Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The tough WOMB

A very usual day in one of the villages of Srinivasapura taluk in Kolar district; 'she' was happily moving along the walk-path of her village's highway, which connected itself to the district headquarters further ahead. It has been her daily chore to set out for a casual walk once in the morning and again in the evening, since she was declared pregnant. At least one family member would accompany her every single time she set herself out since then. They were all excited for the fact that she was carrying her first ever child in her 'womb', so she was.

It was a well-off family, the head of which was an ex Zilla Panchayat President. She had no real pressure on herself in any aspect, unlike many others of her kind in the village. The only challenge for her was to safeguard her young little one who was gradually growing within her, to birth. They never seemed to have bothered whether it would be a 'boy' or a 'girl'; all they honestly wanted was to see her family tree grow, 'lucky, I am..' she thought. She was right!

'She looks near to term..?' asked a passing by villager. 'Yes, she is.. expected anytime in a week or so..' said her family member. Her pulse gained pace, without her knowledge. She was excited, knowing that 'the day' which would make a huge difference in her life was not too far. The little one kicked from inside in response to her excitement, they both already had the 'chemistry' set in. While subconsciously she moved a little away making way for the moving tractor, something banged her belly really hard.. before one could realize what was happening around, she was found deep in the nearby dug trench being unable to make a move. It took a while for her family member to recover from the incidental shock, who at once took her out with the help of others around. 'Are you fine??.. Nothing happened to you right??.. Does it pain.. ' - she could hardly respond to those questions shot at once.. pain from within the womb was unbearable until she lost conscious.

While I washed my hands coming out of the small animal OT following a surgery, my eyes naturally stared at the wall clock. It easily stuck the half past twelve mark; making me recall what my wife had packed for lunch today.. with love, obviously. A pregnant sheep walking with lot of pain into the OPD ward interrupted my preparedness for lunch. I walked closer..

"What is the problem?" asked our Professor.
"She is pregnant, almost term. Met with an accident.. a tractor banged her and she is in immense pain since then" replied the accompanying owner.
"When did this happen?"
"Yesterday morning.."
"Oh! What made you take so long in seeking medical care?"
"We are coming from a far off place, near Srinivasapura.."

The severity of the accident was too much, the abdominal muscles seemed to have given away and some parts of the foetus were pressing out on the skin at belly. The animal experienced severe pain on palpation. No parts of the lamb were felt in the birth canal, which ruled out the possibilities of going in for an assisted delivery. An ultrasound scan couldn't really help us to know whether the lamb was still alive inside; we knew that it would get too late if going for a detailed investigation. A word was soon given to get the OT prepared for surgery.

"Are you sure she is almost term?" I asked.
"Yes, she is.." owner replied.
It was my responsibility to make it clear to the owner that 'all is not well'. I continued.
"We are not sure if the lamb is alive inside. But still, we have no other way than going in for an elective c-section"
"No problem.. she is one among our family members. She has been so good to gain all our love and affection. No matter the lamb is alive or not, we want to get her well soon.."
"Seeing her condition, it is doubtful that she will eventually recover after surgery. The condition is really worse.." - I was in a hurry to convey the message, since it was all set for surgery in OT.
"Please try your possible best sir.. rest is left to the almighty.." owner's words were really touching.
"Sure, we will.."

While wearing the gloves, I looked in to her eyes. She found it hard even to blink her eyelids, could feel the pinch of immense pain she was undergoing for so long a time. Whether it really was or it did seemed so to me - her eyes were full with tears of pain. She closed her eyes more than she kept it open."Ready.." - signal from anesthetist brought me back to the real world. It took very less time to incise the skin; muscle layers had all given away as expected. Contusions made the bulk of intact muscle layers, they were literally crushed in to pieces. Later, it would definitely pose a real challenge to get them opposed and close. To our surprise, the uterus had no injury whatsoever! Not a small tear or scratch! It was strong enough bearing all the physical damage to save the life within!! I incised the uterus and took out the lamb. It was alive!! We couldn't believe this.. thanks to 'Nature' for making such a safe and tough womb!! Rest was all more tougher.. it was practically impossible to end the reconstructive surgery in a positive note. While I came out of the OT, the healthy active lamb brought a smile on my worried face..
out of the tough womb..
Handing over the discharge summary to the owner, he was informed that the chances of sheep recovering from surgery was highly questionable. With a small hope of good, the owner shifted the sheep to the boot space of his vehicle.

The wall clock ran a few minutes past three.. it was only then I remembered my forgotten lunch. "It's well past lunch time.." my wife seemed yelling at me. "Oh!!..", suddenly it stuck my mind that none of us had even bothered to show the lamb to his mother.. how could we be so mean?! By the time I rushed to the front desk, their vehicle was passing out of the hospital gate..

For whom the poor mother had to suffer so long and saved by sacrificing her own life, I strongly doubt if she could even get a chance to have him looked at; won't the brave mom curse us for this?? Sigh..