Nudity, Anesthesia and Patella – Part 2

Continued from here.

I woke up and look out of the window. Beautiful white snow had covered everything in Rovaniemi, Lapland. I was sleeping in Stephen’s room because my roommate, who was my second camera op, would keep the lights on till late to copy cards and charge batteries. I checked the time and realised I must head to my room and get ready for breakfast. We were staying in a beautiful luxurious hotel that had big cottage suits with huge glass windows to see the northern lights. I opened the main door and it was half snow half ice everywhere. There were wooden steps leading to the main road. On each side of the steps was a deep pit of mud covered now in fresh snow. I locked the door and turned to slowly carefully step down. A thought crossed my head – What if I slip and fall? I stopped for second and took a deep breath. If I do it carefully, I can make it back to my room without trouble.

They put gravel on the steps and slippery ice to prevent people from falling. I could see the gravel on the steps. I took my first step landing my right foot on the first step and it slipped. I slid off the stairs with a sudden jolt and nothing around to hold on to. In a flash, I felt my knee cap pop out to its right. Now that has happened numerous times with me. My body’s immediate reaction always is to fall flat. It immediately release the pressure from my knee and the knee cap goes back to its place. With the snow, this turned out to be tricky. I spun around slipping through the ice landing in the pit, flat on my face with my knee hitting the icy ground. It popped back in place giving me relief from that excruciating pain it causes. But I felt it wasn’t the end of it. The big question was I had to now climb back up and still make it to my room. My phone was in my pocket but I was all zipped up. It seemed impossible to find it.

I looked around and discovered that my room was actually right next to me. The pit separated the two cottages. The way through the main road made it seem far away at night. I decided it would be wiser to just climb out towards my room. I slowly got up. I had landed on my palms. They were now red and hurting very badly. The good news was I could stand. My right leg shivering and a little numb. I limped around the pit and found a less steep side up. The snow was fresh so it was easy to climb. I made my way up and opened my room, dragged myself to my bed and just sat there breathing. What just happened? Did I just manage to injure myself on a shoot in Finland? In the middle of nowhere? I took off my jeans to look at my knee. It was swollen. I went to the washroom and put it under running hot water.

A normal person would have just gotten up, hurled a few abuses and walked his way out to his room uninjured. The other possibility being you crack open your skull by hitting your head on the stairs and then the stones and ice. But thanks to my luck, I was now tied naked to a table with intact skull in an OT with a shitload of medical equipment beeping and wheezing around me while some doctors take selfies with my cut open knee as they try to fix it. Such is life.

“…he started screaming at me. I told him that even though he is a doctor, he can’t just shout at me like that. Next time he does it, I will throw something at him I swear”

“I know…he’s just an asshole. The other day he got an earful…”

Two nurses were very softly gossiping away with some serious conviction in a corner of the OT. I could hear the doctors murmuring. Nothing seemed like going unusual. There was a calm vibe around. Chill scenes I tell you.

“How are you holding in there buddy?” came Dr Sawhney’s voice tearing through the silence. The two nurses shut up immediately. I told him it was all good and asked him how was it going down there. “Almost there…almost there” he replied and continued to murmur with the other doctors. He probably did that just to remind the gossip girls they were in the middle of a surgery. And no they weren’t two girls. One of them was a guy.

After what seemed like ten minutes, I heard “Ah….beautiful! Come see this. The patella is tracking so beautifully now. Let’s take some more pictures” and everyone gathered behind Dr Sawhney to pose.

“Take some closes as well” he insisted. I looked at the clock and discovered it had not even been an hour since I was brought in here.

“Himanshu, your patella is now absolutely stabilized. It went better than I thought”

“Thank you so much doctor. That’s some relief to hear you say that” I replied. It genuinely felt so good to know it was over. Then I heard a sound I was least expecting but I should have. I looked at the lady doctor who was right by side.

“Is he stapling it?”

“Yes…”

“How many?”

“7-8 on one side, about 3-4 on other” she told me with a little wince.

“Show also the pictures as well” Dr Sawhney requested her.

