It was pitch dark and Yang Fula with total blackout, looked like a war prone city. At this moment, I recalled the incident from the legend of Krishna. When Krishna was asked to open his mouth to check whether he really ate soil, Yashoda was astonished to see the entire universe in it. My case was similar. The only difference was that my universe only showed a Black Hole!!
The doctors were in the middle of this super marvelous surgery and I wondered what worse could happen if a torch was not arranged soon. Fortunately, a torch was brought and the surgery commenced once again. Like I said earlier, the tooth required some other means so that it could be extracted. Instead of plucking it out, the tooth now had to be cut from the bone. This was the time for the introduction of the most “sensational” equipment of its time – A mechanical bone cutting instrument that was operated by paddles!!
This is the closest comparison that I could make to briefly describe the operation of that machine. Yes, a sewing machine that had quite similar operating principle. It required the hand and the legs to be in perfect sync to properly cut the bone. No wonder, an army personnel was handling it.
Yang Fula was so remote that I wondered that the Bhutan government ever spent a penny on its development. And when we talk about development, the bare necessities are primary concern. A healthy dental life was considered as luxury rather than necessity. So spending on modernization of dental equipment (of Yang Fula) would have found place only in their 150th Five year plan (if they ever had such thing in Bhutan). Nevertheless, this was all that they had and I was assured that its success rate was quite high*. (The reason for this asterisk sign is that they did not mention any thing about its success rate in total darkness!!). It had been 33 years since man landed on moon and I was at a place where bone was still being cut through a mechanical process. This was the time when my love for this place had turned bitter.
A hand right in front of my mouth holding the torch, another one inside it, equipped with a tool and the third one to spray saline water on the tooth to facilitate the cutting. It appeared that some kind of treasure hunt was on inside my mouth. It made me more impatient and this time I felt like peeping inside my own mouth. I could not hold my same stern facial expression any more as my eyes looked more tired this time. Every surgery has one integral part in it which every patient dreads and that’s blood. The pain had increased drastically and the surgery had now left me bleeding. At this time I suddenly slipped into a semiconscious state (syncope). For a while, I could see nothing and was totally blacked out. It was a state of worry for the doctors, especially my husband. With innumerous surgeries, it was almost a routine for him. Only this time it was the most difficult one for him as the patient was none other than me. As I was falling unconscious, I could no longer hold the jaws tight and my mouth started closing. I barely recall that my name was being called again and again to make me stay awake. Finally when nothing worked, water was sprinkled on my face. This is all I remember thereafter the surgery.
The 3 and a half hour surgery (or the suffering) finally ended and the doctors breathed their most awaited sigh of relief. Unfortunately this was not same for me. The surgery had left me with the most excruciating pain in my life. Nothing worked for me, even the thought that I was a “brave” army wife. At times I even wanted that the nerves connecting my gums and the brain may rupture so that the pain in it would be released. I could only sit helplessly and let the painful moments pass away hoping that at some instant I’ll be relieved from it. Those were the moments that now fell short of words and unlike Sudarshan Kriya, its not something that you would want to experience it to know it.
Although the legendry surgery was over and I was on medication, there were some more bad karmas that were yet to be encashed. After five days of surgery, the tooth had developed an infection which could only be treated in a hospital under proper observation. Around 30 kms from Yang Fula, there was a civil hospital where I had to be hospitalized for few days. Here I was administered a few more antibiotics to cure the infection. By this time, I had lost all the hopes for something good to happen. And to my surprise, the infection was duly cured and I recovered within a month. While I was being treated in the hospital my two little kids were nurtured by my husband. The dentist from the army now had an additional responsibility of taking care of his kids, entirely. Like the sweetest dad, he would prepare food, do the dishes and make them ready for the school. This was the softer side of him that I got to see…at a cost of and an extravagant pain!
Nevertheless, this pain did not let me forget the beauty of Bhutan which still remains the best memory of my life. Amidst this chaotic life of Mumbai, I wish I could just runaway in the same meadows and wilderness and again relive those pleasant times.
Isawe family with Rohan and Shivangi.
This story came out while Vasudha was being treated here and was crying for pain. I was a little happy to see her as it reminded me of this great ordeal ;) I thought this will acquaint her with the 4 letter word ‘PAIN’ which she thought she was the only one to experience!!
- As narrated to Vasudi by Mrs. Jyoti Isawe (Shivangi’s mom, the patient!) and complied using the inputs from both of them.
PS: Few of the analogies and experiences are fictional but bare a lot of resemblance to the actual story. I hope you enjoyed. Do post a comment!!