Monday, December 12, 2011

Bye bye Birdie

Before the BIG snip (with Usu)

It's been a rough week. Last Sunday my eldest son, Yousof went for circumcision. At six years old he was one of the younger ones there. When we arrived at Klinik Al-Amin, he was given number 70 (the last one for the day). As we waited for his turn, I think I was more nervous than him. When I asked him if he was worried he replied "Tak takut sebab Upin & Ipin kata macam kena gigit kerengga je (I'm not scared because Upin & Ipin [cartoon characters] said it's just like an ant bite)". When it was his turn, he bravely went in by himself (no parents allowed) and came out 15 minutes later smiling. He said he didn't feel anything and just kept his eyes closed the whole time. 

Didn't hurt at all

It was only later in the car ride home that he started to feel the pain. This was because the local anaesthetic that they had given had worn off and the painkiller that he took had not set in yet. That evening and throughout the night, I felt more helpless than I have ever felt. It was heart-breaking to see him in pain. I had done all I could to ease his pain including adding another analgesic but being a child, the pain continued to bother him. So I simply stayed by his side, comforting him and coaxing him to sleep. Toilet trips and dressing the wound was a nightmare too. For the first 3 days the swelling at his glans penis (front part) was very obvious and did not recede. By the 4th day the swelling subsided but was replaced by a black discolouration of the whole area. With very minimal experience in wound healing after such a procedure I consulted my lecturers (Dr Emad, Dr Saad, Mr Salleh), also getting input from my parents, Dr Wahab and even went to visit the clinic again. Finally, I am reassured that this whole traumatic experience is just part of the healing process.

NOW it hurts!

I have learned two very important lessons throughout this. Firstly, there is nothing worse than seeing your child in pain (worse yet when you are the one who has to grit your teeth and inflict the pain - cleaning/dressing the wound properly so it does not get infected). Secondly, as a doctor (or anyone with a medical background), it can sometimes be difficult to be truly objective with the ones we love. It is easy to be either of 2 extremes, too complacent or too anxious. We tend to miss things or let them pass because we think we've seen worse or we know exactly what is going on, or we tend to over-analyze and jump straight to morbid worse case scenarios because of all the things we've learned and seen.

I am thankful to so many people for helping me get through this week, frazzled but sane. To my brother Izzat, my sis-in-law Zila & Umairah- thank you for coming down to Kuantan and giving us moral support that weekend. To Mr Salleh, Dr Emad, Dr Saad, Dr Wahab and Dr Naznin- thank you for your input and much needed second opinions. To Dr Norsidah & Dr Yusoff- thank you for lightening my load by covering for me at the Kulliyyah. To my parents- thank you for coming to Kuantan and always being there to support me when I need you the most.

I am hopeful that when it's Hamzah's turn, it will be plain sailing.

My turn next?


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