A phone was brought to me with pictures of my knee. There was one big clean incision and every muscle inside was off white. I couldn’t make out much if it was fixed or not. But I was surprised that there was no blood anywhere. Later, google told me what Tourniquet really does is it depletes the area of blood by putting three times the pressure stopping the circulation. It helps doctors perform the surgery without worrying about blood loss. It’s also easy to see things clearly.

They removed the screen that was blocking my view and I was surprised to see both my legs were stretched out straight covered with a green sheet. It was a surprise because before I was given anaesthesia, my right leg was folded up while left was straight out. Post anaesthesia, I kept getting this ghost feeling that my legs were still in the same position. To see your legs in a different position than how you feel them can be a tricky situation.

Doc then showed me x-rays of my knee at every stage. They bent and checked to see if the movement is not restricted. I could see my knee cap was now resting absolutely in the centre in all the scans as opposed to on the far right off the socket in older x-rays.

My knee cap had this problem from a very long time. When I was young, it would dislocate but wouldn’t cause as much of pain to really ring any alarm bells. As I grew up, the problem got worse but the idea of a knee surgery was still not considered to be a safe option. I met with an accident in 2007 and the best solution to fix it was to perform a surgery. Yet the senior doctors at that time considered that healing should solve it and one shouldn’t hinder with complex joints like knee. Ten years later, I can now say it didn’t heal.

Thanks to that condition, I always lived in constant fear of dislocating my knee. I would walk slowly, be extra careful on stairs, never jump or run. There were times when my brain would suddenly remember the feeling when knee twists if I would be walking with people behind me. As if one of them kicked my knee from behind. It would get so fictitiously painful that I would physically just touch my knee to believe that it still is intact. To avoid situations like these, I never walked with people walking immediately behind me. I would always stand with my right left loose so that no one accidently hits it. It was a 24×7 stress on my head.

These x-ray scans just told me, that trauma was over. That after I recover this time, there will be no more random knee twists and the unfathomable pain that makes you want to throw up and haunt you for days and nights. It was something. I was still processing it all. Like a curse was now lifted.

“Once the effects of anaesthesia wear off, you’ll need to pass a lot of urine. We’ve given you a lot of fluids during the surgery. You might experience pain in your bladder but worry not it is normal. If you feel that you’re unable to pee, let us know and we’ll fix a catheter” explained Dr Sawhney.

I almost jumped hearing the ‘C’ word.

“Fix a WHAT? I don’t think that will be necessary. It should be fine without it”

“Hahaha that’s the best part of catheter. Nine out of ten times we don’t actually need to fix it. The very mention of it or bringing it in the view of the patient does its job”

My right leg was now bandaged and put in a full length brace. It looked three times the size it was before the surgery. I couldn’t move a toe or anything. They transferred me back to the stretcher, I thanked all the doctors and was wheeled out in the observation area. I was freezing again. The same doctors came by and set up all the equipment around me including the blower to keep me warm. I was supposed to stay in this room for over an hour.

Dr Sawhney called up my father and made me talk to him. I told him it all went well. He sounded relieved. Everyone left me alone to rest. Like I was even tired. Or maybe I was. I lifted the bedsheet slightly to have a look at my leg and realized they didn’t put back my pajama. I touched the skin on my thigh where I had no sensation and it felt like I was touching another person’s body. Surreal.

I continued to just stare at the ceiling wishing to sleep but could not. Suddenly, my heartrate monitor which was beeping rhythmically started wreaking havoc. I thought everyone will come running but nobody did. On the contrary, a nurse just came by, reset it and found out one of the sensors was pulled out. She put it back on my chest.

Instead of holding on to the skin fully, it caught half of my hair and was now pulling it. I thought I should inform her but she left. It kept pulling away the hair slowly increasing the pain. At one point it got super painful so I just pulled it off and the machine went mad again with beeps. I was amazed how confident they were that nothing was wrong with me. She again came strolling to reset it. I told her what happened and she put it on clear skin this time.

I was surprised that I had no thoughts at that point. I was just blank. I had never been this blank for a long time. I was kind of enjoying this oblivion. Another patient was brought next to me. She had a surgery of her ear. The doctor was extra friendly and chirpy. She joked around with all the nurses. The nurses seemed to not like her much. I could see them going ‘Ooooooh look at Miss I-AM-SUCH-FAB-DOC hop, skip and jump out of here’.

