Finger Surgery – things that stayed.
4 weeks back I had a minor finger surgery which involved a skin graft so along with it came anaesthesia for my entire right arm.
I wasn’t scared of the procedure although my overthinking about not having the sensation in the right arm was driving me a bit nervous.
So I did try to convince the doctor to keep the numb area at the minimum.
The skin graft was planned to be sourced from my upper arm inner side which did not make sense to me as it was a lighter shade than the target area, to get that clarified I did ask few questions:
1: Why dont we take the skin graft from a darker shade close to the finger area (avoiding the numb space)
2: And in general why cant we take the skin graft from closer area.
The doctor first gave me insight into the procedure and then explained that the grafted skin tends to get darker over time so its better to start with a lighter shade. Secondly upper inner arm would be hidden from direct view considering I would be modestly dressed or weather enforced dressing, so aesthetically it would be more suitable.
And to add to that he confirmed irrespective of the source area – the entire arm will be put to sleep.
No choice – oblige.
In the operation theatre with two anaesthetists, they needed to prepare my arm for 30 minutes to go completely numb. I denied sedation because in general I dont like losing control but they all convinced me and they did put that drug on. I agreed for just one dose and no more as I was confident to deal with it, especially if the arm was numb why be sedated? did not make sense to me, yes I was grumpy. I took one dose, rigid when it comes to medications.
my thoughts were reflecting a nervous face. armless – what if the sensation was never back. wobbly wobbly!
The nurse along sensed me somehow in need, she immediately started caressing me on my left shoulder and honestly I had not felt
this ever before, it was like she sucked away my fear, I was relayed with support and compassion in that gentle massage.
I normally attribute such sensation to a mother’s touch but this was unusually magical and then before she left me she caressed my left foot and that hooked the assurance on me. My tension of arm-less experience had drastically reduced.
Since my head was back in control, I started engaging in a conversation
with the anaesthetists they shared a lot of their life, I reckon something that must be at the top of their memory cache in terms of life experiences/expectations must have come out first. The lady said how she aspires to be a detective. That talk drained a lot into me, it helped me with my own varied desires.
To reveal one’s inner thoughts/desires in front of strangers comes effortlessly I thought, it was like they were confiding!
In middle of our conversation, the Iraqi origin anasthetist asked me “do you know the meaning of your name – ‘Masuma’?” I said “yes – it means innocent.” (This is the meaning I have grown up with)
He said “no its much more than that” – he said it means “someone who is protected from doing anything wrong”.
And then both asked “Have you lived up to that?” in an astounding chorus.
In sedation with new information I only blurted “I hope I have” (in mind – but right wrong is subjective, hmm maybe I have or atleast tried too, well don’t know)
Today again at the doctors, I was waiting to be seen when I befriended an Arab lady in the waiting area and she asked me my name, on hearing “Masuma” she immediately qualified “Arabic name and
it means someone who is protected from doing anything wrong”
Totally justifies my passion and grip on learning Urdu these days and penning down a few good touching notes 🙂
The numbness took 24 hours to leave my arm until then sling was keeping the arm stable 🙂