Wednesday, May 12, 2021
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Healing for the Healers

Express News Service

Everyone in the room tested positive in the last operation I was part of a 12-hour surgery of a trauma patient with multiple fractures. The HOD, faculty members, aesthetician, and other post graduates, around 9-10 of us, had taken both doses of the Covishield vaccine, and even the patient had tested negative when we rolled her in. But two days post-surgery, her saturation levels started dropping, and the HOD’s son got fever and tested positive, then the HOD, and then us. I had fever, breathlessness, cough, fatigue, but I was so familiar with the Covid situation, I knew it would get fine.

A lot of my batch mates have been through this more than once. But I haven’t told my parents. Dad is with Air India, and he might come here. Mom does a video call every day, and noticed I was not okay when I coughed. But I just said it’s the change in weather. My parents are very concerned, and were not letting me to come to Ghaziabad from Mumbai, and join college last year. I’ll tell them only when I meet them and they see that I am fine. I did not inform the society members either.

Dr Kusam

They already had issues with us going to the hospital every day, leaving at odd hours for surgery. They let us be after we told the owner, who explained to them as his own son is studying medicine. Initially, I had trouble sleeping because I wasn’t able to exercise. I used to stand up for 3-4 minutes, and feel giddy, so I would sit in the kitchen and cook food. Just ate oats, khicdi, all simple and hot food, because everything feels bland after losing the sense of taste and smell.

The first 3-4 days no one was there to help, so I would just cry and finish it. First thing when I tested positive, I told a friend to get me paint, canvas, palette. I used to paint in Mumbai, but after coming here in August 2020, I didn’t find the time. I did my latest painting was after seeing the photo of the discovery made NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory (a major step towards pinpointing exactly how some giant stars explode) I painted around four canvases in isolation 10 days, using pastel colours. Yoga has been a saviour. In the initial days, I could not do it.

Then I started with breathing, proning, and meditation. Once I felt better, I started conducting a few classes online as I had finished my yoga teacher training course in January. I stopped looking at the news from the first day as there is nothing worse you can hear. However, when I come across it on social media, I just contact my friends I just have a few I just ask them randomly, ‘How are you doing?’ ‘Is everything fine?’ ‘Stay safe’, as a kind of reassurance.

Given these times, I think just accept whatever is there ahead of you. Don’t think in 3 or 6 months I will do this. Right now, you have today and tomorrow to do what you want. You need to give yourself strength, no one else will. I think I needed this to happen for myself.

Before Covid, I was always in a rush from 6:00am- 9:00pm, with college, OPD, casualty shifts, and sometimes tending to duty calls at 3:00- 4:00am. I would try to catch 5-6 hours of sleep. But after having got Covid and recovered I just got out of isolation on Saturday I don’t have anxiety left because what can happen now? I am still waiting for my taste and smell to return.

Dr Tanya Kusam, 1st Year PG, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Santosh medical institute, Ghaziabad – As told to Ornella D’Souza

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