Another patient was brought with some gastro related surgery. The nurses made a face when they were told the patient will pass stool now. They looked at each other as to whose duty was it. A senior nurse sped up and closed the curtains around the patient.

It reminded me, I was neither hungry nor thirsty. It was 2pm and I hadn’t had a drop of water since 6am. My last meal was the day before. Yet I felt just fine. Wait. At some point, I will have to let go of what I am fed here. Will I have to use a pot? Oh Wow. I somehow was convinced that the biggest challenge was the surgery. It was slowly becoming clear to me that shit was about to get real.

I started feeling a tingling sensation all over my lower body. I tried moving my left toe. This was funny. In my head, I was just wiggling my toe but I could see the whole foot flap around like crazy. I didn’t want to risk wiggling my right toe. In the middle of this whole wiggly business, it was time for me to be taken to my ward. An hour had passed just like that.

Back in my ward, I had to be shifted to my bed. The four ward boys picked up each corner of the bedsheet and put me right between the bed and the stretcher. Happy with their achievement, they decided to wheel the stretcher away.

“STOP. I am in the middle. You need to shift me all the way on the bed” I told them and my own helplessness struck me. I couldn’t even shift on my own at that point.

“What? Really?” one of the men lifted the bedsheet on the top to check if that was really the case. I again got nervous. The bedsheet was all that was covering me. All that realization of privacy not being a problem anymore had vanished and there I was all paranoid again. They realized the problem and shifted me again to the centre of the bed. A strange sense of fatigue began taking over me. Shortly before I was feeling absolutely fine but now I felt all my energy had vanished. Head and eyes started to feel heavy yet I wasn’t sleepy. Speaking seemed like a task. I just lay there still, breathing deeply.

My father came by to check on me. And right behind him came my mom. She was half crying half smiling. Caressing through my hair, she asked me if everything went well, if I had any pain, if I was feeling nauseas or dizzy. My father jumped in and consoled her that everything went perfectly well. The doctors were very happy with the result. And she should just let me rest. That calmed her down and she sat next to me.

Then came Shashwat all smiling and happy.

“Aur bhai. How did it go? You feel alright? Let’s see how it looks” and he began to slowly uncover the sheet from my right toe.

“Don’t open it please. That’s all that’s covering me” I feebly tell him.

“What? That’s all? They were going to put a brace and all right? What happened to that?” and he pulls the bedsheet uncovering my entire right leg.

“STUPID GUY. STOP. I MEANT AM NOT WEARING ANYTHING EXCEPT THIS BEDSHEET” I scream on top of my lungs. He immediately puts back the sheet.

“Oh achha. Sorry”

He walks away and starts to fidget with his phone. And a sense of guilt overcomes me. I should not have screamed. I start to wonder what is with me that’s making me so irritable and sensitive about it. I just stay quiet for some time. I should take it easy.

A young nurse comes in with a very innocent smile.

“Hello. You want to have some water?” she asked me very calmly and sweetly. She had a south Indian accent. I nodded a yes. She brought a glass of water and I felt my mouth wanting to soak away the whole glass. Like an influx I began desperately sipping the water. She immediately pulled away the glass.

“No. Not so much. Just a couple of small sips. We’ll give you soup in some time”

Whatever water got through felt like heaven. My head landed back on the pillow with a thud. The tingling sensation had now reached its end. And my bladder was waking up. In about ten minutes I started feeling like I hadn’t peed in a week. I pressed the nurse call button and asked for a pee bottle. I prayed to the Almighty that I don’t have to use a catheter.

A very humble, pleasant looking man came with the bottle smiling. He politely requested everyone to move out and closed all the curtains.

“Take your time son. I am standing right outside” he told me handing over a weirdly shaped bottle with a flat bottom. The shape immediately made sense. Then I let it go. Take it from me. Very few things feel as good as peeing after a surgery. It probably went on for fifteen minutes. I thought the bottle would overflow but it had some capacity. Mamu took away the bottle, cleaned my hands and tucked me back in. The effects of anaesthesia were completely gone.

