especially with kids ! Oh and mine is equally thankless...I sit all weekend and days and nights in front of my computer to create an Increment Letter that is auto generated for 5000 employees, and I also do the data upload and finally when it goes live, I dont get any.
I'm basically the go-to guy when fellow doctors need to find a vein so I get called for sticking most needles.. sigh.
I used to be a fan of socks myself... now I feel its outdated. I just have a lot of garlic for lunch and go chat with the patient, letting my wonder-breath =p~ work its magic on him/her.
Sigh.. we can never catch a break !! Even the grownups want to kill us.
When I underwent a surgery myself a few years back, I honestly didnt even remember I was under. I just woke up thinking a few seconds passed by and wondered why they didnt start. Only then, I realised I was in post-op and the surgery was over.
I do aim for the same with my patients but not so easy to avoid the needle prick in the child. And when he wakes up with pain in other operated areas, he immediately co-relates that pain to me :-t since he saw me come and poke him earlier.
Dress up as Gabbar... gee !! Why dont I just dress up as Freddy Kruger and complete the whole scenario. They can grow up and come back to burn me alive ;(
Seriously. We should start our own group.. the League of Unrewarded Supercool Heroes (LUSH!) (h)
Ritu said…
Loved this. Congratulations on the win
Danny Simon said…
Wow! Great opening! Was wondering if you were going to have to wear those black glasses again! :)
maithili said…
hahaha :D poor you! I just read somewhere the other day a joke on anaesthologists :P I will share it later on your page :D :D
BK Chowla, said…
It is too scary.Best is to leave your body to the Dr.
Can never be sure 8-) All these kids may gang up on me some day!
Gee thanks.. remind me to add you to the list of people to poke with a big pointy needle :-t
Thanks sir.. that may be necessary in some cases. :)
Karanth S R said…
:d poor you...

but i totally agree with those kids as this reminds me of something from my old days. :-t i was so angry on not just the doctor who had put some IV medicine to me but all those people from my family who helped him by holding me tightly, not even allowing me to protest ;((

i'm sure later they would realize your role in saving their life (if it is saved :p ) and would not want to kill u. .. :)
Kanthu said…
This cracked me up. Poor boy, you must have traumatised him for life. :P
Anonymous said…
Nice post, and congrats on being one of the Spicy Saturday picks!!! :)
While I would like to think so too, it doesnt help when the kid's parents teach him to do everything he hates (eat vegetables, do his homework, go to bed, stop watching tv) by saying I will come with an injection otherwise!! @-)
He doesnt even care for the surgeon who operated on him a couple of times.. he just hates me!! So unfair !
drprashant said…
good one roshan :)...keep it up...!!!
Alka Gurha said…
Ha ha. One should never ever have to visit a doctor or a lawyer. But you don't look like most cold hearted, insensitive dudes with illegible handwriting.
Priya K said…
He he.. Like other fields in medicine, anaesthiology doctors are unsung heroes.. As a doctor I know how much important the role of an anaesthetist really is.. You know what one of the patients told my psychiatrist friend.. Why does one need to do Mbbs for taking psychiatry.. One can do it like that only.. he didnt knew difference between psychiatry and psychology.. So there are many unsung heroes like this.. Hey this is Priya @ docpanacea.. Moved my blog at colorsaroundmysoul.blogspot.com
Thanks sir.. lots of anaesthesia related posts in recent times :D
Illegible!! I have been accused of the opposite.. I have a third standard childs handwriting.. each letter not touching the other :-d
For everyone, it seems like childs play.. they dont understand what goes into it.. the pharmaceutical aspects, the identification of illness, the gravity of diagnosis and treatment.
And noted the blog change.
Saru Singhal said…
Ergo, that is a great read. BTW, how many Blogadda picks you have, seven as I can count in the list. Truly awesome.
Thanks Saru. And yes, I've been lucky to get a few Blogadda picks over the years :D Still feels as good to see your name in that list today as it did the first time!
abdulla khaleel said…

please give the anaesthesia as soon as possible.. we cannot wait..
you poke or you put your damn needle to his back which pralyse him , we dont mind we need anaesthesia..

dr khaleel
orthopedic surg
Sumana said…
It was nice to read..
Esp liked the dartboard stuff :D
Sumana said…
went through other comments..Liked ur garlic flavored breath idea too :)
:-) Oof !! These surgeons and orthopedicians. Da, first I must have my coffee. Then I have to see patients file. Then talk to patient. Then see if consent is there. Then again check patients file to see if there is anyway I can cancel case. If all that fails, then I will see if I can give some anaesthesia. :d
Unfortunately, the other drs dont approve of such modern techniques as garlic-breath and bad jokes.. sigh. So tough being a pioneer!
Anonymous said…
ha ha :D wonderful read. And congrats for the spicy saturday pick. First time here and thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep writing.
Thanks GBtP. Hope to see you more often in the comments section :D
Binu Thomas said…
Ohh dear. So, you take all the child curses and the surgeons get away scot free! :d I think you need to share this blog post as a one pager to the children so that they can read it when they are capable of reading it and feel sorry :)

Congrats for the Spicy Saturday pick..
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yes. That is the plan a decade from now when they come to take revenge.. to show them this article and save my ass ! [-(
Hilarious...loved the blog fro start to finish...especially the analogy drawn to Gabbar..
Thanks so much Neelima. And even today, I just met one such kid again ;(
Years from now, if u read a newspaper article of a bunch of teens killing their doctor, just make sure it aint me :-t :-t @-) 8-)
sridevi datta said…
Ha ha ha ...loved this :d
Thanks. Perks of being a doc. they didnt mention this in the medical textbooks @-)