KUALA LUMPUR - For Jaspal Kaur, even walking became a challenge when she suffered from complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition that affected her left foot.
Although doctors suggested she go under the knife to correct a ligament torn during a fall in April, the senior lecturer refused.
"I was in a lot of pain. I could not even splash water on my foot without feeling a sharp, stabbing pain," Jaspal said.
"Surgery would have probably made it a lot worse."
Today, the 40-year-old is back to her normal routine without any of the pain she had suffered over the past five months - thanks to an anaesthetic procedure.
The pain management clinic at Hospital Kuala Lumpur gave her a lumbar sympathetic block, an injection of local anaesthesia into or around the sympathetic nerves.
"I was initially nervous but after doing some research online, I decided to give it a try.
"It was amazing. I did not feel any pain during the six-hour procedure even though I was awake the whole time," said Jaspal.
What left her in awe was also the fact that she could resume her daily activities immediately after the procedure was done in August.
"Without the anaesthetic procedure, I probably would have gone under the knife or lived with the pain," she said during the World Anaesthetic Day celebration here yesterday.
The celebration, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists, aimed to raise awareness of anaesthesia and its role in surgery.
At the event, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the nation still faced a shortage of anaesthesiologists, with a ratio of 1:40,000 compared with a developed nation's ratio of 1:10,000.
"We are currently working towards increasing their number by encouraging doctors to specialise in the field," he said.
The event also featured a treasure hunt, blood donation drive, free health checks, organ donation pledge and games for children.