She was a middle age Malay woman who was G6P5 (meaning it was her 6th pregnancy and she has 5 other children).
It was in the middle of the night when she came in to give birth to her 6th child. The birth was uneventful enough (when you have delivered 5 times previously, nothing really becomes an event anymore).
I was the House Officer assigned to stitch her up. Actually it was rather ironic that she needed any stitching at all as most ‘experienced’ women like her would have given birth without so much as a bruise to the birth canal. But she did, and it was a rather large laceration down south.
What was supposed to be an easy assignment turned out to be a lesson on ‘stitching in continuous locomotion’!
She just could not lie still. She was, in fact, doing the lambada or Macarena or a Shakira number on the delivery table as I attempted to close her wound. I gave her enough local anesthesia, warned her a billion times not to move but still she did. Ricky Martin would have been put to shame by her gyrations.
And suddenly, the unthinkable happened. I pricked myself with the needle! And yes, I bled. It has pierced through my gloves and nicely implanted itself into my finger.
I was so horrified and angry at the same time that I simply dropped the surgical instruments I was holding. I told her, rather sternly, that her vigorous dancing has resulted in me getting a needle-prick injury, and I walked away; leaving her bewildered and with a string attached to a needle held by an artery forceps dangling from her vagina. She wasn’t dancing anymore then.
A nurse picked up where I left behind.
I never saw the patient again.
I decided then that any form of surgical procedure was not my cup of tea.
PS: ‘A Memorable Patient’ is a series of stories written from the experience of a decade in service.
Wed, 300806 @ 0749