The Doctor’s Uterus

One of our friends is in hospital. Suspected ovarian cancer. Private hospitals mean that treatment can be received very quickly if you can pay for it. One of the challenges is that patients have to have a family member or friend with them at all times ready to go and buy medicine, syringes or indeed blood if the doctor asks for it. Meals are not provided so this friend will also purchase food and drink from the canteen or bring in home cooked food.

Jenny has been responsible for quickly drawing up the rota for this 24 hour care and managing the news flow so that our friend, a doctor, is able to rest. So it was, that after teaching I happened to do my four hour shift just at the time when the patient was due her operation. The first two hours I sat in the open air waiting room, reading in the sun but then it started to get cold.

Every so often a tannoy announcement would summon an anxious relative as someone came out of theatre or needed medicine. With my limited Nepali, and knowing the operation should be over soon, I desperately listened for the name of the patient. Maybe I missed a message or maybe they recognised the lostness of a helpless foreigner but a nurse appeared at the door saying come.

I grabbed all the bags and went towards the recovery room but the nurse said, “No, here,” pointing at the theatre door. As someone who faints rather easily when having his blood pressure taken I was a little anxious but bravely started to open the theatre door. “No, wait”. 30 seconds later the surgeon appeared caryying an alluminium, kidney shaped bowl. Holding it out to me she said, “This is the Doctor’s uterus and these (prodding them with a spatula) are the ovaries”. Not knowing the protocol and trying to look, but not too closely, I stared, open mouthed. “Take a picture”. So I did and the surgeon left.

I’m still not sure why this happened but apparently it is normal practice. Maybe it is to prove that what you paid for has been done. Our friend is recovering well and waiting for biopsy results.

I’ve always been told that blogs must have pictures. I think this needs to be an exception.