Which also meant, the pain that I had royally avoided so far was starting to poke my knee. First with little pins. Then with bigger needles followed by knives. And just when I thought that was it, came spears and bludgeons.

It would hit me in waves. Each wave more painful than the other. I asked my father if the drip had any painkiller and turns out they did give me some painkillers (paracetamol) after the surgery. Somehow, it wasn’t working. It grew worse in the next half an hour.

To the extent that I couldn’t hold it together. I began howling in pain. My mother’s face lost all its colour. My father talked to the nurses and on duty doctor. They thought it was normal to feel pain. One of them even questioned my father “Is he a very pampered kid? Can he not bear some pain?”. May be I am a pampered kid. And maybe I don’t deal well with pain. How about helping me instead of judging me?

They had planned a course of painkillers that would increase in dosage gradually. But I was in agony. Every now and then the pain would subside letting me breathe then suddenly it would hit me hard again. The spasms were very random. No fixed rhythm.

I was tired of keeping my hands on the sides. I wanted to raise them above my head. But the moment I would do so, my knee would feel a pull and start to hurt. So I would again bring them down. But then my arms would hurt. I felt absolutely trapped and end of my wit.

“This is ridiculous. Why would they not give me stronger pain killers? If only the pain is  constant and slightly less than this, I can bear it. But right now, I cannot bear it.” I cried to my dad in pain.

Very calmly my dad replied “It’s not ridiculous. It’s just a standard procedure. They cannot suddenly give you more pain killers. There has to be a certain gap. Too bad it is not working but it is still in your system. Just try to tough it out for some time. They will add another dosage soon.”

My knee was feeling very tightly trapped in something. Like it was hurting because the brace was too tight. I complained to the doctor on duty and he gave his usual reply

“That’s usual. We can’t open the brace. Is there any other problem?”

“Yeah. The damn tv has no HD channels” I almost replied.

Finally my dad called up Dr Sawhney who immediately spoke to the nurse and asked them to loosen the brace because it must have swollen. She loosened it a little bit and like magic my pain subsided. Still a lot though. But now borderline bearable.

I looked at my mother and could see her freaking out. I knew she would not leave if I continued to be in so much pain. I closed my eyes and began breathing deeply. The nurse came by and added another dosage of painkiller. It had very little effect though. I acted like it worked. I faked falling asleep.

My father then convinced my mother that I have gone to sleep and she should leave. She was reluctant at first but eventually agreed and left. As soon as she left, I woke up and told my dad that it was still very painful but less than earlier. He checked with the nurses again and there was still time before they would give the final dose. So he started talking to me about random things to divert my attention. I explained what all was happening in the OT and how they clicked pictures etc. He began telling me stories of days when he was a medical representative. Two hours passed.

At around 11pm, sister came in with Tramazac. Within a minute of her injecting that, I felt the pain reduce to a little prick. The dosage was really strong. I could feel it. Strong painkillers make your head feel light and give you a sort of high. Like I know what being high is. Still. I can guess. The relief was so quick that I fell asleep in no time.

Bright lights. Beeps. Walking on the road. Jumping. Free fall. And I woke up with a jolt. Breathing heavily, I looked at the clock. It had hardly been few minutes since I fell asleep. I felt extremely exhausted and a little bit disoriented. I continued to lay still. In some time, I began to fall asleep again.

Concrete. My shoes. Free falling feet. Crash. And I woke up again with a sudden jerk in my right leg.

Shit.

To be continued….

Nudity, Anaesthesia and Patella – Part 1

The alarm went off at 6am. It was a little strange waking up this early but not for a shoot. My mom was up already. I realized I should have woken up a bit earlier. I went to the kitchen and had few sips of water. Didn’t want to push my luck. As I turned on the shower, it struck me that it was my last shower for the next few weeks. I didn’t even know how I was going to make it through. My brain doesn’t function if I don’t shower. But then, I won’t need my brain to function much.

I called up the hospital and confirmed the reservation for my ward. As I packed and prepared to leave, I noticed my mother was worried sick by now. My father therefore decided she wouldn’t come along. Instead, it would be best if she came to visit in the evening when everything was done. She tried to argue a little but realized it was for the best.

