Thursday, June 22, 2006
He looked at me in alarm…As if I had suggested castration..
I spoke sweetly. Hiding the anger and disgust rising within me..
“But I will have to undergo anesthesia..”
“It can be done under local anesthesia..”
“I wont be able to go for work..! I will need rest..”
“Just a few days only.. you are a clerical staff.. you can go for work.”.
“What side effects..? Nothing..” I was starting to enjoy myself..
She sat there staring at him with hopeful eyes.. Eagerly hoping that he would agree..
The man who had promised to cherish her.. protect her..
His wife the mother of his three kids.. She had undergone three caesarians..
And three induced abortions..
Why couldn’t he take up a bit of pain..?
Was chivalry something you read only in romantic novels..? Not to be expected in marriage..?
She was missing her periods again..
Her caesarians had been in a mission hospital that didn’t do family planning procedures..
His company paid for treatment there.. So she had not been sterilized even though her abdomen had been cut open thrice..
Our hospital was conducting a free laproscopic sterilization camp..
Someone had motivated them to come for the camp..
The surgeon was a bit reluctant.. there was bound to be adhesions inside the abdomen after the three surgeries.. passing in the laproscope and navigating it to ligate her fallopian tubes would be difficult..
The anesthetist was reluctant.. she had a history of allergic asthma.
He had created some nuisance in the ward when he was asked to sign the consent form for the surgery.. asking hundred and one questions to the duty nurse.. that’s why she sent him to me..
“I suggest that you undergo vasectomy and spare her from all these risks..” I smiled sweetly..”
“Anyway medical termination of her current pregnancy can be considered only after one of you undergoes a permanent sterilization procedure..”
I was firm.. I knew he wanted that.. didn’t want the burden of one more child..
He started to squirm on his seat.
“Well… what do you say..? There is definite risk for her.. I can understand your reluctance to sign the consent form.. “
I was really enjoying myself now..
Cos he didn’t want any risk for himself. was willing to put his wife to risk..but was not willing to sign the consent form.. wanted to blame the surgeon probably if something happened..
“Well what do you say..?” I persisted..
He wouldn’t look at me..
I leaned back on my chair..
“There is a definite risk for your wife. even though she is willing to undergo the procedure.” I couldn’t help making the dig..
“You can undergo vasectomy instead.. The procedure is much simpler and you are a healthy man.. I drove in the point..
I shall think about it.. He started to rise.. He wanted to make good his escape
“ I don’t think you have a choice.. abortion shall be considered only after one of you has undergone permanent sterlisation..and the surgeon is reluctant to do lap sterilization for her.”
He had vasectomy two days later.. he was sullen .. brooding … probably scared about his self-image... About his masculinity..
She underwent MTP two days later. ..quietly.. no fuss..
Didn’t she know that she had a choice..? I wondered.. Why were her needs not given importance..?
To use contraception..? To find a surgeon who would do sterilization along with her caesarian..?
To refuse abortion..?
Maybe she didn’t have choices.. I told myself.. Only he had that privilege..
After all he was the breadwinner.. Wasn’t he..?