Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 146. Hydrocele

I find it difficult to say what kind of person an actor Alexander Demianenko was in real life, perhaps a good one. Though the fact, that he was one of the most popular and loved actors of Soviet students, was an absolute truth. It was he, Demianenko, who had created a character of Shurik, a cheerful and a bit clumsy student of the 60s. We recognized in the character if not ourselves, then a neighbor-guy from a dorm.

And the scene when he was peeping into a synopsis of a female student he did not know! So I have a question: wasn’t it Valya Timoshenko’s synopsis of lectures? Yes, the Valya, who studied together with me in the same group at the institute, and later when all of us left according to our job placements, it turned out that she and I happened to be placed on a job at Kurgan region. So Valya Timoshenko (and we used to call her Timokha or Timonya, depending on the request we addressed her with) was making super great synopses. She never rewrote them, like I did, for instance. From the very first time Valya had everything written in clear and even handwriting, and as for the contents, she in some incredible way managed to grasp the most essential thing and wrote it on paper in two-three theses, which were better than hundreds of pages of a textbook. Generally speaking, everybody who prepared for examinations using her synopses as a rule got an “excellent” grade into his or her student’s record book. Zhenya Romashov had special trusting relationship with Timokha, so it was he, who received her synopses first. Kostya Romashov, Zhenka’s younger brother was lucky as well, as Zhenka had his own methods of making his brother accustomed to medicine. You know, Yevgeniy liked to relax on a sofa in the evening and made his brother sit next to him, gave him a textbook or a synopsis, and Kostya had to read aloud for him, though Zhenya was listening while napping and sometimes even started snoring a little. However as soon as Kostya stopped reading Zhenya menacingly told him: “Go on reading, I am listening carefully”. And he was really listening and heard. Once Kostya examined Zhenka; asked him to repeat what he had just read, after his snoring. So Yevgeniy repeated everything he had heard word by word and warned Kostya that he would haul him over the coals, if he ever checked him again! Him, the elder brother! Though, by the way, he never executed his threat. So in that winter evening of 1970 Kostya was studying hard in a dorm for his surgery examination. It should be said, that he believed surgery to be the main direction of medicine, and wanted to get nothing less than an “excellent”. Zhenya came in as usually unexpected and with many questions: “What are you doing? Ah, you study. What are you reading? Cholecystitis, wonderful!”. Kostya understood what was wonderful about that only when Zhenka handed him Timonya’s synopsis and said that he had to learn by heart everything about cholecystitis for his therapeutics examination. Kostya was a kind guy, he read for Zhenka everything about those kinds of cholecystitis, and he himself learned everything he had read quite well.

Quiet! Examination is in progress!

The examination was conducted at a central district hospital of Kemerovo region. That was, if one took a #51 bus, then at Rudnik a stop had the same name of “A Hospital”. They say that everybody has his own “skeletons in a wardrobe”. In Kostya’s case that was his propensity to be late for examinations or as he said “be a little late”. That time he did not fail to follow his rule, he was worried that he could be late and finally was late. He rushed into the hospital building when everybody had already taken the exam, to be more precise, one person was still there answering to an examiner. The examiner was not an institute’s staff instructor, but a substituting one from practicing doctors. I do not remember his last name, but it looks like his name was Nikolay Nikolayevitch, as among the students he was called Nik-Nik. He looked tired, was a bit unshaved – he seemed to be after a night shift, and had to deal with exams and latecomers. It looked like he was about to reprimand Kostya. Though the latter also was no fool, he did not allow the instructor even to open his mouth, apologized and announced that he would not keep him long, and would answer without any preparation. Without asking for permission, he took an examination card and, oh, it was a miracle! There was cholecystitis in it!

Without a moment’s thought, like we do, when sing the song: “Jingle bells,….” Kostya started expounding classification and diagnostics, and all symptoms starting with bitter taste in a mouth up to Courvoisier symptom. Nik-Nik was sitting with his eyes closed as if having a nap. However Kostya was not the one to be tricked by that, he had trained on Zhenka by unnoticeable for others signs see that a person was not asleep. So Kostya started recounting treatment: spasmolytics, activated carbon, antibiotics, choleretics. He was also telling the dosage – super. So what else the man could need? However he started asking additional questions:
V: - Blood picture?
O: - Leykocytosis from ... to ...
V: - ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)
O: - Accelerated.
V: - Shetkin-Blumberg symptom?
O: - Can be positive.

“Everything is correct, but your treatment does not help the patient. What shall we do?” Oh, what a bore Nik-Nik turned to be. Kostya started getting out of a scrape saying: extra spasmolytics, antibiotics, got a patient eventually on a drip of glucose. And Nik-Nik was insisting that the temperature was going up anyway. Kostya got confused, as he remembered very well that there was nothing else in Timoshka’s synopsis. And that was Timonya herself, and there was some…
And Nikolay Nikolayevitch asked in tired and annoyed voice: “Well, and where are you now?” And Kostya did not think of anything better than to say: “At the examination”. Ultimately, Kostya was given a night to resolve the issue and was sent away till the next day. And on his way to the exam he had thought he would get an excellent grade. Kostya felt disgusting in his heart. He had told him everything like a poem… He went outside, stopped to light a cigarette and turned to the entrance covering it from wind. He looked up and saw a sign: “USSR Healthcare Ministry Surgery department…” Kostya understood everything, as the question was not just cholecystitis, but acute cholecystitis. And he, stubborn as a mule, was telling the surgeon…

How slowly time was crawling on that day. Kostya annoyed Zhenka with an old joke about scrotal hydrocele. “A patient comes to a surgeon, shows his problem: scrotum sticks out of suspensory, like size eight breasts out of a size three bra. The surgeon diagnoses the illness as hydrocele and concludes that a surgical treatment is needed. The patient’s got scared and rushed away from the surgeon. He has come to a therapist. The latter asked what he was frightened by? Perhaps you visited a surgeon and he told you that it had to be cut. “And what have you got? I see - hydrocele. Get on a chair and jump down from it.” The patient jumped.

“And now get on a table and jump down from it.” The patient did so. Then the therapist suggested the patient jumping down from a bookcase, and after that the scrotum fell off by itself. “You see, - the therapist said, - and surgeons cannot do anything else but cut”.

In the morning Kostya without being late, at 9 am sharp, was at the hospital and right in the hall told Nik-Nik, when he was passing by: “The surgery is needed, it needs to be cut”. The instructor laughed and without any further questions signed his student’s record book with a “good” grade and wished him good luck. “And he is a decent man”, - Kostya thought and headed to boast to Zhenka that he had passed the exam.

22 June, 2012

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #214040200700

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content