BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Saturday, January 19, 2008

at the surgeon's mercy

The surgeon's room looked eerie, dark and lonely. Most of all, it looked old, as if thousands and thousands of surgical procedures have already been done in the room. Who knows? Some patients may have survived, some may have died. But there was no smell of death. Only the fetid smell of medicines and anesthesia.

It was my turn on the bed. There was no time to say no. The surgeon, old and almost bald, reminded me of my grandfather. He didn't look scary, just intimidating. He exuded the aura of someone who has been around and has done almost every surgical procedure.

Mine was a minor, minor procedure. But still, I cried. I cried like a child. I cried as if I was going to give birth again. I cried when he was about to inject me with pain killers. I cried when I saw the needle. I cried as the dreaded moment came -- the tip of the needle slowly and mercilessly grinded into my skin.

But I needed the anesthesia, no thanks to my low threshold for physical pain. Fifteen minutes later and several muted screams of pain after, it was over. I now have a bandage over my head and hope that when the wound heals, everything will be back to normal.