I didn’t listen to music on the way to the hospital. Nor did me and my father talk much. I was sort of enjoying the peace. I was in a weird state of mind. The idea that you won’t walk for next few months can take some time to settle in. But I also liked the thought of my knee fixed once and for all. I was trying to plan it all.

While at the billing counter, my father took a selfie with me. It was so badly timed, but it did lighten up my mood. The photo came out as bad as cute the gesture was. Once we finished the billing and paperwork, we were taken to the ward. It was a twin sharing with no other patient in it. I could pick the bed, so I picked the one by the window even though I didn’t have to stay there for too long. If everything were to go by the plan, I was supposed to be released in 48-72hours after the surgery. I really hoped that it went by the plan.

A nurse came in with my wrist tag, hand sanitizer bottle and a box of various kinds of drips and injections to be kept by the bed. She also gave me a XXL sized gown and pajama. I was expecting it to be like those big one-piece gowns you see in movies and tv shows. Instead the pajama had an old school nara (string). I wondered what would patients with one or both hands in cast do? I was then asked to lie on the bed so that they could conduct some preliminary tests and ask me some questions.

A young doctor came and asked for my blood reports. He noticed that my platelet count was below 1,00,000. He made a note of it and continued asking questions.

“Do you consume alcohol?”

“No”

“Do you smoke?”

“No”

“Any drug usage?”

“No”

“Are you on any medication?”

“No”

“Are you diabetic?”

“No”

“Any history of surgery?”

“No”

“Any allergies?”

“No”

He left the room. And came another doctor. Who repeated exactly what the earlier doctor did. In the same manner, in the same order. And another doctor followed her. Did the same thing. Then came another. Asked the same set of questions. Obviously, I was getting a little impatient. But in total seven doctors (or droids?) came by and asked the exact set of questions in the exact order. The last one didn’t have to ask complete questions.

“I don’t consume alcohol or drugs. I don’t smoke. I am on no medication and not a diabetic. I have no known allergies.” He smiled, made note of all of those and continued to take my blood pressure. It was normal.

Then came the floor manager. Very smartly dressed in a long snug kurta and churidaar, high heels and long earrings wearing a very strong refreshing citrusy perfume. She had a tablet in her hand (the device!). “You see, if you are diabetic, alcoholic, smoker or allergic to something specific, it might change the course of your surgery. More doctors will need to be appointed and the procedures will get longer often resulting in increase in the charges. We want to give you the correct estimate and ensure no unnecessary procedures are done. Thus, the charade of questions. If you need anything, please feel free to contact me” she said handing over her business cards to everyone in the room.

As soon as the floor manager left, came another nurse to take blood samples. I pointed to my right hand but she, like every nurse in my history of blood tests, lifted my left hand. And exactly like every time, she poked two-three times unable to find the vein. She then settled for my right hand. I had already given blood samples twice in last three days. She had to find a new spot to poke. I am not scared of needles but yeah, it’s not the best feeling.

One of the doctors came back and told me I would need a set of X-Rays to be taken before the surgery. Following him a was ward boy with a wheelchair. I smiled and said I could just walk to the imaging center. “Once you’ve changed into the patient gown and worn that tag, you are not allowed to just walk around. The only way you can be transported to anywhere is either on a wheelchair or a stretcher” he replied in a very mechanical way. I complied. More droids?

Upon my return from the X-Rays (which went pretty uneventful thankfully), I was greeted by a nurse with a trimmer in his hand. I pulled my pajama up to reveal my leg.

“No no, you need to take it off. I need to clean the entire area”

“What? But the surgery is only of the knee…”

“Yeah…but it’s the norm. Let’s hurry up. We don’t have much time”

“Can you at least pull the curtains around?”

He sighed and reluctantly just pulled around the curtains leaving some gap. I kept looking at him waiting for him to realize that he needs to close it all the way. He looked back at me with the expression that clearly said he won’t do anything further in that regard. I started to feel a little annoyed now. Why would they disregard a patient’s privacy like that?

