What goes on a doctor’s mind when he encounters a patient infested with maggots?

-Ripudaman Bajwa, GMC Patiala

What if you are known for a very sharp perception of smell and you could beat an advanced investigating team on it? Well then certainly you end up having the most exquisite wonders of smell(conditions apply) .Entering a profession with huge responsibilities attached since day 1, a doctor expects to experience certain moments which could very well be framed into a movie script.
Dental postings in MBBS course with all the pride shown to the Dental hostel mates made very less sense to me. New place, new rules and definitely the hope not to shine in the most ‘glorifying’ way lead me towards the dental building somehow. Received with a note, ‘So what’s the dental problem?’ To which I smiled and showed unenthusiastically the posting notice I was walking with. Nothing as not expected, a smirk welcomed me to the life of molars, premolars and A LOT more. I was asked to work with the emergency team trying hard to find patients that they could actually work on. So after sometime of sitting on an old chair which I was offered happily with an occasional play with my pen, a woman enters the room.

I have a disastrous toothache said a woman who could hardly pronounce properly any meaningful word. So now, the hero of the dental emergency room that day – the MBBS doctor (called playfully the whole time) was asked to proceed with the appropriate patient care. Originally belonging to the’ team that smells it all’, I swear that was the most obnoxious, breath stopping smell my olfactory mucosa has ever survived from. The pain was never the trouble for her the troubled me thought with all that smell around which killed us all in that room every second. ‘I give up’, the budding physician within me this time was having a mind block about normally appearing teeth which probably had a bacterial flora worse than a septic tank. The girl I had attended coaching classes while in the mad rat race being a bit sympathetic came forward as a big ray of hope. To be honest, I felt in par with the confused dentist which made me feel a little better (No, the smell still couldn’t let me breathe). Dentist madam (the name I came up with) picked some of her tools which were definitely weird to me, made her jaw drop (or any cliché shocking proverb). MAGGOTS! She exclaimed.

The little creatures were all around the patient’s mouth when a loose, stinking tooth was extracted out. The room was in shock, these minutes we were spending in the room with her, were manslaughtering each one of us. Recalling it can easily make me go into the darkest of chambers which were full of memories about someone’s worst nightmare .Teeth by teeth as the Dentist madam proceeded , the maggots literally filled the woman’s mouth completely. A new article with breaking news was going to be inked definitely if this reached masses.
Every inch of me wished to quit that day but somehow I didn’t .The questions that filled my memory tank that day can never be completely answered. Getting in the healthcare field, I knew a little about what extreme challenges one has to tackle. I still recall that day and feel how many Indian’s actually know the worth of being a healthy person in today’s world. Tough to say what each one of us prioritizes about but something, no matter how little has to be done to address this. Unluckily or I should say maybe not, I was destined to experience this whole stinking scenario in my life once (hopefully). Dental postings were never the same ever again.


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