My mother underwent cataract surgery last Thursday. Cataract surgery is probably the safest and quickest of surgeries performed anywhere in the world. Ofcourse it has to be done by a competent doctor, but there is negligible risk and its easy for the patient. Not so when the patient is my mother :):). Amma has not had a injection in several years, she is scared of every kind of test and she tried her level best to not get the surgery done. She prayed for a miracle, she spoke to about 50 people to ask if it hurt and how quickly they recovered and finally agreed to getting it done because the cataract was making it difficult for her to see clearly.
Before going to Pune, I had pinged Dr. Sanjay Dhawan, whom I met on FB as we had several friends in common, to ask about Amma’s eye issue. We met him at Max Gurgaon and he told Mom that she has to have the cataract surgery done in both the eyes. We agreed to getting it done once we got back from Pune. Amma did ask him if I can be with her as he did the surgery and Sanjay told her sweetly that he will be with her :). She liked him immensely so she felt comfortable with that answer.
So many things happened in Pune that I forgot about his instructions and the various tests that Amma had to go through before going in for the surgery. Once we were back, he reminded me of the tests and Amma was so worried that she ended up having a back spasm for a couple of days. She is really like a little kid who is scared of needles and hospitals ! We finally got all the tests done and Thursday was chosen as the day for the surgery.
We reached Max early as Amma had to go through the admission process. She had to change out of her saree and wear the hospital gown. Krishnan took a picture of hers as we have never seen Amma in anything but a saree.
The nurse tried to put eye drops to dilate her pupil but she refused to open her eyes so I put the eye drops :). Then the OT nurse came with a wheel chair and took Amma into the OT. For all her fear, Mom turned totally fearless inside the OT ! Apparently some other doctor filled an injection with some red coloured medicine and Amma told him that only Dr. Sanjay Dhawan should touch her eyes and he had told her that she would not be given any injection. The doc assured her that it was not for her but for another patient. Then it was her turn and they tried to hook up some BP machine when again she told the supporting doctors that only Dr. Dhawan can operate on her :). Finally Dr. Dhawan came and when he checked her eye, the pupil had not dilated enough and the local anaesthesia didn’t seem to work. So Sanjay just told Amma that she will have to bear the pain and he will gently operate because the anaesthesia wasn’t taking effect fully. She asked him if she can keep talking to him and he said yes. So what should have taken just 10 mins or so took longer but it wasn’t too painful for Amma.
Krishnan and I started wondering what had happened when it was almost 45 minutes and Krishnan went to ask the nurse at the OT desk if Amma was still inside and why the delay. The nurse told him that she will tell him know as soon as Amma is out of the OT. Krishnan came out and informed me and as he turned around, we saw Amma walk out of the OT holding a junior Doctor’s hand. Apparently when her surgery was completed they didn’t immediately move her and she asked why. She was told that they were waiting for a wheelchair and my now bindaas mother told them to call me so that she can walk out of the OT and that she will not use the wheel chair. The junior doctor asked her if she will hold his hand as she may feel a little woozy with her pupil dilated and she said yes and walked out of the OT, much to our delight.
Sanjay called me to say Amma was very cooperative and not scared at all. We were very proud and definitely relieved because more than Mom, we were worried about how she will deal with this surgery.
We were back home after a quick lunch and I got Amma to wear big sunglasses so that her eyes can be protected from bright light and dust for the next month or so.
The next day we went for a post-op checkup and I clicked a picture of the doc with his happy patient. Dr. Sanjay Dhawan – you are truly gifted because Amma feeling so at ease with you made all the difference. Am sure all your patients feel the same way – you do have the healing touch !!