I slowly pulled down my pajama and he just yanked it off my legs. First few seconds of that trimmer on my legs and I knew I was going to get severely scratched. I could see marks like when you scratch your dry skin in winters. He ruthlessly continued to trim every nook and corner of my right leg and groin.

“Mamu, is it done?” shouted a nurse from between the gap. I panicked and covered myself with my pajama. “Don’t come here. I am not done yet” shouted Mamu back snatching away the pajama from me and continuing the trimming. She left closing the gap in the curtains to my relief.

“Hello Himanshu, hope you’re doing good. I will see you in sometime” greeted my doctor from the other side of the curtain looking for an opening to peep in. I again tensed up and almost lost it. WHY THE F**K DOES ANYONE NOT CARE ABOUT PRIVACY HERE? I was soon going to arrive at the answer myself. He left though without opening the curtain. I could hear a doctor and nurse talking to my dad and it was freaking me out that if one of them decides to just open the curtain, what would I do? Luckily nobody did.

I had to bear fifteen minutes of painful scratching of my skin before I could wear the pajama again. Though, I would say, there were no real scratches or cuts. Just a lot of dry smooth skin now.

“You’re NBM right?”

“NBM?”

“Nil by Mouth? You’ve not had anything for last six hours, right?”

“No. Nothing.”

“Good. Your reports came in. We are going ahead with the surgery. Your platelet count has risen.”

I was put on a stretcher and taken down to the operation theater. I crossed so many patients on my way in various conditions. The view of the world from a stretcher is surreal. Everyone looks at you like there’s something wrong with you. Random people crossing make sure they look at you in the eye as if asking what’s wrong with you. The stretcher keeps bumping here and there and you wonder if the ward boys really care about you or not. Then you notice they make sure it bumps into them and not anything else. Everything starts to slow down. You realize no matter how well you prepared for it. No matter how easy the doctor made it seem, you’re still scared out of wits when you start to hear the commotion of a busy operation theatre with all the beeps and hisses.

I was stopped at the entrance of the main OT and was greeted by a couple of doctors who were not only super good-looking but happy, calm and pleasant. One of them, who later I discovered was the physician, started explaining me that the platelet count has risen to a safe level and I should not worry about it at all. I requested to use the washroom.

When I came back from the washroom, I found my father waiting there. He asked me if I was ok. He was told by the hospital staff to come and meet me before the surgery. Both of us wondered if this was just a protocol they follow or was there something serious. The same doctor explained that it is just a protocol. As harsh as it may sound, they don’t know what the outcome would be in the OT. So, they prefer that the close family meets the patient before the surgery. Also, it often increases the confidence of the patient and calms him down. Often, not always though.

My father is a very calm person when it comes to medical procedures or probably any kind of emergency. Having a background in science and medicine, he not only understands how it all works but also understands the psychology of both the patient as well as the doctors. He was the perfect mediator between me and the hospital. I need mediation. I can suddenly be very impatient and vocal about things. He knows it well. I think it was indeed a good idea to not have my mother around. She is the strongest human being I know but when it comes to me, she becomes very vulnerable.

I was wheeled to the inner section of the OT and I crossed two open doors where I saw doctors performing surgeries. One of them had something going on in the abdomen. I took a deep breath and continued staring at the ceiling. My OT was much bigger than the ones I had seen on the way. But it was freezing.

I noticed the operation table was barely wide enough to hold a person. Obviously, it wasn’t for comfortable sleeping. The physician was joined by two more lady doctors, who were again, strikingly good looking. One of them, older than the other, told me she was going to administer anesthesia and it would cause tingling, pricking and a little bit of pinching in the beginning followed by a surge of heat and loss of control over the lower body. But it’s going to be absolutely controlled and I should not be worried at all.

Their tones were all so confident and calm that it put me to a lot of ease. The main surgeon, Dr. Gurvinder Singh Sawhney, joined and he’s a very talkative happy guy. So he just resumed talking to me like it was just another day. He has a million stories for every incident.

“You guys take some pictures of this surgery. Because this guy is a cinematographer. He’ll make it big one day and you’ll want to boast that you fixed his knee. Also, not to forget, the surgery itself is not so common” chucked Dr. Sawhney.

