It was a minor eye surgery. I had arrived at 7am, placed my handbag in the locker and by 8am, I was on the bed outside the Operating theater (OT). My doctor had told me it was a half day procedure and I could go back home at 1pm so I asked the anesthesiologist, “Can I take the taxi back home on my own?”
He laughed, “No Darling, you must call your family here.”
That was how I had envisioned the procedure to be – quick, simple and that I can take the taxi back home just like how I had arrived. Being young, female and having motion sickness are risk factors for nausea induced by general anesthesia(the one where you sleep during surgery), my lecture notes had mentioned. I didn’t believe my lecture notes until I was puking so hard post-op. There was nothing they could give to ease my vomiting because they had already pumped in anti-emetics during the op via IV. I simply had to wait. I found my phone and texted my family to turn up at the hospital at 1.30pm. I don’t know how I did that, texting my family while puking. I also don’t know how I listened to the nurse telling me about medications or the doctor who was asking me questions post-op. My brain listened and if it was important, I took it in. If it could be handled later, I shoved it to the back of my memory. As a young, fit female of sound mind, I was having difficulties processing instructions from the doctor and nurse. How would the older folks handle the confusion?
Currently, my eyes are bloody. I’ve been advised to stay away from crowded and dirty places because it is considered an open wound that must not get infected. I’ve been asked by the doctor to stay away from my hospital rotation but the university staff are hounding me with emails. I had told them I’d be back on day 6 of surgery but after noticing the slow recovery and my red eyes, I think it’s a stretch. As a medical student, I should know post-op recovery is as crucial as the surgery itself and eye infections will ruin my vision. I hope the uni staff understand this too. I hope they realise I am worried of losing out on clinical teaching but I need two weeks for good healing. I want to put myself first. I’ll pass my exams somehow. I’ll catch up the two weeks somehow. As my fiance said to me, “There are many doctors and many patients but I only get one wife. Take care of yourself first, the rest can wait.”