A childhood under OR lights

Born to a family of surgeons. Growing up was different,

Girls in preschool dressed as disney princesses(mostly cinderella) with their ball gowns with ruffles and lace, I used to wear my moms coat, white and over sized. The sleeves covering all of my hands, the coat-tail on the floor like a wedding dress train!!
And the scrub cap was my tiara.

Favorite barbie: doctor barbie
Favorite game: operation

Bed time stories for normal kids are Red Riding Hood or Snow White and the seven dwarfs, mine were more like how you/your sister/ mom/ granny/grandpa/great grandma were born! Breech, cephal, post dated were stories in my head long before I read about them in textbooks!
When I was little obstetrics histories were what put me to sleep!

Puberty is a dreaded time for any girl with a mom who is a gynecologist! Hour long talks about reproduction and the changes your body will go through; not to forget all the modes of contraception! But that wasn’t necessary because on your thirteenth birthday you peek into the labor room looking for mom amidst those screaming women, fumes of liquor and crowning heads you find your sexual orientation: asexual for life. All we asked for is a normal talk about love, relationships and growing up.

Your gran must have told you about how she met your grandpa at a fair and they fell in love one summer, or how she was married by her parents and how now she adores that man she barely knew when she got married. About those summer evenings when he would sing to her. How he would bring her roses every time he got home from his business trips. How she loved watching him when he was about the house fixing stuff with a toolbox in his hand.
Mine told me how she met the greatest surgeon she knew, married him, and then how he helped her with those arrested deliveries, because she needed strong hands to apply traction to the forceps(a hand on a shaft of steel pulling the head of a fetus through a vagina is anything but romantic to a normal person but if you have a family like mine you know it is better than a thousand candlelight dinners) or assisting hysterectomies even though he was tired from a 7 hour gastric surgery, just so he could spend more time with her.

Sometimes when I wanted a school test(I scored bad on) signed, I would go looking for dad at the hospital just before he had to scrub in for a major surgery. He would sign without a second look(worked every single time!). But there is a price to pay, sometimes I would come across a mangled limb, a crushed face or an indiscernible mass of blood and muscle on my way out. A little girl of twelve knew what death looked like.

The smell of freshly baked cake or the strong aroma of indian curry reminds my friends of home.
The only smell that feels like home to me is that of powdered gloves and betadine.

Most teens rebel by doing drugs or getting inked and joining street gangs. All I did was say I will NEVER go to med school. And hell broke lose.

5 years later when I am almost done with my final year in medical school(I couldn’t fight my destiny(parents) for long) every time I step into an OR I know I belong.

A surgeon’s spirit

A general surgeon- Country liquor… Its cheap, easy to find, gives you a hell of a high(or so I have heard).

Obstetrician- Champagne… No matter what you had to go through to get to the top(in this case get the baby out) its worth it. Every. Single. Time!

Gynecologist- Beer. Why? ‘You assumed we remove uteruses so we like tequila?’

Pediatrics- Surgery on little people. Sometime their crying is unbearable, so give them a little gin from your bottle(only if mother’s love doesn’t work) and you are in fairyland again(No judging. But what did you think those cough syrups were made of?)

Ortho- Whiskey, because its a men’s world darlings! And even the few(can’t stress this enough) women in this world would reply to ‘Bourbon neat?’ with ‘fill her up!’

Neuro- What do you take me for? I went to med school! Mixing alcohol with neuro? Preposterous! Have you no morals?

Plastics- Bring out the wine… They know all about aging gracefully (at least the experienced/skilled ones do). The new just suck(ask Cher I think she has met a few!)

Cardio- Vodka, like the Russians, its close to their hearts!

Urosurgeons- Rum, it takes a pirate’s drink to stay sane when you know you do prostate exams for a living!