They made me sit up and uncovered my back. The anesthetist announced that a needle prick is coming up. And a second later I felt a little burning prick in my lower spine. A couple of more followed. Then I felt a thicker needle being inserted but didn’t feel the pain. It just felt odd. What followed next was big jolt down my spine and lower body like they pumped lead or mercury or something. I felt it go through my body all the way down. They made me lay down again.

“It’s all good. Don’t worry ok? Himanshu? It’s all fine” she told me caressing my forehead and arms like a mother assuring her child. They adjusted me on the table, put up a screen right over my chest to block my view of the surgery and two extended supports were fixed on each side for my arms. On my right arm was fixed a blood pressure monitor and my left arm a vein flan was fixed for the drip. They put heart monitor sensors over my neck and chest. My arms were now locked in that position. Like Jesus on the cross.

By now, I was shivering due to cold. They wrapped a number of bedsheets around my face and fixed a warm blower. The younger lady doctor was responsible for monitoring my vitals. I noticed that everyone was going about their business like every day. They were cribbing and gossiping about other people in the hospital, sharing stories about very trivial mundane incidents and laughing about them. Their mouths and faces were doing whatever, but their hands were working like a machine very meticulously doing everything.

I had lost sensation in my lower body. In my head I could feel my legs in exactly the same position as they were before the anesthesia just that I couldn’t move it anymore. It didn’t feel odd. It was a new feeling. This was my first experience with anesthesia ever. The younger lady doctor picked up a small plastic cap and started rubbing it softly on my stomach slowly going down asking me “Can you feel this?”.

At the edge of where my pajama was, I could feel the numbness begin. I felt someone open my pajama and pull it down. I went silent. I wished they could have waited for it to become completely numb before pulling it out. I wouldn’t have realized it. Now I was aware that I was lying naked on that table and a bunch of people, ladies inclusive were just walking around doing stuff.

They continued to talk to me like nothing happened. Like I was still wearing clothes and sitting normally next to them. And this slowly took my attention away from my nakedness. It is then I realized that their job is to save lives. It doesn’t affect them if people are naked. They signed up for this when they began their career as a doctor. It’s not about anyone’s privacy in a hospital. It’s about saving lives, fixing problems and helping people get back to a normal life again outside this hospital. I took a deep breath and relaxed.

It takes about half an hour to prepare for a minimal invasive arthroscopic surgery. The cold slowly stopped bothering me. The rhythm of the beeps and whooshes in the OT started to put me to a sort of half-sleep. As the procedure continued the room went quiet. The last thing I heard was them putting the tourniquet and Dr. Sawhney checking to make sure the pressure on it was three times my blood pressure. I would feel a little shake every now and then when they would adjust my leg, fold it or stretch it. I could see a blurred reflection on the light above me of my knee and I knew the surgery had now begun.

To be continued…

Five Slices of Me

Being a cinematographer, I naturally think of moving images first. But I have always loved photography as much even though I never tried my hand at proper studio photography. Recently a thought crossed my mind and here is the result.

The series has five stages starting from extreme close going all the way to a full wide shot like a track back shot. Each stage as a little story to it.

Model 1 – Nirmit Gire (@nirmitgire

1/5 – Window to the soul

He’s a very determined headstrong guy with a knack for adventure. Willing to teach and help others, he loves to make friends and socialize. Being well traveled makes him sensitive yet sensible.
Check out the upcoming posts to know more about him and some other interesting souls!

2/5 – Up-close

I met him first at an ad shoot directed by @saipawar4 two years ago. And we got along pretty well. It doesn’t take much to be yourself around him. In last two years I have seen him grow as a person and it’s a great feeling.

3/5 – It’s worth the story

“Pursuit of your dreams can take you to far away places. But like everything else, it has its pros and cons. Ten years ago, my sister moved to Australia for her education. Shortly, after I moved to Canada. Being students, neither of us could afford frequent trips back home, leave aside the idea of planning it together. We kept missing each other for eight years until in December 2017 when me and my parents finally visited Australia for her engagement. We were all in the same room after almost a decade. It felt so complete.”