The nasogastric tube and the doctor's impropriety
BY the time he reached the hospital, Rajappan was extremely ill and helpless. It is for the 6-inch stomach that we live. That stomach has been in danger. How can he tolerate it?
After a careful examination, the doctor declared, "A tube has to be inserted through the nose."
In that condition, anyone will agree to anything. The nurse started inserting the tube through his nostril slowly.
"Swallow the tube." The doctor directed him.
Rajappan began to swallow the tube. Rajappan's face then resembled that of a snake swallowing a frog. The doctor couldn't control his laughter. As the doctor was wearing a mask Rajappan didn't see him laugh.
The doctor said, "Slowly...slowly....yes....like that...yes....over."
'What is over?' For Rajappan trouble had just begun.
"My throat is aching and I feel like vomiting."
"If you do like that the tube will come out." The doctor warned.
Thinking of the trouble he has to go through again if it came out, Rajappan forcefully kept the tube in his throat.
"There is no other way Rajappan. We shall take out the tube as early as possible." The doctor consoled him.
"Now a tube has to be inserted for urine."
"No doctor, don't do that."
"It won't hurt. The tube will be inserted after giving local anaesthesia."
"I can not tolerate it. Once earlier the tube was inserted."
The doctor thought for a moment and said, "I have to get the volume of urine every day."
"Is that all? That I shall collect in a vessel and keep here without losing a drop," Rajappan assured the doctor.
The doctor and Rajappan came to terms and the tube was avoided.
Rajappan started complying with his assurance regularly. Rajappan continued to ask the doctor about removing the tube each day. He started to forget about his disease.
"Let the medicines reach inside and heal you properly. We will dispose of the tube then."
Some more days went by like this. But one day Rajappan lost his patience. He waited for the doctor to come. He decided to give an end to it this time.
"I am alright now. Remove the tube today," Rajappan said in a stern voice.
Without saying a word the doctor pulled out the tube in one go and dumped it into the waste bin.
Rajappan started blowing his nose.
"You should not blow your nose," the doctor ordered.
"It is severely paining," Rajappan said in disgust.
"It will be alright soon," the doctor said. The pain subsided.
After the tube was discarded Rajappan's face lighted up with the happiness of the same magnitude as when India got its independence.
Rajappan has now become the healthy Rajappan of the past.
"Anyway, what the doctor has done is very improper. Is it like uprooting a tapioca plant that the tube is taken out of my nose? I am lucky to be still alive. With how much care and attention has the nurse inserted it. Why didn't you even have the consideration that I am a human being?" Rajappan thought so and was about to open his mouth to speak out, when the doctor said, "Rajappan, the tube is taken out like this. If it was taken out slowly, you would have vomited and it would have given you more trouble."
Rajappan thanked the doctor and walked out with a heart swollen with pride. There wasn't any particular reason as such, it was his habit.
(Translation of Dr Jacob Samson's Malayalam article mookkile kuzhalum doctorude kannathirivum by Eapen Chacko)