The patient who became my wife.
Ten years, into my professional clinical practice, I had developed a reputation to handle all of the extreme cases.
The cases which I got, I could easily diagnose the disease. For me it was not about the diagnosis but it was about the treatment.
My cases came with all the typical signs and symptoms, just like how it was given in the medical books, but it was the extent to which the disease was let to grow.
I had set up a small hospital. It wasn’t located in a big city; I chose a small village for this. My initial intention being to serve the rural people but eventually, people from all over the country came here. My cases were published in the many of the international journals along with my treatment methods.
My most citied article was excision of the thyroid gland. That case was a forty-year-old woman, who had developed a huge nodular goiter in her neck. This for a general surgeon is a common case but the size of the swelling made the difference in this case.
The swelling was protruding outwards and falling down till the level of her breasts. It was so huge that she had difficulty in walking or even sleeping.
The successful treatment of this goiter immediately took me to the top of the list as a general surgeon.
My hospital was packed with patients as always.
Even with my increasing popularity I decided to stay back here for no specific reason. But it seemed to have increased the demand even more.
People had to travel long distances to get here and that made their visit to the hospital more of a journey than just a clinic visit.
The rich travelled abroad to get themselves treated while the poor travelled to me.
So I started seeing the patients waiting for me.
I never examine my patients in my clinic, all my new patients are seated in the waiting room. It is specially designed for examination.
Most of my patients are taken care by my staff, but all the difficult cases wait for me.
It is just like my rounds, I walk to the patient and examine them there itself if the patient is ready to comply, if not then I take them to an examination room there itself. But that rarely happens. The people who come to me are not bothered to take of their clothes. They are more worried about the state of their health.
I first noticed a young lady sitting with three layers of cloth wrapped around her.
My nurse was with me always.
As they saw me approaching, she and her relative stood.
“Good evening doctor” the old lady greeted me.
“My daughter in law here, she seems to have a swelling in her chest region” she said.
“Ma’am is it possible to remove your blouse” I asked her. The age and the other details were not required. I usually went to the examination directly.
She removed without any hesitation.
And yes, it was one more of the extreme, rare case.
Her right breast, seemed to have enlarged and grown severely out of proportion. It was extending till her hips. The left one was relatively normal.
But the right one, it was humongous. Considering she was young, I came to the differential of a galactocoele. A condition where there is obstruction to the lactiferous ducts in the mammary glands leading to a retention cyst, containing milk. I could see some white fluid dripping the cyst.
It was a galactocoele.
“Ma’am there is not much to worried about, we will drain the fluid and then it will heal by itself”
I ordered the nurse to call for my staff to treat her.
I went on to the next one.
The first thing I noticed about the old man was his right index finger.
It was dark blue in color, gangrene had set in. Multiple tight red threads were tied a few centimeters below the tip of the finger which was causing it.
He still hadn’t removed it.
“Sir, I am not able to feel anything here” he said as he scratched the finger with his nail.
“Ok” I touched the tip. It was cold and hard.
I untied the threads.
The threads were tied so tight that it left a deep grove along the finger. I touched it, he felt nothing. I took out a pin and pricked but there was no sensation.
But at the groove he could feel something.
It was a case of dry gangrene and his finger had to be amputated.
“Since when is this tied”
“Actually, two weeks back while working in the fields I accidently got bitten by a small scorpion, so I went to our village guru who tied these threads around my finger and applied some lime. It has been 14 days”
Following orders without any consultation can lead to this. And I have seen many cases like these. The rural people just follow without thinking and this leads to the increasing tragic accident occurring.
“Well, your finger has to be amputated, that is the only treatment. That part of the finger is useless now and it won’t be of any use whatsoever.”
After explaining the procedure and why his fingers had necrosed. He was taken for amputation.
There were many patient waiting still.
From far I could see, a lady holding a cloth over her mouth and saliva was dribbling. It was oral carcinoma. I had seen many of those. Then there was thyroid, varicose, swellings.
These cases my staff could handle. So I told them to handle them.
But then there was one young girl sitting at the corner. She seemed to be perfectly fine from the outside.
Maybe I could take up one more case.
So I went to her.
“Ma’am” I called her. She seemed to be lost in her own world.
She looked directly into my eyes.
She was a young girl, in her early twenties. She was scared, and her face was refreshing and innocent.
Most of my patient belonged to the elder age group and it was the first time in many years that I was handling a young girl as my case.
I had trained myself, not to let any emotions take over. No matter what.
But with her, I couldn’t help but admire her innocence and beauty.
I was stuck in her eyes.
She had a dark complexion and small features. She was young girl and I was almost twenty years older than her.
For the first time, I had this strong feeling of attraction to anyone. I was never with a girl before.
“Doctor, I have swelling here” she put her hand on her abdomen.
“Can I examine the swelling”
She was a bit hesitant and looked scared.
“There is nothing to worry about. Do you want to go inside and examine? It is absolutely fine”
We walked across to the room.
My staff were busy and I didn’t bother calling a nurse along. There was something which was stopping me from following the ethical conduct.
Only the two of us were inside the room.
She stood nervously beside the bed.
“If it is fine can you expose the area of your abdomen and lie down on the bed”
She seemed fine to me.
She was wearing the long brown blouse extending till her hips and a long maroon skirt.
She slowly let her blouse drop to the floor with little hesitation but still nervous.
The first thing I noticed were the protruding collar bones, she was thin and a bit undernourished.
Her breasts were a little big for her size but it was normal.
She untied her skirt also.
Now she was standing completely naked in front of me.
Her small, fragile, tender body was perfect in every way.
She turned to the bed and climbed on it.
I couldn’t help again but wonder how even at such a young age, and having such a small skeleton framework did she mange to look so mature and complete.
She was on the bed.
I couldn’t notice any swelling.
But I still touched her.
I touched the side of abdomen, nothing but smooth body fat and bone.
“There seems to be no problem here. Where did you tell the swelling was”?
She pointed again to the other side of the abdomen.
I felt her abdomen.
There was nothing there. For some reason, I didn’t stop palpating her abdomen. In fact, now, I was starting to feel her body. I ran my fingers all over, I didn’t ask her.
My emotions were getting stronger. The attraction was getting stronger every second and I was losing myself.
I felt her umbilicus, my hands reached higher and touched her breasts.
She gave me no reaction. She let me do it.
I knew it was wrong but also it felt right.
I fondled with her breasts till satisfaction.
By now it was clear I wasn’t examining her anymore. She had her eyes closed and we both were now going with the flow.
After her breasts, I lowered my hands to her abdomen again and went lower.
And as soon as I touched there, she moaned with pleasure.
And that is when I kissed her. That sealed the deal for both of us.
That was the first of the many times we made love.
She came to my clinic every week after that and eventually we ended up getting married.
She didn’t have any problem. The reason she came to the clinic the first time was that she was lonely, and so depressed that she was hoping she got diagnosed with a disease.
But ended up getting a life partner.
And for my part, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. I had broken the basic ethical conduct of being a doctor but I am not ashamed of it.
I believe that, sometimes breaking the moral conduct by which we lead our lives can help us in reaching the ultimate goal of satisfaction from life.