Playground (2021 #1)

(The Playground) #1

an assistant of a surgeon. he was a parent of one of our
school’s student joining this medical trip. i was a middle
school student, having zero background of medical science.
in a poor environment with poor assistant, he had to treat
his patients coming. he taught me from a very first step
such as how to sterilize wound or how to peel off knife seal
without infection.
hundreds of patients were coming from few miles walking,
waiting for their treatment from early morning. they didn’t
have much time to wait for an intellectually pure student
who was about to learn from step 1. they are with pus
aging for months or a cut revealing bone inside. the space
was awkward, the air was awkward. condition of patients
was way much awkward than the space, than the air. as a
characteristic of surgery department, people with wound that
is visually appearing comes a lot. people who are obviously
ill. therefore the treatment tends to be immediate and direct.
surgeon directly cut, sew, inject, attach and detach.
we had much patients with severe injure especially that day.
i didn’t have time to realize that i was nauseous. no time to
be disgusted. i only tried not to cause harm on his treatment.
it was about an hour before lunch time. the patient who came
was an early teenage girl with a lump under her ear in a size
that a grown up can grab fully in one hand. it was dangling
under her ear like an earing. the doctor said that it seems
like a side effect of surgical procedure such as piercing
in unhygienic process. wouldn’t cause crucial problem in
living, but for a young girl’s life he decided to remove it. he
laid her down, made me hold her not to move too much, and
injected anesthetic few times on her earlobe. with a small
knife in size of a thumbnail he started to cut the lump. first
he checked whether she could feel the pain, he cut the lump
to see how harden it became. from a small cut we could see
it became dark and hard.
the sound was more like sawing than cutting. crunch. crunch.
crunch. in every movement of knife, blood oozed out. as
time got longer patient showed pain. then the doctor injects
more anesthesia and continues. from flesh of very outer
part he cut deeper in circular movement around her earlobe.
blood didn’t stop, the patient kept cried and flinched. i was
holding her two arms and trunk in one arm, two thighs in
other arm.
felt like couple of hours have passed. sound of sewing
stopped and the lump rolled down to the floor. deep sigh of

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