The Creaking Tree Society

The pancreatic diaries II

Futuristic cyborg head. This is entirely 3D generated image.  

So here I am back in hospital again, partly because you can’t keep a good man down, and partly because after paying health insurance for so long, it seemed wrong not to get anything back from it. The policy covered so many ailments, and I never seemed to get any of them. The lack of return on investment rankled deeply. This is no longer a problem. It turns out that my earlier diagnosis of acute necrotising pancreatitis was wrong, which is a pity, because it sounds so impressive. “Something involving the pancreas or the liver” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. It feels more like an excuse to miss the Monday review meeting.

Either way, I was admitted to hospital again last week, where I am now a valued customer. The security guards salute when they see me. Events proceeded rapidly after admission. I was supposed to undergo tests on Saturday and Sunday. After reviewing the tests, I was supposed to have a stent put in my bile duct on Tuesday. This was news to me. I had always assumed stents were something you put in hearts, but apparently you can insert them anywhere, like Officers on Special Duty. I have never liked following schedules, so I screamed a lot from the pain on Sunday, and even more on Monday, by which time the doctors all had migraines, and said, “Let’s put that stent in right now!”

On Tuesday, I had a liver MRI, where the machine shut me up, because it was even louder than me. On Wednesday, they did an ultrasound, which is like what they did to my wife when she was pregnant, except it was with my liver instead of a baby. Both looked very similar. On Thursday, I had two plastic tubes inserted to remove fluid that I was leaking. I did not scream at all, and the doctor patted my head and said I was a good boy. I am now half human, half plastic, like a budget cyborg.

Throughout the whole process, Medanta hospital has been brilliant, and I’m not just saying this because I’m hoping Dr Trehan will give me a discount. The place is huge, and full of people. They never leave you alone. About three times a day, for example, a nurse comes into the room, stares at everything, and walks out again. The other day, three of them came in and did it together. I expect even larger viewing groups in the next day or two. They are also very helpful when it comes to bowel movements. They do not rest until they get results. Just the other day, I managed to have a dump after several days. The output was like the results of an archaeological dig. Various layers from various eras were visible. However, I have been blocked again for the last few days, and sense the shadow of the enema man lurking.

Nevertheless, surrounded by experts, I remain confident as my adventures continue. Will I be meeting the enema man soon? What will my first sponge bath be like? Should I be making a will? Does the striped hospital clothing make me look like a prison inmate, or is it just my imagination? And what language are the nurses all talking to each other in? These are some of the questions I have to consider in the near future.

Despite being set in Bengal, no bowel movements were discussed in Shovon Chowdhury’s most recent novel, Murder With Bengali Characteristics

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:43:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/the-pancreatic-diaries-ii/article31671319.ece

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