Thursday, June 15, 2006

The day I had three testicles

This is a very short story I wrote yesterday for our medical humanities class. It's a reflection of how phsycians feel when they become patients themselves and clearly shows that doctors can be the worst patients. This describes parts of my hernia (ftaa2) surgery in Jordan six years ago. Ninty percent of it is true and the other 10% is spices :)


My mind was clear as I was heading to the hospital in preparation for my hernia surgery. This time I was the patient. Being in my last year of medical school I took out my surgery textbook, wiped the thick layer of dust on its cover and quickly read about the complications of this surgery. I remained calm.

I was admitted to the hospital and I shared a room with an old man. “Why do I have to share the room with someone else” I thought to myself. I pushed the red button and the nurse came by.

“Excuse me, I asked for a private room, why is there someone with me?”
“You know sir, it’s a busy time of the year and we don’t have enough beds”

I looked at the old man in the other bed who smiled at me saying “You know, I was by myself in this room until you came today, but I’m not complaining, it’s actually good to have company”

“Whatever” I mumbled to myself as I pulled the curtains between our beds.

Later in the day the surgery resident came by. After taking the regular history he asked me to stand up.

“Please drop off your pants so I can look at the hernia”

“Your attending examined it just last week” I responded immediately.

“So you think I want to examine you because I like seeing you naked??” then he made a sarcastic laugh.

I didn’t argue much and dropped off my pants as he kneeled on the floor and started doing all the different maneuvers to examine my hernia. I could remember how many of them were mentioned in the surgery textbook but I was certain that he tried them all, more than once. For a second I thought that it would have been better if that hernia strangulated and my bowel became ischemic and I would die rather than going through this very embarrassing exam.

I thought of saying something funny “You know I always get paid for someone to do this to me”.

“Excuse me?” he said and looked up at me, but I could hardly see the expression on his face as my tummy was covering half of it..

“Never mind”

When he finished the exam he examined my throat, then came the news “Well, looks like you have tonsillitis. We might have to postpone the surgery for 2 weeks”

When he left the room I was furious, first because I didn’t want to go through this admission and examination again, and secondly because it was impossible for me to have tonsillitis ten years after I have had removed my tonsils.

Next morning the attending physician (the main surgeon) came by
“Hey Fares, I don’t think you have tonsillitis. Your tonsils look clean. We’ll take you to the O/R this afternoon.”

I woke up after the surgery screaming of pain. They gave me pain killers but they were not enough.

“Nurse, I want more morphine, now, please”
“Well that’s all what your doctor ordered, I can’t give you more”
“Oh no call him please, I want more”

She came back half an-hour later shrugging her shoulders “He said he can’t give you more of morphine. He doesn’t want to make you an addict”

As I was lying in my bed in pain, four of my classmates showed up. That was a bit of a surprise because I haven’t told anyone about my surgery other than my parents. They told me that they found my name on the O/R schedule and that made them concerned.

“So guys please don’t tell others about my hernia”
They looked at each other, then one of them turned to me and said “Well Fares, most of the class knows about it, pretty much all of them, they even know it’s an indirect inguinal hernia!”

Just around 9 pm I found the cafeteria man coming in the room carrying a sandwich.

He looked at me and smiled saying “Hey doc, I heard you have three testicles”

“No, not really” I said. “It’s only a hernia”

“Hernia! Come on! Well it’s not a bad thing to have three testicles. It might actually be a good thing, if you know what I mean” then he laughed hilariously for approximately 30 seconds.

I nodded my head and grabbed the sandwich and started eating it. The nurse came again with an injection of morphine. I told her that my pain was better, and I opened the curtain and found the old man reading a book. I sat down next to him and we listened to BBC news and some old songs on his radio until midnight. The man said “My son is about your age, and his birthday is today. He works in Liberia.”

The man paused for a second as if he was trying to remember something, then I heard him say “Make a wish, any wish, but don’t be too selfish”

I looked back at him and said immediately as if I was expecting his question “Done”
The man smiled and said, “ You think I’m crazy, but all my son’s birthday wishes come true. I hope yours will”

Indeed it did; three months later the surgery resident was admitted to the hospital to repair an indirect inguinal hernia.


eyad said...

Hareega, lol
no comment ;)

Linda said...


I really enjoyed reading this because it is so well written. The language you use is so vivid I can Imagine wht you are talking about :P

Hehehe, wow this comment sounds like the comments I make on my students' papers :)

So what did you get on it any way?

Lubna said...

7aram, baleeto lal zalameh kaman bil 3alamleyeh:P

hareega said...

eyad... liked ur comment :)

Linda, there was no grading , i'm done with school i just a got a feedback that it was very good.
2 people other than me were in that lecture lol

lubna, anoo zalameh?

bassel said...


ba3dein, fa7as luwazak w enta ba3dak shale7 ???????

leish ma 7'aleit wa7deh men el nurses ( to examen you)...

hareega said...

basel dude i had the surgery done in a hospital not in a massage place, so i couldn't select who can examine me :D

Lubna said...

ay zalameh??? the surgery resident!

bassel said...

ba3dein leish za3lan men el resident....hummeh ba3dhum bya36uh el residents el jdaad 48.5 JD/month????

hareega said...

lubna... ah bestahal kahlleh yenfa7es zay ma enfa7aset !

bassel exactly man my salary for one year was 48.5 JDs! ya doob y3abbo banzeen men el Salt la Amman

marry said...

oho good dear !!!! very interesting blog and a good posting !!! you must maintain your blog, its interesting !!! Nice Buddy

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